"The Office" Vs. "Parks And Rec"

"The Office" Vs. "Parks And Rec"

They are similar, but not the same and that's OK
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I have fallen in love with the inhabitants of both Pawnee and Scranton. I witnessed the mishaps and triumphs of both the Parks Department and Dunder Mifflin. I have recommended both shows to friends and, at times, have been surprised when they didn't love Leslie and Ann or Dwight and Jim as much as I do. "Parks and Recreation" and "The Office" are very similar shows, yet they are just different enough. If you are an "Office" fan trying out Leslie and her crew or vice versa, here are a few similarities and differences I have noted.

1. The style.

Similarities: Both "Parks and Rec" and "The Office" are filmed in a mockumentary style. The characters all have their chance to shine in their individual interviews. Because of this style, both shows are highly satirical toward the American workplace and its workers.

Differences: I used to say that if you liked "The Office," you would like" Parks and Rec," but if you liked "Parks and Rec," you may not like "The Office." However, I now think this is only mostly true, and the reason is the different kinds of humor in the two shows. The humor from "The Office" comes from how familiar the characters and situations feel. While many of the situations are taken to extremes, I can't tell you the amount of times I have heard someone say, "She's exactly what my coworker was like!" or "I know so many people just like him."

On the other hand, the characters of "Parks and Rec" are funny because they are over the top. They are closer to caricatures, so I have heard people make remarks along the lines of, "Leslie is like a toned-down version of my sister" or "Ron's an extreme version of my uncle." This isn't to say one style is better than another, but the shows do have distinct tones, and the adjustment between the two can be hard if you're not expecting it or willing to accept it.

2. The creation.

Similarities: The two shows share several creators, including Greg Daniels, Howard Klein and Michael Schur, who not only wrote for both shows but also played Mose, the cousin of Dwight Schrute.

Differences: "The Office" was an American remake of the British series with the same name. "Parks and Rec" was an original idea dreamed up by Daniels and Schur after they had started working on "The Office." I don't really have concrete evidence or examples of how this difference affected the two shows, but I thought it was interesting to note.

3. The setting.

Similarities: Both stories unfold in the American office. Even when the camera ventures out of the office space, it captures familiar sights for the average viewer: homes, stores and of course, parks, rather than the flashy mansions or gray bunkers of more dramatic TV shows.


Differences
: Leslie and her gang operate out of the City Hall Parks Department while the Scranton folk sell paper for Dunder Mifflin in a small office building. In addition, the clothing, makeup and lighting of "The Office," particularly the earlier seasons, are more drab, colorless and, again, realistic, than the brighter sets and costumes of "Parks and Rec."

4. The bosses.

Similarities: Both Michael Scott and Leslie Knope are extremely passionate about their work and overly eager for their employees to share their passion. Both try their hardest to make their employees have fun at their jobs, and consequently, both fail on many occasions.

Differences: The similarities stop there. Leslie is the stereotypical type A personality, with her binders, political savvy, energy, and ability to run on very little sleep. She is ambitious, competitive and loves to be busy. Michael loves to procrastinate and is the epitome of political incorrectness. His enthusiasm stems from his desire to be adored by his employees rather than for mere love of his work. He has unrealistic ambitions and does little to accomplish them.

5. The relationships.

Similarities: Both shows are full of friendships and couples. The couples are sometimes meant to be and sometimes unexpected or dysfunctional. The friendships are sometimes sought after and sometimes accidentally discovered. One thing is for sure, the characters in both shows share many touching, hilarious and relatable moments.

Differences: "The Office" doesn't have two gals like Leslie and Ann, and no one can recreate the absolute perfection that is Jim and Pam.

6. The response.

OK, this one doesn't actually have many differences. Both shows were soon greeted with wide popularity and received several nominations and awards. Even though both shows have ended they are still popular and still hold special places in our hearts. Whether you're a tried-and-true fan of both ,or trying to get your feet wet in either show, I hope this list has helped you appreciate them despite or -- better yet -- because of their differences.

Cover Image Credit: BlakeOnline

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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My AP Environmental Science Class' Cookie Mining Experiment Shows Why Capitalism Is Destroying The Planet

Who cares about the environment with profits this high?

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With the AP exams in May approaching quickly, my AP Environmental Science class has wasted no time in jumping right into labs. To demonstrate the damage to the environment done by strip mining, we were instructed to remove the chocolate chips from cookies.

The experiment in itself was rather simple. We profited from fully or partially extracted chips ($8 for a full piece and $4 for a partial) and lost from buying tools, using time and area and incurring fines.

This might seem simplistic, but it showcased the nature of disastrous fossil fuel companies.

We were fined a $1 per minute we spent mining. It cost $4 per tool we bought (either tweezers or paper clips) and 50 cents for every square centimeter of cookie we mined.

Despite the seemingly overbearing charges compared to the sole way to profit, it was actually really easy to profit.

If we found even a partial chocolate chip per minute, that's $3 profit or utilization elsewhere. Tools were an investment that could be made up each with a partial chip, and clearly we were able to find much, much more than just one partial chip per tool.

Perhaps the most disproportionally easiest thing to get around were the fines. We were liable to be fined for habitat destruction, dangerous mining conditions with faulty tools, clutter, mess and noise level. No one in the class got fined for noise level nor faulty tools, but we got hit with habitat destruction and clutter, both of which added up to a mere $6.

We managed to avoid higher fines by deceiving our teacher by pushing together the broken cookie landscapes and swiping away the majority of our mess before being examined for fining purposes. This was amidst all of our cookies being broken into at least three portions.

After finding many, many chips, despite the costs of mining, we profited over $100. We earned a Franklin for destroying our sugary environment.

We weren't even the worst group.

It was kind of funny the situations other groups simulated to their cookies. We were meant to represent strip mining, but one group decided to represent mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is where companies go to extract resources from the tops of mountains via explosions to literally blow the tops off. This group did this by literally pulverizing their cookies to bits and pieces with their fists.

They incurred the maximum fine of $45. They didn't profit $100, however.

They profited over $500 dollars.

In the context of our environmental science class, these situations were anywhere from funny to satisfying. In the context of the real world, however, the consequences are devastating our environment.

Without even mentioning the current trajectory we're on approaching a near irreversible global temperature increase even if we took drastic measures this moment, mining and fracking is literally destroying ecosystems.



We think of earthquakes as creating mass amounts of sudden movement and unholy deep trenches as they fracture our crust. With dangerous mining habits, we do this ourselves.

Bigger companies not even related to mining end up destroying the planet and even hundreds of thousands of lives. ExxonMobil, BP? Still thriving in business after serial oil spills over the course of their operation. Purdue Pharma, the company who has misled the medical community for decades about the effects of OxyContin and its potential for abuse, is still running and ruining multitudes more lives every single day.

Did these companies receive fines? Yes.

But their business model is too profitable to make the fines have just about any effect upon their operation.

In our cookie mining simulation, we found that completely obliterating the landscape was much more profitable than being careful and walking on eggshells around the laws. Large, too-big-to-fail companies have held the future of our planet in their greedy paws and have likewise pulverized our environment, soon enough to be unable to return from.

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