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DVD Review

DVD cover

Parks and Recreation
Season One


Starring: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Schneider and Chris Pratt
Fabulous Films / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 12
Available 01 April 2013

Created by Primetime Emmy® Award winners Greg Daniels (The Office U.S., King of the Hill, The Simpsons) and Michael Schur (The Office U.S., Saturday Night Live), comedy superstar Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope, an ambitious and hopeful small-town government worker, whose dreams are way bigger than her political talents. A hilarious saga of Government employees and local citizens turning a neighbourhood hole in the ground into a new public park...

The first season of Parks and Recreation was originally broadcast in America in 2009. The show is still going and at the time of this review (March 2013) is currently nearing the end of it's fifth season.

The show follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). a naive, mid-level bureaucrat in the parks department of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Knope is sent to yet another boring town meeting to get feedback on the local residents. Due to the fact that she is followed by a documentary film crew, Knope finds herself rushing into making a promise for one of the locals who wants to know what the council are going to do with an abandoned construction pit which is spoiling their neighbourhood. Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) is a nurse who is worried that the pit is a danger to others; her boyfriend, Andy (Chris Pratt), has already fallen into it and broken both his legs. Wanting to look good in front of the cameras, Knope promises to turn the site into a lovely park. However, things are against her and the rest of the season sees Knope fighting against everyone in the council and in the neighbourhood to transform the dangerous eyesore into a beautiful park.

Along the way she is helped/hindered by Ann and Andy, as well as her colleagues at the council. These include her assistant Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and city planner Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider) who she once slept with. But it's her boss, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), who is going to be the hardest nut to crack - he doesn't actually believe in government and has spent his entire career attempting to do as little as possible.

This first season is comprised of six episodes, however there are seven on this collection are two versions of Rock Show. There's the Original (broadcast version) and Producer's Extended Cut.

It's pretty obvious that the show's creators previously worked on The Office U.S., as this employs a very similar mockumentary style.

Extras include audio commentaries on every episode (except the "Original" cut of Rock Show); Deleted Scenes (22 min, 53 sec which shed light on some of the unanswered questions about the show. It explains that Knope is always given the job of attending the public meetings because no one else wants to and that the rather odd residents were supposed to illustrate that the same people turn up and ask the same stupid questions at every meeting); "Hose" Cold Open (1 min, 17 sec segment that looks like it was the original Pilot opening shot); and Music Videos (3 min, 28 sec for 'Pit' and 'Ann').

The audio commentaries are worth listening to - for starters I discovered that if you go to you can download free MP3 tracks from Andy's band. But it's also interesting to learn that the dog poo fights were actually mashed potato in bags.

This is an enjoyable start to a series that shows a lot of promise. I'm looking forward to seeing how the characters develop in future seasons.


Darren Rea

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