Parks and Recreation or The Office?

If you had to chose, could you? In this article, we compare two of some of the most enjoyable shows on the big screens


Year after year, cable television is flooded with the oh-so-popular sitcom and year after year, a lot of them just do not live up to the hype. Whether it is stale, stereotypical characters or unfunny dialogue- every one of these comedy shows has a slew of pitfalls that can make it a forgettable affair. However, among this sea of average, some shows stick out as diamonds in the rough and none fit this description better than shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office”. While both follow the “mockumentary” format, each show has vastly different types of humor. Each gathering their own cult like following, the debate on which is superior has been fierce.

“Parks and Rec” follows the exploits of- you guessed it- the Parks and Recreation department in a small town called Pawnee, Indiana. The show’s main character Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, is a passionate-to-a-fault civil servant out to improve the lives of her beloved home town. While most shows start with a bang, this show was more of a whimper. When the series starts off, Knope and company are merely stereotypes, with little to bring to the table of comedy and not a lot of depth. But like the majority of shows, those who make it through this rough patch are rewarded with a truly unforgettable show.

The strength of any show lies first and foremost on the backs of its characters. “Parks and Recreation” has possibly one of the most likeable casts to be found on television. Poehler’s high strung Knope brings insanity along with laughs and equal measure. Nick Offerman’s hard core libertarian character, Ron Swanson is one of the best characters to grace the silver screen. Every side characters, like Donny and Jerry, eventually get their time to shine with some truly hilarious material. While many of these characters are over the top funny on their own, it is the interactions with one another that brings out the best material.

Those looking for a show with goofy humor are in the right place, because this show has it in spades. From the delightfully over the the top towns folk to the to the fun interactions between the main cast, one can expect more than a few laughs.

“It is such an easy show to watch,” senior Sammi Huser said. “It’s funny and the episodes aren’t super long either which I like.”

This is truly a show that gets better with every season, from a mediocre start to a bittersweet ending. In each passing season, viewers become more invested in its characters and will be rooting for their success. It is this investment into the characters that make it such a good show and one that is wholeheartedly recommended.



“The Office” was a hit sitcom running on NBC from 2005 to 2013, spanning nine hilarious seasons. It starred Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms and other countless big name celebrities. It gained a cult following very quickly in the show’s beginning and holds its strong fan base today with every episode of the show available to watch on the popular streaming service Netflix.

It has been nominated for nine Golden Globes and 43 Emmys, along with countless other smaller awards; “The Office” dominated the airwaves in its heyday.

The show’s biggest selling point is some of its unforgettable characters. Michael Scott, portrayed by Steve Carell, and Dwight Schrute, portrayed by Rainn Wilson, had viewers checking in every week to catch what the lovable dweebs had in store. Whether they were making fools of themselves or just mocking their co-workers, this duo never failed to make their audience laugh.

“The Office is twice as good [as Parks and Recreation] because of two reasons: Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute” junior Parker Brunworth said.

Not only do the characters help the show thrive, but B.J. Novak, a writer, director and actor for the character of Ryan Howard, has helped create an entire new genre of comedy. The “mockumentary” has exploded in popularity since the shows emergence and has inspired several other hit shows, including “Parks and Recreation”. Other series that follow in the large footsteps of this former television giant are “Trailer Park Boys”, “Arrested Development” and “Real Husbands of Hollywood”.

While many mockumentaries have been created since the final episode of “The Office”, none can quite attain the popularity, and frankly, the star power that this colossal series did.