Not that I’d go so far as to call its first season a total disappointment, NBC’s Parks and Recreation did come out of the gate rather weak earlier this year with only a pedigree of being led by the minds behind fellow Comedy Night Done Right hit The Office and lead Amy Poehler to keep me hopeful that the excellent creative potential would eventually shine. And it was the second season premiere episode, “Pawnee Zoo” that was so glorious I revisited no less than half a dozen times.
I should have expected that as it was modeled so closely to its predecessor (right down to the hand-held mockumentary feel) P&R would also follow in the footsteps of The Office and finally hit a side-splitting stride in their second year. The show is truly firing on all cylinders – the writing, dialogue, pace and team of actors have all found a great comedy groove that continues to impress every week. So impressive that it was one of only a handful of shows given a coveted full season pick-up earlier this month.
What do we have to look forward to in their sophomore season? On the near horizon a November sweeps installment will feature a guest turn by former Will & Grace star Megan Mullally in what show runner Michael Schur claims as “the best episode we’ve ever done.” Mullally will play ex-wife opposite real-life husband Nick Offerman’s Parks & Rec department boss Ron. “She works for the library system, and they’re trying to take over the lot that Leslie is jealously guarding for her future park,” Schur explains. “So Ron has to get back involved with his ex-wife and fireworks ensue.”