Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dear Parks and Recreation

Dear "Parks and Recreation,"

I'd like to thank you for how good you are to Leslie Knope.

She's smart and she's funny and she cares too much.  She's generous and passionate and feminist.  She's dedicated and hard-working and genuine.  She's a terrific, terrific character.

She's flawed.  She makes mistakes in every episode.  She messes up and she's mean to Jerry (Gary) and have you seen the inside of her house?  She's awkward.

You let her be awkward and real without making every joke at her expense.  You're good to her.  Her meeting with Joe Biden is probably my favorite example.  You let Leslie Knope meet Joe Biden!  You gave her that moment, and you let her meet him in true Leslie style: she's awkward, she cares too much, she doesn't come across as suave or sophisticated or cool.  Joe Biden isn't entirely sure what to make of her.

But you know what I would have seen in other shows?  Leslie accidentally blurting out something grossly inappropriate (absurdly sexual, possibly racist) or being misheard.  Leslie spilling coffee on Joe Biden or pouring ink on him.  Leslie spilling something on herself or having food on her face.  Leslie falling over.  Leslie ruining the moment.  Because many shows seem to find it funniest when the woman almost, almost gets her moment but doesn't, really, in the end, because ha ha ha isn't it great how things never ever work out for her?

Leslie got her moment.

Sometimes, things work out for her.

Thank you for that.

With love,
Frank Lee

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