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For many of us who are glued to our desks and computers for forty hours a week with only a water cooler to gossip over and the occasional window cleaner to ogle, the office might seem like the last place we want to revisit when we clock out. Why, then, do we derive such pleasure from office dogsbodies as those found in ‘Parks and Recreation’ and other shows of its ilk?
Perhaps it’s the wanton mischievousness of the ensemble that tickles our fancy. Perhaps it’s the recurring ineptitude of certain individuals that reminds us of similar office buffoons in our own workplace (or perhaps makes us feel better about our own habitual gaffes). Perhaps it’s the novelty of watching smart actors playing stupid characters pretending to be smarter than they are.
Whatever the reason, I love the satirical mockumentary style of the series and chances are, if you’re perusing this article, you do too. For five other great shows similar to ‘Parks and Recreation’ check out these side-splitting recommendations for more antics in the workplace.
Let’s be clear – I most definitely prefer the original series written, directed and made famous by Ricky Gervais and his lovable boss from hell, David Brent. However, the American remake is a different animal and one that’s closer to ‘Parks and Recreation’ in style and tone – perhaps largely due to the fact that it was developed by the same man, Greg Daniels.
As with ‘The Office’, ‘Veep’ is a spin-off of a British series by the name of ‘The Thick of It’, which in my humble opinion is far superior in almost every aspect. However, it’s also far more vulgar, with the show being driven by the foul mouth and borderline abusive aggression of Peter Capaldi’s Malcolm Tucker.
In contrast, ‘Veep’ is a softer, fluffier version of the political satire, exposing the ineptitude of those in power without going overboard as ‘The Thick of It’ does (in the best possible way). As such, it’s much closer to the category of TV series like ‘Parks and Recreation’ than ‘The Thick of It’ is.
The continual back and forth banter between the unlikely collection of cohorts in ‘Parks and Recreation’ is replicated in ‘Community’, which almost seems to have built its entire stich around employing various stereotypes and throwing them together in the single boardroom of a community college.
Perhaps akin to a humanised version of secret agent caper ‘Archer’ (find more great similar shows here), ‘Brooklyn Nine Nine’ features SNL and Lonely Island’s Andy Samberg as a talented cop who doesn’t give a fig for the rules and would rather make an elaborate joke than fill out forms and police reports.
Though the action is somewhat formulaic and the storylines often underwhelming, the real delight of this gem lies in Samberg’s delivery of some hilarious one-liners and his interplay with his superior officer.
If ‘Community’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine Nine’ are silly and offbeat TV shows like ‘Parks and Recreations, ‘Green Wing’ is positively bursting with whimsy. It centres on a UK hospital which is staffed by the most ludicrously eccentric and egocentric staff, including perhaps my favourite sitcom creation of all time in Dr Alan Statham.
Scottish lunatics, faux-Swiss charmers and insecure interns abound in this deliciously underrated hospital comedy that makes look ‘Scrubs’ look tame by comparison.
Is there a particular show I’ve mentioned above that really rings true with you? Perhaps just even a single character that is a kindred spirit for the offbeat oddball in your office? Or is there another workplace-orientated series like ‘Parks and Recreation’ I haven’t mentioned?
Let us all know in the comments bit below – you know what to do.
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