Canadian Tatiana Maslany has a guest-star arc coming up on 'Parks and Recreation.' Given Maslany's skill at playing multiple characters on 'Orphan Black', maybe she can have a chat with the Parks and Rec gang about keeping their alter-egos grounded.
Generally I'm a huge fan of 'Parks and Recreation', the sixth season of which is airing Thursdays on NBC and City. I championed it for a long time, then kind of quit, realizing it just isn't for everyone.
But I think 'Parks and Recreation' is nearing the end of its run, creatively speaking. It's one of those shows that always has been under threat of cancellation, but there usually was something that was tanking worse, so it survived. One could argue, though, that the first season of 'Parks and Recreation' was the worst season, and now the main characters seem to be circling back to that era, to their detriment.
A few observations about the current state of the characters:
1) Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler
In the first season Leslie was, frankly, a jerk. Cheering for her was difficult, and thus, the show didn't really work. The character subsequently was softened, and the comedy found its balance. Recently, Leslie's jerk-ish side has been showing again. It's as if they kind of don't know what to do with Leslie now. She has a husband (Ben Wyatt, played by Adam Scott). And she was elected to the town council. They've had her mired in a "re-call" election this season, which seems kind of redundant. Leslie needs a new goal, so we can get behind her again.
2) Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman
Ron became everyone's favourite fringe character. The fact that he worked in government but despised everything about government was a great premise. They overdid him for a while in response to his popularity, but he is best in small doses. The writers need to remember, though, that Ron is odd, not stupid. A recent episode where he tried to take himself completely "off the grid" went way too far. It would have been funny enough for him to try to figure out why and how he had been added to a mailing list at his girlfriend's house. Sometimes simple is better, small is funnier.
3) April Ludgate, played by Aubrey Plaza
I have to say it: I'm sick of April. The schtick was great when she was a rude teen. Now she's a married young woman with a future to worry about, and her non-stop hostility toward everything isn't so cute any more.
4) Ann Perkins, played by Rashida Jones, and Chris Traeger, played by Rob Lowe
Consider this a SPOILER ALERT if you don't know already, but it has been widely reported and confirmed by the creators that Jones and Lowe are leaving the show at mid-season. If you've been watching, you're aware that the foundation for their exit has been constructed already. This could be an opportunity for a re-set on 'Parks and Recreation.' But as much as I've loved this show, I fear it's more likely that we're approaching a government shutdown.