Good Morning, Ron Swanson!

2010 was an awesome year for television. Haters be dammed, the best television series are going toe-to-toe with the best movies released, and for much of the year, there was more to be found on your living room TV screen than at the cinema.

One of the best surprises of last year’s season was the remarkable turn around of sophomore NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. Its initial six-episode run was mediocre – too much cashing in on its parallels to The Office, not enough character-focus beyond Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope, etc. – but it finished on just a strong enough note to leave viewers intrigued. Then the second season saw the show come out with comedy guns blazing, scoring hilarious episode after hilarious episode. What’s more, the writing got stronger, especially where the side characters were concerned, and the show’s big, bubbly heart came through even the snarkiest of jokes.

There was every reason to believe that Parks and Recreation would only get better in its third season. So what does NBC do? Bump the poorly watched show till mid-season, replacing it with the (GOD AWFUL) Outsourced. Now that sitcom is getting ludicrously high ratings (c’mon, people) and Parks and Recreation awaited an uncertain future.

But now one of my favorite shows is slated to come back the third week of January, and I could not. be. more. thrilled. I spent this past week re-watching the second season (finally out on DVD, delayed because NBC decided to be the biggest network buttholes this past year), and I’m telling you: If you haven’t given this show a chance yet, go on Hulu and watch an episode. Any one will do, but aim for middle of the season when the show really locked down on what works for them. (“The Beauty Pageant” is an especially good one, and features Louis CK – go watch it now!)

Anyhoo, the show has found a rabid, if small, fan base, much of whom are devoted worshippers of the show’s breakout character: Mr. Ron F-ing Swanson.

Ron Swanson enjoys drinking copious amounts of booze (but never getting beyond lucid, because of his family’s inherent ability to handle their booze), wood-working, manipulative and cruel women, shrugging off nearly every responsibility in his bureaucratic position onto the shoulders of those around him, but above and beyond, Ron Swanson enjoys breakfast foods.

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