GravyBoat Primer: Parks and Recreation

Statistically speaking, you’ve probably never seen Parks and Recreation, even though it’s one of the funniest TV shows around. After a lackluster first season, the show had an inspiring creative renaissance, and became last season’s most consistently impressive half-hour of free television.

Well, for the next two weeks, Hulu is offering up two episodes that, in total, serve as a pretty decent introduction to the show, highlighting four of the sitcom’s greatest strengths: Amy Poehler’s world-renowned improvisation, a lovingly cynical worldview, an ensemble with great chemistry, and Nick Offerman as the truly sublime Ron Swanson.

Let these two episodes whet your appetite, then go ahead and binge on the rest of season two. You’ll be glad you did.

In “Practice Date,” Rashida Jones helps Poehler practice for an upcoming first date while the rest of the ensemble, inspired by a Mark Sanford-esque sex scandal, digs around one another’s past for whatever dirt they can find:
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In “Ron and Tammy,” Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson re-connects with one of his ex-wives (played by his real-life wife Megan Mullally):

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