Season one and two of “Parks and Recreation” showed how a fairly simple task has a mile of red tape to go through, but Leslie’s innocence and against all odds determination is what slowly makes the red tape disappear. Suddenly, everyone is in motion and the government workers that have lost the enthusiasm or never had enthusiasm, have to pay attention to this little dynamo. Her spark is what slowly helps all of her stagnant comrades to become involved and loyal to her impressive optimism. She describes town meetings where people yell at her as “people caring loudly at me”.
Wisely, “Parks and Recreation” stays away from many political disputes and tries not to venture into sides. Although a comedic show about a local government is not complete without throwing in some big names as well as making a character join a party (Ron Swanson is a libertarian). When budget cut time comes, he is willing to give it all, even his job, but when Leslie’s job is threatened, it is one of the first times we see Ron stand up in order to keep any form of government. He claims that the government needs her, if anybody, because she does the work of three people. Leslie Knope definitely does not have a “nope” in her, as she will do whatever it takes to help her town.
Although the Parks Department may seem like an extra unimportant branch of government, Leslie sees its value in raising the morale of the people, and making Pawnee great. Some of the accomplishments of Leslie Knope include making the smallest park, putting on a Freddy Spaghetti concert for children, getting the hole filled, successfully launching the harvest festival again, giving a golf cart for a park ranger, creating a baseball field, organizing a li’l Sebastian memorial, and stands up for herself and coworkers. Although local citizens may be slow to acknowledge her contributions and the local media tries to look for the scandal in all things, it seems satisfactory to her that at the end of the day, she knows someone enjoyed her hard work, and she does not need the praise. She is the eternal optimist.
An ordinary workforce’s day to day life can seem dreary and non-productive but “Parks and Recreation” challenges this by instructing the viewer to cherish the little things that is learned about people, to take hold of the small victories, and rejoice over some of the simple pleasures such as eating waffles at JJ’s. Leslie Knope leaves a spirit of hope and a note of triumph that could do wonders to the nation if this sit-com were to explode beyond the scope it has now, and if we all decided to adopt a bit of Leslie Knope.