So, I've been watching Parks and Recreation on NBC since the start. And truthfully, from the first few episodes, I hated it. I felt like I was watching a female version of Michael Scott. And I didn't want or need a female version of Michael Scott. I had regular Michael Scott. The market on bumbling-upper-level-mismanagement had been filled on Thursday night TV.
Plus it poked fun at Midwesterners. Specifically Hoosiers. (Who seem to be a popular group to poke fun at in sitcoms right now...)
Then I actually started to "get" Leslie. I realized that she actually cared about her job, and that any humorous situations she got her team into came from a place of wholly good intentions. Right around this time, the writers of the show let Leslie do something unique and beautiful on TV: she identified as feminist. And even though some might call her a bit of a "bad feminist" we're all agreed that she's all around awesome and a great female character to have on TV.
So in the two seasons and two episodes that Parks and Rec has been on TV now, Leslie’s really grown on me, Hoosier demeaning humor aside.
My faith was renewed in Leslie during last night's episode, in which Pawnee was hit with a bad case of the flu. The sickness left Leslie in the hospital during a time when she needed to make a presentation upon which her job depended. Being one who is eternally dedicated to her profession, Leslie made every attempt to get to the presentation, despite sickness induced hallucinations.
As the episode culminates, we're all nervous. You can natually imagine how it would play out with a Michael Scott-esque character who (despite not actually caring about his job) would do the presentation and create such an awkward speaking scenario, that'd we'd all need to look away.
But not Leslie. Not bad ass Leslie Knope. Leslie takes the podium and knocks the presentation out of the park (pun totally intended) and ends up generating 20 more business sponsorships than she needed to keep her job.
I was (quite literally) cheering for Leslie. Ask Ronald.
Sure at the conclusion of her presentation she couldn't do the Q&A because her hallucinations took over, but minor details, minor details...The point is that she nailed it. And I love her.
Kudos, Amy Poehler, kudos.