If you are not aware, Leslie Knope is the deputy director played by Amy Poehler in the T.V. show “Parks & Recreation” and Michael Scott is Steve Carrell’s character who is the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin for the show “The Office”.
Which character do you like better?
Which workplace would you rather go to everyday?
Which show would you rather watch, if you had to choose one?
Before we go any further, let me say this: both shows are All-Time, both shows have hooked me in and made me laugh, like deep down, belly chuckle, can’t breathe, tears streaming type laugh.
But…”Parks and Rec” is better.
Let me tell you why, actually first, let me tell you a couple reasons why it is not.
Parks and Rec is not better than The Office because Ron Swanson is the best character of all time, though he is.
Parks and Rec is not better than The Office because Chris Pratt as Andy was a perfect casting job of all time, though this is true.
Parks and Rec is better than The Office because Leslie Knope is a better character than Michal Scott.
I don’t mean that Amy Poehler is a better actor than Steve Carrell or that even Leslie Knope is funnier than Michael Scott.
I mean that I prefer the “character’s-character” of Leslie over the core of Michael. I prefer the heartbeat of Parks and Rec over the tone of The Office.
For instance, Michael Scott, his main objective out of going to work as Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin is admiration from employees, loyalty from friends, girls to want him, guys to want to be him, everyone to value his business savvy, except for the fact that he does not work hard, is demeaning and insulting, and overall selfish and careless.
It is great though, this sets up for awkward scenarios and genius comedy.
On the other hand, Leslie Knope’s reason to go to work = tirelessly fight for democracy, mainly in the form of supplying public venues and forums and enjoyment of parks.
Despite being offered a better job in the rival, nicer town of Eagleton, she chose to stay in the lesser town of Pawnee as deputy director. Unlike Michael she tries so hard at her job that even Ron Swanson who hates government jobs is forced to appreciate her. Unlike Michael, she sacrifices so much that people love her.
For example, in one episode Michael ordered ice-cream cake for a party to celebrate a person who is lactose intolerant and couldn’t eat their own cake.
I admit, another incredibly funny episode, selfish, but funny.
While Leslie, tailors a party specifically to the person of honor, like when Ron (who hates people and especially having his birthday celebrated) received a gift from Leslie of an office to himself, with steak and scotch while he watched a western movie she rented and she even designated a cab for his use when he was ready and then, left him alone.
Sure, both shows have similar story lines but the difference is that when I watch The Office, I feel an impulse to disengage from the real world because of its negativity and cynicism, although yes, extremely funny. When I watch Parks & Rec I feel determined and hopeful.
I am also not stating that Parks and Rec does not contain cynicism, negativity, or the other stuff that fills most shows like romantic plots, bathroom humor, because it does. I also admit, that I would still watch The Office.
My main point is that Leslie Knope is the better Michael Scott.
Michael Scott wants the likeability that Leslie Knope earned. Michael tries to be liked at the expense of others, Leslie gets it at her own expense.
Michael wants the admiration Leslie has. Michael tries to demand it through the job title. Leslie gets it from determination.
Michael wants the success and vision Leslie has. Michael pretends to have sales skills and vision. Leslie has it from the drive of maintaining and restoring the parks of Pawnee, for the people of Pawnee.
We use this same tact of exegesis and interpretation in bible study and preaching, because, well, we see it in the bible.
Like in 1 Corinthians where Paul compares Jesus with Adam, where Adam was tempted and failed bringing sin into the world – Jesus was tempted and proved faithful defeating death for the world. And in Hebrews where Jesus is the better Moses, Moses was used in installing the law which showed our sin and need; Jesus fulfills the law on our behalf.
Obviously I am not saying that Parks & Rec is about the gospel or that I would use this as a sermon illustration.
What I am saying is that there are stories and shadows all around us that remind us of the eternal story that we are in.
Parks & Rec is better in my opinion, because what it reminds me of.
- Resolved, after afflictions to inquire what I am better for them, what good have I got by them, and what I might have got by them.
Building Structures, the creativity around the world seen in huts, igloos, teepees, cathedrals, or skyscrapers. What started out of necessity for protection from elements grew into an art.
18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
The Baker Hotel. Whether it ever gets restored or not, the Baker Hotel provides a center of history for Mineral Wells and regardless of fulfillment of its potential, it should be a reminder of potential that Mineral Wells possesses.
If you desire to keep up with news and current events but have little time or patience with networks and newspapers, I recommend a podcast “The Briefing” with Al Mohler. It is a daily podcast that you can listen to that is available first thing in the morning about that day’s topics covered through a Christian worldview. If you want a secular snapshot there is a good email subscription available for daily coverage from Mike Allen at Axios. I have found these helpful to keep me informed but not depressed.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.