|Image courtesy of NBC|
There's the meat-lovin', Tammy-marryin', government hatin' Ron Swanson (he works in government to try and destroy it from within "the belly of the beast.") He could be a cardboard character in the hands of a lesser group of writers, but there are layers to him, beyond the huge mustache and secret nightlife of playing a sax for a swooning older crowd of women.
There are the smaller roles, such as Donna (one of my favorites,) Rob Lowe who is fantastic as Perfect Chris, April* and Andy, and the smooth delicious mistake that is Jean-Ralphio. And Tom. How do I describe Tom? Put it this way - I have partied with this dude. Often. And the writers nailed it.
|The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness|
But what really sucked me in is the friendship between Leslie Knope, the main character played by Anmy Poehler, and Ann, portrayed by Rashida Jones. First, I'll watch anything Ms Jones is in - she's always terrific. And Amy Poehler - there are no words.
Without great writing, though, this relationship between them could go "sticky sentimental goo" or "women being bitches to each other." The show does neither - there is a real, best-friend tie between the two women. They exasperate each other to the point where they have a huge fight in a club (with a breaktime for dancing it out and later to hold each other's hair.) They are truthful and supportive - and gosh darn it, they are friends.
I just find that is a very rare thing on TV. If women aren't fighting over some lame Batchelor or Flava Flav (Why, women? Why?) they're interrupting each other on The View. To see a real, deepening bestie sitch develop, then, is just SO AWESOME.
Example of how Ann is the greatest friend ever:
Leslie: Ann, I need you to text me every thirty seconds that everything is going to be okay.
Leslie: [Phone rings] Thanks Ann!