Apparently, not everyone on earth was falling off their couches in a fit of hysterical laughter last night as they watched the premiere of Parks and Recreation. But I was. Well, okay, fine — there was no actual tumbling from the seating area involved, but there was plenty of giggling. I thoroughly enjoyed letting Poehler lead me through the inner workings of local Indiana government — and watching her Leslie Knope fall into that ginormous hole. (Hard-hat saved her from that metal pole!) And I relished seeing her friendship blossom with Ann Perkins, played by the marvelous Rashida Jones. (Especially that final shot, with the two of them sitting drunkenly side-by-side, and Leslie sings “Lady Marmelaaaaaade.”)
Was the pilot perfect? No. But like my colleague Ken Tucker, I believe Parks and Recreation will improve over time. Check out the clip below, in which Poehler pontificates on the importance of committees. Her interaction with costar Aziz Ansari is terrific, and the over-her-shoulder look of satisfaction she throws the camera at the 1:30 mark is just priceless. That alone is ample proof that the petite ex-SNLer is capable of carrying a series. Go, Poehler!