Best show about Indiana ever! Coolest local government comedy in history! Funniest all-time series with a shoe-shining musician! There are so many different ways to sum up your affection for Parks and Recreation. In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, we decided to tip our cap to the quirky Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her fellow government staffers in special fashion: We compiled the 101 reasons why we love this series. Take a metaphorical walk with us through the streets of Pawnee, as we pay tribute to everything from April’s whatever look to Ron’s mustache to Leslie’s rabid idealism to the giant target that’s always on Jerry’s back. Series co-creators Mike Schur and Greg Daniels, along with Poehler and the rest of the cast, shared fun facts and behind-the-scenes stories about the NBC mockumentary series. What kind of fun facts, you ask?
• Ben’s past as a disgraced mayor was almost used for another Parks character. “At one point, that was the backstory for Leslie,” says Schur. “I always had that in my head as a great backstory for someone who’s stuck in a midlevel job in a local government.”
• Selling everyone — including some people on their own staff — on the initial plot about a pit wasn’t easy. “Even our line producer just stared at us,” says Daniels. “He didn’t think we were serious.”
• Poehler reveals a litmus test for choosing Leslie’s outfits: “As a rule, if I put something on and I’m like, ‘That’s cute!’ I would take it off.’
If you read through all 101 reasons, you’ll find previews of several DVR-alert moments that await you this season, such as:
• Chris (Rob Lowe) may have beaten the flu (or was it the other way around?), but this season he’ll also contract dance fever. “Chris pop-locking to ‘Jump Around’ is probably going to end my career,” notes Lowe.
• Tom (Aziz Ansari) will unveil his latest concoction: Snake Juice.
For much more on Parks and Recreation, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, Feb. 11. And if you’re wondering why Parks and Rec costar Adam Scott isn’t on our cover, click here for the answer.