The One Show To Watch With Your Best Friend To Celebrate Your Friendship
"Hos before bros. Uteruses before duderuses. Ovaries before brovaries." These are the immortal words Leslie Knope utters to her best friend and, arguably, one true love of the show, Ann Perkins, before they consume twice their body weight in waffles. This isn't just funny: I believe this slogan is Knope's — and the show's — guiding mantra. Nope, not comical misandry, but celebrating friendship as being every bit as important in life as love. That's why I would argue there is no better show to watch with your best friend than Parks and Recreation. So ready your waffle maker. Channel Ron, and pour some scotch. Let me convince you why a TV marathon of Parks and Recreation is the best way you can tell your best friend you love him/her/them without uttering those words out loud.
For a start, Park and Recreation's protagonist Leslie is head over heels in love with her best friend Ann. Sure, Leslie doesn't swing that way (as she herself says, she and Ann are "tragically heterosexual"), but she can still acknowledge all the things she adores about Ann verbally and often: she's beautiful and she's organized and she looks like a tropical fish. Leslie feels these things with such unusual fervour that sometimes she's reduced to whispering them as Ann exits.
Leslie takes their friendship every bit as seriously as she does her job, which, if you've watched the show, you'll know is deadly serious. Just like for work, she has a binder in which she records all of her various anniversaries with Ann, anniversaries that she makes sure to celebrate by buying Ann extravagant gifts. Is it any wonder that this woman's favorite show is very clearly Friends?
But this isn't the only date in the calendar that the Parks and Recreation world reserves for friends. Leslie and Ann have a strong contender for on-screen best friendship in the guise of Tom and Donna, who celebrate their similarly decadent lifestyles every year via Treat Yo'self. What's Treat Yo'self Day?
That's right: Tom and Donna's bond is so strong that they've invented their own national holiday. It's eccentric, but it's what friendship is all about: a shared secret language that nobody else necessarily understands. Note Ben's appalled face as he watches them endorse each other's completely irresponsible consumerism.
But while Parks and Recreation's portrayal of friendship may seem utopian from these small snippets, they're also realistic about how complex friendship can be, how friendships aren't always perfect, and how that's OK, too. When stress and alcohol come into play, even best-friends-forever Leslie and Ann swear it's the end of their friendship on a night out. And when we rejoin the cast at the beginning of Season 7, we find that Leslie and Ron's rock-solid friendship has dissolved into thin-air, with the pair not speaking to each other.
It takes a little more time before the show allows us to unravel the whys behind the mysterious incident known only as "Morningstar": Ron has felt lonely and alienated by all of his friends leaving the parks and decided to ask Lesley for a job at the National Parks Department, but changed his mind when she stood him up for lunch. But, ultimately, in both incidents, Leslie mends her friendships with Ann and Ron, because, in Parks and Recreation, friendship tends to come out on top.
So don't take your best friend out for drinks tonight. Invite them over and get ready for a TV marathon. The only friendship duo Ann and Leslie; Ron and Leslie, and Tom and Donna have as real competition? Probably you and your best friend.