This week's cover: 101 Reasons to Love 'Parks and Recreation'

EW-COVER-1142Best 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.

Read more:

Why isn’t Adam Scott on this week’s ‘Parks and Recreation’ cover? The answer is…
Which TV character would you date in real life?
‘Parks and Recreation: Let’s hear it for Pawnee, the town for weirdos who care
‘Parks and Recreation’ scoop: Amy Poehler and co-creator Mike Schur dish on Leslie’s big gamble

Comments (201 total) Add your comment
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  • Z

    …must be a slow week in entertainment for a low rated show to get the cover.

    • Johnification

      Whatever the reason, thank God it’s there! This is great!

      • Anna

        If there was a God, Community would have been on this cover.

      • Kerr

        nawww parks is better.

    • sayWHAT?

      The show may not have the best ratings, but it is thoroughly underappreciated by the masses… which is why EW is probably trying to highlight it and get it some well-deserved recognition!

      • Steph

        EXACTLY! It’s loved by critics, it’s adored by the not-so-many of us who watch it, so now it’s time to get the word out!

      • Madox

        The show is fantastic!

      • AuntSassy

        Yay!!! Finally a EW cover to be excited about!

      • Amelia

        I’ve been waiting for a Community cover, but this is awesome! I’m watching for the mailman as I write :)

    • Mr. Holloway

      There are only so many “Glee”/”American Idol” covers they can do.

      BTW, I also watch both those shows, but I’m ABSOLUTELY THRILLED (all caps!) that they’re showing “Parks and Rec” this kind of love!

    • Dave

      Yet we all would have been annoyed if they did another Glee/Twilight/American Idol/Modern Family cover.
      Parks and Rec is awesome, low-rated or not. It deserves attention.

      • Libby

        Wait, how many modern families have there been? I can only think of one

      • mort

        when is parks and rec. on ???

    • Julie

      …or maybe they wanted to highlight a brilliant show that doesn’t get a ton of press like American Idol or the insanely overrated Glee.

      • B

        Agreed. It’s about time they gave different TV shows a cover.

      • turnlight

        I completely agree

      • barnhillism

        Word. Not to mention the many issues devoted to Lost when it was still on the air. Parks and Rec is amazing and deserves some special treatment. Mad props, EW.

      • Stef

        Absolutely. No one is forcing you to read the magazine Z.

    • Rockgolf

      Pleeeease tell me the Pyramid of Greatness made the 101 reasons!

      This is the rare show that won me back! I was underwhelmed by the first couple of episodes, but by Season 2 it was running full stride. Proof, perhaps, that having a little faith pays off for NBC. Cheers, Seinfeld, The Office all had dismal first season ratings. Hope Parks & Rec pulls a similar comeback.

      • Karate Pants

        and DJ Roomba!

      • Tom

        DJ Roomba in the HOUSE!

    • Jen

      This is exactly the reason Parks and Rec should be on the cover! I don’t need another cover story on American Idol or any other reality show that doesn’t need people to check it out. This show is hilarious and so deserves a bigger audience. EW routinely talks about this show on their website, but it’s great to see it on the cover! Get other people interested!!

    • Bry

      And maybe with more exposure it’ll draw higher ratings? I’d rather have a great show be covered by the media than a hugely popular show that doesn’t need the boost.

      Hew, EW! How about a cover story for “Community” next?

      • Saphron

        YES. Both shows are ridiculously great.

    • PennyBeGood

      Kind of reminds me when TV Guide used to have the “best show you’re not watching” thing. Parks and Rec is such a solidly written, classically funny show. Wish more people we’re watching it.

    • Katie

      Ugh, ratings do not always equal quality. If so we would have to see covers for Two and a Half Men, Sh*t my dad says, etc. And I think we can all agree that dreck has no place being celebrated. It’s lowest common demoniator crap that is sending us backwards in our appreciation of the arts.

      • tnsmoke

        And Hawaii Five-O is just another flashy looking CSI:Miami without personality challenged David Carouso in sunglass, posing. P & R is well written but the creators and writer of The Office, and unfortunately The Office epsisodes could use these old writers back.

    • LOL

      BEST COVER IN AGES! Bravo!

      • David

        Jamee and Jeff – Ulysses, I’d be happy to teach you a few tap steps for your next dancing debut. I would call this photo a tritube to the greats Gene Kelli, Fred Astaire, Gregory Hines, Xavien Glover some of my favorites 02.24.07 9:44pm

    • Annette

      This show makes me laugh every time! People just don’t know good comedy when they see it!

    • Andrew

      screw you this show’s awesome!

    • liver

      The reason it gets such low ratings is the network’s fault, not the show’s. I’m thinking NBC is being run by a bunch of infants at the moment. If this got an earlier time slot and was marketed better it would get much higher ratings. Thankful that EW realizes the top notch quality of this show, because apparently NBC doesn’t.

    • Rylie

      wellll, the show is hilarious and you should do yourself a favor by checking it out!

  • Abbey

    I actually just started watching P&R a few weeks ago, and I was not disappointed. It was really easy to fall in with the characters and was smart and funny. I would love it if EW would recap it!

    • Rissa

      Netflix has the first two seasons available for instant viewing.

      • Sadie

        … which is how I got hooked, I mean caught up, just before the new season started. Love these goofy guys.

      • Adrian

        I did the same thing.

    • K_Sull

      The entire series is also on Hulu if you don’t have a Netflix account.

  • Jace

    Why is mean Ben not on the cover?! He’s my favorite character right now! Is he not going to be sticking around because that makes me sad.

    • Ann. Perkins.

      He was filming a movie when this was shot.

      • Libby

        They should have held his head shot. And framed it

    • Steven

      I was also sad to see Ben not included. I adore him.

      • EH

        I agree! Totally my favourite character, so bummed he’s not on the cover!

    • Will

      I also wish Jerry and Donna were on the cover. They’re awesome minor characters…and it would have been awesome to Jerry in the far background

      • gerber

        Jerry wasn’t invited to the shoot because Jerry sucks!

    • tomm

      Adam Scott, “Ben”, was in “Party Down” about catering in Hollywood. Completely different character, and good actor.

      • Prema

        Hey I seen that. I bet the rates have gone up since then. I would do it for $ 20,000 but I know they wouldn’t pay me that much. And that price would indlcue wrestling a midget , sorry I mean little person.

  • Ugly Jenny

    Yes, finally a cover I can get behind! I love it, but have one question, where’s Ben? Was Adam Scott not invited to the party?

    • Karate Pants

      Especially odd given that Chris/Rob Lowe IS there, it’s not limited to the original cast.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Can only assume he’s hanging out with Jerry and Donna.

      Seriously though, I get why those two weren’t on the cover, since they’re secondary characters (and it’s actually completely perfect that Jerry’s not there), but Adam Scott absolutely deserves to be on there.

      • Karate Pants

        I can only guess that Jerry was supposed to drive Donna to the photo shoot. Dammit, Jerry!

      • Amy

        Haha…Nice…Jerry had one job!

      • Mr Pickles

        Donna is one of the best characters, sucks she’s not there!

      • Sam

        Jeez, Jerry. You had one job to do.

      • Will

        you look tired and sweaty all the time what’s your excuse…do you really want to go there Jerry

  • Verity

    Very excited about this issue! Glad to see one of my favorite shows getting some cover recognition. But I’ll join in with everyone ask in asking why no Adam Scott?! He must have been busy that day….

  • elena

    Not enough people watch P&R, and I’m so glad EW is spreading the love around. This show is so easy to fall in love with. Unlike other comedies, every dynamic and relationship and character just works on this show. Especially Andy. Oh clueless adorable Andy…

  • ChanelB

    Agreed. Where is Adam Scott? He is what took this show from “enjoyable when I time to watch it” to “cannot miss” status.

  • graeme

    Yeah, ouch for Adam Scott who’s the only one not on the cover.

    • Shane

      Retta and Jim O’Heir are also missing.

  • Jerry

    Slooow post Super Bowl Week? Yaaawn. Is Anne Hathaway getting a Pre Oscar Cover?

    • Bob

      Stop. Pooping.

      • Jerry

        To Bob. Double Yawn. One for the Cover and one for you.

      • @Jerry

        You didn’t get the joke. :(
        Move along…

      • Johnification

        Anybody else this it’s just so perfect that this commenter is named Jerry?

      • The Obvious

        Jerry, you’re adopted.

      • Jace

        LOL to these Jerry jokes. Jerry you’re adopted had me cracking UP!

    • Dave

      @Jerry – maybe you need a few hours more of sleep to get some better taste in shows. The irony of a boor who yawns doesn’t have much shelf life…sorry

    • Adam

      Dude, your name is Jerry. I wouldn’t be commenting on a Parks and Rec article if I were you. You can’t even get karma right.

    • B

      Daaammn, Jerry! You jumped in the creek for a burrito! What would you do for a Klondike bar, kill your wife!?

      • CJ


    • Meg

      Can you photoshop your life with better decisions, Jerry?

      • Karate Pants

        LOL, Meg…perfect!

    • The Obvious

      So, enjoy watching it. Assuming you still have electricity. And sorry about the weird blank gap in the middle. A man named Jerry Gergich screwed up the recording somehow. He had one job to do.

    • sayWHAT?

      You look tired and you’re all sweaty all the time. What’s your excuse? You wanna go there, Jerry?

    • Annette

      I love Jerry he makes me laugh all the time!

    • Dave

      That’s how pathetic Jerry is, he can’t even get karma right.

    • A

      Jerry, isn’t it about time you took a vacation to your timeshare in Muncie, Indiana?

  • ben

    @Z If you don’t like Parks and Rec, don’t comment. That’s very simple. And @Jace, that’s what I was trying to figure out. Maybe Adam Scott was shooting a movie.

  • Karate Pants

    THANK YOU! Finally, a hint of the recognition that Parks and Rec so richly deserves.

  • jk

    for all of you complaining about the cover…if you watched the show you would get why the show is cover worthy…..the show is awesome

    • tom


  • Bosco

    With all the love Parks & Rec is getting, maybe some will splash onto Community? Same night, same network, same scary low ratings, same laugh out loud funny…..

  • Liz

    What are Nick Offerman and Aziz Ansari holding on to in the cover on the left? I get that they are in a Jeep/safari vehicle on the right.

    • Jace

      A very phallic sign post.

  • Emily

    I – like so many of you – am SUPER excited to see Parks and Rec on the EW cover!!! This show is amazing and if a few more people start watching the show because it is on the cover, then that just adds to our strength in numbers. I can’t wait to read the article. This is one of the best casts on television and the show is consistently well written and funny. Thank you, EW, for featuring some hidden entertainment gems, too, and not just the big blockbuster hits like Twilight and Glee.

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