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The 25 Best TV Shows of 2012

7. Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Stars: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Rob Lowe

What's the funniest sitcom on TV? It's not even a competition, folks: NBC's Parks and Recreation has it all, namely a spotless ensemble cast, intelligent and hilarious writing, and a subersive streak that never feels forced or distracting.

In its fourth season, Parks and Rec used the central story arc of Leslie Knope's (Amy Poehler) campaign for city council as an entry point to bring in a slew of first-class guests stars. All making the most of their brief playtime, Patricia Clarkson, Paul Rudd, Kathryn Hahn, Christie Brinkley, and returning champ Louis C.K. kept regulars like Nick Offerman and Adam Scott on their A-games.

The show's biggest achievement, though, is its staggering consistency. Over a whopping 22-episode span, the normal non-cable sitcom length that typically results in several underwhelming filler eps for other programs, Parks and Rec never fails to supply several genuinely uproarious moments. Credit the presence of scene-stealers like Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, and Aziz Ansari, but also acknowledge the exemplary work of a writing staff that's second to none in the comedy world.

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