4. Parks And Recreation
Stars: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt
If it were a real place, and not a fictional town dreamt up solely for NBC’s Parks And Recreation, we’d love to live in Pawnee, Ind., for the townsfolk alone. Throughout its four seasons, the mockumentary-styled comedy has developed its central location in touching, fully realized ways, and this year Parks And Rec gave Pawnee’s funniest citizens the type of care and respect that other sitcoms rarely do.
At the season’s heart was television’s most endearing romance: Leslie Knope’s (Amy Poehler) forbidden-by-law love for colleague Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), who’s equally smitten. Never losing its goofball edge, Parks And Rec made viewers root for the lovebirds just as much as their mostly moronic, yet altogether likeable, friends and co-workers appreciate them.
Meanwhile, TV’s strongest comedic ensemble all brought their A-games to the show’s peripheral storylines, such as Tom’s (Aziz Ansari) fledgling and ineptly overseen entertainment company, April’s (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy’s (Chris Pratt) life as newlyweds, and Ron’s (Nick Offerman) endless battles against human interaction. What debuted back in April 2009 as a quirky, scatterbrained show with potential has evolved into a wonderfully executed standout.