The Scenery Behind the Scenes

Since VP Babs lives across the pond, she doesn’t get to experience the same viewing fare as us lucky freedom-fry-loving patriots.  So when she was home last week, we got caught up on what I think is the BEST sitcom currently on network television, PARKS AND RECREATION.  Why do I like this show?  It’s funny.  It’s smart.  It features a cast that, unlike most television shows, doesn’t look like it belongs in a J. Crew catalogue.  And, for me, the series does an expert job of combining humor, intelligence, absurdity, and heart into entertaining 22-minute episodes each week.  Give it a look if you haven’t already!

<SORRY!   Link removed due to malware!>

In revisiting episodes with my sadly-deprived sister, I could better appreciate why this show works on so many levels.  While it’s easy to notice and admire the hilarious writing and silly-yet-authentic performances, I also realized that there’s a subconscious force at work that enhances the final product: PRODUCTION DESIGN.  Whether a scene is taking place at the grim, bureaucratic lair of City Hall, the sweat-meets-booze-fest embodying the local night club the Snake Hole, or the comfortable, homey-home of sweet nurse Ann, the attention to detail is incredible.

For, of course, the office of begrudging bureaucrat, latent Libertarian, and full-fledged Alpha-male Ron Swanson would be defined by grey walls and football paraphernalia:

On the Pyramid of Greatness?

And manchild Andy Dwyer would crash at his buddy’s Brady Bunch-era house where he would later host his wedding ceremony (wearing his finest Colts jersey, no less):

Wood Paneling and Fake Plants? AWESOME SAUCE!

And, yes, anal-retentive, government-obsessed Leslie Knope would have piles of “Idea Binders” lining her office:

I've got an idea! Or 5,000.

So kudos to Ian Phillips who is credited as Production Designer on most of the episodes in the series.  He’s a reminder that every creative collaborator matters on a production.

NEXT UP: Under the influence of Wisconsin cheese – where will it lead me?

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