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Leslie attempts to break into the political "old boy's club," causing an ethical dilemma. Meanwhile, Andy plans a surprise for Ann.

Episode Title: Boys Club
Airs: 2009-04-30 at 08:00 pm
  • Daniel Carlson

    To act as if Parks has to be measured against that show's [The Office] standard gives short shrift to a genuinely funny and engaging comedy that bears stylistic similarities to "Office" but has a heart and mind all its own.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    While I laughed out loud only a few times during Parks' pilot, I dug the performances, the attitude, and the atmosphere that's being created.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    Parks and Recreation has many distinctions, not least of all the hugely talented Poehler from "Saturday Night Live," who promises to develop Leslie slowly, without the haste required in sketch comedy. And the show has the potential to become a flip, witty political allegory.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    It has a kind of sunny charm, a premise fit for a novel, and is built upon a pair of strong female leads, a rare enough thing in sitcoms. Poehler and Jones have a nice, contrapuntal rhythm. I stamp this show: approved.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    It's not a finished product yet, and Poehler and the writers need to find more ways to distinguish Leslie from Michael Scott, but funny forgives an awful lot.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    The supporting cast members have quirks, but they need stronger writing and reinforcements; “The Office” found its comic voice by adding characters to the ensemble, and Parks and Recreation would also benefit from a larger talent pool. The pilot episode isn’t perfect, but Ms. Poehler very nearly is.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    There's more than enough absurd charm in the show, meanwhile, to make the wait worthwhile.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Unfortunately, one show's a classic, the other a near knockoff. Nevertheless, Poehler's still got plenty of appeal here.

    Newsday Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    The Parks and Recreation pilot is funny, with mounds of potential. Its problem is that it seems to be actively downplaying its distinctiveness by emphasizing the surface resemblance to The Office.

    Time Full Review
  • Paige Wiser

    All in all, it might be worth sticking with Parks and Recreation, because there are lots of funny little moments that could add up to a great series.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Adam Keleman

    The jarring, awkward humor is similarly facilitated in the pilot as well. It's now just a waiting game to see if this patchy episodic specimen can gradually move past its Office-inspired roots and trudge toward developing its own individual, winning skin.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • It all has the potential to add up. Eventually.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Troy Patterson

    This is a civil servant who has yet to be jaded, and the show is just good enough to keep you turning back in to see her unwarranted optimism curdle.

    Slate Full Review
  • Nancy Franklin

    There are many of them [good moments] in Parks and Recreation, in fact; virtually every scene in the first two episodes contains good bits, with quotable quotes, twists of language that viewers feel smart for getting, and visual gags. But the minutes don’t flow; they merely accrete, one bit on top of another.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Series creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur provide the show with moments of dry wit, and Poehler certainly has acting oblivious down to a wide-eyed science. Yet there's no escaping that this feels like "Office Lite," thrown together as a vehicle for the star rather than out of any grand inspiration.

    Variety Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    The pilot is not especially funny. But it has potential.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Ron Swanson's (Nick Offerman) short “tour” of his office--a loose, throwaway moment at the end of the episode--is the funniest thing about the otherwise strained Parks pilot.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Parks never expends enough energy to even approach funny, but even if it were more amusing, that sour whiff of gratuitous cruelty would still linger.

    USA Today Full Review
  • David Zurawik

    The problem with the pilot is in tone. Self-important and silly but optimistic and sweet is a hard mark to hit week after week.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    In its favor, Parks doesn't have a laugh track. On the minus side, it doesn't get many laughs.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Parks has its funny moments but the comedy's first episode also has a distant and chilly feel to it.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Poehler's funny because she's a smart blonde, not a dumb one. Here, she's reduced to one of TV's default settings.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    Clueless, oblivious characters are a foundation of most sitcoms, but this show needs more of a humor base than a wall mural that shows Pawnee's first white settlers massacring the natives.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Tom Shales

    Poehler's show unfortunately isn't worthy of her. It's dry and hesitant when one longs for it to be raucous and madcap.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Jonathan Storm

    Parks and Recreation emerges a miscast mess.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review

  • workplace humor

  • sitcom

  • office romance

  • political satire

  • employer employee relationship

  • female protagonist

  • mockumentary

  • satire

  • politics

  • indiana

  • breaking the fourth wall

  • joke

  • awkward silence

  • tension

  • mock documentary

  • fake documentary

  • park

  • office

  • fourth wall

  • romantic tension

  • employment

  • workplace

  • small town

  • workplace relationship

  • female lead

  • feminism

  • job