Parks And Recreation: The Laugh-Out-Loud Cure To My Breaking Bad Hangover

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parks-and-recreationPhoto: Courtesy of NBC.
Full disclosure: We love TV. So much so that sometimes we'd rather spend a whole weekend in front of the tube than dancing at da club until 3 a.m. Is a lack of any kind of television service holding you back from feeling our joy? No problem! You can get by just fine with a little help from Netflix, Hulu, and the myriad other streaming services rapidly taking over the home entertainment industry (thank you, Internet!).

Some shows are just better when binge-watched. Whether it's the latest BBC comedy, a PBS miniseries from the '70s, or that cultish show prematurely scrubbed from a network — we're hooked on the stream. So, we're unrolling Staying In(stant), a new feature highlighting the best of streaming content. Each week, we bring you a show we're obsessed with and think you should be, too.


This week? Parks and Recreation. While it's still running new episodes, all the previous ones are currently available online. So, those who've never bothered to tune in for the last several seasons (i.e. this writer) can actually enjoy a proper binge-watching session and catch up when the series returns to the air January 9.

Where To Watch: Netflix for the first five seasons, and Hulu for the current one.

How I Got Hooked:
A couple months ago, I completed the entire Breaking Bad series following months of Netflix watching, as well. And, as much as I love Walter White, he is far from a feel-good character. I had lingering thoughts of drug cartels and Fring in my head, and needed to shift gears to something more lighthearted.

Of course, I had heard of Parks and Recreation and already liked Amy Poehler's work, but up until then, I had no interest in watching. But, as it turns out, Leslie Knope and crew were exactly what I needed at this time. Because sitcom plots seem to get drawn out and viewers can lose interest in what's going on in between all the jokes, Parks & Rec was the perfect binge-watching show. It kept me laughing — as in genuinely, laughing-out-loud-when-no-one-else-is-around laughing — and totally invested in the stories. Well, in the relationships. If I'm watching a comedy, I want to see some good will-they, won't-they romance. Parks & Rec delivers there, too.

Best Episode:
"Flu Season" I don't condone laughing at other people's misery, but a girl can make exceptions, okay? And, any episode where Tammy 1 (Patricia Clarkson) or Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally) is present is essential.

Why You'll Love It:
There's a little slapstick, a little romcom, plenty of sarcasm, and just the right amount cheesiness (which is something primetime comedies can overdo). And, if it helps, watch a few episodes of Breaking Bad first. You'll soon find there's a Pawnee-size hole in your heart Netflix queue ready for Leslie Knope to fill.