Parks and Recreation
In last night's Parks and Recreation episode, "How a bill becomes a law," Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 311 program comes to Pawnee.
Pawnee city manager Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) arrives at with the idea following an unusually positive experience in "intensive psychotherapy."
"It used to be, when I was down, I called my mother," he said. "When I lacked self confidence, I called my running coach. And now, no matter what emotion I'm feeling, I call one number, my therapist. I want to do the same thing for the city."
"A psychotherapist for the city," exclaims the ever daft and endearing Andy, seeming to think that's a revelatory idea.
"No Andy," says Chris. "A 311 line."
I've been on a bit of a Netflix streaming binge in anticipation of tonight's return of "Parks and Recreation," and it really struck me how so much of the funniest stuff is about the tortured relationship between government official Leslie Knope and the voracious, 12-hour Pawnee news cycle.
But Poehler, sans the marketshare of such A-listers, has a following based on something more personal and finely honed. Of course, she's spectacularly funny (she was especially so Friday night, constantly riffing for the hour-plus that she was onstage), but it's also Poehler's message of female empowerment, her apparent accessibility, and her brand of humor—pop culturally literate, a little folksy, oscillating between raunch and a cultivated naïveté—that create this sense of connection.(6)
I find it hard to say which real-life operative Jen Barkley reminds me of the most.
What Soledad O'Brien's journalism lecture to Jodi Kantor about 'The Obamas' revealed, and what it didn't
On Friday, Jodi Kantor appeared on Soledad O'Brien's CNN morning show, "Starting Point." Kantor is the New York Times reporter whose book about the first family, The Obamas, hit bookstores last week, resulting in the usual controversy about presidential books, with some elements that are specific to the fact that for the first time, our first family is also an African-American family.(8)