Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:49 PM
I'm on a TV rampage today.
It sucks that they get rid of Ben NOW. Right before the show's about to duck out.
My dislike of the Ben character, or rather the idea that the show ever needed a Ben-type character (solid Leslie love interest), is well documented in this thread. (Sorry for ramblin posts, y'all.) The show would have been better served by staying in early Season 2 mode, let Leslie chase a few more crazy projects. Let us have more time to understand Pawnee. Give me more Greg Pikitis and Joe from Sewage.
This is the one show that could have stayed "original" by iterating on that idea of "Headstrong Leslie making Pawnee a better place one Pit-like project at a time." Instead, I guess they didn't want to repeat themselves, so they decided they needed to give Leslie a full-time love interest -- just like every other sitcom -- and needed to focus on one "project" (campaign) and one project only? WTF.
It's odd how sitcoms do that, there's something about success that makes sitcom writers want to add love interests and create this dramatic shift where the direction/identity of the sitcom revolves around a relationship. You would think the comedy comes first, but love's got to be in there somewhere. That's one of the things I liked about the Office US, even though they forced a romance on Michael, because they already had Jim/Pam, they could play around with Michael, and the Jan romance was perfect. Then they got all fuckin gooey with the Holly thing. I guess they felt like the Pam/Jim shippers needed more fodder?
Anyhow, back to PNR. Let me put it this way and then I'll shut up....
When I look back on PNR, the essence of PNR isn't Ben and Leslie working together in the campaign or Andy and April's road trip to the Grand Canyon. It's Pikitis's peach pit. It's Leslie trying to get all the PNR directors together for a picnic. It's Ron running off from Leslie in half-tears just before that picnic, because he was hungry and he already ate all the bacon out of her purse in the car. It's Andy wailing "I fell into the Pit" Stone-Temple-Pilots style. It's snorkjuice. It's a pretty decent breakfast foods buffet at a strip club. It's Jerry bringing an engagement gift to Ron's Tammy intervention.
That's the essence of PNR, that's its heart. It's not a bunch of BS romance, it's genuine characters in these unconventional-for-a-sitcom situations. By forcing the romance and the campaign, no matter how hard they tried, they took us further (IMO) from the heart and soul of what made the show so enjoyable.