Shelby Says: Accuracy versus entertainment

Recently, my husband decided I had to watch the television show Parks and Recreation.
This isn’t unusual, we’ve both made each other sit through shows one of us enjoys. I’ve made him watch the entirety of Full House (and Fuller House), Friends and the Golden Girls, so he deserves to have me watch a show he enjoys.
We watched the first season, a whopping six episodes, and I have to say I’m not a fan. I’ve never been a big fan of the ‘mock-umentary’ style sitcoms, things like the Office, Modern Family and of course Parks and Recreation.
My biggest complaint so far has been that the show poorly portrays how a local government works. This might just be a complaint I have, but I’m a small-town reporter. I talk to people in local government all the time, I cover local ordinances, local elections, and various other things that the show portrays, and none of it is correct.
The premise of the first season is that the city of Pawnee owns a piece of property that had been being developed but only got as far as digging out a basement before the developer abandoned the project, leaving a large pit in the ground. A man falls into it, breaking both of his legs, and the main character, deputy parks and recreation director Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler), vows to make it right by turning the property into a park.
I had several complaints, all of which made my husband pause the show and stare at me in bewilderment because he’d never heard these complaints before. Things such as ‘the city council would have to vote on that’ and ‘the property would have to go through a rezoning process to go from multi-family residential to recreational’ and ‘if residents wanted to vote on it, they would have to circulate a petition and file it with the county and it would come up on a future ballot. That process could take months.’
Things that he had no clue about, because most people don’t think about zoning laws on a regular basis. At least not to the degree I do.
Also, if there was a fenced-in property with a pit, and someone snuck in and fell in said pit, they would probably be charged with trespassing.
I don’t mind some suspension of disbelief in television shows, but for a show that’s supposed to follow a documentary style I would expect more accuracy. That probably makes me sound boring.
My friends told me so when I explained my complaints to them over the weekend, as none of them work closely with government either and prefer to watch a show for entertainment instead of accuracy.
And the show spans seven seasons, so I’m hoping it’ll get better or at least funnier. I also don’t find it very funny, which is the other problem. At least when we watch other sitcoms, Kyle and I both laugh.
Even one of our dogs likes sitcoms. Cosmo is very soothed by all the voices in the Golden Girls, and he likes to watch it to fall asleep.
I’ll watch the whole show, like I said, he deserves it. And when it’s over, it’ll be my turn again and I’m making a list of shows we need to watch.

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