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Works In Something Approximating Progress: "Parks and Recreation," "Cupid"

By admin Published: April 19, 2009

I want to like both "Parks and Recreation" and "Cupid." "Cupid" had me at first, then stumbled this past week. "Parks" got the benefit of the doubt its first week, then just made me more doubtful this past week. ...

"Parks and Recreation" was just dispiriting in its second outing -- mean, angry, sad, and without any great humor to relieve it. Yes, Amy Poehler is trying to drag every bit of sympathy out of us, playing the idealist to the extreme (so extreme, in fact, that she will do awful things in the name of idealism). But that's not enough to make up for her ineptitude and for the hostility and cynicism around her. I am trying to remember that "The Office" started off rockily, too, and that it was some time before we learned about the redemptive aspects of some characters -- such as Michael's being a bad manager but a terrific salesman. Still, I am waiting for magic in "Parks" that just hasn't happened yet.

"Cupid," as I said, was very likable its first couple of telecast. Bobby Cannavale, above, has plenty of charm and while Sarah Paulson occasionally hits the grouchy notes too hard, she's likable enough. But last week, aside from an occasional good line, it was a labored effort, dragging out the coupling, and leading up to a twist which would never have taken so long for people to to figure out if the characters had any sense at all, and the kid went to a school where a discussion about his fighting would involve some -- oh, what's the word? -- specifics!

Not giving up on either show yet, although I'm maybe one or two more tries from bailing on "Parks." But I expect better from both shows.

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