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How Parks And Recreation Fans Really Feel About Ann Perkins

During its 124-episode run on NBC, the work-a-day sitcom "Parks and Recreation" delivered as many side-splitting laughs as any comedy on television. The series also boasted a cast of delightfully outlandish characters, as well, with series creators Greg Daniels and Michael Shur ("The Office") populating the world of Pawnee, Indiana with a motley crew that the word colorful doesn't even begin to cover.

Most of the gang worked, in some capacity, in the fictional offices of the city government and got into all kinds of slapstick shenanigans within the not so hallowed walls of city hall. One of the few characters who wasn't on the City of Pawnee payroll was RN Ann Perkins, who was portrayed by Rashida Jones. Far more grounded than her eccentric counterparts, Ann proved a bit divisive in the show's early days and was even perceived as boring by some viewers (via Entertainment Weekly). Still, long-time fans of "Parks and Recreation" grew to love Ann's "straight man" game to the point that some now believe the show simply wouldn't have worked as well without her. And many of them have taken to the internet to proclaim as much.  

Parks and Rec fans have a lot of love for Ann

"Parks and Recreation" fans made their feelings toward Ann Perkins known in a Reddit thread started by u/frutatswj. That thread fronted a hilarious, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) centric meme about how the character was as pivotal to the Pawnee bureaucrat's growth as any supporting player on the show. 

160 comments later — and after a lot of talk about Leslie's unforgettable angry face — it was clear that "Parks and Recreation" fans agreed that the down-to-earth Ann may not have been the most outlandish character on the show, but was still one of its most important. And yes, she is a legit favorite among many, including Redditor u/murpux who stated, "Ann Perkins is my favorite character. I think she is wrongfully labeled as boring, when her humor is just very dry and very subtle. Her one liners bust my gut every time I hear them, no matter how many times I hear them."

Meanwhile, u/NoDryHands believes Ann may well be the central figure in most of the series' major plots, claiming, "I'm pretty sure if we start digging into things, many of the events/plots in the show wouldn't have happened or would have been hindered if it weren't for Ann." And u/striffripple37 still laments the character's unexpected Season 6 departure. They wrote, "Ive never felt a deeper sense of loss in a TV show than when Ann and Chris left. I felt like my actual friends were leaving even though i knew it was a TV show!" 

Some think the Parks and Rec straight man was anything but

Many "Parks and Recreation" fans also believe Leslie Knope wouldn't have been quite as endearing without her bestie Ann to level her out, with u/DJMikaMikes confirming that concept via the post, "I feel that; in a lot of ways, Ann completed Leslie." Redditors aren't the only ones who feel that way. In a 2022 article, Usama Masood of Collider argued that not only was Ann one of the most essential characters on "Parks and Rec," but also its most complex.

For the record, Masood makes a compelling case for Ann as both the show's most consistently interesting, and poorly scripted character. Regarding her importance to the show, Masood double's down on the importance of Ann's sticky-sweet and refreshingly empowering relationship with Leslie, stating in no uncertain terms, "Ann and Leslie's relationship is the beating heart of the show." Likewise, they also believe Ann's overall arc on the show was quite possibly its most complete.

They rightfully heap praise on Rashida Jones, of course, largely for what she did with the character even when there wasn't always much to work with on the page. They also credit the actor's uncanny ability to vibe with the entire "Parks and Rec" ensemble. As for Jones, the actor stated in a 2012 Paley Center panel she enjoyed playing the series' straight man, especially in later seasons when that trope was regularly being subverted. And as "Parks and Recreation" fan can tell you, the character really did come into her kooky own from Season 3 on.