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Amy Poehler's Theory That Explains Why Parks And Recreation Is So Rewatchable

There's a trend on TikTok where people will say something to the effect of, "Did you know a sign of anxiety is rewatching the same TV show over and over again?" This is then promptly followed by the person's head turning toward a screen while the beginning intro to "The Office" or "Friends" plays. 

What is it about watching the same TV series that brings people such comfort? There's such a bevy of prestigious programming out there that you could spend all your free time watching something new and still not get through it all. Yet, rather than seek out something new, many people are content with putting on the same old thing time and time again as they rest for the evening or weekend.

"Parks and Recreation" could absolutely be considered comfort viewing, too. It follows in the same vein as "The Office" by showcasing a bunch of wonderful, colorful characters and the zany shenanigans they get into. However, star Amy Poehler offered a more nuanced take on why "Parks and Rec" continues to be so beloved to this day. 

People use Parks and Rec to 'medicate'

Viewers may already know the punchlines to all the jokes, but that isn't stopping them from going back and enjoying one of the best sitcoms of the 21st century. Poehler herself was asked about this phenomenon in an interview with The Guardian, and while most would say the show's rewatchability has to do with the jokes or themes, the actress dug even deeper than that. She said, "I think — to get a little existential — when times are scary and unsure, we like to go back to things that we've seen before. Comedy especially is a way to medicate. A lot of people went back to shows that they knew would keep them happy, that they could watch with their family, and they knew how would end. And I think 'Parks and Rec' was lucky to be one of those."

Such comments have particular resonance in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the height of it, many people were confined indoors, with nothing to do except watch TV (and bake banana bread). And with no new movies coming out and many productions being put on hold, people turned to their favorite series, whether that was "The Office," "Friends," or "Parks and Rec."

The humor in "Parks and Rec" holds up incredibly well, so it makes sense that when fans need a laugh, they make a trip back to Pawnee.