NBC sets the gold standard when it comes to television viral websites. “The Office” has the best viral presence of any show on television, and shows like “Heroes” and “Community” have also received viral exposure. Well, we can officially add “Parks and Recreation” to that list. The official Pawnee, Indiana website has been around since the show premiered last April, but it’s worth revisiting now that the series is amidst its second season.
The site itself is really well developed and I suggest browsing for yourself to see it firsthand. The sections to the left of the main page offer background information about the city that contributes to the show’s small town vibe. My favorite part of the website though is the section devoted to the actual Parks and Recreation department. There, one can find some pretty humorous staff bios about the characters on the show, along with more information about “the pit” which was integral to the first season plot. Arguably the most refreshing component of the entire site is that it’s devoid of any awkward network logos that often plague viral pages. With the exception of a banner ad at the top of the site, the webpage could very easily pass for an actual small town website. I give NBC credit for developing such an expansive viral for a relatively new series.
I know many who dismiss “Parks and Recreation” as simply NBC’s attempt to cash in on the success of “The Office.” I think the show is better than that. Amy Poehler, who I thought was overrated on Saturday Night Live, is funny as Leslie Knope and quickly establishing herself as her own character (not a female Michael Scott). There are also strong supporting turns from Rashida Jones and Aubrey Plaza. And don’t forget Aziz Ansari. The man is damn hilarious, and could hold his own against any character on “The Office” (yeah, I said it). Let’s hope “Parks and Recreation” can continue to develop in much the same way “The Office” did during its second season, and more viral sites emerge with it.
What do you think of the Pawnee city homepage?