Even the best television shows stumble now and then. Some series have seasons containing over 20 episodes, and it’s not realistic to expect every episode to be award-winning. Perhaps the characters fall flat, the plot is disappointing, or sometimes simply a bad episode ruins the momentum. When the best shows have multiple seasons, the likelihood of poor episodes is significantly more substantial.
It’s hard to come to terms that our favorite shows are not exempt from duds. While we love every single episode, we can admit to skipping certain episodes when rewatching the series. We don’t hate those episodes, but we have our justifications for not watching them.
While far and few between, Parks and Recreation is no different. The show is fantastic, but it’s not faultless. With 126 episodes to choose from, there are plenty that miss the mark. Sometimes it's Leslie acting uncharacteristically. Sometimes it's the season as a whole that feels a bit off. Some people skip Brendaquits altogether when rewatching the show, and based on those episodes, who can blame them?
No one wants to admit that their favorite shows are capable of producing poor episodes, but no series is perfect!
10. Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)
It may seem unfair to consider the pilot episode of any show as the worst in the series, but they generally are. Characters are underdeveloped, or all together different and the tone of the series is usually vastly different from later seasons. Unfortunately, Parks and Recreation is no different.
Almost every single one of the characters hugely changes from their episode one depiction. The pilot starts with Leslie Knope engaging in menial government work, as she is known to do. While the show remains true to this character trait of Leslie’s, it’s not remotely close to the version of her we all know and love. Her lack of confidence in what she's capable of makes for a less enjoyable Leslie.
The same can be said for every one of Leslie’s coworkers. While Tom stays a little creepy throughout the series, he lacks his goofy charm and seems rather incompetent. April is still apathetic but unlikable, and while Ron is still anti-government, his loveable disdain is nowhere to be found. Even Donna is quiet and timid, which is very much not the same confident character we've all come to know.
All in all, the pilot would be okay if it weren’t the beginning of such a good series. Sadly, the episode feels completely different compared to the rest, or at the very least feels like a poor imitation of the beloved show.