Parks and Recreation, the new NBC city-government sitcom starring Saturday Night Live alum Amy Poehler, boasts a few local connections. For one thing, the show's bore-tastic logo for its fictional City of Pawnee is a spot-on remake of a controversially bland new logo proposed for Fort Collins last year. The show's pilot episode, which aired last Thursday night, also revolved around a building project that had devolved into a massive, everlasting hole in the ground -- a phenomenon we've seen around here. And finally, there was the packed Parks and Recreation watch party that Denver's own Parks and Recreation Department threw at the City Park Golf Course clubhouse, at which everyone discussed how Poehler's civil-servant character resembled Denver parks spokeswoman Jill McGranahan.
"I think it resembles all of us who have a senior post at Parks and Rec," McGranahan says tactfully. "I think it's great our careers have all become sitcom fodder."
While she swears her department doesn't involve the sort of dysfunction depicted on the show, she admits the episode had a few funny moments that struck close to home. A preview for an upcoming episode, for example, featured the show's characters chasing a raccoon down their office hallway -- which reminded McGranahan of the time she got a call about a drowned squirrel in a Genesee Park public toilet. Ever the practical thinker, McGranahan ordered that the soggy creature be removed before a scheduled five o'clock wedding.
Another scene that elicited lots of well-knowing chuckles from the watch-party crowd -- a group that included Mayor John Hickenlooper -- was when Poehler tactfully explained that an unruly crowd at a public meeting wasn't yelling at her, but just "caring loudly."
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So does Denver have a lot of loud carers? "We do," says McGranahan, with a laugh.