I apologize for having missed two Fangirl Fridays in a row. That’s what happens when you work three different live shows with 12+ hour days in the span of a little over a week and then there’s a holiday. But enough excuses.
It is not Friday, but there is something, or should I say someone, I am fangirling over.
Her name is Amy Poehler.
I blame my sister. (All good things in my life are usually her fault.) She’s not a big TV watcher, especially not compared to me (but then again who is) and she told me, “You HAVE to watch Parks and Rec it is one of my favorite shows of all time.” Coming from her, that is a pretty strong endorsement. I resisted for awhile, but after finishing 30 Rock there was a large void of truly funny television in my life. So begrudgingly I started Parks and Rec the same week I started Breaking Bad for something light to watch in between the heavy BB episodes. I never made it past Breaking Bad season 2 episode 2 because along the way something happened. I became completely obsessed. Parks and Rec has become more than a show to me; through spending time with watching this weird cast of characters I have learned about myself along the way.
The greatest lessons have come from the Pawnee Goddess herself, Leslie Knope. She has taught me that friendship comes above all things (second only to waffles), that is important to stand up for what you believe in even and especially if it is unpopular, and that there is no such thing as caring too much. Ann Perkins has taught me that the best way to have a friend is to be a friend. Ben taught me that sometimes the geeks do get the girl and that life is too short to be an accountant. April Ludgate has taught me that it’s okay to hate people as long as you make an exception for that one special person. Andy Dwyer taught me to have fun and go with the flow. Tom taught me to “treat yo self.” Christ taught me about positivity, Ron hard work, Jerry/Gary about being happy with whatever life throws at you.
These people have become my friends. Like Stars Hollow, CT and Dillon, TX before it, Pawnee, Indiana is a place where I have been lucky enough to spend some time. Shows like P & R are rare. Shows that manage to be laugh out loud funny, but also have a heart. Shows that make you truly care about the characters. It was in season 3 episode 9 with Andy and April’s wedding when I became completely hooked. I remember thinking, “There’s no going back now.” I sobbed when Leslie decide to run for office and her friends volunteered to plan her campaign. I cheered when Tom’s Bistro had a successful opening and he proved Dr. Saperstein wrong. I “aww-ed” at Ron and his new baby rebuilding the 3rd floor. I laughed out loud over pretty much anything involving Jerry/Gary or Eagleton or Ben and Lil Sebastian.
I wish I had watched Parks and Rec as it aired if only to see the way the characters grew and changed over the seasons, but binging was pretty rewarding as it was. As I neared the end of season 6 I almost stopped watching completely because I just didn’t want it to be over. There is one more season left and I am both excited, curious, and terribly sad. I am going to miss this small, weird town full of people I have come to know and love.
Leslie Knope is one of my favorite characters/heroes/role models. I can’t stress this enough. Despite all the crazy sitcom-ey things that happen to her, she seems so real. She is frequently wrong, she is passionate beyond belief, she is organized and has strong opinions and loves her life. Obviously Leslie and Amy have a lot in common or at least that’s what I’m getting from the chapters I have been listening to in the audiobook version of Yes Please, her memoir. Amy Poehler is unapologetic. She is loud and opinionated and funny.
Reading Yes Please could not have come at a better time in my life. It says everything I need to hear as a 20 something still trying to figure it all out and find my way. She gets it. I mean she really gets it. Especially about being young and female.
I get worried for young girls sometimes; I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent. And not so withered and shriveled.
Amy is all of those things. She knows and talks all about ignoring the voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough and surrounding yourself with people who are passionate and talented. Following your dreams takes hard work and blood and sweat and tears. Lots of tears. These are all things I’ve come to know well, but it’s nice to hear it from someone I admire. I’m not finished with Yes Please yet, but its already made me laugh and cry so much it’s almost dangerous to listen to while driving.
So thank you, Amy. Thank you for this amazing television show with one final season and thank you for teaching me that it’s okay to be the smart girl at the party and that looking silly can be powerful and that the best way to change the world is by being yourself. You’re a woman worth fangirling over.
- I haven’t gotten to the chapter in Yes Please about Parks and Rec yet, but I can’t wait.
- If I thought I was ruined for life by fictional characters before, Ben Wyatt is a whole other level the likes of which I have never experienced before. BRB FOREVER LOOKING FOR MY BEN.