After a day of bounty like yesterday (seriously, my pants are still tight), it only seems fitting that I give thanks once more. I mean, I wouldn’t want to seem like ungrateful. So today I am thankful for the vastly, vastly – I really can’t say vastly enough – improved “Parks and Recreation.” Now, I’m not the only one saying this. Critics everywhere are singing the praises of the show’s superior second season. It’s first season, not so much. I’ve been thankful for Amy Poehler for a long time now. But “Parks & Rec” has given me a new appreciation of Rashida Jones. I’ve never been a devoted watcher of “The Office,” so I missed her stint on that show and her distinct charms. Well, not anymore.
Rashida comes across as many things you might not expect from the daughter of show business royalty (Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, in case you were wondering). Funny. Smart. Likable. Grounded. As Ann, she is the voice of reason and, more often than not, incredulity on the show. She makes the perfect straight man, well, gal to Amy’s zanily optimistic Leslie. It’s easy to get a laugh being silly, it’s much harder to get a laugh reacting to said silliness. But Rashida does it, week after week. And along the way she comes across as something even better: real. You feel like if you hung out with her for an evening it would be a night of good company and great laughs – kind of like watching “Parks and Recreation.” Happy weekend, all.