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Tonight’s Big Premieres, in Brief
Formative TV Experience No. 4: A Devilish Fantasy

Leslie Knope, a Woman to Watch?

  • 9/17/09 at 5:46 PM
Leslie Knope, a Woman to Watch?

Photo: NBC/Dean Hendler

I'm a big fan of Parks and Recreation, both because I think it's funny and because I think they're onto something tricky/original with Amy Poehler's character, Leslie Knope. (Here's the short riff I wrote about this last season, when the series was getting a lot of flack.)

I read Alan Sepinwall's interview with the creator Mike Schur today and came across the following passage.

Greg likes to talk about how seeing 40 Year Old Virgin helped you guys recalibrate how you were writing for Steve; was there a similar eureka moment here?

Not really — it was more just watching her perform the character day after day. She improvised an interview segment in the "Boys' Club" episode where, after accidentally shattering a bunch of beer bottles while trying to hang with the guys, she said, "I feel like I'm already in the Boys' Club. Look at those bitches cleanin' up after me." That made us laugh, and we realized that Leslie can be a little bit cooler than we had originally thought. It was just a hundred little things like that.

What do people think? I'm always psyched when there are twisty, original, flawed female protagonists on sitcoms — Liz Lemon and Old Christine are the best of the bunch right now, and Scrubs has actually been solid in this way, too. Any other fans out there, or am I alone in my admiration?

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