[Content Note: Bullying; fat hatred.]
I've gotten a few emails and tweets lately asking why I stopped doing a Parks and Rec open thread every week, so I thought I'd just write a quick post to address those queries.
Parks & Rec is a show I loved (A LOT) for a very long time, even though I always saw that it had problems. I can't think of any shows I really like and watch regularly that don't have some sort of problem, from a social justice perspective, so I'm not really anticipating perfection from any show (although I'm always expecting more). Whether I watch and enjoy something tends to be based on whether the good stuff significantly outweighs the bad (for me).
Each of us draws those lines in different places.
Long-time readers of my Parks and Rec threads know I had problems with the bullying of the Gary Gergich character, and with the fat hatred on Parks and Rec, as the two most ongoing (but not exclusive) issues with the show. Over the past couple of seasons, the fat hatred has gotten worse, and so has the bullying of Gary. It crossed my line.
I can tell you the exact moment it just became too much for me: It was when Gary, who the characters had long been called Jerry, returned to work, only to have them start calling him Larry, despite their all being aware that is not his name. I was just over it.
I do still watch the show, for the most part, but I watch it half-heartedly, and find myself increasingly detached from it. I don't feel inclined to give it space at this blog anymore.
I'm certainly not telling you not to like the show. Like what you like! We all like problematic things. I just wanted to explain why I'm not writing about it anymore. To my regret.