Today, with the influx of series across all networks and streaming services, people are more invested in watching TV. A huge factor in this is that we had to stay at home for months during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, in truth, no one could blame us for spending hours upon hours binge-watching a TV series.
This is why people no longer have the patience for characters that are bland and one-dimensional. But it’s also worth noting that it’s a bit hard to find a TV series that perfectly presents complex, multi-dimensional, and overall interesting male characters. Lucky for us, there is one TV series that meets all of the criteria on what our ideal man could be. And that show is Parks and Recreation.
Parks and Recreation is an American sitcom that ran for seven seasons from 2009 to 2015. It centers around the characters who work with the parks and recreation department of the local government of a small town in Indiana. These are its five male characters and the noteworthy qualities that they bring to the table.
Chris Traeger: the Health Nut
Played by Rob Lowe, Chris Traeger works as the City Manager. He oversees all of the city hall departments but works most closely with the parks and recreation department. He’s known to always maintain a sunny disposition, share a dazzling smile with anyone he passes by and is always enthusiastic about everything he does. But, most of all, he’s known as the resident fitness expert. He’s the one most likely to understand and deliver whatever his body needs. If he needs to acquire chiropractic services for pain, he would most likely be at a chiropractor’s office within the hour. His ultimate goal is to be the oldest living man on earth. So he maintains his health as best as he could.
Tom Haverford: the Ever-Dapper Dan
When it comes to men’s fashion, the go-to expert is Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari. He’s the right-hand man of Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the parks and recreation department. Most of the time, he’s deeply invested in the latest trends in fashion, technology, and lifestyle. Although his desire to upgrade his lifestyle has put him in many troubles, it ultimately paid off. He established a men’s clothing store where young and adolescent boys could rent upscale clothing. His business ventures are something to be left desired. But his vision and dedication to men’s swag is and always will be inspiring to the viewers of the show.
Ron Swanson: the King of the Outdoors
Ron Swanson is the director of the parks and recreation department. So, naturally, he’s a great lover of the outdoors. Although he’s not the most dedicated civic leader, his dedication to the beauty of nature has always been apparent. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and spending hours creating masterpieces in his woodshop. Whenever he feels stressed and in need of some peace, he seeks refuge in his cabin in the middle of the woods. In Ron, we understand the importance of our relationship with nature and creating something beautiful with our bare hands.
Ben Wyatt: the Lovable Nerd
Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Batman—these are some things that many of us are passionate about but are hesitant to share with others. We might be scared that we’ll be mocked and made fun of because of our passions for such nerdy things. But Ben Wyatt (played by Adam Scott) shows that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, he, too, became a laughingstock whenever his nerdiness would come out. But he doesn’t let such things stop him from loving the things he loved.
Andy Dwyer: the Kid at Heart
Who says that we can’t be adults and still have as much fun as children? This is what Andy Dwyer (played by Chris Pratt) does best. He didn’t start that way, though. In the beginning, he’s childish, but he’s nowhere near a fully functioning adult. He held various odd jobs, had no idea how to balance a checkbook, and made one questionable decision after another. But the great thing is that he grew out of that. He became more mature and successful. But he remained a kid at heart.
By knowing these characters, we understand the best qualities that men could possess. It’s not always about being successful and popular, and even being a ladies’ man. Ultimately, it’s about caring for our bodies, feeling good about ourselves, embracing our passions, and balancing fun and responsibility.