In the last few months, I’ve joined the bandwagon that is Parks and Recreation. Sure I was late to the game, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. Leslie exhausts me, Ron Swanson makes me giggle uncontrollably, and I desperately want April to insult me; it seems like a great way to start the day. And while I’ve learned to never let Tom borrow my credit card (or Donna for that matter), there’s still one glaring issue that irks me every time I watch the show: why is everyone so mean to Garry/Jerry Gergich?
They can’t even get the guy’s name right!
Sure he’s a little clumsy, but his niceness more than makes up for whatever soup he may have spilled on his button-down shirt. He’s not even the annoying kind of nice, just genuinely caring, friendly, and selfless toward others, despite whatever insults they berate him with. Even Leslie, the woman how sticks up for everyone/is excited about everything, constantly interrupts him, sends him on pointless trips, and forgets to bring him vacation souvenirs. (Hypocrite alert, Miss Knope.)
These ongoing insult/odd-man-out jokes aren’t funny, in fact, it’s plain awkward. Like the time they:
* Created a “Jerry filter” to avoid his emails
* Started a collection, donating money each time they laugh at Garry/Jerry … then went out to a fancy dinner with the funds.
* Failed to notify him that a virus emergency was a drill, not the real thing.
* Insulted his intricate and skilled artwork.
* Gave him a heart attack.
* Made fun of him for having said heart attack.
Garry/Jerry is just a nice family guy – who landed Christie Brinkley – and constantly gets crapped on.
So what gives? Why is this still a running gag? It may have been funny once, NBC, but now, five seasons in, the viewers are wondering what this guy ever did wrong. And why doesn’t Garry/Jerry zing anyone back? The constant insults would be easier to take if they weren’t so one-sided.
The Gergich family may be a little weird, but aside from their patriarch, they’re a bunch of hot blondes. If public schools taught us anything, it’s that beautiful people are allowed to be weird – it’s the main premise of every geek-to-chic movie ever. Yet Garry/Jerry catches enough teasing and mockery for his entire model-esque brood.
It’s also worth noting that seniority means nothing in the Parks and Rec Department. Garry/Jerry, before his retirement, was the longest-serving employee in P and R. Sure he was still one of the lowest ranking, but do years of service count for nothing anymore?
Enough with the insulting Gergich gags already, NBC. We just want to see this nice man live his life. Why not try a little anti-bullying material, and giving Garry a little respect?