While trying to recuperate from the stress of last week, I
netflixed a bunch of Parks and Recreation episodes. I only watch few shows
(especially because I don't have a tv and only now have netflix thanks to my
mom's account) and therefore what I do watch better be good. Parks and Rec
definitely fits the bill. Hilarious. When I saw this article about Ron Swanson,
I had to share. He's a fantastic character and I may possibly be in love with
him. I can't do him justice and therefore I'm going to let the article take it
from here -
McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
There are many reasons to watch NBC's marvelously
funny "Parks and Recreation," but at this
point I only need one: Ron Swanson.
Swanson is played by Nick Offerman, an actor blessed with a deeply
melodious voice and wickedly expressive eyebrows who has mastered, if not
invented, the art of over-the-top understatement. But Swanson is a sum of
several parts — an exquisite creation of Offerman's talent, but also of writing
and directing, of hair, makeup and wardrobe.
And I love him with all my heart.
My love for Ron Swanson is so fair and wild and true that it has become
difficult for me to appreciate even the cockeyed wonder that is Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope or the comedically
perfect pairing of April (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy (Chris Pratt) if Ron is not in the scene. My love
for Ron Swanson is so close to devotion that I have begun to measure every man
on television (and more than a few in real life) against him, and all of them
fall lamentably short.
Which shouldn't surprise me. Though there are plenty of "guys" on
television, there are very few men. Ron Swanson is a man.
He wears slacks, not skinny jeans or even pants, and his sweaters are collared.
He is comfortable with firearms. He can fix things that are broken and solve
really tough riddles. He is quietly rude and quite often chivalrous. He plays
Ron Swanson doesn't wear vests and drink tea, doesn't pop Vicodin and sexually harass his staff, doesn't
live with two other goofy guys and a girl, or another man and his child. Ron
Swanson isn't a smart-mouth member of law enforcement; neither does he murder
people ritualistically and then blame it all on a traumatic childhood incident.
Ron Swanson laughs like a little girl and gets away with it because he
understands things that other humans of his chromosomal order appear to have forgotten,
1. Hair. A man should comb his hair, after which it should appear combed. I
could write a sonnet to Ron's hair, which rises on a semi-Elvis wave, in
perfect harmony with the mustache echoing it below.
2. The mustache. After years of enduring the mixed message of carefully tended
scruff — "I'm too busy/disaffected to shave! But I manage to be unshaven
in an even and meticulously shaped way!" — it is a relief to see a man
with real facial hair. Sorry, Selleck, there's a new 'stache in town.
3. The bod. Ron Swanson does not look like he weighs less than me. What with
the general waifishness of men on TV, I cannot overstate the aphrodisiac effect
this has on a woman.
4. The diet. Steak, bacon and Scotch. Three of the best-tasting, best-smelling
things in the world.
5. The attitude. Ron is not apathetic, Ron is Zen. He is a public servant who
hates 99% of the public, a government official who does not believe in
government. He will not suffer fools at all, save the fools he has come to love
and those he will protect with his life.
When the show began, Ron was just one of a very loose and unformed ensemble.
Part of upper management, his character seemed designed mainly to serve as
ballast, the grimacing, feet-dragging yin to Leslie's overly zealous
cheerleading yang. Slowly he was allowed glimmers of humanity, through his
grudging admiration of Leslie and his mentoring of April, a young woman as
antisocial and indifferent as he.
Because "Parks and Rec" did not have a real conflict at its heart, or
even an über-narcissist, à la "The Office," the characters have all
become a bit more lovable without falling into a sentimental sameness.
Miraculously, Ron, like April, has been allowed to maintain his mien of disdain
while his otherness has only increased.
Over the years we learned of Ron's bizarre psychosexual past, including his
marriages to the glacially powerful Tammy One and addictively kinky Tammy Two
(played to great effect by Patricia Clarkson and Offerman's real-life
spouse. Megan Mullally, respectively), of his strange
childhood spent learning anachronistic skills (in a recent episode, he recounts
working in a metal factory and a tannery "while trying to finish middle
school") and his firm belief that most government is a waste of time and