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'Parks and Recreation': Matching the Parks Department with their '80s teen counterparts

When NBC’s Parks and Recreation returns on April 3, the employees of the Pawnee Parks Department are going to prom. Why? Because superwoman and resident project-taker-onner Leslie Knope is helping organize the local high school prom (it’s a volunteer gig, not a new extension of her Parks Dept. responsibilities), that’s why. And because the idea of anyone going back to high school immediately makes me think of John Hughes, I decided the best way to honor the short Parks and Rec hiatus and gear up for next week’s return would be to match each member of the main cast with his or her ’80s teen-movie counterpart. Is it random? Sure, but so is Parks and Rec at its best.

Leslie Knope is…Diane Court from Say Anything

Why? She’s a supersmart lady with tons of ambition, but an even bigger heart. Just like Diane is willing to put it all on the line for boom-box-wielding ’80s love monkey Lloyd Dobler, we all know Leslie would do the same for Mr. Ben Wyatt.

Ron Swanson is…Allison Reynolds from The Breakfast Club

Why? Because while everyone else has a reason to be there, Ron is always just an outsider who infiltrated the government almost as if he had nothing better to do. We know he has money — more than enough to retire on — and hobbies (the chairs!), but he’s inexplicably still in Pawnee government.

April is…JD from Heathers

Why? They’re both snarky, quick-witted, mean and weird. And they don’t apologize for any of it. (If you think this is a little harsh, please remember the following April moments.)

Tom is…Joel Goodson from Risky Business

Why? Because they are both savvy entrepreneurs, that’s why.

Andy is…Josh Baskin from Big

Why? Because literally being a kid at heart would explain so much about Andy.

Ben is…Brian Johnson from The Breakfast Club

Why? Because as easy as it would be to lump Ben in with any of the supernerds from the ’80s teen-movie canon, Ben Wyatt is more than a nerd. He’s a smart, successful man. He’s also a man who sometimes thinks he’s a little cooler than he is, and looks adorable in the process.

Donna is…Lynne Stone from Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Why? Well, it’s hard to peg Donna, really. She’s cool, but she’s not quite a princess à la Molly Ringwald types. She’s sassy, but she’s not a mean girl à la Heather Chandler. Donna is a fun-loving free spirit who does what she wants and sets the trends, rather than just following them. There are no great cats in the ’80s teen=movie realm, so I went with the closest dog we have.

Gary/Jerry/Larry is…Joan Cusack’s Geek Girl from Sixteen Candles

Why? Because Gary/Jerry/Larry goes through life like he’s wearing obtrusive headgear and a home-knit sweater. Always. (Full disclosure: I love Jerry…erm, Larry.)

Can you think of better matches for the Parks and Rec crew? What about minor characters like Jean Ralphio? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Read more about Parks and Recreation:

“Parks and Recreation”: Ode to Leslie’s strangest Ann-jectives

“Parks and Recreation”: Exec producer Michael Schur on what’s next for Leslie and the end of the show

“Parks and Recreation” 100th episode react

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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