Matt Zoller Seitz (emphasis mine):
Most of all, I love how the show merges its individual silly bits into a crazy quilt of humanism, mocking each character’s myopia and self-importance at one time or another while insisting on his or her humanity. No sweet show is more cutting than Parks and Rec, or more perceptive about the tedious daily challenges of making the world work; ask anyone who’s worked in government, and they’ll tell you that for all its absurdity, this is the most realistic show ever made about their profession, just as any cop will tell you that their job often resembles episodes of Barney Miller, which consisted mainly of paperwork, office politics, and shooting the breeze. But it’s never a cynical slog… No current sitcom does a better job of making simple decency seem integral to the fullest enjoyment of life.
Parks and Recreation has replaced Community — which has had a very disappointing 4th season — as my favorite TV comedy, and Seitz does a fine job of explaining why.