It's no secret that "Parks and Recreation" had some growing pains -- even the stars and co-creators recognize that fact. At the start of the NBC comedy, Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, was a very different character than she is now in the show's fifth season.
"We had originally written her character as kind of deluded, but [Amy’s] very aware, very hip," "Parks and Rec" co-creator Greg Daniels told The New York Post. "By Season 2, the character had a lot more of her personality in it."
In an interview with The Huffington Post's Mike Ryan, Poehler acknowledged the Season 1 issues.
"Well, our first six episodes were basically a pilot. We shot them all at once. Our Season 1 was six episodes. So, everyone is like, 'I didn't like Season 1,'" Poehler said. "And I'm like, 'Well, it was six episodes and we were trying to work it out.'" She added, "Yeah, there's often a little bit of growing pains. Although, I'm frankly very proud of those episodes."
Adam Scott, Poehler's "Parks and Rec" co-star, also said he liked the first season.
A turning point for the series, according to Daniels, was the Season 2 premiere episode, "Pawnee Zoo."
"I think about the episode where she was trying to get publicity for the zoo with a penguin wedding, but then the penguins were both gay, and she got into trouble with the community and she went to the clubs to get the support of the gay community," Daniels said. "And you saw that this isn’t Amy doing Hillary Clinton. It’s what Amy Poehler would be like in small-town government."