Television fans are a unique set. We're the type of people who devote hours upon hours a week to our fictional, televised friends. We laugh at their jokes and cry when they cry because our favorite shows are just so darn good. But the intensity of the laughter and the tears is all thanks to the fact that we regard these characters as something of a family. We know them. We understand them. We love them unconditionally. And actors deserve recognition for being able to elicit that level of a reaction from their fans. Naturally, when they're not given their due, we're forced to react, well, emotionally. How, exactly, will we react? That depends on the actor in question. First up is the woman, the myth, the legend: Miss Leslie Knope, the savior of Pawnee's small-town government on Parks and Recreation. Normal people may refer to her as Amy Poehler.
Heartbreak hit Parks and Recreation fans hard at last year’s Emmys, when the series and its stars failed to take home any winged statues. And then once more, our tiny little hearts were eviscerated when our heroine, Amy Poehler (she’s the real life counterpart to Leslie Knope, in case you’ve got your nose stuck resolutely in the anti-reality of television), and her handsome prince Will Arnett (GOB Bluth, that funny dad from Up All Night, or the guy who competes in whisper contests with Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock) separated and our collective notion that true love really did exist vanished almost immediately. Now, we, the dedicated fans of the comedic genius that is Ms. Amy Poehler, have but one glimmer of hope: The 2012 Emmys. Naturally, we’re pretty passionate about who winds up taking home that Best Lead Actress in a Comedy statue. And it should be Poehler. That is our one demand, and we’re prepared to fight for it. Poehler’s Leslie Knope is a character so incredibly wonderful, heartwarming, hopeful, and hilarious that she deserves to join the ranks of greats characters like Liz Lemon, Murphy Brown, Mary Richards, and Grace Adler. Poehler, who learned the comedy trade alongside Emmy winner Tina Fey at Chicago’s Second City improv theatre before becoming a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade theater, lives and breathes comedy. And while the comedy world clearly understands this and holds her up as an exalted member of the club, it’s about time Poehler got her due on the larger, more centrally located stage. This devilishly funny woman deserves her Emmy, already! As someone who cried my own tears when Ron Swanson and crew presented Leslie with her very own Gingerbread model of the Parks Department, and when everyone decided to help her run after her relationship with Ben lost her her campaign backers, and when she bested Bobby Newport in the election, I’m prepared to do at least a handful things I’m going to be ashamed of should the Academy deny Poehler her rightful trophy, come Sept. 27. (And for the record, I also cried when she and Ann had that drunken fight after insert remarkably high number here shots of Snork Juice, but those were happy, laughter-induced tears.) Just how ashamed will I be on Sept. 28 if Poehler doesn’t win? Well, to start the day, I will rock up to a diner and eat plate after plate of waffles doused in entire cans of Reddi-Whip until I hit a carb coma and pass out. (And I’m just getting started, my friends.) When I wake up, I’ll stumble into the nearest coffee house, where I will buy sugary “energy” bars and a 20-ounce blended mocha with three times the recommended amount of whipped cream. I will demand chocolate sprinkles should they be available at said establishment. I will then consume these tasty treats and allow the combination of caffeine and sugar carry me into an energetic frenzy that is sure to drive my friends and coworkers to skip lunch in favor of a stiff drink. While on said energetic high, I will proceed to plan a belated birthday extravaganza, complete with balloons from ceiling to floor in the office, for the only coworker (you know who you are) who wouldn’t let us do something for his birthday. He will not enjoy this. However, that caffeine and sugar rush won’t last. I’ll need to bolster my energy the only logical way I know of: eating a freezer-sized Ziploc bag full of candy necklaces. (Pro-tip: these are perfect snacks for a stakeout.) With that verve, I’ll cook up an idea for an expansive, probably impossible new project, accomplish it, and execute a plan to set my beautiful tropical fish of a best friend up with a man who does not work at Pizza Hut or go by a nickname synonymous with “tool.” Of course, while that last part sounds nice and thoughtful and everything, I will follow it up by visiting my friend’s alcohol launch party, and I’m a light-weight, so I’ll be drunker than a tiny actress at the Golden Globes by round three. I might dance up on someone whose name sounds oddly similar to Ralph Macchio, have a circular argument with my best friend, and then cry about it on camera. That may or may not happen. Of course, I won’t remember any of this and the next day my hangover will be so bad, I’ll probably sleep under my desk until my boss comes in with a bag full on nondescript, greasy hamburgers as a cure. In the cold light of day, I will be forced to reexamine myself and my reactions to sensations like disappointment and sadness. And yet, after all of those permutations of emotion, my supreme disillusionment with the entire practice of awarding Emmys will remain completely and resolutely in place. I may never be able to believe in anything ever again. And that, members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, will be on your shoulders. Your move, voters. Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler More: TV Network Swap: What if 'Parks and Recreation' Were on CNN? 'Parks and Recreation' Blooper Reel: Andy Loves No. 2 - VIDEO 'Parks and Rec' Writer/Producer Dan Goor on Season 5 and Emmy Nominations