Any industry hopes that the turmoil of 2008 and 2009 are fading in the public consciousness were quickly dashed by Thursday night's episode of the NBC hit show "Parks and Recreation."
The show — about the inner workings of the city hall and particularly the Parks and Recreation department in the fictional Pawnee, Ind. — featured a local bailout controversy involving the "Pawnee Video Dome."
This synopsis may sound familiar. The rental store, suffering poor sales after renting only esoteric art-house films, threatens to close. The show's main character, councilwoman and deputy parks director Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, tries to move a city plan to prop up the business through tax breaks.
"The Pawnee Video Dome is a place with tremendous community value where people gather to expand their horizons," she says at a city council public hearing.
But her boss, parks director Ron Swanson, a small-government hawk, mounts a campaign to stop her.
"This action by Councilwoman Knope is nothing more than a thinly-veiled government bailout and I for one refuse to let her turn this town into a Socialist hellscape," Swanson, played by Nick Offerman, says at the public hearing. "The government should not prop up a failed business. That would be like giving food to a mortally wounded animal instead of slitting its throat and properly utilizing its meat and pelt."
Despite other proclamations against the plan - including from a member of the "Liberty or Die" party — it passes. But rather than follow Knope's guidance to use his extra funds to rent blockbusters, the shop's owner — played by Jason Schwartzman — has another plan in mind. The store begins selling exclusively adult films, and business booms. "You have made us porn peddlers," Knope says.
That's not all. A local crew makes an adult film about the store's bailout. The title: "Too Big to Nail."