So, Ann Perkins, right? You can't say her first name without her last name (thanks to Chris Traeger)...and...that's about all I've got in terms of Ann fun facts.
Do you know why that is?
Because Ann has become a complete non-character in Parks and Rec.
I'm sorry, Rashida Jones. I like you and all, but it's true.
She has no quirks. Zero. She dates around a lot I guess. Is that supposed to be her thing now? It's hardly unique. She's actually become kind of pathetic, in the way that I just feel sad for her.
Even her name is average.
Her relationship with Leslie is about 95% Leslie, so she's basically useless there. She's the odd man out at the Parks department because she only works there because Leslie pushed her into some B.S. public health PR job.
Let's just run down the list of people she has to interact with:
She's awkward around Ron because he doesn't care and she won't force herself on him like Leslie does. She's awkward around April because April hates her. She's awkward around Andy because she dated him. She's awkward around Donna because she's intimidated by her. She's awkward around Tom and Chris because she dated them, too.
I mean, come on, Ann. At least TRY to be social with people without dating them. She just stands around in scenes and acts...normal.
Normal is boring, Ann. This is Parks and Recreation. Get it together. She's kind of like a sponge. The other actors try to bounce stuff off her and she just absorbs it all sad-trombone-like and sucks the life force out of an otherwise entertaining scene.
STOP BEING SUCH A SPONGE, ANN. GAH.*
It's hard for me to see a clear-cut answer to this problem.
Whereas The Winston Problem could be fixed in a number of ways, as Knox has already addressed, I'm at a loss for The Ann Problem. Maybe it's because she's been such a non-person sidekick for so long I just don't know what else she could be?
Here's my best pitch: Ann gets a legit, long-term boyfriend who is actually entertaining and their relationship itself would become a new character. Then a) she has someone else to interact with NON-awkwardly, and b) it makes her more interesting by association. She needs someone new.
Because let's be honest, sure you can still have a BFF when you are married, but it's not the same. It's never going to be Leslie and Ann again. It's Leslie and Ben...plus sometimes Ann, the perpetual 3rd wheel.
Do you recognize The Ann Problem? How do you think we should fix it?
*Is it just me or is it really fun to yell at Ann?