Parks and Rec: Jeremy Jamm was the Perfect Villain

At the core of Parks and Recreation was the story of Leslie Knope, a devoted public servant and possibly the most enthusiastic person in all of Indiana. It was her indomitable spirit that made this series into one of the funniest and most feel-good sitcoms of all time. But every Superman needs a Lex Luthor, and in the case of Leslie, that person was Jeremy Jamm. As it turned out, he was the right character at the right time.

When Parks and Recreation debuted, it was a bad clone of The Office. As time went on, the series began to develop its own identity and its own sense of humor. When Season 3 rolled around, it was firing on all pistons and churning out some absolutely classic episodes. Despite the fact that the series had a lot of great characters and ongoing storylines, there was still something missing from it.

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As it turned out, the show was lacking an antagonist of some kind to help push the plot forward. When Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger debuted in Season 2, Episode 23, they seemed like they might fill that void. It quickly became apparent that would not be the case throughout Season 3 as Chris and Ann started dating and the epic, series-defining romance between Ben and Leslie began. Without a strong antagonist, the series lacked some tension.

That's when Jeremy Jamm arrived on the scene. He made his debut in Season 5, Episode 3, just after Leslie was elected to Pawnee City Council. Jamm was a fellow member of that council, one whose arrival had been foreshadowed during Season 4. He made his first full appearance while using Leslie's private bathroom, arguing that she didn't deserve it just because she was the only female member of the Council. It was an impressively awkward introduction.

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From then on, Jamm proved himself to be the anti-Leslie. He was in government purely to enhance his own wealth, taking advantage of every conceivable angle for his personal gain. Jamm's jaded take on local government led to seemingly endless confrontations with Leslie Knope. These battles would ultimately become a huge part of Leslie's time on the Pawnee City Council, for better or worse.

At the same time, Jamm also developed an enmity with pretty much every member of Leslie's group of friends. Ron Swanson, in particular, hated Jamm with a fiery passion, leading him to knock Jamm out at Leslie and Ben's wedding in Season 5, Episode 14. This led to Jamm attempting to sue Ron in Season 5, Episode 17, a plot that was foiled by Andy, April, and Tom.

Jeremy Jamm was ultimately the perfect Lex Luthor to Leslie Knope's Superman, an analogy he actually used at one point. This was a man who actually saw himself as Lex Luthor and was incredibly happy with that comparison. Making their relationship even funnier was the fact that Jeremy genuinely thought he and Leslie were best friends. Then again, Leslie did come to his rescue in Season 7 so maybe he wasn't that far off.

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Ian Goodwillie (803 Articles Published)

Ian Goodwillie is a freelance writer based out of Saskatoon, SK, Canada. He has a BA in English Literature from the University of Saskatchewan and completed the Writing Program at Vancouver Film School. More importantly, Ian is also a wrestling fan, comic book reader, video game player, and photographer. He loves to write and writes about what he loves. Ian's also an unrepentant, unapologetic Cougar Town fan, a show he will defend until the day he dies. Follow him on Twitter at @ThePrairieGeek.

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