Parks and Rec was defined by its political climate. Superstore is too.

If Parks and Rec was the optimistic workplace comedy of the Obama years, then Superstore is its weary, Trump-era counterpart.

I’m embarrassed it’s taken me this long to get into Superstore, the NBC comedy about the employees at big box store Cloud 9. Not only is it a hilarious workplace-set series I can personally relate to, it’s reminiscent of one of my favorite shows ever, Parks and Recreation.

Like Parks and Rec, Superstore is about a group of very different people working together and the bonds (positive, negative and everything in between) they forge among themselves. Both feature a sweet romance, a mutually respectful relationship between the female lead character and her not-so-competent male boss and the constant push-pull between idealism and pragmatism. Heck, Superstore‘s break room scenes are even similar to Parks and Rec‘s town hall meetings: chock full of loud idiots, fast-paced and uproariously funny.

Both series are also defined by the political climates in which they premiered: Parks and Rec is a product of the Obama era, Superstore the Trump era.

At its core, Parks and Rec was an optimistic story about community and the possibility that anyone could make a tangible difference in the world. Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) was a bit of an Obama figure herself — a bright, intelligent, progressive force of nature who was reassuring even in the darkest of times. Not that the people of Pawnee, Indiana always agreed with her. They usually didn’t, and would do everything they could to fight her agenda, which often actually benefited them. Sound familiar?

The country — in the real world and in the show’s world — was a very divided place when Parks and Rec aired, from 2009 to 2015. But generally, it felt like things were gradually getting better.

In contrast, there’s a palpable weariness, even anger, to Superstore, which debuted in fall 2015. The characters work in retail, not the relative privilege of civil service, and are barely scraping by. When Jonah (Ben Feldman), a liberal business school dropout, joins Cloud 9, his determination to make the work culture better is met with rolled eyes and mockery. His floor manager, Amy (America Ferrera), is especially dubious of his idealism. Unlike Jonah, Amy isn’t at Cloud 9 on a lark: she’s been employed there since she was a pregnant teenager. In other words, she knows by now that the store’s culture can’t really be fixed.

Superstore is just as political as Parks and Rec, but its politics are less aspirational and more resigned. The series is very clear-eyed about corporations’ greed and systemic dismantling of workers’ rights. Yet it’s also smart enough to know that people can’t always bring personal integrity to work.

Cloud 9’s employees are aware their company is screwing them over (low pay, inadequate conditions, no benefits) but they also need the paycheck. What’s less terrible: your job squashing every unionization effort you make or not having a job at all?

“What’s less terrible?” may as well be the Trump administration’s official slogan. For many of us, and many Cloud 9 employees, the current political climate is so stressful that optimism feels like another word for ignorance. Forget the pipe dream of making the world a better place — it’s all about getting through the day without worrying ourselves into a stomach ache.

Rest assured: there are moments in Superstore that will replenish your faith in humanity. Store manager Glenn (Mark McKinney) kindly listens to Amy as she opens up about her marital woes. The employees stage a walk-out and strike when Glenn is unjustly fired. They work together to expose the corporation’s illegal firing of elderly employees. In these moments Cloud 9’s camaraderie is very much in line with Pawnee’s parks department.

The difference is that Superstore recognizes those moments for what they are: isolated events. Superstore‘s characters are ultimately good-hearted, just like the Parks and Rec gang, although they’re sensible enough to know their actions are small, and likely won’t have a lasting impact on anyone besides themselves. But Amy, Jonah, Glenn and the rest do what they can.

Sure, it’s not the rose-tinted worldview of Parks and Rec, but in the Trump era, that’s about as good as it gets.

Superstore season 4 airs Thursdays on NBC. Previous seasons are available on Hulu. Parks and Recreation’s entire run is streaming on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.