Television Top Trumps: Parks & Rec's Ben Wyatt vs The Good Place's Trevor

Typecasting. It's a thing that can happen to anyone, a bit like falling arse over tit on an uneven paving stone. Unfortunate, yes, but one of those irritating facts of life.

Unless, that is, you're Adam Scott.

For, despite his umpteen-seasons-long turn as the utterly adorable Ben Wyatt in Parks and Recreation, he was not going to be limited to playing only adorable characters in the future. Not even if the show he was joining was called The Good Place, where you'd expect lots of adorable people. Wouldn't you?

In his turn in the Netflix comedy, Scott plays the forking terrible Trevor. Trevor is the forking worst, the very antithesis of the lovely Ben. And so, in what may be the greatest foregone conclusion since the Bake Off final that we all knew the winner of, it's time to pit Trevor against Ben and see who comes out on top.

Spoiler alert: it's probably not Trevor.


Ben: Mr Wyatt turns up in Pawnee’s City Hall in a fairly undramatic fashion. He just appears there, standing next to Rob Lowe’s Chris Traeger, looking a bit socially awkward. That's it. No fanciness at all. He may even have walked in there with his own feet, which is obviously the least exciting mode of travel. 5/10

Trevor: in what can only be described as “quite the contrast”, Trevor appears in the Good Place at the helm of a massive steam train. None of that boring walking here. That would not be befitting a man of Trevor’s massively evil standing. Frankly, it's a miracle that he didn't try and drive the train straight through the neighbourhood, destroying all that crossed his path. Probably seemed like a bit much effort. And just a normal train was enough to get him one round in this almost entirely pointless battle. 8/10


Ben: Oh, the jobs Ben has. So many jobs, and they're all so governmentally-focused. From being an 18yr old mayor to a state auditor to city manager to possibly president, Ben’s all about fulfilling his civic duty. Such noble work. Such social conscience. Such a good man. 10/10

Trevor: Trevor, meanwhile, is not a good man. In fact, he's not a man at all; he's a demon who's in charge of torturing residents of the Bad Place. Which presents quite the issue - how to score a man who’s risen to near the top of his remarkably evil game? Sure, you could make a predictable argument that there's not that much of a difference between politicians and demons, but let's not go there, shall we? We’ll just fence-sit instead. 5/10


Ben: Ben is a devotee of what could be called “geek chic”, if there were any conscious effort of being chic involved in it at all. For the man is 100% geek - a comic and calzone-loving chap who's too busy inventing convoluted board games to care too much about the sartorial. Which only makes him even more adorable, really. Plus there was that time he wore the Batman suit, which was obviously brilliant. 9/10

Trevor: Trevor, oh Trevor. What a special look you've got. All blazers and snazzy suits and that t-shirt that Eleanor made about her rubbish former housemate. It's like something a contestant on the Apprentice would wear if they had a little bit more style. Definitely not forking adorable, but not forking awful either. 5/10

Fatal flaw

Ben: if there's one thing wrong with Ben Wyatt - and let's be clear here that this is not an admission that there is in fact anything wrong with Ben Wyatt - it's that he just cares too damn much. And maybe the calzone thing. It's not normal to love calzones quite that much. 9/10

Trevor: he's a demon. An actual, literal demon. It doesn't get any worse than that. 1/10

Romantic attachment 

Ben: apparently Ben is a man on a quest to not just embody but also expand the boundaries of the concept of “adorable”, for he forms the most beautiful relationship of all time with the great Leslie Knope. Then he sacrifices their love for her career. Then he un-sacrifices it, and they have an adorable wedding and adorable family and the whole thing is so beautiful that it’s almost enough to make us use the phrase “couple goals.” Almost, but not quite. Forget you read that. 10/10

Trevor: Erm…he claims he banged Eleanor, when he actually didn't. Which makes him the afterlife’s equivalent of Jay from the Inbetweeners. Not something to aspire to. 1/10

The verdict

Do we really need to do the maths here? Ben absolutely storms it with 43 to Trevor's frankly pathetic 20. He may be an immortal being, but he can't beat the greatest man in Pawnee.

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