It’s back! For an exciting fifth season. I believe the story arc, acting, and plot of this show has gotten increasingly better and better with each season. So I have very, very high hopes for this season. Usually Parks and Rec episodes are solidly good. Unfortunately, their season premiere was not one of them. (For me, anyway. I mean, it was good, but it wasn’t really hilarious. I love when the episodes are so funny that I feel like I am laughing for a solid 30 minutes–including awesome commercials!–and have to keep rewinding it because I can’t hear the dialogue over my laughter.) But back to the episode.
The episode was located in Washington–as the title suggested; and paid homage to the classic “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” movie.
It followed Ben, working as a campaign manager in Washington, with his assistant April. Although their relationship wasn’t shown much–probably due to April and Andy sneaking off together to get “reacquainted” for most of the episode–last season showed us that if shown this season, their relationship will be a hilarious one.
Leslie and Andy go see Washington to visit them and to propose a bill that will help clean up the Pawnee River. But she quickly becomes overwhelmed by the amount of powerful politicians surrounding her. Embarrassed of her small town (apparently there are 8 Pawnees across the US) and her career as a councilwoman, her self-induced misery stops her from enjoying meeting senators Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snow, ( 4 and 26 on Leslie’s List of Amazing Women), or even noticing that the John McCain tried to converse with her.
Back in Pawnee, Ron decides to organize Leslie’s annual “Leslie Knope Employment Enjoyment Summer Slam Grill Jam Fun-Splosian”–Ron-style, of course. Highlights of Pawnee include Ann and Tom pretending to still be dating, and Ron bringing a live pig so everyone can meet the food before it is cooked.
Leslie returns home, revitalized and excited for her job, thanks in part to an encouraging speech from Andy–which he did not know what he gave her.
Overall, it was a decent episode. Definitely the funniest of NBC’s comedy block. Although Creed’s circus quote at the end of “The Office” was pretty hilarious. I’m looking forward to see how Ann & Andy and Leslie & Ben’s relationship will work long-distance. But either way, I’m excited for this week’s episode.
- So many of these characters are solid actors–it would be great to see more of them in a larger role. All of the minor characters– Ron, Tom, Ann, Chris and Donna in particular –are excellent actors who I’d love to see more of. Tom and Ann’s hilarious relationship was definitely the comedic highlight of the episode.
- Unfortunately for Rob Lowe, he seems to have been given a strange role where his excellent acting cannot save his somewhat annoying–and oftentimes unnecessary–character. I’m finding that his character seems similar to Mark Brendanawicz, played by Paul Schneider. The other characters–and plot–seemed to have greatly improved after he left. Poor Paul Schneider.
- I loved the Barbara Boxer, Olympia Snow, and John McCain cameos! It’s unfortunate that Leslie was uncharacteristically depressed, so she was unable to enjoy the occasions.
- One of my favorite scenes: Ron driving away with the smoking grill attached to his car. This is what I would like to do with my car. Then I will have food whenever I stop driving! Best idea ever.
Ron: “Everyone, meet your meat. This is your dinner, his name is Tom.”
Ron’s permit for killing and roasting a pig, which reads, “I can do what I want.”
Chris: “Ron? Chris Trager. Feeling update.”
Chris: ““Raisins: It’s nature’s candy.”
Ron: “In my opinion, not enough people have looked their dinner in the eyes and considered the circle of life.”
Andy: “Is [the cocktail party] a shorts or pants affair?”… “Could we just real quick stop at the nearest place that has free pants?”
Ann: “Did you put glitter in the laundry detergent?”
Tom: “Oh, yeah. I’m experimenting with some new entrepreneurial ideas. That one’s called “Sparkle Suds.” Dress loud.”
Ann: “Will you stop putting glitter in everything? This morning you put glitter in the butter.”
Tom: “Disco Dairy.” Spread the party.”
Ann: “No, that’s not a good idea. That’s terrible.”
Tom: “Well, the target demographic isn’t angry, middle-aged nurses.
Ann: ” I put glitter in all your moisturizers and lotions. I”m calling it Sparkle Skin by Annie. Twinkle twinkle, big star.”
Tom: “That is an amazing idea, and I will buy it from you.”