Category Archives: parks and recreation

parks and recreation recapping: halloween surprise

Previously on Parks and Recreation: Sex Education

This week has been a great week for comedies; they seem to be getting into their groove, plot-wise. This was a great episode, with a pretty solid plot and great dialogue.

The episode begins with Leslie putting a bid on her dream house, as she and Ben plan on moving in together. Halloween festivities are occurring in Pawnee; Ron taking Diane and her daughters (plus Andy) trick-or-treating; a screening of Death Canoe 4; and several surprises!

Ron is unused to the loudness and excitement–and general presence of children–and doesn’t know how to take care of Diane’s daughters. During the screening of Death Canoe 4 Donna sends live tweets (perfectly meta considering Retta’s penchant for doing the same thing), Ann and Leslie try to scare Tom but send Jerry into a mild attack instead. Ben is about to come home but is offered another campaign job–this one in Florida. Leslie goes to say goodbye to her dream house, believing that Ben took the job in Florida. Ben shows up in the house and proposes to her!

Opinions, Thoughts, and Quotes 

  • I loved the character development of Ann getting rid of belongings from the phases of each boyfriend.
  • Ron trying to bond with Diane’s daughters by teaching them to saw.
  • The more that we get to know this couple, the more that I enjoy it. However, I do really like Tammy 2, played by Megan Mullally, his wife in real life!
  • Just when I got worried that we would have more of the same-old same-old Ben’s away campaigning plot, they switch it up! In a great way.
  • It was touching to see Leslie crying when Ben proposes. And her reaction is typical Leslie. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how sad that scene was, as she just broke up with Will Arnett.
  • I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Tom’s Rent-A-Swag idea. And I’m looking forward to it!

Leslie: So this house has no trampoline room?

Real estate agent: Correct. Like all the houses in the world, there’s no trampoline room.

***

Ben: Great work, all of you.

April: Especially me!

Ben: Especially everyone. This was a team effort, really.

April: But I was the best. Thank you.

Ben: You were all fantastic.

April: Most of all, me, April Ludgate, the real hero. Thank you, and you’re welcome.

***

Donna: In the fifth one, the canoe’s actually the hero. It’s a crazy twist.

***

Tom: [to Jerry, who continuously farts loudly while having his fart attack heart attack] Jeez, did a dinosaur just fart?

Seriously, did you eat farts for lunch?

***

Tom: I just want to hear the doctor say that Jerry had a fart attack, is that too much to ask?”

***

Donna: [After Morris complains that Donna ruined the movie by tweeting spoilers] If you don’t like what I’m tweeting then don’t follow me.

Morris: What are you doing?

Donna: I’m live tweeting this dumbass conversation.

Emily enjoys lots of things: laughing and watching television being the top two. She loves smart comedies involving witty repartee, loud actions and gestures, over-the-top theatrics, and a solid plot. 

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parks and recreation recapping: sex education

Previously on Parks and Recreation: How a Bill Becomes a Law

I think Parks and Rec is slowly finding its groove again; for a while there was a bit of a lack of plot.

Leslie is once again conflicted, as she feels that it is her duty, along with her Sex Avengers, to teach the older generations about sex education. Conservatives in legislature have previously passed a law saying that it is illegal for any public office worker to speak about sex education; there is also a conservative couple, Marcia Langman and her (completely heterosexual) husband Marshall Langman (played by Todd Sherry) promoting abstinence instead.

There were also a few side stories occurring: Ben and April thinking that Congressman Murray (played by Adam Harrington, The Secret Circle) they work is a robot, Ron trying to help wean Tom off electronics and Ann  slowly transforming into a cowgirl.

Favorite moments/Quotes: 

  • Jerry checking his email by going to Alta Vista and typing “Please go to Yahoo.com”
  • Perd, the loveable, brainless reporter, who calls his fans Perdverts. “There are some statistics I’d like to share with you now and they ARE numbers.”
  • Ben trying to act like act a robot during the after-credits sequence

Donna: It’s not my favorite shirt, but it IS my least favorite shirt.

***

Tom: [after getting a splinter] Ow! I got stung by the wood!

***

April: [mimicking Congressman]1, 1, 0, 1. Must consume babies for fuel.

Ben: Why would a robot need to consume organic matter?

Emily enjoys lots of things: laughing and watching television being the top two. She loves smart comedies involving witty repartee, loud actions and gestures, over-the-top theatrics, and a solid plot. 

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parks and recreation recapping: how a bill becomes a law

Previously on Parks and Recreation: Soda Tax 

Oh, Parks and Recreation. You are beginning to worry me. I have decided that many,  many small factors need to happen to make a perfect Parks and Rec episode. And before you begin saying, “Well, perfect is impossible,” we have all seen it happen before. Just last season there were three “perfect” episodes I can name right off the bat: “Soulmates,” “Treat Yo Self,” and “The Treaty.”

Some of the things that help comprise this perfect episode are as follows: an overall arching plot arc (last season it was Leslie running for office), a smaller episodal arc (for “Treat Yo Self” it was celebrating Treat Yo Self and cheering up Ben), and giving the minor characters a larger role (in “Soulmates” it was Chris and Ron’s cook-off).

This episode lacked my overall season plot — but that’s one of this season’s problems. There’s no real overarching plot for this season. We shall see what it becomes — and I am hoping that they come up with one soon! The best part of this episode was definitely my minor character interaction, thanks in part to Andy and Ron, and Ben and April.

The Plot 

Leslie wants to pass a “Fun in the Sun” bill that will keep their public pools open longer, benefiting the Pawnee Porpoises swim team. Chris starts a 3-1-1 phone line where the Parks and Rec department forwards calls to the correct place. Ron and Andy go fix a pot hole. Ben and April go on a roadtrip to Pawnee.

Plot Holes, Discrepancies, and Things I Just Don’t Like 

  • As funny as the Ron and Andy section was, I don’t like the idea of stoic, unbending Ron getting a pretty princess make-over for a woman. Especially for a woman he’s known for all of two hours, Diane (played by Lucy Lawless, yes, XENA). It doesn’t seem to fit his character.
  • Other things didn’t seem right: Tom jumping into the pool. I’m not saying it wasn’t a nice twist — and maybe it shows how much he wants to support Leslie — but it also seems very out of character, considering how much Tom loves his clothes.
  • Who would get a perm an hour before a huge meeting? Bad idea. Bad, bad, horrible idea.
  • Leslie’s role was largely being more awkward than usual, and saying horribly cheesy jokes. “A city councilor with porpoise” being the worst one of them all.

Quotes: 

April: Hey, are you busy? And writing Star Trek fan fiction does not count.

Ben: Ha ha ha. I… finished it last week. What’s going on?

April: I miss Andy. And you probably miss your lover, Chris.

Ben: Leslie.

***

Ben: I’m excited to bond a little with April. She’s like the little sister I never had. Because the little sister I do have
is normal and not terrifying.

April: [mouths “I will kill you” in the background while pretending to slit her throat]

***

Councilman Milton: You too, my strange, foreign friend.

Tom: No, thank you.

Leslie: Tom, eat some.

Tom: I’m not eating racist salad.

Leslie: The more we eat, the faster we talk.

Tom: You can really taste the ignorance.

Councilman Milton: It’s pronounced “anchovies.”

***

Leslie: Councilman, you have grandchildren…

Councilman Milton: And seven great-grandkids. Tim, Mary, Jack, uh, Tim, Marie, Tim, and Mary.

Tom: Don’t forget about Tim.

Councilman Milton: Right, Tim. How many is that?

***

Ben: [reading his Star Trek fan fiction aloud to April]  “Data had never felt this way before. Of course, data had never felt anything before. But Captain Picard couldn’t help but note the smile that crept over his mechanical but lifelike face.

April:  I’m gonna murder you.

Ben: I understand. Just one second. “As they walked down the hall
into the bridge…”

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parks and recreation recapping: soda tax

Previously on Parks and Recreation: Ms. Knope Goes to Washington 

I often struggle between finding shows that perfectly walk the thin line between being realistic, but also funny. Usually Parks and Rec is a show that manages to do flips and spins across this line (which seems to look a lot like a balance beam in my mind). With several three-dimensional characters that push the plot along, its rare that that we run into entire episodes that focus on the plot as the driving force behind the episode. AKA, this episode wasn’t as funny as I would have liked, but I guess what happened was crucial to the plotline.

The plot can be summarized as follows: Ben is unhappy with his lazy interns in D.C., and Leslie is unsure how she should vote on her soda tax. If she votes for it to pass, it can potentially cost several Pawneeians their jobs. But she put this tax into place because Pawnee is the fourth fattest city in America–“soon to be number three. We’re coming for you, San Antonio!”. Andy trains to be a policeman, with the help of Tom and Chris, who seems to be going through a midlife crisis.

Leslie sometimes has to choose between what she believes in or what is best for the town. Usually these two things are one in the same, but this was not one of those times. Relying on Ron’s expert advice, as always, she chooses to do what she believes in. Ben’s lazy interns were the most fun sections to watch. All the interns have very influential political family members, and once Ben realizes it, he begins sucking up to them, which leads to interesting slang that only Ben–or a 45-year-old man– would think is “hip.”

The most depressing– and, honestly, unnecessary– section of the episode was Andy’s. Andy played the part of an oblivious by loving goofball great, as usual. And Tom was great too, although he had a smaller role than usual. However, Chris began spiraling down this sad, sad road of “Poor me, my name is Chris and I’m single and will die all alone.” This sad descent into “this show is not a comedy anymore” began last season after Jerry’s daughter Meredith broke up with him. I think that without this section of the plot, it would have been a hilariously great episode.

  • I said it last week, and I’ll say it again. Rob Lowe has been given a seriously crap role. Not only are they not using Lowe’s comedic prowess, they’ve turned him into one of the most unlikeable, unsympathetic characters on TV right now. Probably an over-exaggeration, but for the sake of poor Rob Lowe, let’s stick with it.
  • More Aziz! And Jerry. And Donna! Come to think of it, they should be doing another “Treat Yo Self” episode soon… I hope.
  • I feel like all of the guys’ names on this show were stock names that just never got changed. Sometimes I get them confused because they’re so typically… short, American guy names. Jerry. Ron. Tom. Chris. Ben. Andy. What about some more fun names, like Colin? Or a new favorite, Oliver? (Homage to Olivia Dunham? I think not. Just an odd coincidence, I guess! 🙂

Quotes: 

Andy:” So, I’ve got a list of everything that I’m supposed to be able to do to get into the police academy, and number one is, “Be able to run 2 miles in under 25 minutes.” That’s a typo, right? I mean, that’s humanly impossible.”

***

Leslie:  Ms. Pinewood, recently, many of the local restaurants have changed their “small-size” option to a whopping 64-ounces. That’s correct, and it’s great for the consumer. More bang for the buck. Are we putting bargains on trial here? How could any sane person call that “small”?

Miss Pinewood:  Well, if the customer truly wants a smaller size, there is an option.

Leslie: Oh, do you mean the “li’l swallow”? Does anybody buy that? Some girls buy them for their dollhouses, but they’re not very popular. I mean, for only a nickel more, you get 64 ounces. Well, uh, Paunch Burger just recently came out with a new 128-ounce option. Most people call it a gallon, but they call it the “regular.” Then, there is a horrifying 512-ounce version that the call “child size.” How is this a “child-sized soda”?

Miss Pinewood: Well, it’s roughly the size of a two-year-old child, if the child were liquefied. It’s a real bargain at $1.59.

***

Leslie: Let’s talk about water zero. The name implies that there are zero calories, like most water, but in fact, it has 300 calories per serving. Isn’t that misleading?

Miss Pinewood: The zero on the label refers to the amount of water in it, which is zero. If you want zero-calorie water, try diet water zero lite. It has only 60 calories.

***

Pawnee citizen: I want the tax. My husband started drinking those giant sodas, and he’s gained 100 pounds in three months. Consequently, we haven’t had sex in ten years.

***

Ben: Let’s go. Guess what’s in these boxes, everybody? What? Pizza. That’s right. Everybody chill out. Take a pizza break on me. Ellis, what’s up, my male? You grab a slice of ‘za, brah.

***

Ben: I asked you to come work here because I thought you’d enjoy it and I think you’re smart, but you have to have some semblance of professionalism, and I need you to give, like, even a 15% effort.

April:  12%.

Ben: 15. For God’s sake, I’m asking for 15% effort. It’s not supposed to be a negotiation.

***

Ellis:  Hey, what’s your problem?

April: My problem is you, Smellis. Ben told you to finish the website, and if you don’t do it, I swear to God, I’m gonna murder you in your sleep. I know where you live. 14th street, right? I’m gonna get a melon baller and scoop your eyes out and eat them, and your congressman uncle is gonna have to buy you a dog to drag your eyeless face around.

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parks and recreation recapping: ms. knope goes to washington

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.

A fun blooper picture–not from the actual episode, unfortunately.

The Plot 

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.

Comments/Fun Tidbits

  • 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.

Quotes 

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.”

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