Tag Archives: Amy Poehler

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! 🙂


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.


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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30 rock recapping: live from studio 6H

Previously on 30 rock: murphy brown lied to us

Live from New York it’s 30 ROCK!!!!! Jack has made the decision that TGS will no longer be a live show. It’s less expensive to pre-tape, so that’s what they’re going to do from now on. Liz is hesitant at first, but when Jack tells her that she’ll only have to work two weeks a year, Liz changes her mind.

EVeryone in Tracy's dressing rom

Kenneth however is not having any of it. He locks everyone from TGS, except for Hazel and Jenna who are too self absorbed to notice anyone’s absence, in Tracy’s dressing room to convince them that TGS should stay live, 12 angry men style. Kenneth goes back in time and discusses the history of NBC’s live television programs. The result is a bunch of hilarious skits with guest stars like Donald Glover, Jon Hamm, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, Paul McCartney (or Kim Kardashian, depending on the coast). Though Liz and Jack hold out til the end, they realize that their big career breaks began with live television. So it’s settled: TGS will remain a live show.

Paul Proposing

While all of this is happening, Jenna had planned to use TGS’s last live show as the setting for her marriage proposal from Paul. However, Paul has his own plans. He wants to propose in a private setting. The two argue and Paul storms out. Jenna realizes that she doesn’t care where or when Paul proposes, she just wants to marry him. Paul proposes on live TV anyway, but Jenna says no. She wants their proposal to be private.

Chattertons Dr Spacemen

Best/Funniest Moments

  • Jack and Liz having heart attacks
  • All Dr. Spaceman skits
  • The Joey Montero Show
  • The Abner and Alfie Show


Jon Hamm (as Chuck): “Honey you have a dynamite shape, but you’re gonna have to shut up and let a man tell us what’s happening.”

Dr. Spaceman: “Recent studies have shown that while pregnancy is disgusting, babies do not need tar or nicotine.”

Jack (as Tony): “We’ve got a great show. At least that’s what the Jews I pay tell me.”

Paul: “I may have a dress, and a wig, and a gynecologist, but I am the man.”
Kristen is a confused young adult who sometimes thinks TV shows are actually her life. Wouldn’t that be cool? Unless she was a victim on Dexter, or a deranged privileged teenager on gossip girl, or a wolf on teen wolf, or Liz Lemon! Never mind. It wouldn’t be cool. Kristen is a young adult. Follow her @kris10_Alyse or read frustrateddreamer.com
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