Tag Archives: leslie knope

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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thoughts on parks and recreation: campaign shake-up

Previously on Parks and Recreation: Sweet Sixteen

Another episode where Ben and Leslie were off running her campaign while the Parks and Rec department tended to something else. On the one hand, it’s great to see everyone doing work that’s actually relevant to their respective job titles (I don’ recall seeing Tom do anything work related since his return from Entertainment 720). On the other, I’m slowly reaching a point where I’ve grown bored with the campaign. Maybe this upcoming hiatus will breathe new life into a storyline that would otherwise overstay it’s welcome.

Campaign Shake-up had a lot of great mini-moments of hilariousness, but similar to the department without Leslie, this episode lacked any comedic leadership. The season has been great and Sean Hayes is making an appearance next week, so I’m just fine with a somewhat weak episode. In order of appearance, but not how much they made me laugh, here are the best moments:

  • “Issue number one is the first issue we’re going to talk about.” – The ever literal Perd
  • Leslie is running against Bobby Newport, as well as Brandi Maxxxx (because three Xs is just too mainstream), Fester Trim and Manrico Della Rossa. I can’t wait to see the faces that go along with those last two names!
  • Senior citizens = the gray vote. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of Ned Jones (aka The Grandfather bka the Grand Godfather), the president of Pawnee Seniors United.
  • Leslie describing Ben as a ‘brilliant sexy little hummingbird’ with a ‘slight but powerful body’.
  • Chris’ upside down situps.
  • Ron’s “Nooooooooo!” reaction to potentially replacing Leslie. So loud. So guttural. So manly. So Swanson.
  • Kathryn Hahn (Adam Scott’s nympho wife on Step Brothers) as Jennifer Barkley. And no, her Wikipedia page isn’t real.
  • Pawnee residents putting their mouths over the spots of the water fountains. Further increasing my fear of using a public water fountain.
  • Joe Biden is Leslie’s celebrity sex list.
  • “You’re right and I should listen to you always. Because you are a man-genius with a taut narrow frame like a sexy elf king.” – Leslie “Do you wish I were taller? What’s going on?” – Ben
  • “Do I look like I drink water?” – Donna, who probably treats herself to champagne instead of a cool glass of H2O
  • Leslie’s amazing ramp entrance.
  • “I’ve started interviewing people to fill in for Leslie. I have found five candidates I would like to hire and two I’d like to be life long friends with.” – Chris
  • Tom’s repeated yelling of “Everything I’m wearing is suede!” 
  • Andy’s kamikaze water balloon fight tactic was genius. Seriously. They should turn that into a yearly thing ala Community.
  • “I think Ben’s already filling the Leslie void.” That’s what she Donna said.
  • “If you love chess, which I do. But you don’t have anybody to play against, which I don’t. Then sometimes you just gotta play yourself.” I can’t wait to see Jennifer return and play off the Paul Rudd’s dimwitted Bobby Newport.
  • “Let’s begin this show by starting it” and “Now it’s time to move on to our next segment, which is a commercial”. This was the best use of Perd, ever.
  • Between Leslie’s wish for a three-course meal in which all courses are desserts and Ron’s affinity for bacon, I think Jerry has a good chance of outliving them all.
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parks and recreation recapping: pawnee rangers

Parks and Recreation has a superior ensemble cast, which was illustrated in last night’s episode. Do the writer’s rely on having April and Andy play off each other, or Ron and Leslie go head-to-head? No, they create new and interesting combos (Chris and Jerry) and offer up different dynamics for old favorites (Donna and Tom). More melodic singing from Aziz Ansari and a special visit from “Batman”…what other show could have pulled that off?

 

Twenty Questions* About ‘Pawnee Rangers’:

  • Andy is doofy but without him, who would think up such gems as “Brother Nature”?
  • Would Boy Scouts be cooler if Ron Swanson was running the whole organization?
  • And with that in mind: are Pawnee Goddesses better than Girl Scouts?
  • Does anyone else desperately want to see a video of Ron’s weddings and/or bachelor parties?
  • Ben watches Game of Thrones…shocked?
  • Are canvas sheets really that versatile?
  • Donatella and T-Mobile are the best nicknames ever.
  • Can we make “Treat Your Self 2011” a real thing? If so, what would be your “treat”?
  • Would Leslie Knope really incorporate Miley Cyrus into anything? Ever?
  • Who Google’d rat tumors? (Slowly raises hand)
  • How many of those badges did Leslie earn and how many did she give herself?
  • Jerry has a large penis AND a gorgeous daughter.
  • Wasn’t it nice to see Chris blow off Jerry, which makes him a little less perfect and a tad douchey?
  • What’s dorkier: collecting stamps or antique coins?
  • Tom’s cashmere velvet candy cane ensemble….hit or miss?
  • Was the hug between Jerry and Chris the first time we’ve seen him receive affection, ever?
  • After seeing him in costume, should Christopher Nolan have commissioned Adam Scott for Dark Knight?
  • Is ‘chickenettes’ something ladies would enjoy being called? (I’m completely for it btw)
  • What was Millicent and Chris’ date like…and why couldn’t we see it?
  • Who else forgot that Ben, April and Andy are roomies?

*Two are statements…obviously.

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parks and recreation recapping: i’m leslie knope

Last night’s season opener was packed full o’ penis, which sounds like a way to get lazy laughs…but it wasn’t. We picked up pretty much where we left things: Leslie considering whether or not to run for City Council and Tom leaving the department to work with Jean-Ralphio at Entertainment 720.

Ron’s emergency “Tammy 1” kit, Tom’s chest hair and Chris’ comparison between ears and testicles were among the funniest things about this episode. Ann receiving “dick pics” from almost every male member of Pawnee’s government and Tom’s Entertainment 720 swag were also funny, but the plethora of quotables reigned supreme as the funniest thing(s) about this season premiere. However, the best parts of last night came from my two favorite couples: Ben + Leslie and Andy + April.

Leslie has never been short on ambition (and the s’more rations she keeps in her car are proof that she was the Girl Scout who got multiple preparedness badges), so it was no surprise that she decided to run for City Council. While she spent a great deal of the episode avoiding telling Ben, since this meant they would have to end things, he already knew and fully supported her decision. This was bittersweet for me. I want Leslie to move up the government ranks because she works hard, but she genuinely deserves to be happy with Ben. Why can’t she have both?! I think she should and I’m hoping the writers find a way to make that happen, otherwise it’ll be just another tale of a strong woman choosing between her career and her love life. Yawn…where’s the fun in that?

April and Andy “The Shoe Shine-ist” are adorable. They kept him bumbling without being too pitiful to deserve anyone’s love, while keeping April bitchy yet softer when it comes to her hubby. Aside from the comedic value, Andy as Leslie’s new assistant means he may just fulfill April’s 1-year prediction for him and that he’s not the same guy that lived in a whole for a good portion of the second season.

Next week I’m looking forward to seeing more Ron. I think they kept him in the background because Tammy 1 will require a full half-hour and they had to properly set things up. One final note, did anyone else think “OF COURSE HE DOES” when it was revealed that Jerry has a huge penis? It makes complete sense.

Quotes

 “Warning, high levels of swagger coming through.” – Tom

“While other girls were playing with Barbies, I was playing with a Geraldine Ferraro action figure that I made myself from a picture of her that I glued to a Popsicle stick!” – Leslie

“I’m just now getting really good at shoe shining and I mean, I’m still pretty bad at it.” – Andy

“Black print, black background. It’s the coolest possible color scheme.” – Tom

“Ann Perkins, you really know your testes!” – Chris
“…thank you?” – Ann

“I don’t know what you mean, but it had the cadence of a joke” – Perd Hapley (I always wonder if this is a play on derp)

“Your inbox is li-ter-a-lly filled with penises.” – Chris

“Sit up straight, you’re not doing your breast any favors.” – Tammy

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