Since we were blessed with a double helping of Parks this week (albeit after a mini-hiatus, but it’s fine, I’m over it NBC. just kidding, I’ll never forget), this is a combo review. Bear with me if it gets confusing and long-winded. Who are we kidding? It’s me, I can tell you know it’ll be long-winded. Buckle up folks, let’s do this.
Leslie (drunkenly) reads Ann’s sweet note aloud to herself, acknowledging the hard truth that she was voted out of office, and the truth that she’s an “unstoppable force of energy.” The mutual support between Ann and Leslie throughout the past 6 years of their friendship has been so fun to watch, and this episode was a little bittersweet as it served as a sad reminder that the position of Leslie’s best friend will be vacant come early next year. While Ben and Leslie’s relationship is wonderful, you “never send a husband to do a best friend’s job,” and I’m sure there will be a noticeable absence of this best friend - but for now, let all of us enjoy that poetic land mermaid while she’s still here.
Ron had some great little stories in these episodes. Although the main focus was obviously on Leslie as her future hang in the balance, Parks always does a good job of utilizing the whole ensemble, and these episodes were no exception. “Filibuster” had a fun, and weird, little story with Ron, Donna, and a deer hunting game at the roller rink. As Ron predictably goes to show Donna how to really hunt in the game, he found that he was horrible at the game. So of course they actually head out and go hunting, catch some game and eat it by the fire. The best part? They’re still in their early-90s attire. And then they head back to the roller rink with blood on them (“don’t worry, it’s not human”) so Ron can beat the game and mark his Top 10 score with the initials: A-S-S. Oh giggly Ron Swanson, you never cease to amuse.
Ron and Donna are a great, and rare, pairing on the show, as they are sometimes as different as can be (regarding glamor and consumerism) and very similar (“don’t give a ****” attitude) - both of which were showcased in this double feature of episodes.
(*So “Bloosh” = “Goop” right? It amuses me to no end that a small, though admittedly very ritzy, town like the (former) Eagleton has its very own trendsetter. Though Annabelle Porter was a phonebook model, so we really shouldn’t be surprised at her success.)
One of the great aspects of Parks and Recreation (and there are many) is that it is never afraid to move forward and change. None of the characters are in the same place they were in first season, or even last season. April used to be a disinterested college intern and now she’s happily married and slightly more interested as she runs the Animal Control Department. Ben transitioned from slightly grumpy budget slasher, to successful campaign manager, then head of a large (candy) charity, and of course Leslie’s soulmate. Garry (formerly known as Jerry) is now called Larry. And Leslie’s bounced from project to project, only growing in ambition as she campaigned and won a seat in the Pawnee City Council.
I’m sorry if I left out anyone’s favorite part - this show is too jam-packed (or should I say “Jamm-packed”? I shan’t.), to cover everything. What was your favorite part? Are you sad for Leslie, or happy to see her try and start something new?
- Even Larry’s onboard with his new moniker, correcting Andy when he unknowingly calls him “Jerry.”
- Nadia + Tom are actually adorable together - it’s weird to see Tom as a normal person, but at the same time, I like it.
- Ingrid de Forest made a brief reappearance, complimenting Leslie on her filibuster (not her forceful urination), and letting her know that she’s been nominated for City Council against Leslie - hopefully this (and Kristen Bell) will come back.
- Ben’s thing for girls on roller skates - and Leslie’s suggestion for how to make up for missing his birthday party.
- Andy’s idea that the moon over London is NOT the same moon over Pawnee. Obviously.
- Leslie’s tattoo ideas: portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt (tastefully done) who herself has a tattoo of Pat Benatar, and then “just write Ben.”
- Westley and Buttercup Halloween costumes? Yes.
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