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Parks and Recreation - Episode 6.16 - New Slogan - Review

Coming off Leslie’s new job offer last week, she’s got a number of questions and concerns. The questions she compiles into giant binders to give to (the very patient) Grant Larson, but the concerns she struggles with as she tries to organize the new blended-town slogan.

She freaks out over the town slogan poll when Crazy Ira and the Douche encourage their listeners to write in “Douche Nation” for the new slogan. Going on their show super “casual” only makes it worse, switching the frontrunner to “The Home of the Stick Up Leslie Knope’s” Butt.” Leslie goes into a typical power spiral, getting the emails of every voter and writing them each a personalized message. Ben recognizes that this isn’t just about the slogan (although Leslie does get very into things like that), and encourages Leslie to do the thing she fears most - DELEGATE. Not only that, but to Larry, who keeps belting himself to his chair. Although the meeting gets off to a rough start, they all figure it out without Leslie’s help, leading to the town slogan of “When You’re Here, Than You’re Home,” or “When Your Here, Than Your Home,” depending on which grammatically incorrect version you’d prefer.

It’s good that the reasoning behind Leslie’s hesitance toward the offer isn’t really because she only wants to do the nitty-gritty, hands-on stuff that she’s used to, because Leslie loves big picture stuff - she’s wanted to be President since she was a little kid after all. However her reluctance stems from her fear of giving up something she knows she’s good at to do something new and bigger. It’s hard to move from a position of comfort to one of newness, a transition that most people have to make throughout their lives. Ben’s comforting words were also a good reminder though, this job isn’t out of Leslie’s league. It may be new, but it is something that she would absolutely be able to handle, and probably have a blast doing. Now, we wait and see if Parks can navigate Leslie into the job without losing what the show is.

Donna and April’s slightly lame attempts to prevent Tom from leaving and starting his restaurant are both reminiscent of Leslie’s sabotage earlier in the year with the stew/lemonade thing, as well as Leslie’s sabotage of the Smallest Park project in order to prolong working with Ben. There’s always room for a sabotage story, though this one didn’t seem to have too much direction, both Donna and April just subtly trying to convince him not to follow his dreams, then turning it around. Similarly to Leslie and her new job, hopefully the show can find a way to still have Tom move forward in this endeavor while still in the show - after all, he’s tried and failed at a bunch of business ventures, always leaving him back at the Parks Department. It might be nice if he’s finally learned some solid business knowledge what with all the maturing everyone’s said he’s done lately, and can actually set up something profitable.

Andy found out about DUKE SILVER! That’s right, it looks like Ron Swanson’s identical twin…or, uh, secret identity, might not stay a secret for long, because now Andy Dwyer’s got the info. Andy changes his mind about forcing Ron to perform, which saves both Duke Silver’s career, and the office from being inundated with ladies underwear. It’s a little surprising that Andy hasn’t booked MouseRat for the Unity Concert yet, though perhaps after their falling-out back.

In an episode focused on Leslie potentially moving up and out, the other stories felt like a look backwards, as the show tries to sort out how to reconcile the forward movement of characters with a show that needs its characters together in order to exist. In a problem not particularly common with comedies, which so often hit the reset button at the end of each episode, Parks now needs to figure out a way to honor the development the characters have made without writing themselves out of a show. They’ve done a great job with letting the characters mature so far - I hope they can continue it through the end of the sixth season and into the seventh.

Thanks for reading, now I’ve got to go eat two hours’ worth of waffles.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Leslie should stay in Pawnee and do the nitty-gritty or go run a national branch of the Parks system? Do you want to see a business venture of Tom’s succeed? Did you throw your panties at Duke Silver?