"You've got yours, I got mine. I'm gonna go run 'til I puke. Let's go!"
Last night's episode of Parks and Rec felt like I rubbed a magic lamp and the TV writer genies granted all of my wishes. Well, television wishes at least (I'm pretty sure food still has calories). We got to see Chris being something besides so-positive-we-want-to-punch-him, April being called out for her blasé attitude, and story lines that were familiar but still felt new. I love seeing our favorite characters outside of their comfort zones because that, my friends, is where the magic happens... I think it also happens in the back of Tom's speed car modeled after Han Lou's Nissan from Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift but that is neither here nor there. Let's jump right in!
"Gentlemen it appears that I have fallen ill. Might I suggest that we have a recess--"
Leslie was taking on her first major challenge as a councilwoman, trying to pass a soda tax on the gargantuan sodas that Pawnee fast food joints have been serving to customers. Although she proposed the tax, the restaurant association threatens blaming Leslie for layoffs if the bill passes. I loved this storyline because it put two sides of Leslie up against one another: the industrious side and the sugar-addict side. It was great to watch her wrestle with these two sides of herself while also dealing with the idiotically charming citizens of Pawnee. I'm pretty sure Leslie has a "What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right" poster hanging somewhere in her house, so it's no surprise that she went with her gut (which was not feeling so great after drinking a 128 oz soda mixture from Paunch Burger) and voted to pass the tax.
"If you need to boot again, the trash can's on your right.”
Ron played an integral role in Leslie's storyline this week and reminded us why we love to see these characters together. The Ron and Leslie relationship is a very delicate balance, but and they really nailed it this week. There was a perfect blend of Ron being grumpy and annoyed while still being there for Leslie. If he was too sweet, it would have felt inconsistent with his character, but it was just enough to be believable. So maybe the compass he gave Leslie was a little much (I felt like I was being hit over the head with a metaphor), but all in all it was a wonderful exchange.
"Someone please tell me we kodaked that moment."
Now see, this, THIS is the Ben that I know and love! Last episode I complained that Ben was fitting in a little too well with the DC crowd, but when Ben finds out that his lazy interns are all extremely connected and therefore unfirable, hilarity ensues. I personally think that the whole "bro" thing has been overdone, but Ben's dialogue was so perfectly executed and weird that it made me actually LOL. Lines like: "What's up my male?" "Grab a slice of 'za bro," and "No doubt no doubt.” left me wanting so much more of this ridiculous lingo that was a mixture of white 90's Hip Hop and Rob Scneider's "makin' copies" character from SNL. I loved every minute of it.
"Oh my god it's so hot it's horrible I'm gonna die. I'm so tired. Everything hurts. Running is impossible."
Andy has officially begun police training to become a real life Burt Macklin. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly love Andy more, they make him run 2 miles resulting in the best 10 seconds of television that I have seen in a very long time. Usually wildly inarticulate, Andy manages to perfectly summarize how I (and I hope some other people?) feel after going for a run. So maybe I don't strip down in the middle of a public track, but that doesn't mean I haven't REALLY wanted to.
" It's funny because it has 30 different fonts on it and you only like one."
I was a little mad at April for the cartoon she drew of Ben with a stick up his butt (See below for my feelings on font). Her climactic argument with Ben addressed the problem that I brought up in last weeks post: April NEEDS to care about something. Part of April's hilarity is the fact that she is emotionally numb to most human emotion, but then is overcome by emotion by the most unexpected things like a photo of Andy wearing a bandana as underwear or my favorite maid of honor speech of all time. I think the stern talking-to that April received from Ben was the push that she needed. I'd like to see more of the April who threatened the entitled intern, because the one who draws mean cartoons kinda sucks.
Secondary Character Round-Up
"We're not taxing anyone's genitals."
Beautiful Ann didn't get to do a ton in this episode but as per usual she plays a great straight man next to Leslie's crazy antics.
Beautiful Tom really didn't have much to do either but I was happy with this choice from the writers. Tom Haverford is an incredibly fun character but he can sometimes be a little much. It's so easy to overplay his character, so I was actually very happy that they decided to hold back this episode and let him stand on the side lines a bit.
"My legs aren't working. I'm broken."
I do not like to see people in pain, but this is exactly what I wanted from Chris Traeger. I'm so glad the writers tapped into Chris Traeger's ability to break down so easily. Sure we feel for him, but more than anything it is comic gold. I can't wait to see where Chris' therapy takes him because really what does Chris Trager do better than feel feelings?
- The names of the Paunch Burger Drinks. "Paunch Burger just came out with a 128 oz. option. Most people call it a gallon but they call it the regular."
- I know we're suppossed to think Ben is wildly uptight for wanting consistent fonts but I totally feel for you bra'. I can't tell you how many adult e-mail signatures make me physically cringe.
- The puking. I know it was necessary but just...ew.
- Lazy yet connected interns. Real or fictional, I hate you.