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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: Parks and Recreation, Women in Garbage

Season 5, Episode 11
Grade: C+
Verdict:  A light-weight episode that doesn't stand out, Women in Garbage suffers from too many boring, minor plots. Basically spent the entire episode kind of wanting to laugh but not actually laughing.

Last week, Parks and Recreation returned with a vengeance and delivered one of the strongest episodes of the season. This week the series took it down several notches and gave the audience a predictable episode with a few cute/funny moments, but nothing stand-out. In the backbone of the episode, Leslie tries to increase the presence of women in city government, and in doing so battles the sanitation department - the worst offenders when it comes to hiring women. To prove that women can do the job of garbage collectors just as well as men, Leslie and April spend a day doing the job and come up against some obstacles.

Meanwhile, Ron is taking care of his girlfriend's (played by Lucy Lawless) two daughters. He struggles to keep them entertained and enlists the help of Ann, who is ultimately even worse with children than Ron. Things go... poorly.

In the third plot of the episode, Tom decides he needs to get better at basketball so he can relate to the middle school boys who rent clothing from his business, Rent-a-Swag. He gets Andy and Ben to help him (his rationale being that a jock and a stats nerd is the best combo) and ultimately does NOT learn how to play basketball. At all.

Leslie and April had a lot of good moments, and the women in the outdated Pawnee government plot was by far my favorite. When Leslie calls for a meeting to discuss women in government, only men show up, and they quickly thank her for putting together the snacks and invite her to leave. I have plenty of experience with small-town Indiana, and as ludicrous as this may look, it's not *so* far from the truth.

But the other two plots were, in my opinion, pretty boring (and I think Tom playing basketball COULD have been funnier, it just happened to fall flat). Ann and Ron taking care of children was the worst part of the episode, and those are two characters I usually really enjoy.

At the end of the episode, Ron professes his love to his girlfriend. I like Lucy Lawless and am excited they're keeping her on for now, but I hope they give her a little more personality/flavor in the future. This is Xena, people! Can we not do something a little more interesting with Xena, Warrior Princess? Maybe she could be funny?

So am I just being too cynical or did anyone else think this one was kind of a snooze? Better luck next week I hope.

Favorite Quote: "All right, that's illegal. I may not know much, but you can't just STEAL the ball from another person." - Tom playing basketball with middle schoolers
Best moment: A Pawnee councilman track's Leslie's menstrual cycle so he can prepare himself for her irrational hysteria
Worst moment: Ron struggling to take care of kids (predictable, kind of boring)

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