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Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Parks & Recreation: "Two Parties"

Season 5, Episode 10 
Grade: A

Verdict: The mid season break ends with a strong episode full of geek humor, hipster ridiculing, and bad decisions.


Parks & Rec is back! I know it wasn't gone for long, but I missed it dearly. As a former Office junkie in Community mourning, I've put a lot of pressure on this show for my Thursday dose of funny. This show is well into its fifth season, where, in my opinion, The Office started to lose its stride. Parks & Rec has now settled most of the will-they-won't-they relationship drama (Andy and April, Ben and Leslie) and taken the show leagues above where it started, so I've been expecting this to be the season where things start to go downhill. Fortunately this episode did not disappoint.



Playing off of the usual political themes, the title of this week's episode, Two Parties, actually refers to Leslie & Ben's respective bachelorette and bachelor parties. Ben wants a relaxing evening with the guys - board games and beer - while Ann has planned a more standard, penis-shaped memorabilia laden celebration. Both parties take unexpected turns as the night unfolds.

On the professional side, Leslie is battling Councilman Jamm, who has dishonorably moved forward with converting Leslie's infamous lot into a Paunch Burger (cue more fat midwesterner jokes). Leslie finds a legal loophole to delay the building, but runs into an ethical dilemma getting there.

I basically can't get enough of Ben's geekiness unfolding as his character develops, and this week was no exception. We find out Ben is a hardcore Settlers of Catan player. As a fairly geeky board game player, I'll say that Catan is not my favorite ever geeky board game, but it's an impressive reference nonetheless. After games, the guys move on to a bar with a very fancy mixologist, which automatically makes for perfect Ron Swanson humor.

 Leslie's defining features as a character on Parks & Rec are: a) she makes terrible decisions in the heat of the moment, and b) she works hard and helps others enough that her good karma gets her through the bad decisions. This formula is used fairly often, and it construes the main plot of this week's episode. The bachelorette party side of things was actually far less interesting to me than the bachelor party, but it was a solid episode overall.


Best Quote: "I'm sorry, I'm just not in the mood for historical nudity."

Best moment: Ron Swanson is served whiskey in lotion form from a hip molecular mixology bar
Worst moment: The Colts stuff. And it wasn't actually bad. But me and football, meh.


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