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Parks and Recreation: Pawnee Rangers (2011)
Season 4, Episode 4
10/10
Treat Yo Self!!!
26 August 2018
Season 4 has a handful of "classic" Parks and Rec episodes. These are the episodes that are tightly written and have memorable lines or scenes that fans of the show mention constantly. "Pawnee Rangers" is a classic episode, not only because it has a great main plotline, but also because it introduces the phrase "Treat Yo Self." If the writers knew that would catch on so quickly and become so popular, they would have probably just named the entire episode after it.

The main story centers around Ron and Leslie leading their two completely different troops (The Pawnee Rangers and Pawnee Goddesses) together on a camping trip. Ron's leadership style is much more stern and tough while Leslie's is more playful and supportive. This initiates conflict and jealously between the two troops and eventually leads to a debate and merger.

I love when the show collides both Ron and Leslie's personalities. Both characters who are completely different people, somehow find a way to get a long, but it's never easy. It's one of the show's messages, that despite being in conflict or completely different from others, you can still find ways to see the good in one another and get a long. The children in the troops are perfectly cast and whenever Ron and Leslie are forced to butt heads, it's always a joy to watch.

Now, what puts "Pawnee Rangers" above most other episodes in the season, and even the entire series, is its fantastic side-plot. Not since Season 2's "Practice Date" have I seen such a great side-plot from this series. Tom and Donna (who has rarely been funnier) have their annual day where they go out and buy themselves things. (That doesn't sound as catchy as treat yo self). They decide to bring Ben a long, who they see sitting alone on a bench eating soup. This plotline not only gives us the great pairing of Tom and Donna, but we also see Ben trying to fit in, but is just way to uptight to enjoy himself the way Tom and Donna do. There are many great scenes, but the best has to be towards the end which I won't spoil but involves a character crying in a very amusing way.

Overall, "Pawnee Rangers" is the show at its best and certainly one of the best of Season 4. We get a great main storyline where the show's two best characters (Ron and Leslie) butt heads. Also there is an arguably even better side-plot that introduces one of the show's best catchphrases. It's full of many great moments and is hilarious from beginning to end. Go ahead and treat yo self and watch this episode!...(Sorry)
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Parks and Recreation: Born and Raised (2011)
Season 4, Episode 3
9/10
"Ann was getting a little chummy. When people get a little too chummy with me I like to call them by the wrong name to let them know I don't really care about them."
26 August 2018
Up to this point in the series, many things have been established about Leslie Knope. For one, she loves her job and the people she works with. Two, she loves the town of Pawnee where she grew up. And three, she hates Eagleton. "Born & Raised" centers around Leslie promoting her new book Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America (a real book, by the way, that you can purchase online), but the media, in a desperate attempt of gotcha' journalism, reveal that there is an inaccuracy in the book: Leslie was not really born in Pawnee. This is an obvious reference to the Obama citizenship conspiracy theories back when he was still president. The show is known to build stories around real life headlines in the news and this is another perfect example.

In this episode, we see a lot of "Pawnee Today" host Joan Callamezzo, one of the show's best recurring characters. Joan serves as an important character to the story, because Leslie need her endorsement, which will generate high sales and help Leslie's campaign. However, things get very difficult when Joan finds out the inaccuracy of the book. Later, Tom and Ben try and help Leslie by charming their way into getting Joan's approval, but it doesn't go quite as they expected. Mo Collins's performance is fantastic, probably some of her best work in the entire series.

Meanwhile, Ron, Ann, and April team up to fact-check the book for any misprints. This is really a way for Ann to connect with the two who she has no relation with whatsoever. Offerman and Plaza's deadpan humor are both great, and also watching Ann desperately try and bond with them is funny as well. I also love seeing April and Ron together, because despite them both hating post people, they seem to have this unspoken camaraderie with one another.

Overall, "Born & Raised" is a solid episode that fleshes out Leslie's character more, showcases Joan Callamezzo at her comedic best, and even gives characters unlikely scenes together (Ron, Ann, and April). It is a great political satire, something the show does so well, and most importantly is just consistently funny. At this point, the show is still in its prime, so it's very hard to find a "weak" episode or even an "average" episode. Ever since the start of Season 3, every episode has been great, and the ball will continue to roll in the next episode (one of the series' best).
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Parks and Recreation: Ron and Tammys (2011)
Season 4, Episode 2
10/10
" I hope the rest of your day is cool beans."
26 August 2018
Ron Swanson is a fascinating character. A self-assured man who goes by no rules except the ones set by himself. An individualist who stays out of other people's business. A private person who is just happy being alone doing the things he loves. However, when we see the show break these rules and show different sides of Ron, it is always bizarre and hysterical. Mostly it is when people from Ron's past come back to visit him, and in this episode, we see possibly the three most important woman of his childhood return, so things are only bound to get crazy.

In the excellent "Ron & Tammys" we get the introduction of Ron's first ex-wife, Tammy 1, and even his mother, Tamara...who also goes by Tammy. We find out so much more about the ever so complex character that is Ron Swanson. We find out Tammy 1 was not only Ron's ex-wife, but also his Sunday school teacher, middle school math teacher, baby sitter, and even helped deliver him as a baby. This episode does an excellent job of hyping the character, so much that not only Ron is afraid of her, but even Tammy 2. It would have to take a great actor to be able to pull off a rich, deep character like this, but luckily the show was able to get an Academy Award nominated actress to portray her.

Tammy 1, played brilliantly by Patricia Clarkson, is a lot different from Tammy 2. In return, Ron acts a lot different around her then with his second ex-wife. Tammy 1, who visits Ron and announces that she is going to get the IRS to audit him, immediately acts as an authoritarian towards him. I love how much control of the room she has as soon as she walks into Ron's office the very first time we see her. Seeing everyone's reactions to her are great, especially April's, who seems to have an odd fascination with her. "She's the cold, distant mother I never had. I love her." As the episode gets further a long, we see Ron become as Leslie describes, a "neutered wimp." Nick Offerman gives another comedic performance for the ages in this episode, and the storyline builds to a great climax involving a heavy drinking contest.

This episode also has side-plots believe it or not, which aren't nearly as memorable as the main plot, but still very funny. Chris helps Ann shoot a new PSA for City Hall, where Chris starts to show his OCD side in a funny way that annoys Ann to death. Also, Ben helps Tom and Jean Ralphio with their new business, Entertainment 720. The best parts of these scenes are seeing Ben's reactions to everything. He basically reacts exactly how we, the audience, react. It makes no sense how this business can possibly be profitable, but it's still hilarious seeing just how clueless Tom and Jean Ralphio are to running a business. "Your new nickname is Jell-o shot. - What do you think of that, J-shot? Do you have questions?" "Yeah. Where are we?"

This episode is packed full of hilarious moments and scenes. It not only provides even more layers to Ron's insane backstory, but we also see some more of Entertainment 720 and even a different side to Chris, proving that he is not the "perfect" man that so many people make him out to be. The episode is one of the best in Season 4 and is a must watch, especially if you like the previous "Ron & Tammy" episodes.
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Parks and Recreation: I'm Leslie Knope (2011)
Season 4, Episode 1
10/10
Funny and endearing
19 August 2018
When Parks and Recreation is at its best, it can make you laugh and warm your heart. Where this show differs from other sitcoms like Seinfeld or Family Guy for example, is it isn't afraid to squeeze in some really emotional moments as well. The Office (US) occasionally did this, but Parks and Rec takes pride in their sentimentality. That isn't to say that there is too much, but whenever there is some, it's always very effective. Season 4 is the season that truly starts this. Now that the characters are fully developed, we are attached to all of them, so it makes the more sweeter moments involving these characters even better.

Season 4's opener, "I'm Leslie Knope" is a great example of how funny while also endearing the show can be. The episode leaves off right where Season 3 ended. Leslie has just gotten a major career opportunity to run for higher office. She is still unsure on whether she should run for office or continue dating Ben and not risk a public scandal. This is the main question that the whole episode is based around. Meanwhile, Ron's other ex-wife, "Tammy One" is in the premises and Ron decides the best option is to get out ASAP. I love how prepared Ron was for this exact situation, and also how fast he can grow a beard, as we see later on in the episode. I think its a smart decision to end the episode right where Season 3 left off, just because there was so many cliffhangers. I don't think they could have done it any other way.

The subplots are great as well. Back at City Hall, an inappropriate email is sent to all the female workers of a man's genitals. Ann, who now works at City Hall as the Public Relations Director for the Health Department, notices that the man who sent the photo actually has mumps. When Ann announces the ironic situation, this eventually leads to everyone at City Hall showing Ann pictures of their junk to see if they have mumps as well. It's very funny seeing how pervy all the men are in the department and watching Ann's reactions to all this. Also we find out yet another incredible trait about Jerry's character at the end of the episode, proving once again why he might be the most impressive man in Pawnee.

This show's cast is very big, but impressively they are able to juggle everyone's storylines so effortlessly. And the cast is so good, that there's never a dull moment. I also forgot to mention Tom's new business venture, Entertainment 720 has officially launched, and Tom is excited about showing off his new stuff. It's a funny storyline just because of how ridiculous the whole idea is, and how nobody really understands what it is exactly. Everything in this episode really works and it does a great job of setting up the main storyline that will run until the season finale.

Quick side note: All my favorite moments in this episode involve Ben and Leslie and it is their relationship that will become the main focal point for the entire season. Ben will become the 2nd major character behind Leslie for the remainder of the series, so if you like his character, you are in luck.
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Parks and Recreation: Li'l Sebastian (2011)
Season 3, Episode 16
10/10
R.I.P. Li'l Sebastian :(
17 August 2018
Season 3 of Parks and Recreation is simply put a brilliant season of television. I can't think of many seasons that are as consistently funny as this one. Every episode has memorable scenes, laugh out loud moments, and are important components in putting together what is ultimately the show that so many people know and love. Pretty much everything is smooth sailing from here on out with a maybe just a few bumps in the road here and there. But most importantly the show has found its voice and the characters are fully established enough and the tone is just right where the writers can now further advance the story to new and better places without having to experiment as much. At this point the writers know what works and what doesn't work and if you have liked this latest season, chances are you will like the next 4 as well.

Season 3's finale "Li'l Sebastian" is a fantastic episode filled with many memorable moments and scenes. The entire episode revolves around the death of the town's beloved miniature horse, Li'l Sebastian. This horse was introduced in this season and will become one of the more iconic symbols of the town of Pawnee. Just one of the many reasons why Season 3 is so great. This season introduced many things that will carry on with the show until its end. Anyways, the Parks Department have decided to organize a final farewell for the horse by initiating an epic funeral ceremony for the horse that the whole town can attend.

This episode is so brilliantly written. It just amazes me how much greatness is packed in here, and the episode still doesn't feel rushed or convoluted. We see the secret romance of Leslie and Ben start to spiral out of control; Tom and Jean-Ralphio team up and start their own entertainment conglomerate; and Mouse Rat perform possibly their most iconic song to date. The episode moves so seamlessly, one hilarious moment to the next, and not only is super funny, but surprisingly very emotional as well. It showcases everything that is so great about the show and gives each character at least one great moment.

The episode also does a fantastic job setting up the next season. Without giving away the ending, there are a handful of intriguing cliffhangers that set up the next season, including a new job opportunity for both Tom and Leslie, and an unwanted visitor from Ron's past. All of these things we see at the end are great cliffhangers that plant the seeds perfectly for what Season 4 will ultimately become.

Speaking of Season 4, some can certainly make the case that Season 4 is better than Season 3. I have already seen the show from beginning to end, and I can tell you that while Season 4 may not be as consistently funny or important as Season 3, it certainly is a more developed season from a story standpoint. Basically Season 4 has one long arch that is perfectly established in the season opener and perfectly pays off in the finale. I think Season 4 is a better constructed season than 3 and still has some very memorable scenes sprinkled through out. So, if you haven't seen season 4 yet, expect a lot of the same greatness that was established in 2 & 3, but told in a much more bold way with more continuity than any of the previous three seasons, and possibly the next three after that.

My Overall Rating for Season 3:

9.4/10
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Parks and Recreation: The Bubble (2011)
Season 3, Episode 15
8/10
One of the weaker Season 3 episodes, but still very funny
16 August 2018
Just two more episodes to go until the end of season 3, and this season has been nothing but fantastic. We have seen one relationship lead to marriage (Andy and April), one end in a break-up (Chris and Ann), and now a new one that has just begun (Leslie and Ben). This episode is all about the secret relationship of Ben and Leslie that they are hiding from one another, with the risk of losing their jobs on the line. It's very much like "Season 5 Monica and Chandler from Friends" but still very entertaining to watch. Also very refreshing, because they are just adorable together!

The episode has two major storylines that take up the entire episode. One is great, and the other is ok. Let's start with the one that is ok. Ben has a meeting with Leslie's mom, unknown to the fact that its her mother. Leslie makes things very awkward for Ben and does not tell him its her mother until the very last minute. Leslie is scared this meeting will ruin "the bubble" which refers to the beginning of a romantic relationship. I was never a big fan of the character of Marlene Knope, but this whole storyline is so cringy that you can't help but laugh at a few moments here and there. The B-story, however, is much stronger.

Chris has initiated new changes in the Parks Department and has moved everyone to different positions and even different floors in City Hall. In this storyline, we get the introduction of one of my favorite Parks and Rec minor characters, Ethel Beavers, who works on the fourth floor where Tom and Andy now work. I love seeing Andy remain optimistic and positive even though he works on the fourth floor. It is still much better than his shoe-shining job. My favorite thing about this storyline is seeing Ron adjust to his new desk. A circular desk with no walls right in the center of the office. My favorite scene in the entire episode is when Ron avoids a Pawnee citizen who is trying to get his assistance by maneuvering his chair further and further away from her.

Overall, "The Bubble" isn't one of the strongest episodes in the season, but still funny with a few very entertaining scenes. I like seeing Leslie and Ben finally as a couple, even though they have to hide it from the public. Also there's some more classic Ron Swanson moments. In this season, there seems to be at least one classic Swanson scene or quote in every episode.
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Parks and Recreation: Road Trip (2011)
Season 3, Episode 14
10/10
" Yeah, I snuck an Al Green song in there. I want them to get together, sue me."
16 August 2018
One of the main story arches for the second half of Season 3 is the growing romantic relationship of characters Leslie and Ben. However, them hooking up is not as easy as they would like it to be, as both are under a strict no-dating policy that Chris has initiated at City Hall. This has created a sort of will-they won't-they type of relationship that is common in most sitcoms, but still very intriguing to watch.

When Chris sends Ben and Leslie out on a road trip to drive to Indianapolis to pitch Pawnee as the next host of the Indiana Little League Baseball tournament, they both try every way possible to avoid the feelings they have for each other so they won't risk losing their jobs. However, us viewers want the two to get together just like Ann says, because as the show has established up to this point, they are perfect for one another. In this storyline we see Ben, in a great moment, give a heartfelt speech in front of Leslie on why Pawnee is so great. I love how much this character has evolved over the season. He basically despised the town of Pawnee at first, but has grown to really love them. We also see some more funny Amy Poehler drunk acting, fresh off of the great "The Fight" episode. The two actors have great chemistry together, and it is on full display in this episode.

One of the reasons why I think this episode is so great, is because it is able to juggle three different storylines all at the same time so effortlessly. The writing truly is fantastic. In a subplot, we see Tom introduce a new game he invented called Know Ya Boo (pretty much a rip-off of The Newlywed Game). This storyline is Tom Haverford at his best, and it also shows new layers to the relationship of Andy and April. We see the two of them get in a big fight, something we haven't seen yet since they got married. Even though their relationship has been unusual from the start, it's episodes like this that really bring out a dose of realism that makes their relationship feel authentic. In another subplot, Ron Swanson teaches a little girl how the Government really works. This is Ron at his best, as we see his political beliefs on full display. I just love how out of sync he is with children. Like when he gives the little girl a land mine as a present for example.

Overall, "Road Trip" is an impressively written episode that manages to juggle three equally great storylines seamlessly without feeling convoluted. We see the relationship of Ben and Leslie evolve more, and even the already established relationship of Andy and April. All the characters are at their best and it's another perfect example of why Season 3 is arguably the best season of the series. The season is full of episodes just like this. Really no flaws, and funny from beginning to end.
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Parks and Recreation: The Fight (2011)
Season 3, Episode 13
10/10
One of the funniest episodes in the series
16 August 2018
Parks and Recreation has many great episodes. Some are political satires on American culture, some are very influential to the series as a whole, and some are just flat-out bonkers. Season 3's episode "The Fight" certainly fits the latter. You know, sometimes all you need in an episode is just to see everyone get super drunk!

The episode revolves around Ann getting offered a job to work at City Hall. Leslie obvisiouly is very excited about this opportunity and, being the super supportive friend she is, decides to help Ann in any way she can so she can get offered the position. Ann, on the other hand, isn't sure if this is the right career opportunity for her, and feels Leslie may be rushing into things and pushing her into something she may not want to do. It's this conflict that anchors the episode story-wise. However, I think when most people look back at this episode, they think about one particular thing: Snake Juice.

Snake Juice, is a new alcoholic beverage that Tom has created that he has decided to promote at the Snakehole Lounge. He invites the entire Parks Department to attend, but what most people don't know is just how unhealthy this beverage really is and contains a high volume of alcohol and caffeine. This episode starts off pretty slow, and ends pretty slow, but everything in the middle at the Snakehole lounge is COMEDY GOLD!

We see Leslie and Ann fighting for the first time in the series; April introduces her alter-ego Janet Snakehole (incredible performance by Plaza) as she role-plays with Andy's alter-ego, FBI agent Burt Macklin; Jean-Ralphio pops in and displays his lackluster rapping skills; Nick Kroll's, The Douche, also is in attendance and gets stuck in the middle of Leslie and Ann's bickering; and this entire sequence has arguably the best "jump-cut talking-head sequence" (one of the show's trademarks) as we see everyone talk drunkingly into the camera one at a time. Each one remarkably funnier than the next.

Overall, "The Fight" is simply one of the funniest episodes in the show. The entire cast show's off their incredible drunk-acting skills and the episode is filled with many great gags and memorable quotes. This is the second episode written by Amy Poehler and she proves once again why her comedic talent is greater than just acting. She can also write some of the funniest episodes in the series.
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Parks and Recreation: Eagleton (2011)
Season 3, Episode 12
10/10
"Leslie has a lot of qualities I find horrifying. But the worst one by far is how thoughtful she can be."
16 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Up to this point, the show has explored and illustrated the town of Pawnee so well. It's almost like we have visited the fictional town ourselves. If you are as invested in the show as I am, you might even find yourself to be a member of the town just like all the characters. We stand by their, at times, crude and brash behavior, because we know in the end, they are passionate about their town and the things they love. When the show introduces a new town; a much more wealthy and superior town, we resent them just as much as the people of Pawnee do. That town is of course Eagleton, and this episode is all about the Pawnee-Eagleton rivalry that will become a major focal point for the rest of the series.

So, Eagleton has built a tall fence in the shared Lafayette Park to keep Pawnee residents out of their side. Leslie meets with their Parks and Recreation director, Lindsay (played by the always great Parker Posey), to come to some sort of a rational agreement on what to do with the fence. This storyline is a brilliant look at social class in our country. The show has not shied away from focusing on important issues in our country in comedic ways, and "Eagleton" is one of the best examples of this. Social class is one of the biggest reasons why we have so much conflict and separation in this country, so it is very cool to see the show focus on this in a satirical kind of way.

I think "Eagleton" falls in the category of episodes that after seeing the entire series, becomes even a better episode knowing how impactful it was to the show. This episode not only introduces the town of Eagleton but also shines light on arguably the one relationship that is the heart of the entire series: Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope.

This entire episode depicts conflict and bigotry between the upper and lower class towns (in a comedic way of course), but the last scene in this episode showcases that two people, despite their political differences, can come together and see the good in one another and be supportive. Leslie's birthday present (a private steak dinner and a movie), for Ron is so thoughtful and giving because she has grown to learn truly what Ron loves and is empathetic enough to give him a birthday present that is perfect for what he enjoys. It's an incredible scene and one of my favorites in the entire series.

It show's the very best of Leslie Knope with just how caring and thoughtful she is, and it also represents Ron's loyalty for Leslie as well. When Leslie asks Ron if she remembered the advice he gave her when she was offered a job at Eagleton, after some thinking Ron eventually says: "I believe I said that I thought we worked well together, and that I might disagree with your philosophy but I respected you. And I said that you'll get a lot of job offers in your life but you only have one hometown." I think this quote best represents what is so great about their relationship and the show in general. If everyone could learn to behave like these two do towards each other, the world would be a much better place to live.
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Parks and Recreation: Jerry's Painting (2011)
Season 3, Episode 11
10/10
The show at its best!
16 August 2018
Jerry Gergich is an interesting character. He is clearly the show's punching bag. Constantly getting harassed and picked on at work, yet he always is able to remain positive and diligent. Possibly the most interesting thing about him is his considerable talent for the arts. We have seen brief glimpses of this in Season 2's "The Camel" (his pointillist photomosaic of city hall), and Season 2's "Telethon" (his master piano playing). Jerry might just be the most talented and impressive person in Pawnee, which makes his awkward and clumsy nature at work even funnier to watch. In "Jerry's Painting" we see these unusual quirks front and center. The painting that Jerry paints represents everything about Jerry, the good and the bad. The skilled and the inept. It's also just flat out funny, and it is this unusual painting that drives this entire episode.

The painting that Jerry painted features a topless centaur Greek goddess Diaphena, which looks very similar to Leslie. Something that he admits was just an accident and unconsciously painted while thinking of powerful women. Much like in Season 2's "Pawnee Zoo," Leslie is forced to defend herself against the right-wing conservatives, who think the painting is an offensive representation of bestiality. Many of my favorite Parks and Rec storylines involve ones where Leslie is forced to defend herself on television, whether it is for things that she believes in or things where she is falsely accused of something she did not do. In this episode, Leslie stands by the painting that Jerry painted and is willing to go toe to toe with local conservative activist Marcia Langman. This storyline is the show at its best as we see the conflict of political views told in a very comedic manner.

The B-plot is much more simple but still very funny. Ben decides to reluctantly move in with April and Andy after he determines to permanently live in Pawnee. One of the great thing about Ben's character is how he is basically the only mature and normal character in the show. His reactions to everyone doing "childish" things are hilarious, and we get a lot of this as he learns to adjust in the crazy home that Andy and April have made for themselves. Ben making an attempt to teach April and Andy how to function as normal adults is great. For example Ben teaching them how to do laundry. "You always separate your lights from your darks." "That's racist."

There's also a great scene towards the end of the episode of Andy and April going shopping, which I won't spoil, but really showcases why the relationship of Andy and April work so well. Overall, this episode showcases everything that is so great about the show from a character standpoint and story standpoint. It's a bold episode, but works very well because at this point the show knows exactly what it is and all the characters are fleshed out enough where the show does not have to explain why the characters are doing what they are doing. It's fantastic and definitely one of the stronger episodes of the season.
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Parks and Recreation: Soulmates (2011)
Season 3, Episode 10
9/10
"I love the umami flavor. Stop being so pretentious, Kyle."
14 August 2018
10 episodes in and this is already shaping to be the best season yet. Season 3 is a little bit shorter than your typical full-length season would be at just 16 episodes. There isn't one ongoing story arch that lasts the entire run like in the next three seasons. You can downgrade Season 3 because of that, but one thing that this season has over any other is how consistent it is. Season 3 is full of great episodes like "Soulmates" that feel more like stand-alone episodes rather than being part of one extended story.

The episode is centered around Leslie trying to get back in the dating market and decides to use a dating website called HoosierMate (love the play on words). When Leslie finds out she is 98 percent compatible with someone, a "soulmate" rating, she is shocked to learn that it is actually Tom. This storyline is a little silly, but very funny to watch Tom take advantage of this scenario and make fun of her for it. There are a lot of classic Tom lines in this episode including what he likes to call different foods. Without spoiling anything it makes a lot of sense why they would match which is revealed at the end of the episode. The ending is also great which involves a flower mural which I won't spoil, but it is one of the more underrated and sweetest moments of the season.

As good as the main storyline is, it just does not compare to the great side-plot which revolves around Ron and Chris competing on who can make the more tasty burger. I think this storyline represents what make's Chris and Ron's character so funny and explores just how different they really are from each other. We see everyone visit Grain 'n Simple, where Chris buys all his "healthy" food. Ron treats it like a state zoo, and I love the part where one of the employees asks him to try their "100% meatless veggie bacon," and Ron throws them in the trash one at a time. I also love when Chris asks Andy what his favorite food is and he replies: skittles in between two starbursts, which he calls "Andy's mouth surprise." We see everyone go to Ron's favorite place to shop "Food N' Stuff" where he gets all his food, and most of his stuff.

Overall, "Soulmates" is a very funny episode that has a great main story and an even better B-story. The episode really showcases what is so great about Tom's Chraracter, and also just how different Ron and Chris are from one another. There really aren't two characters who are just a like in this show, which is one of the reason's why I love it so much.
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Parks and Recreation: Fancy Party (2011)
Season 3, Episode 9
10/10
Incredible episode!
12 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is personally my favorite episode of the entire series. Now, instead of typing out why I think it should be considered the best of the series (it's really impossible to label just one episode as the best), I am just going to state why it's a special episode and what some of my favorite moments are. It's impossible to talk about this without spoiling the main twist which is revealed mid-way through so do not read this if you haven't seen the episode yet.

"Andy and April's Fancy Party" is a nice twist on the traditional sitcom wedding episode. Now, most of the time, shows will build up to a wedding episode by having episodes before that consist of bachelor/bachelorette parties, engagement parties, bridal showers, etc. Also, the proposal is always a big deal in sitcoms and usually an episode will end with a proposal that is supposed to be all emotional and stuff. Well, this episode basically subverts all the standard sitcom clichés that go into a wedding episode and viewers don't even find out it is a wedding until mid-way through. This is a complete shock because April and Andy just started dating a few episodes ago. When we find out, we are like Leslie. In complete shock and thinking this is a terrible idea. Yet, we are convinced that the two are completely in love just like Leslie does and the episode ends on a happy note with two of the major characters married. The best thing this episode does is not allow Leslie, or anyone else for that matter, stop the wedding. By the end, everyone is on the same page and nothing detracts from this.

The party has so many great moments and scenes: Jerry's party shirt; the introduction of April's creepy friend Orin "No, Orin, I don't know how I'm going to die. Wait. Are you asking me or telling me?"; Chris' vegetable loaf; Jean-Ralphio makes a surprise appearance "I would start with a joke. Joke, Vince Vaughn quote, obviously. Swingers or Crashers? Fred Claus."; the actual ceremony which is surprisingly very emotional despite being in a living room and Andy wearing a Colt's jersey; Chris Traeger dancing; Ron's burning his ex-wife's effigy speech; and Mouse Rat performs a new song; "See, I like to take each day at a time. There's nothing in the world we can't accomplish if we try."

When I first watched this episode, I did not like how it had a side-plot with Ann and Donna at singles night. I thought that it detracted away from the main plot and the whole episode could have just taken place at the party. However, watching it over and over again, I realize that the side-story is just as great and showcases Donna and Ann at their absolute best. Donna is at her funniest when she has complete domination over a situation and Ann is at her funniest when she, well, does not. The more awkward Ann is the funnier the character is. Rashida Jones plays awkward really well.

Overall, "Andy and April's Fancy Party" is a funny and original episode that completely subverts the standard tropes that normally consist of a sitcom wedding. It features all the characters at their absolute best and even has some very emotional scenes as well. It fully encompasses everything that is great about the show all in a tight 21 minutes. I can't recommend this episode enough and hope you enjoy it just as much as I do!
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Parks and Recreation: Camping (2011)
Season 3, Episode 8
9/10
"Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga except I still get to kill something."
12 August 2018
Don't you just love it when television shows decide to change things up for an episode and put all the characters into a new setting. For a majority of the episode we see the entire Parks Department NOT at City Hall, but instead they are out camping. For most of these characters this is unfamiliar territory and we see all of them trying to adjust to a new habitat. This episode is not great because of its premise or how influential it is to the series. It's just a flat-out hilarious episode with many quotable lines and funny moments.

The premise is very simple. The entire department going camping to try and figure out a new and better idea than the Harvest Festival, which was a major success. That's pretty much all this episode is about, yet it's still so funny because of how fleshed out and different all these characters are from one another. All these characters have their own identity and traits: Tom brings a decked-out tent that he names Skymall which includes a tv, dvd player, xbox, and a fondue maker; Ben clearly has never been camping before in his life. "I'm just gonna sleep on the floor. It's called the ground when it's outside;" April hates camping and will only go because of Andy, but Andy is lost and can't find the campsite; And Ron on the other hand loves camping, but would rather do it alone. I love the scene where he is fishing and Jerry is telling him really uncomfortable, personal stories. Ron's face is priceless.

I personally love episodes like this that focus more on the characters and not on a convoluted story. There are no guest stars or really any ongoing storylines that need to be continued. It's just a simple episode that focuses entirely on this wonderful cast and their characters. For a lot of shows, it could have been a boring, filler-type episode, but for a show like Parks, it works because of the great cast.
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Parks and Recreation: Harvest Festival (2011)
Season 3, Episode 7
10/10
All Hail Li'l Sebastian
12 August 2018
This episode is a big episode. Not only is the Harvest Festival finally about to start, something that the season has been building towards since the season opener, but more importantly it introduces Li'l Sebastian. A miniature horse that is treated like the second coming of Jesus Christ. When the Parks Department finds out that Li'l Sebastian will be in attendance at the festival, everyone flips out in excitement and glee. My favorite reactions are from Ron who jumps up and down and giggles, acting like a kid in a candy shop. Everyone seems to LOVE Li'l Sebastian, except Ben who just doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. "I don't get it. At all. It's kind of a small horse, I mean what am I missing? Am I crazy?"

Everything seems to be going smoothly until word spreads that the site is cursed due to Li'l Sebastian going missing. The entire episode revolves around Leslie trying to keep the festival from becoming a total disaster and the rest of the department searching for the missing tiny horse.

There is so much great stuff to take away from this episode: Ken Hotate messing with white people; Andy not saying "I love you" back to April; Donna giving Ann dating advice; and Ben and Leslie dorkinly (is that a word?) flirting with one another by pretending to shoot lasers from their hands. This episode is a ton of fun and it builds to a great ending which I won't spoil, but is one of my favorite final shots in any Parks episode.

Quick side note: One of the issues I have with Season 3 is that the main arch for the season ends too soon into the season. Surprisingly though, the season does not lose its momentum despite not having a main arch to follow for the rest of the season. There are even more classic Parks episodes still to come in this season, so stay tuned!
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Parks and Recreation: Indianapolis (2011)
Season 3, Episode 6
9/10
All Hail Ron Swanson
12 August 2018
We've got one episode to go until the much anticipated "Harvest Festival" episode that the season has been building towards. "Indianapolis" is an episode that works because the entire cast is paired up with the people they work best with. Leslie has scenes with Ron, Chris with Ann, Andy with April, and Tom with Ben.

The show centers around Leslie and Ron traveling to Indianapolis to receive a commendation at the Indiana Statehouse for the Pawnee Harvest Festival. Leslie is excited to be given the opportunity to promote the festival even more, but Ron is only tagging a long so he can go to his favorite steakhouse in the entire state: Charles Mulligan's Steakhouse. I love the part where he shows pictures of his times visiting the steakhouse and we see that he has basically never aged a bit even when he was just a kid. The two visit Chris, who has a place in the city, and Leslie investigates his apartment because Ann is suspicious he may be cheating on her with another woman. It's fun getting a glimpse of what Chris' home life is like and how different he is from Ron.

Even though he doesn't have a lot of scenes, Ron Swanson has so many memorable lines throughout this episode. It's the sign of a great supporting character when you don't have to give them a ton of lines, and they still are very memorable anyways. In a scene towards the end of the episode we see Ron ordering food at a diner. It's one of the signature Ron Swanson scenes in the entire series. The line delivery by Offerman is outstanding. It's a shame he never got a single Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Ron Swanson.

The side-plots are great as well, mainly taking place at the Snakehole lounge. I don't think I've ever NOT liked a scene that took place there. Tom is attending a launch party for cologne maker Dennis Feinstein, and he brings Ben a long, because Ben could use a night out. I think the two have great comedic chemistry and it's funny when Tom makes fun of Ben for being a nerd. We also get great scenes with April and Andy, who are finally a couple after a lot of build up going back to mid-Season 2. The chemistry between the two is fantastic and the writers give them a fun scenario (both of them completely broke and searching the club looking for free things) so they can play off one another.

Overall, "Indianapolis" is a very tightly written episode with many classic lines and funny scenes. We finally get to see April and Andy together and Ron Swanson has some of his most memorable scenes in the entire show. The next episode is already the mid-season finale and Season 3 is already looking to be the best season of the series yet.
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Parks and Recreation: Media Blitz (2011)
Season 3, Episode 5
8/10
Adam Scott steals the show
12 August 2018
Up to this point, the character of Ben Wyatt has been mainly used as the "straight man" in comedic scenes. His character has been pretty much a replacement of Mark Brendanawicz's character who left the series at the end of Season 2. Now, up to this point, you may be watching saying Ben Wyatt isn't much of a better character than Mark was, but after this episode, I guarantee you will change your mind.

The Harvest Festival is just around the corner, and Leslie, Ben, and Tom are out promoting the festival to different media outlets. We see the three at Pawnee's local radio show, Crazy Ira amd The Douche which is what initiates the main plotline. Ben, who is more of a behind-the-scenes guy gets asked a question on air, and he gets super awkward and can barely even answer the simple question that was asked. As we get further and further into this episode we find out more and more about Ben, and he embarrasses himself more and more. Adam Scott does a brilliant job portraying this and he is absolutely hysterical. When I first watched this, it was this episode where I realized the comedic talent that Scott really has. He is not just the "straight man" like Mark was. He can be one of the funniest characters when tasked to do so.

Meanwhile, April is still mad at Andy for kissing Ann. Andy is desperate and he pleads to April that he will basically do anything if it means they can be together. April decides to take advantage of this and basically tortures Andy into doing all her difficult chores. If there is one thing we can learn from this side-plot, it's to NOT piss off April. It's not one of the best side-plots in this season, but the payoff is very good.

Overall, "Media Blitz" is another solid Season 3 episode with great new characters, a story that progresses the overall season arch even more, and a brilliant performance by Adam Scott that fleshes out his character. In my eyes, this is one of the weaker episodes in Season 3, which just speaks to how great the season is, because I still think this is a very good episode.
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Parks and Recreation: Ron & Tammy 2 (2011)
Season 3, Episode 4
10/10
A sequel better then its predecessor
11 August 2018
Looking back, it's pretty clear that Parks and Recreation has changed from a "realistic mockumentary" type sitcom like The Office, to more of an idealistic satire on American politics and small towns. It seems that the more unrealistic the show gets, the funnier it is. And it is episodes like "Ron & Tammy: Part Two" that prove this.

This episode is just flat out bonkers. The characters in this episode do not in any remote way act like normal functioning human beings, yet it works so well because the incredible performances and chemistry from Offerman and Mullally. This insane story works so well, because the writers have established this as a show that does not accurately depict how working at a Parks Department actually is. It's really just a show that takes place in a town full of unique, idiosyncratic characters. And Ron Swanson is one of the show's best for those specific reasons.

If you thought Season 2's "Ron and Tammy" episode was crazy, you've seen nothing yet. This episode features a wedding, imprisonment, backstabbing and cornrows. With the sequel, they take an already crazy plotline and crank it up to 11. Clearly the writers had a blast writing this episode, and it's an episode that has some of the most memorable moments and scenes in the entire series.

"Ron & Tammy: Part Two" is a perfect example of why many people consider Season 3 to be the show's best season. It uses what worked so well in previous episodes and makes it even better. With this episode, the show has already established the threat that Tammy 2 is to Ron, so we immediately get crazy antics from the two of them that blow away the stuff we saw in the original. The episode is tightly written and funny from beginning to end and is definitely one of the best in the entire season.
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Parks and Recreation: Time Capsule (2011)
Season 3, Episode 3
9/10
"Pawnee, first in friendship, fourth in obesity"
11 August 2018
"Time Capsulate" is an episode that on paper could have just been an average episode with a great guest star, but is actually a much better written episode than it had to be. Usually when sitcom's have guest stars the writing seems to be focused mainly on giving him/her great lines and a lot of exposition on who they are and why they're here. The episode does that, but when you watch the entire episode you begin to realize that it perfectly encapsulates (no pun intended) what makes the town of Pawenee so unique and special. It's not just about Will Forte's character.

The episode centers around Leslie organizing the making of a time capsule for the town of Pawnee. The idea is for it to be opened in 50 years to present the spirit of the town and what it was like long ago. Now, since this IS Pawnee, there is some conflict that brews. A crazy man named Kelly (Will Forte) even demands to have Leslie put the Twilight books in the capsule despite them having nothing to do with Pawenee. When she declines his offer, he handcuffs himself in her office. It's a silly premise, and it might seem obvious where this episode will go, yet it goes a completely different direction with the story and the character.

The main storyline is so great that, in my opinion, it kind of overpowers the side-stories, which are good, but not nearly as good as the time capsule plot. We see Andy continue trying to win April back, but she is simply having none of it. It's an ok B-story, but I do love Andy and Eduardo's shared love for Dave Matthews Band. I also love Tom's new found love for the Twilight books. Any way in which the writers show Tom's feminine personality traits is the character at his funniest.

Overall, "Time Capsule" is a very entertaining and unpredictable episode with a funny guest appearance by Will Forte. The public form in this episode is one of my favorites in the entire series and is one of the main reasons why I think this is, while not being a perfect episode, still an above-average episode. I think after watching this, one can get a better idea of what is so great about the town of Pawnee, despite all the crazy lunatics.
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Parks and Recreation: Flu Season (2011)
Season 3, Episode 2
10/10
One of the best episodes of the series
11 August 2018
Who knew watching sick people could be so funny!

"Flu Season" is a perfect example of a Parks and Rec episode that works so well because the characters are put in situations where they are forced to not act themselves. We see many characters like April, Leslie, and Chris, who have been affected by the flue epidemic that is swarming Pawnee, and it is their lack of health where they hilariously act abnormal. The writers are smartly able to use these situations for comedic purposes. It asserts superiority for us viewers, very similarly to the way we can laugh at someone who is falling down. The funniest character to see in this condition is Rob Lowe's Chris Traeger, who up this point has been basically a perfect guy with absolutely no flaws.

This episode is as tightly written as they come. Basically every scene and almost every single line is hilarious. I would say this is probably one of the most quotable episodes in the series. Some great ones include: "You had me at Meat Tornado;" "Stop...Pooping;" "Good evening, everyone. I'm Leslie Monster. And this is Nightline;" And my personal favorite: "Leslie, I typed your symptoms into the thing up here and it says you could have network connectivity problems." (Completely improvised by Chris Pratt himself). This episode has a perfect mesh of incredible writing and incredible performances, and the results are comedy at its best.

There is literally too many great things I can say about this episode, it would be impossible to mention all of it just in this review. (I sounded like Chris Traeger just then). We have a brilliant main storyline that brings out new sides to these already great characters. A just as good side-plot with Andy Dwyer and Ron Swanson who form an unlikely bond with each other. And even another funny plot with Tom interacting with older gentleman at a spa. Because of all these reasons, I would put this episode towards the top among the best episodes of the series. I could literally right an entire essay on the brilliance of the episode (there I go again), but I will allow you to watch it yourself so you can form your own thoughts and opinions on the episode and see if you agree or disagree with me.

Quick side note: A majority of the scenes take place at the hospital, and its worth noting just how important Ann's character is in this episode. She is basically the "straight man" in all these comedy scenes who is tasked to maintain composure with characters who are acting insane. Without her, this episode would not have worked nearly as well.
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Parks and Recreation: Go Big or Go Home (2011)
Season 3, Episode 1
9/10
"Crying. Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon."
8 August 2018
As a fellow TV lover, there is nothing I enjoy more than watching great shows in their prime. Meaning a show no longer needs to try things out to see what works and what doesn't work. The characters are fully developed and the tone is just right. Normally this will happen after the first few seasons, and if a show has enough juice it can last a long time. Think The Office (US) Seasons 2-4, The Simpsons Seasons 4-8, and Seinfeld Seasons 4-7. For Parks and Recreation, I would say Seasons 3-4 is the show in its prime. Pretty much every episode showcases the show at its absolute best, and we get many classic moments and scenes. So without further ado, let's dive into Season 3's opener "Go Big or Go Home."

The episode begins three months after the events of the last episode. The Parks department has re-opened, but now is on an even tighter budget than before. As far as season openers go, I think the show has had stronger ones (Season 4 & 6), but this one isn't too far behind. It is a very funny episode that does a great job of balancing all these great characters. With the addition of Rob Lowe & Adam Scott, this cast is even bigger than it was last season, but somehow this episode is able to give each character a moment to shine.

Love seems to be the main theme here that is driving a lot of these early Season 3 storylines. The tables have turned and now Andy seems to be the one trying to win April's love where in Season 2 it was April that was trying to get Andy to like her. Chris seems to really like Ann, and they go on a first date, but things don't turn out as well as they hoped. As Chris states "I've just had my first bad date." And Ron's relationship with Wendy (Tom's ex-wife) seems to be getting more serious, which angers Tom, because he still has feelings for her, despite being in a new relationship with Lucy. All this creates conflict for the characters which ignites most of the humor that we see throughout the episode.

My favorite sequence in the entire episode is Ron coaching his youth basketball team as he introduces the "Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness." This is a perfect example of how clever and hard-working the writers are where they would go out of there way to create an entire pyramid just for one throw-away scene. I also love Andy's way of coaching which is pretty much the complete opposite of Ron's. As someone who has played basketball for a long time, I found it very funny seeing Tom ref the basketball game despite him not knowing jack squat about the sport.

The episode has a nice climax that sets up an arch that will last for 7 episodes. Things clearly are starting to click and the show is starting to show its true colors that will last, well, until the remainder of its 7 season. This was a nice start to the season, and it gets even better in the next episode, so stay tuned!
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Parks and Recreation: Freddy Spaghetti (2010)
Season 2, Episode 24
9/10
A satisfying conclusion to a much improved second season
7 August 2018
So we have made it to the end of Season 2. What a long, but entertaining journey it has been. With Season 2, the writers were given the opportunity of having a full season to help build upon the much shorter Season 1. They found the right tone, the writing became much stronger, and the characters really came into their own. I think the biggest improvement is how the characters developed and some even changed drastically from how they were depicted in Season 1. A good example is main protagonist, Leslie Knope, who acted very air-headed and foolish in the first season, but has become a much more intelligent and dedicated government employee. Even though they made her more smart, she became funnier as a character. The writers used traits like how caring and hard-working she is in comedic ways.

"Freddy Spaghetti" is a pretty funny episode in its own right, but what it does best is provide closure for a lot of on-going storylines that ran throughout the season. We see April and Andy's "will-they wont-they" storyline reach its conclusion. Tom's new relationship with Lucy is beginning to heat up. And conflict between Leslie and the new state auditors are reaching a boiling point as the Pawene government has temporarily been shut down. My favorite moments in all the "government shutting down debacle", are Ron' child-like glee over the entire situation. Also his gun-fire ring tone is amazing!

Season 2 as a whole is a major improvement over Season 1. I mean, when you have a season that is literally 18 episodes longer, it is bound to be an improvement. With that being said, I think the show really came into its own and has proven to be extremely original and fresh, unlike most other live-action sitcoms. Parks and Recreation is almost like a live-action version of The Simpsons. It has that perfect combination of funny and sweet, and takes place in a town that is almost like a character in its own right. We have seen the show blossom into all this in just Season 2 alone, and things get even more funny and the show expands to even more heights in the next seasons. The third and fourth seasons are in my opinion, the best seasons in the entire series, so if you thought season 2 was great, just wait until you see what's next.

My overall rating for Season 2:

8.8/10
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Parks and Recreation: The Master Plan (2010)
Season 2, Episode 23
10/10
Game-changing episode
7 August 2018
To say that this episode is important to the series is an understatement. I consider seasons 3 & 4 of Parks and Recreation to be the best of the series, and it all really all started with this episode. The episode introduces two major characters who will both become key members of the show's cast. Both of them great characters that add even more comedy depth to this show's already stacked roster of talent.

They are of course Adam Scott's Ben Wyatt and Rob Lowe's Chris Traeger. The two state auditors who come to Pawnee following a huge budget crisis. They work like the state government's version of a good cop and bad cop, and let's just say Leslie is not too happy when she finds out that they need to slash the budget of every department by nearly 40 or 50 percent. Ron, on the other hand, is very pleased by this news. "What exactly will you be cutting and how much of it and can I watch you do it while eating Pork Cracklins?"

Meanwhile, April is getting ready to turn 21, and she plans on having a big celebration at the Snakehole Lounge, in hopes that she will finally get to hook up with Andy. We get many great moments at the Snakehole Lounge including Leslie drunkenly yelling at Ben, Rashida Jones showing off her incredible drunk acting skills, and Jean-Ralphio makes another memorable appearance as he proves once again why he might be the worst human-being imaginable.

"The Master Plan" is an episode that puts the final pieces in place to create what will shortly be known as "Parks and Recreation in its prime." Having seen the series from beginning to end, I can say that it was this particular episode that took the show to its highest levels of content.

Quick side note: We get a great scene at a bar between Leslie and Ben where we find out more of Ben's backstory. I just love how much attention the show puts into its characters. Ben could have easily been a one-dimensional, antagonistic type character, but the show seems to have other ideas for him.
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Parks and Recreation: Telethon (2010)
Season 2, Episode 22
10/10
Arguably the best episode of Season 2
7 August 2018
"Telethon" is an insane episode that is completely bonkers in all the best ways possible. Written by Amy Poehler, it is jammed packed with so many great moments and scenes, I could probably list at least 10 right now...

1. A puppy licking Ron's mustache. 2. "No! It's Jerry's sex night. That ruins sex and tonight." 3. Even My Tongue is Fat: The Story of Pawnee. 4. Clipboard mouth. 5. Tom getting drunk with Detlef Schrempf. "He had two beers. Light beers." 6. Mouse Rat performing "Sex Hair" 7. Ron sleep fighting. "Wow, must be terrible." Only when I'm losing" 8. Ron re-caning an old chair. "God, he's actually losing money." 9. "Hey, Leslie. It's Leslie. Hang in there. I love you. Bye." 10. Perd doing the worm.
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Parks and Recreation: 94 Meetings (2010)
Season 2, Episode 21
10/10
April Ludgate at her best
6 August 2018
What amazes me so much about this show is how the writers are able to develop their characters. More than any other sitcom I can think of, the entire cast is full of characters who are not just one-dimensional, but have many different layers. Even the supporting characters. On paper, probably the two hardest characters to have open up emotionally are Ron and April. The show's most distant and lukewarm characters. However, what this episode remarkably is able to do is have these characters take part in some of the more emotional scenes we have seen so far. This episode is not just a barrel of laughs (it is hilarious though), it also has some serious moments, and that's why it's so special.

This episode is separated into two storylines that are equally great. One of them takes place at the Parks Department where April accidentally schedules all of Ron's pending appointments for the same day, initially planning on having them on a day that did not exist. This makes Ron very angry. Especially when he finds out there are 93 meetings to attend to all in one day. He recruits April, Andy, Leslie, and Ann (who doesn't even work at the Department) to help him complete all the meetings before the end of the day. It's a great premise and it's hilarious seeing all of them have to deal with the crazy Pawnee citizens. The funniest ones might be the ones where Ann ends up giving medical attention to the people instead of helping with Parks related issues.

Leslie is eager to help Ron, but being the dedicated worker she is, spends the entire episode focusing one just one situation. Leslie learns that a historic town monument, the Turnbill Mansion, is soon to be owned by Nick Newport Sr. and his wife Jessica Wicks. They plan on destroying an old gazebo that held a historic wedding with a Native American man and white woman. I love learning about Pawnee's history, which usually is something extremely graphic, but it is always shown on murals which makes them funny. Leslie Knope/Amy Poehler is at her best in this episode. I love the storylines where she shows her devoted love for Pawnee and protests against other Pawnee citizens who clearly don't care as much. In a hysterical scene, Leslie ties herself to the mansion entrance gate in protest, but eventually realizes that the gate does not open by separating in two but actually slides as one.

The writing is very good in this episode, but what really stands out are the performances form the actors. Amy Poehler is at her comedic best. Ansari, Pratt, Rashida Jones all have moments to shine. But the two standouts have to be both Nick Offerman and Aubrey Plaza who give incredible performances that aren't just comedic, but also serious as well. Plaza is such an underrated actress and I think if the show was more popular at the time, she would have gotten an Emmy nomination. I'm really impressed how her character has been able to grow since the start of Season 1. Really the entire series has grown tremendously since the Pilot. Props to the writers for pulling it off so quickly.
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Parks and Recreation: Summer Catalog (2010)
Season 2, Episode 20
9/10
"Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food? " "People are idiots, Leslie."
6 August 2018
As we get closer and closer to the finale of Season 2, we start to see some on-going storylines evolve even more. We see one relationship start to blossom while another one begin to fade. "Summer Catalog" is an episode that has a fantastic main plot that pretty much carries the entire episode. I consider this one to be one of the better episodes of Season 2, so let's discuss!

The episode centers around the Parks Department creating a Summer Catalog for Pawnee as Leslie organizes a reunion with Ron and his former predecessors. She plans on using this story to post in the Summer Catalog, but things don't go quite as expected. (Do they ever?) Tom, Ann, and Mark decide to go a different route in producing content for the catalog as Tom decides to take photographs of Mark and Ann at a park.

This episode contains a lot of great comedy; mostly in the main storyline at the picnic where Leslie reunites Ron and the former Parks Department directors. You thought Ron was bad at his job, just wait until you hear the stories from the previous directors. They make Ron look like, well, Leslie Knope! It's hilarious seeing how the men all hate each other and the funny insults they spit at one another. What's also great in this storyline is all the April and Andy scenes, including my favorite moment: sweater swap! These two have fantastic chemistry, and it is simply a joy whenever they have scenes together. There's also a very underrated scene outside of a bar between the two that showcases a rare serious Andy scene. I like how they don't make his character just a straight-up goofball.

This episode does what a lot of Parks episodes do where it gives us a lot of conflict throughout the episode, but eventually ends with a very pleasant and tender climax. I love all the moments at the very end of the episode, and it is those scenes that catapult this to a 9/10 rating.
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