'Parks and Recreation' recap: Kaboom!

parks-and-recreation_lOver the past few weeks I’ve used some strong words to describe Parks and Recreation (“awesome” and “best” among them) and its sophomore season revival. EW TV critic Ken Tucker got on board in the most recent magazine issue, “loving these new episodes” and giving the show a B+ rating (not bad!). And if you need further proof that our Office cousin has fully shed the baggage of its weak spring run, look no further than last night’s episode, “Kaboom,” in which the Pawnee pit — an almost annoying focal point of season 1 — was finally filled in. Progress! In one fell swoop, Parks both tied up a plot thread that had overstayed its welcome and put to rest any lingering ghosts from the first six episodes. It’s a new era, baby, and this comedy is all the richer for it.

Rather than go on at length about the episode, crafting the perfect minute-by-minute plot chronicle, I thought I’d kick off the discussion with what I considered the funniest quotes of the night. In no particular order:

“The key to volunteering? A lot of pockets. To put all the food in. The Red Cross has amazing cookies. I go there all the time. Meals on Wheels is a bonanza. Suicide hotline? Surprisingly lame spread.” — Andy on how to best take advantage of community service

“Remember: Take a man Kabooming? He kabooms for a day. But you teach a man how to kaboom? Kaboom, kaboom, kaBOOM!”Paul Scheer‘s Kaboom! organizer, motivating Leslie and Ann to seize the day

“Forget it! Let’s all pretend Jerry wasn’t born…and this was clean.” – Leslie digs at Jerry, the Toby Flenderson of Pawnee, after he wrote on the office whiteboard in permanent marker

“Take out your doing caps, ’cause we’re gonna do something today!” “I have a couple of ‘doing caps’ in my wallet. That’s what I call condoms.” – Tom deflates Leslie’s Kaboom!-inspired spirit at a pit meeting

“It’s awful what happened to Andy, but sometimes when you make an omelete you need to break a few eggs. What’s the alternative? No omelets at all? Who wants to live in that kind of world? …. Maybe birds. Then all their babies would live.” – Leslie describes puts Andy’s (second) pit accident in context

“Leslie, the man lived in a pit. He couldn’t find a place to live on the earth’s surface, so he went under the ground. You’re dealing with a grown man who thinks like a gopher.” – Ann to Leslie, describing Andy’s unique living situation

What would you add to the list? Let us know what you thought of “Kaboom” in the comments section below, and be sure to tune in next week — 8:30 p.m., east coasters! — for the return of Louis C.K.’s Officer Dave and what will assuredly be another very funny half hour. This show, guys.

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  • Jenn

    Loved when the Kaboom guy, on his speedboat, explained his pranks at the end. Up next: building a hospital in the poor part of China!

  • parkR

    NBC really needs to fix their “clock”… the last scene showed (SPOILER ALERT) that Kaboom was a scam… it was only b/c I also recorded “The Office” that it was a real organization.

    I’ve also noticed that this has been going with all the NBC shows especially if it is right before the Leno show (which I do not record)… Yes, I could add a minute, and yadda yadda yadda…

    • Dean

      This has been a minor annoyance for me as well. I Tivo all 4 shows, but it’s still irritating. ie missing the last minute of 30 Rock last week and having to watch it online.

      • Courtney

        This is a MAJOR annoyance for me. I didn’t find out about Michael sleeping with Pam’s mom after Jim and Pam’s wedding until I read an Office recap the same day. NBC, stop cutting off the shows so early!

      • Jane

        Same for me. I didn’t see the scene with Michael and Pam’s mom either and was shocked to find out about it in the recap. What’s up with that NBC?

  • apd09

    This seems like the second of third time that the show is lifting material from The Office. Last week we had credit card problems on the Office and now credit card problems on Community. Please stop retreading material from show to show, and if you are going to do it at least wait a little longer than a week. You can’t tell me that the execs at NBC did not see the episodes in advance, no matter what different writers, producers, etc.. worked on the shows, they may not have even know but NBC should have known and stopped it.

    Rant over.

    • dave

      Wow, Parks and Recreation has improved so much over it’s short first season. Every episode of season 2 so far has been really good and very consistently funny.
      The opening scene last night was great, with a woman asking Leslie about her recent credit card charges. Leslie needed all 11 discs of Gossip Girl at the same time! Tuition for Hogwarts (where she majored in Potions!)! Jessica Simpson hair extensions! A Daniel Craig man-pillow! “Bucket of Cake”?!?! OMG hilarious!

      • dave

        Hmm weird, I don’t know why my comment posted as a reply right here. I didn’t mean to do that.

  • Isembard

    I loved Andy’s referring to his repeated pit falls as “the most traumatic two separate days of my life” (something like that). Too funny.

  • Isembard

    Also can someone tell me how this show went from being moderately amusing in the spring to completely revitalized and unmissable (for me)? I really love it now; it’s more funny and less odd. Are there new writers or something? Whatever the reason, I’m on board.

    • Tiffany

      I think that the writers and producers realized that we wanted the people we are laughing with, esp. Leslie, to have some form of intelligence like their viewers.

    • Dean

      Isn’t it nice to see a show improve so dramatically in its sophomore year? The showrunners wisely scaled back on the Anne/Andy stuff, which was (and still is) the weakest element. And they’re focusing more on Leslie’s very funny co-workers, all of who have really shined this year. Great job by the writers, who are coming up with some of the best stuff on TV right now. P&R has now far surpassed The Office in number of laughs per episode.

  • Nick

    I am glad they filled in the pit, because that story line was annoying. Looking forward to moving forward because I really am loving the show this season. It’s getting better.

  • Ameria

    Thought it was a fun episode, though I may be a bit biased because I actually work for KaBOOM! ;D And yes, it’s not a scam, it’s a real organization that brings funders and communities together to build playgrounds in 1 day. http://www.kaboom.org

    It’s backwards! In “Parks and Rec”, Pawnee is a real city and KaBOOM! is fake, but in real life KaBOOM! in a real organization and Pawnee is a fake city. xD

  • Mags

    Chris Pratt gets MVP of last night. I want Leslie to hire him to work for the parks dept.

  • Charles

    I disagree, I’m kind of sorry that they filled in the pit. I thought it was a good running joke that pointed out how gung-ho Leslie’s basically always in over her head in a hilariously oblivious way.
    But I agree with the poster’s who complain about NBC’s policy of running the final punchline scene over into the next show. It’s very annoying but I suppose they just hate DVR users.

  • Babs

    Ron’s slow burn was greatness.

  • Via

    I watched this show for the first time last night since it’s ‘meh’ pilot and I was startled with how far its come. I thought this episode was funny and I’ll probably add it to my DVR line up now. Thursdays are so jam packed but the other shows I normally watch weren’t on last night…good thing tho.

  • Hammer

    Ann: You know that I’m kinda with Mark now.
    Andy: Ohhhh..God.Is that still happening? I don’t get it. What does he have that I don’t have?
    Ann: Are you serious?
    Andy: Yeah.
    Ann: Everything. He has literally everything that you don’t have. A Job. A car. A steady income. An address. A second pair of shoes. Table manners. The ability to say “tampon” without giggling.


    • Justin

      And the list could go on and on.

  • Jk

    ‘Well I’m sorry to burst your k’bubble, but I just had my ass k’handed to me by the city manager and now this department is k’screwed. What the k’f–k were you thinking?’

    -Ron Swanson, my hero

  • Lizabeth

    Last nights show was my fave so far. I think it just keeps getting better! And the “Let’s all pretend Jerry wasn’t born” quote was my fave of the night!

  • Justin

    Very funny episode. Parks and Rec has definitely turned it up from last season, whether its the writers or the characters growin on me. Ron was hilarious last night!

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