Last night’s Parks and Recreation continued to prove what we’ve all been preaching for a while now: Aziz Ansari needs more screen time and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) can make any lackluster plot bearable.
In the episode, Leslie and Ann try to prevent a local corporation (Sweetums) from taking control of the park’s concession stands after discovering that their NutriYum health bars were actually pre-packaged, corn syrup-laden bars of death.
Meanwhile, with Tom’s divorce from Wendy approaching, he found himself a bachelor pad, but needed everyone’s help moving. Enter the dream team: Donna, April, Andy, Jerry and Mark, who had a pick-up.
Though the moving day plot was not meant to be the main focal point, I wanted to see more. In fact, I probably could have watched 22 minutes of these under-appreciated characters producing comedy awesomeness. From DJ Roomba (Tom’s iPod attached to a floor cleaning robot that is later killed by Jerry’s foot) to Tom and Wendy’s aww-worthy flirting in the kitchen, this was hands down the highlight of the episode.
The Sweetums plot fell a little flat, but luckily there was an underlying conflict between Leslie and Ron that helped it hobble along. The two had debated about the public’s right to consume what they want. Ron, of course, claimed that people should eat freely without constraints from the government or anyone else (right on, Ron!). ”The whole point of this country is if you want to eat garbage, balloon up to 600 lbs, and die of a heart attack at 43, you can! You are free to do so. To me that’s beautiful,” he said.
In the end, Ron, who had the final call about the deal, passed on a Sweetums partnership, despite the public’s apparent support of the measure. The decision came after a touching moment in a restaurant, when Leslie gave Ron her Blood Alcohol Concentration chart and told him that she respected his right to do what he wanted, but not to be an idiot about his freedom. ”And although I’ve already written your eulogy and its incredibly touching, I would prefer not to give it for a while,” she said.
The episode had nuggets of heart, lots of laughs, and outstanding ensemble comedy acting; it’s the winning formula that has been working very well for Parks. Much of the show’s greatness lies in the actions and expressions of the cast. With that in mind, I present you with two lists this week: best moments and best quotes.
And, if you’re up for it, answer me these three questions: What are your favorite quotes/moments? What did you think of the episode? And if sugar is so bad, why did Jesus make it taste so good?
- Tom trying on new looks.
- Ron looking for his treat underneath his chair during the public forum
- Ron showing Leslie the mini harp he created while drunk
- The office workers’ dance party during their sugar high.
- The creepy townspeople’s questions.
- The ghost of DJ Roomba haunting Jerry and threatening to play the Black Eyed Peas on a constant loop
”You look like Encyclopedia Brown.” – Leslie
”I think the entire government should be privatized. Chuck E. Cheese could run the parks. Everything operated by tokens. Drop in a token, go on the swing set. Drop in another token, take a walk. Drop in a token, look at a duck” – Ron
”That’s really sweet that your grandparents still make love” – Andy, taking on of April’s sarcastic comments seriously
”Oh, Andy. You’re fine, but you’re simple.” – Donna
”Pawnee is the fourth most obese city in America. The kids here are just beefy. They’re husky, big-boned, chunk monsters. I call ‘em like I see ‘em” – Ann
”Why don’t you get some Canadian bacon on it, since you’re from Canada, and sausage, because I’m brown and spicy” – Tom to Wendy about their pizza order