First off, can we talk about the fact that the name of the episode is actually: “The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn.” Because what even? This might actually be the worst title of any single episode of television I’ve ever seen. If you can think of a worse one, please, tell me in the comments. Now sit back and relax and look at all of the Parks and Rec crossovers (don’t worry, I’ve compiled a nice little cheat-sheet for you down below).
Down to business. Paul Schneider is in the episode as Brian, a reporter from New York Magazine. He’s looking especially scruffy which is in no way a bad thing. For some strange reason, will had his pick of newspaper/magazine and writer to do a story on the reinvention of Newsnight, and he chose Brian. Don’t worry, it wasn’t out of the goodness of his heart to help the guy get a cover story or anything. No way, it’s to torture himself and Mac with the guy that Mac cheated on him with.
Before Brian can actually get down to doing his job, Will makes a list of ridiculous demands, things like Brian can hang around the office and interview everyone off the record (not even background) and if Will likes his vibe he can start writing his article. Will is also very particular about what will be in the article. The only mention of Will and Mac’s romantic relationship will be parenthetical in the second ‘graph and some stuff Will just won’t talk about. Even about his Republicanism he’ll only go so far as to say that it’s because he was from a “town outside a town outside of Lincoln, Nebraska” and that he was in college before he knew what a democrat was.
So Brian lurks in the background all scruffy and note-taking. He’s apparently quite diligent. He gets to watch the producers pitch possible stories. They have quite a list compiled, but all are shut down in favor of coverage of the Casey Anthony trial. (Fact: I didn’t know who she was for an embarrassingly long time. Like, until the verdict.) They didn’t cover her the previous week and lost half of their viewers to Nancy Grace. *shudder* So Charlie’s kicking their asses into gear until they get their audience and advertisements back.
The only thing that can be said about the whole Casey Anthony coverage is that no one is on board with it. Mac throws the biggest hissy, but that’s not at all surprising. Will basically tells everyone to nut up and then the producers get to listen to Don give a point-by-point presentation on how Nancy Grace is making this case more compelling than a Bravo reality show.
The only reason that Will is letting Newsnight disgrace itself as an entertainment news show for a while is because he wants a new format for presidential debates. The RNC’s looking for ACN to be a possible host to the debates so this is a prime opportunity for him. As a minor plot, Jim and some other staffers are going to be fake candidates so that Will can be practice as a moderator. Jim gets to be Michelle Bachmann, which leads to some great moments as Maggie berates him as a false prophet. This scene is actually funny. I laughed, guys. Like at Maggie’s question about what God sounds like (which Joan of Arcadia would totes know). Maggie’s whole rant here is fun and witty and I like it.
Sloan runs around all episode like a chicken with its head cut off. She rants that the show is lacking coverage of the debt ceiling which is probably accurate. Despite her many valid points, like doing the segment at the top of the episode would give viewers time to harass their congressmen, Mac can’t concede and give her the time.
Also in the “news” this week: Anthony Weiner’s crotch-shot getting leaked on his twitter. A “concerned citizen” (read: media whore) comes forward with some scandalous tweets she shared with the disgraced Congressman. Will hates himself for covering this story, but the power cuts out before the segment can be filmed.
Charlie and Deep Voice have a clandestine meeting in a beautiful library about the TMI hacking/leak. Concerned with this, Charlie warns/threatens his boss of Newsnight’s impending investigation and tasks Jim with vetting Deep Voice.
Parks and Rec Crossover Count:
- Kaylee, Neal’s girlfriend, was Tom Haverford’s girlfriend and Snakehole Lounge bartender.
- Katheryn Hahn was Bobby Newport’s campaign manager and went on a blind-date with Will McAvoy.
- Mark Brandanawiscz was a Pawnee City Planner and is now a journalist at New York Magazine.
- The media whore/Anthony Weiner tweeter played Shauna Malway Tweep, Pawnee’s resident journalist.
Notable & Quotable:
- Jim and Brian have a history. We don’t know more than that, but it was definitely insinuated.
“Your disdain for the internet-”
“Is only matched by your fucking disdain for the internet.” That’s how I imagine Aaron Sorkin talks to himself.
“Are you prepared to talk about your Republicanism?” – Brian
“You say that like I’ve got polio.” – WIll
“Why do you need someone to run from village to village? Is something about to happen to Camelot?” Brian, to Will
“I”ll have Will wear a top hat and monocle while he’s showing pictures of a wet t-shirt contest.” Mac, to Charlie
“You know that machine the Batman uses in the Dark Knight to find the Joker but when Morgan Freeman finds out about it he says, ‘I’m quitting because no man should have this much power?’” Deep Voice
“It’s either a rager, a rave, or a raver.” Sloan, to Mac
“I’m working 30 feet away from the life I could’ve had if I hadn’t been so stupid and you’re looking at the life you could’ve had if you hadn’t been a douche bag.” Mac, to Brian
“You know what a troll is, right?” – Neal
“A tiny little creature who lives under a footbridge and makes you answer a question before you can pass - they’re not real, man!” – Mac
Last but not least, Neal showed up looking adorable in a cardigan and pitching a story about trolling. Hopefully we get more of that next week. Plus, mock debate! That’s all I’ve got. Hit the comments and let me know what you thought of this episode, especially the title. Favorite / least favorite moments? What-have-you.