Despite the fact that viewers have been plagued with a horrendously long hiatus, Parks & Rec picks right back up where it left off last year. Leslie’s trying to campaign for City Council but she doesn’t have any advisors. Her first order of business is to select a Campaign Manager, and of course she chooses Ann, the beautiful tropical fish. Everyone else shuffled around the office and ducked their heads because they didn’t want to get chosen but how could they not foresee Leslie picking Ane? She was a shoo-in. I mean, really, she has the biggest tag in the word cloud Tom made from Leslie’s emails.
Unfortunately, Leslie couldn’t select Ben to be her campaign manager because constituents view him as poison. She’s polling at 1% and needs to take action, so not hiring Ben was the best thing for her campaign. And that’s disregarding the fact that he successfully campaigned for mayor of his town at 18 (continuity FTW!). Consequently it was probably the worst thing for Ben.
Lord knows I love Ben, but he needs to shower or something. His hair is past scruffy-cute and now just unruly. Not the rigid uptight Ben Wyatt we know and love. But can we address that when Champion the three-legged dog hopped into the house, all alone, all Ben did was lower his book and say “Hi”? It was the cutest. Ben Wyatt knows how to do non-chalant AND roll with the punches. He’s ready for anything. Or will be, once he takes a shower and puts on some clean clothes.
On a related note, Champion is the cutest. As are Andy and April in every scene that they’re with him. I love this trio enough that I would fully support a spin-off staged around their lives with Champion. But they’d still have their jobs, so we’d get to see them on Parks and all of the Parks cast on their show. It would be a win for everyone. And I like that the show didn’t just have Champion in that one scene with Ben – he popped up throughout the entire episode. My favorite part was April using Champion as a puppet. Of course. Because one of the best things about April is that she will not stop shitting on Ann. I mean, it makes sense given the past between Andy and Ann, but I think that it’s more than that. Ann’s just too nice for April’s liking. She tries to hard. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not April’s style. So April will mock her and pick on her and respect her, but only a little bit, and heaven forbid Ann ever find that out.
While Andy, April, Champion and co. are off to work Leslie’s campaign rally, Chris swings by to check in on Ben. Ben is spiraling. He has nothing to do with his time but indulge every whim that pops into his head. Today he’s focusing on calzones (In my notes I wrote “Italian cuisine by Ben Wyatt? Yesssss.”) and claymation film. GEEK. (Side note: I’ve been there. When I was little I helped my dad and brother make a kick-ass stop-action film. It was called “Godzilla vs. Reptillicus” and it was fantastic.) Anyway, Ben is super devoted to his claymashe (claymayshe?). Too far, sir. Three weeks of work yields nothing more than three seconds of film. He’s understandably devastated since he had bragged about it to Leslie, comparing it to Avatar! In the video’s defense – perfect song choice.
Anyway, Leslie’s trying to get on with her campaign rally. It’s an unmitigated disaster. It was supposed to be held in a basketball arena but April wasn’t paying attention to the booking and the arena had been turned into an ice rink. The show must go on, despite the fact that Tom didn’t order enough red carpet to span the walk from the side of the rink to the teeny tiny platform that Ron had constructed. This results with the entire campaign crew walking on ice. Penguin walking on ice. Slowly. I predicted that Jerry would fall but it was actually Andy. Let me take the time to say this: Chris Pratt is a phenomenal physical comedian. The show always has him flipping over counters and saving Janet Snakehole from danger and he kills it every time. I choose to believe that pratt falls are named after him. Anyway, Ron ended up carrying Champion across the ice but got peed on as a thank you. Once the crew finally makes it to the “stage” they are on the strugglebus trying to lift Leslie atop it. It’s a nightmare. A shitshow. Not good at all. The only thing that saves her little rally is that Ann managed to coax Pistol Pete – who had scored a last second dunk against Eagleton (Pawnee were the Drunken Savages) in 1992. He’s something of a local hero. He declares that voting for Leslie Knope is a slam dunk before he attempts to dunk on ice and breaks every bone in his body.
Notable & Quotable
- “I tried to make ramen in the coffee pot and I broke everything.” – Andy Dwyer
- “Except for digging, he’s really bad at digging.” – April, talking about the one thing Champion is bad at.
- “There’s lots of things to look at on the internet besides naked men, Ann.” – Leslie Knope, in all her wisdom
- “Be a man and sit on that girl’s lap.” – Ron Effing Swanson
- “Pizza? Never heard of it.” – What everyone will be saying in 20 years.
- And it should surprise absolutely no one that Tom Haverford’s entire house is carpeted in red. The path to his room has a second layer. He has red carpet insoles in his shoes so that he can always be walking on red carpet. He is a drama queen.
Well, there you have it. The hiatus is over and our beloved Parks and Rec is back in action. How would you rate this week’s performance? Would you say you were 1 – Greatly amused? 2 – Somewhat amused? 3 – Neither amused nor unamused. 4 – Somewhat bored? 5 – Completely bored/apathetic? If you answered five, why are you reading this recap. Followup question: Would you vote for Leslie Knope?