Parks & Recreation

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Founder’s Week. Wait, is this the highly anticipated Parks & Rec / Vampire Diaries crossover event: Vampires & Recreation?

No, it’s just a week-long celebration of all things Pawnee culminating in a parade that “Makes the Rose Parade look like a ‘turds on wheels’ convention”. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There was so much happening in this episode that I probably missed a few things, but whatever, a great episode.

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So. Okay. Yeah. There wasn’t too much going on in this episode. It was a good episode, a decent episode, but it was just another episode. Nothing spectacular. Everyone was perfectly in character so it got kind of… boring predictable. Ron decides to fight Leslie over the Pawnee Palms Public Putt-Putt, Andy considers quitting Mouse Rat and Tom needs help to break up with Mona-Lisa. That’s it, that’s the episode.

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Two, count ‘em, two new episodes last night. So I’m going to do my best to make this a quick, but thorough, recap of the both of them. Because, you know, I have some final papers to write.

Article Two

Pawnee is home to some ridiculous traditions, but I’m a particular fan of this one: Ted Party Day, in which they commemorate the Tea Dump of 1817. But, classic Pawnee, the word ‘tea’, when written by the Founding Fathers, looked like ‘Ted’, so now they find a guy named Ted and dumping him into Ramsett Lake. “I don’t even go by ‘Ted’, I go by ‘Theodore.’ Poor guy.

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This episode had so many small but wonderful moments. So. Many.

Chris and Leslie visit Animal Control and it’s kind of a shitshow. As Leslie put it, “The animal control department has been a disaster at catching animals. They’re great at ingesting and selling marijuana.” Case in point: one tried to turn a dead bird into a work whistle, like in the Flinstones. Guys, I’m still laughing about this. To top it all off, Chris then stepped on an open coyote trap. So obviously he fires everyone in animal control. Probably the best decision he’s made in a while. (I’m looking at you, Ann.)

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It’s here, it’s back, and there will be five new episodes over the next five weeks. Rejoice! And what an episode. I really liked it. It made me happy. All of the characters were playing to their strengths.

Ben & Leslie

I was so excited the show sent them to Partridge, Minnesota. Leslie taking pictures of Ben standing on the exact spot where he was inaugurated as an 18 year old mayor was too cute. They’re in the city because it’s time for Ben to finally get the key to the city as every other former mayor had already received one. And I’m with Leslie, there’s no chance that any of them had as cute a butt as Adam Scott’s.

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NBC is kind of silly so instead of airing last week’s disaster preparedness episode back-to-back with the wedding up they split them up and we got the wedding ep and a random episode. I’ll recap them both here and put a little break in to delineate the different eps, but they’ll share a Notable & Quotable section, capisce? Alright, get ready for a doozy of a post.

The Wedding

Before this episode even aired I said that I wasn’t emotionally prepared for it. I was right. It was just so perfect. Ben springs it on Leslie that he really wants her to take his name. He says it’s kind of a dealbreaker. But in his reaction shot you can tell that he’s totally teasing her and omg my precious bebes. I love you so.

They’re all scrambling to get everything ready for the wedding in an hour instead of the three months they originally had allotted. Ann’s in charge of the cake and the The Dress/Hair/Makeup for which Leslie wants “the sensuality of Eleanor Roosevelt combined with the animal magnetism of Leslie Stahl.” The seamstress didn’t have time to finish Leslie’s dress, so Ann made it work by bustling together old documents and news articles about her career. In the front you can plainly see the headline “Knope Wins”.

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I really wanted to use Leslie trying to fly her way out of her nightmare, but I couldn't find it.

I really wanted to use Leslie trying to fly her way out of her nightmare, but I couldn’t find it.

I loved this episode so much, you guys. So. Much. Watching it a second time only made me love it more and just, I’m going to tell you all of the wonderful things about it but you should probably also watch it again, okay? I mean, keep reading, but when you need a pick-me-up this weekend, just cue this puppy up again.

So here’s the basis of the episode: Leslie needs to raise 50K in a week to make Pawnee Commons a reality, but Jamm organizes Pawnee’s Disaster Preparedness test the same day as the benefit. What will Leslie do? (I want a WWLD bracelet now.)

It’s fine. Leslie and Ben are the most frustratingly adorable couple ever so instead of registering for stuff that they probably already have, they register for the park. Like, people could get their names put on benches or cobblestones or ants. I like it. I like how much Leslie wants to help the town and also how much Ben wants to please Leslie. But also how Ben clearly has come to care about Pawnee in his own right. Well played, show.

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Guys – YOU GUYS – some brilliant person of the internet edited Ben Wyatt’s Wikipedia page so that Calzones are now listed under his significant others. (They’re divorced.) I can’t stop laughing.  Everything about the B Plot – Ben picking a caterer for the wedding – was great. After this episode and The Flu way back at the beginning of Season 3, I can’t help but wish that the men in Pawnee get sick more often.

So the supposed main plot of the episode revolves around the continuing idea that Ann’s dating herself. Pretty sure that Lifetime movie already exists. But she has a blog about it and, well, it has to be terrible, right? We can all agree on that. But you know what sounds less terrible? Catfish Ann.

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This episode made me laugh so much. It wasn’t flawless, but it was very solid and any show that gets me to laugh out loud more than once an episode (intentionally – not because I’m laughing at it) should be very proud of itself. And this episode managed.

Leslie & April (and Chris)

Leslie is very ‘down with the patriarchy’ this episode and wants more women in government. Guys, wait. The grossest thing this show has come up with so far might be the male members of city council tracking the menstrual cycles of the female members. That’s just so skeevy and gross. Anyway, Leslie and Chris put together that Commission for Gender Equality and Leslie was pretty on point when she called it a sausagefest.

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Everyone get excited. Not only is Parks finally back, but we were blessed with Bachelor and Bachelorette parties. (Excuse me while I reminisce back to last summer and think fondly of Adam Scott in Bachelorette.) And not only that, but Ken Hotate’s back! I guess what I’m trying to say is, there are a lot of reasons to be excited for this episode.

Bachelorettes

We’re off to a great start with Ann stress-eating gummy penises. As Maid of Honor she really doesn’t want to mess up Leslie’s party. But it’s not “going to be one of those cool bachelorette parties where things get out of control and we murder someone and then we all have to take a blood oath to never reveal our secret?” as April suggests. But it is pretty cool.

Ann is awesome, so she got Leslie a male stripper. Not any male stripper, but Babe Lincoln! (Did anyone else think of pervy Ben Franklin from The Office?) Donna calls dibs on Babe’s first dance. “Tear it up Sixteen! Emancipate them abs!” Guys, the writers are genius. I’m still giggling over “Gettysburg Undress”.

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