You have to know that I don't like giving out A's. I must've picked up this mentality from Ron Swanson over the years (I'm also starting to question if we should even know the names of our politicians), but it doesn't feel right to have so many winners in one episode, let alone one show. But the wonderfully character-based Parks & Rec flourishes in its cast... and sometimes flounders when the plot is concerned. "Born and Raised" had a fun story as far as the Leslie vs. the Birthers went (and, more importantly, ended), and the Joan Callamezzo storyline had me laughing out loud, but I've seen better work from the Pawnee citizens.
Ann and Donna: Incomplete
If no one is going to write an actual funny storyline for Ann that develops her character, I'm not going to even put her on this list. Consider this a probation week. Also: I need wayyy more Donna in my life.
We get it: You're handsome and a speed-reader. A few lines about these are not going to cut it. If it wasn't for you pumping Leslie full of courage and suggesting Andy not steal a stranger's briefcase, you would've joined your buddy Ann with her grade.
Best Line of the Night: "I never do - Chris Traeger."
Clearly, times are tough -- you got your haircut in prison and your sister has the shingles (and your favorite character on Sex and the City is Alf) -- but I'm a little bored with all of the Ann hate. You're at your best when you're connecting with other characters, like the few moments you bonded with Ron this week -- the plus in your grade is for wisely asking if Ann's patient's bone showed. Go easy on the disapproval, because you were casting so negative a net that you couldn't even appreciate the seven page note Leslie wrote to you in your personal copy of Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America.
Best Line of the Night: "I've never used a phone in my life."
You were great and all, but Burt Macklin, FBI stole all of your scenes. Can we get his number for bodyguard services?
Best Line of the Night: "You thought I was dead? So did the President's enemies."
I've made it clear that I didn't like your subplot already, right? I did enjoy that the one thing you would bring with you a deserted island is silence, seeing your mustache tremble in pride in April's direction and the fact that you made room for Leslie's book in between your nautical novels and personal manifestos. And I will always like listening to your politics.
Best Line of the Night: "Thank you for sharing, Jenny."
Joan Callamezzo: A-
You are one of my all-time favorite Pawnee residents -- I sincerely hope that one day we get the deep-rooted backstory behind your and Leslie's rivalry. I appreciate the efforts of your gotcha journalism and am currently adding a copy of The Time Traveler's Optometrist to my Kindle. My condolences about the divorce, and I hope you feel better after that "bad seafood."
Best Line of the Night: "I'm a woman with a strong sexual appetite. I'm like a caged peacock yearning for the wind on her haunches."
Loved every second of you, and I shake my fist at the raccoons who overran Pawnee Hospital the day you were born. You took being a [gag] Eagletonian in stride and I absolutely disagree with the 13 percent of voters who think you're crazy-eyed. Maybe one day we can go sledding on Nipple Hill together (preferably not when it's slippery and wet). Congrats on the sticker!
Best Line of the Night: "Oh god, not the Gotcha Dancers!"
As Pawnee's most notorious businessman, you were silly, sweet, sexy (just ask Joan) and all-around pitch-perfect this episode -- and we're sure you smelled fantastic. We are loving Entertainment 720's website and are so proud of you for taking Ben's advice and trying to get clients for your business. You truly are an adorable hunk of caramel.
Best Line of the Night: "Behind every successful man is me, smiling and taking partial credit."
We appreciate your hard work last night, and also hope you get well soon... seriously, something's off.
Best Line of the Night: "Gotta go, Donna, can't talk!"
All his interactions with Joan. Priceless.
Best Lines of the Night: "Is she gonna powder her vagina?"
"You know, nerd culture is mainstream now, so when you use the word 'nerd' derogatorily, it means you're the one out of the zeitgeist."
"Let's just say the message boards are going nuts."
Honorable Mentions: Lifelong Pawnee citizens Jim "The Gerbil" Cabernoch and Morgan (the man at the library who screamed, "That sentence was confusing, you might as well be from China!"). And of course Pawnee has its own NPR-type programming. Since I've never met a public radio show joke I didn't like, "Thoughts for Your Thoughts" had me over the moon (as did ever-generous sponsor Sweetums, who put umbrella hats on homeless people when it rains). My question for you: Would you rather listen to these fascinating stories and the beats of lesbian Afro-Norwegian funk duo Nefertiti's Fjord, or the shock-jock classic rock styling of Crazy Ira and The Douche?
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