"Pawnee Commons" wasn't the type of Parks and Recreation episode that will make any Best Of lists, nor will it probably convert any people who aren't regular viewers into Pawnee fanatics, but it was satisfying, sweet and funny, and what I talk about when I talk about why I'd take an average Parks & Rec over most other sitcoms on TV right now. We knew from the second Leslie mentioned Eagleton what kind of people and places we were about to see, and I enjoyed every second of it... and felt quite empty knowing that I don't get to have a balloon-artisan-made Leslie and Ben at my desk.
Full disclosure: This episode was spoiled for me, so the whole time I watched "Halloween Surprise," I just wanted to get to the engagement already. It's frustrating, because this was supposed to be special. It was going to be my big night and it was completely ruined. Humph.
I laughed a lot during "Sex Education," but I wouldn't call it a great episode of Parks and Recreation. Season 5 has been off to a fairly slow start, and I'm wondering if sectioning off two major players of the cast to another city maybe wasn't the best idea in the world. I love Ben and April together, but aside from building a nice little friendship, I don't really see how far the plot of the show can be moved along with the two of them joking around in Washington... unless one (or both?) of them leaves their partner, something that I'm pretty positive isn't going to happen. (Though my research has led me to find a tiny community of Apren/Benpril shippers and apparently there's some pretty convincing fan fiction out there, though I sure as hell am not ever going to read it.)
One hand giveth, the other taketh away: While we're excited about Community coming back with new episodes on Thursday, that means that our beloved Parks and Recreation will go on a five-week hiatus. Sure, compared to, say, Mad Men (which took approximately 12 years between seasons, give or take), a little over a month is child's play, but we're still bummed. Season 4 has been so compelling that we don't know how we'll do without Pawnee and the excellence that comes with it. Here's what we've loved this year:
If I had it my way, every single episode of Parks and Recreation would be wonderful, and we could spend Friday mornings going over funny lines and cracking up at all of the crazy shenanigans witnessed in Pawnee -- that's what happens most of the time, and what I expected to happen with the return of Louis C.K. as Officer Dave. Like most people who go on the Internet, I love basically everything about C.K. (and can vouch that Live at the Beacon Theater is well-worth the $5), but Dave just didn't do it for me, nor did "Dave Returns" as an episode.
And we're back. "The Comeback Kid" returned us to Leslie's city council campaign, Ben's unemployment and... that's pretty much it. I look forward to the minor characters' storylines for the rest of the season -- mostly Tom, because things have been quiet on the Haverford front since the collapse of E720 -- but for now, I'm fine just catching up with Knope 2012. Before we jump in and grade everyone, I should make the disclaimer that these letters are assigned sans the ice-walking scene, because otherwise everyone would have an A+. And as for harsh criticism of the episode, all I'm saying is, I sincerely hope there's more Donna next episode. She was also missing from the fabulous Parks & Rec short shown at the People's Choice Awards!
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