"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.
I am a little bit confused about the whole catalyst of this episode: What park is Leslie talking about? The lot behind Ann's house? Wasn't that going to be April's dog park? Let me know if I just totally pulled a Jerry and missed something last week, or if this is totally a new thing. Until then, let's talk about all of our TV friends:
Leslie and Ben: B
I have a sneaking suspicion that the whole point of this park (from the show's angle) will be to have Leslie and Ben's wedding there, which is promising. But for now, this episode was kind of just the same jokes about Eagleton we've heard in several episodes prior, but thanks to bits like Eagletonian calling their boogers Pawnee caviar, the trash-picker-upper in the fancy parks, Ben Wyatt on a Segway, Leslie's sorry montage, this and the cold open where we got to see chameleon Leslie shifting into public radio mode, I think B is a fair assessment. Also, my heart broke at the gag park, and when Reston St. James showed us the real model, I realized -- like Leslie when she's ranting -- I was literally holding my breath during the entire scene, expecting the very worst.
Leslie's Best Line of the Night: "You have five seconds to get out of here, or I will rip your throats out."
Ben's Best Line of the Night: "Yes, Rhett Butler, that who he reminds me of. Or Bono!"
Andy and Judy Hitler: B-
Honestly, these two were probably more sexy than funny last night (damn, April!), but I'm really glad the writers used Andy's time as a security guard to retire Bert Macklin. I wasn't exactly sick of the character or anything, but I easily could have been in the near future, and I think Macklin would agree that it's better to burn out than fade away.
Andy's Best Line of the Night: "I got so bored I started thinking about existence. Do I matter? Do any of us? Is there a master plan in the works, a grand design? Just dumb stuff like that."
April's Best Line of the Night: "Seriously, I think Andy Dwyer makes a better real cop than Bert Macklin. Maybe it's time for Bert Macklin to hang up his shades."
Thomas M. Haverford and Ann: C+
Tom got some good lines in there -- I especially enjoyed him ordering uncooked packaged food at JJ's Diner -- but like Andy and April, this was also a set-up episode. I definitely laughed a bunch the first time, but upon a second viewing few of the gags held up. On the bright side, the future does seem bright with Rent-A-Swag.
Tom's Best Line of the Night: "Much like women in '90s standup comedy routines, Tommy Be Shoppin'."
Ann's Best Line of the Night: "Do you really like this yellow paint? I mean, I know it was on sale, but it looks a lot like dried phlegm."
Ron, Chris, Jerry and Donna: C+
I'm really glad the writers didn't try to make Ron and Chris's woodworking plotline bigger than it was, since a few jokes about it here and there were plenty. Everyone got to say a few funny things, but again, there wasn't too much going on here. Loved that little raccoon, though!
Ron's Best Line of the Night: "If there were more food and fewer people, this would be a perfect party."
Chris's Best Line of the Night: "I made this. Before I started, it was bigger."
Jerry's Best Line of the Night: "Help!"
Donna's Best Line of the Night: "Good use of the word fiscal, Tommy. Very upscale."
Honorable mentions: WVYS Pawnee Community Radio and Thought for Your Thoughts host Derry Murbles -- I'm just disappointed I can't watch The Shadows of Seven Heads or listen to that story on dolphin lactation; The prisoner who sent in Worm Park: I'm Guilty to the Parks Department; obviously Reston St. James (who looks better in stupid shaving cream tie, IMHO); the Eagleton sign that read: "Now Entering Pawnee. Good luck with that."; DJ Roomba; mentioned but not seen mural The Many Surrenders of Pawnee (and the wildflower mural, which makes me happy whenever it's onscreen); Chris's therapist Dr. Richard Nygart, whom I hope we get to meet in the very near future; young lost Joey, who "didn't do anything!"; and the boys at the FBI, who so kindly gave Bert Macklin the YOU WERE IN THE F.B.I. retirement gift.
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