I like mini golf as much as the next person with a soul and warm blood, but "Swing Vote" didn't work for me. The characters didn't do anything particularly interesting, the storylines were contrived, the conceit of the episode was in most cases, literally, "Well, I guess none of this really mattered," and it generally just felt like the writers went on vacation and left outlines to a bunch of substitutes about what each Pawnee friend is like and how plots usually go for a group. I wouldn't say that Parks and Recreation has run its course, nor do I think next week's Season 5 finale should also be the series finale, but episodes like this do make me wonder how much farther the show can take these characters without feeling like it's spinning its wheels each week. In any event, I hope that this is the last we see of Jenny Slate's Mona-Lisa, who is unfortunately the poster child of why "Swing Vote" wasn't very good.
Rather than dole out grades and point out every single thing that didn't work in this comedy I otherwise adore, here are the best lines of the night:
Leslie, on how the PPPP will one day create sustainable energy: "I'll figure it out, it already has windmills, who cares?"
Milton, on the PPPP: "The last time I was there, I saw kids of all races getting along and playing. It was terrible. So I'm voting to get rid of it." (Sometimes, this is how I feel writing negative things about Parks & Rec.)
Andy: "Well, you know, Mouse Rat has a lot of influence on some of the local high school bands, mostly cause Chang buys them beer and whatnot."
Tom, on Mona-Lisa being crazy: "She once jumped out of a moving car to buy a Nicki Minaj poster."
Jam: "...Dead ringer for Courtney Thorne-Smith -- she works at the gas station." (Jam definitely got the best lines of the night, no contest.)
Chris: "Nice shot! Great sweeping! Way to be, duck!" (Also, was that Harris sweeping?)
Jamm: "Hot dogs? You know I have irritable bowel syndrome, you racist."
April: "I really only listen to, like, German death reggae and Halloween sound effects records from the 1950s... and Bette Midler, obviously." (Though a few seasons ago she mentioned that her favorite band was Neutral Milk Hotel. That doesn't mean she wasn't half-kidding here, I'm just sayin'.)
Leslie: "Well, math is worthless in real life. There's an app for calculating tips, that's all you need. [Quietly] Math is really important, especially for young women. Stay in school."
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