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:
10. Ann and Tom's Relationship
We're still not entirely sold on these two as an item, which is why we worry about the break. It's taking us so long to warm up to the idea of this couple that five weeks from now, Tann may seem that much more dubious.
9. Jerry's Moments in the Sun
Everyone likes picking on the man legally known as Garry. Our favorite Jerry moments, however, are the ones where we see his fulfilling life outside the office. Gayle sounds charming, and while Millicent isn't our favorite Pawnee resident, she's perfectly lovely (as are, we're assuming, her other two sisters). Sometimes it's hard to remember that Jerry's close to retirement with a full pension, as well as his impressive artistic talents (not to mention his apparent well endowment) when his collages make him the butt of their jokes. That's why it's always nice to hear Ron tell the guy his work is "adequate."
8. Following Chris's Health Regimen
Discovering which weird new diet plans, supplement treatments and exercise routines Chris is following is literally one of our favorite things.
7. The Actual City Council Race
At a time when real-life politics cloud everything we already see and do, we're actually legitimately excited to find out who is going to get that City Council seat. We've written at length about how much we faux-hate Paul Rudd's Bobby Newport, but the show really stepped up its stakes with his cutthroat campaign manager Jennifer Barkley (Kathryn Hahn). We're obviously rooting for Leslie and Ben to win, but getting there is half the fun.
6. Everything About Donna
She's the Nubian Princess behind "Treat Yo Self" and everything that comes out of Donna's mouth is an instant classic. We have the gifs to prove it.
5. Andy's Bright Ideas
Not only is Andy dim-witted and incredibly sweet -- Chris Pratt's physical comedy is fantastic. Our favorite Andy moments so far this season were his grand Model UN lion-collecting scheme in "The Treaty", that time when he surveyed those college courses, all things Champion and of course his spontaneous road trip with April to the Grand Canyon. Maybe Burt Macklin, FBI can make a cameo over at Greendale?
4. April and Ron's Relationship
Sure, Andy and April are great, but we adore the non-romantic rapport between tough-as-nails Ron "Duke Silver" Swanson and his anti-work protégé. Better yet, we love seeing both of them grow and change together as they gradually and secretly start embracing their jobs. April really started to bloom just a few episodes ago and we hope she doesn't lose her gusto during these weeks.
3. Ben's Nerdy Side
The Elf King would no doubt tell us "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" if we called him out on his Batman and Game of Thrones fandom (which Adam Scott shares in real life!). Our apologies -- but watching Human Disaster Ben this season has truly been an honor. Especially when he was depressed and made calzones and Claymation movies while wearing a Letters to Cleo shirt. And don't get us started on his passion for accounting, his fear of cops or his inability to relax. Let's just say the message boards are going nuts.
2. Leslie Knope
There are so few powerful, complex, hilarious and all-around wonderful women on TV, which we know will come painfully clear when the Pawnee Goddess is off of our screens. Watching her relationship with Ben is obviously very charming, but there's so much more to her than her people-punching boyfriend. We'll start sprinkling salgar on everything we eat to ease the pain. Maybe listening to Gloria Estefan's "Get on Your Feet" over and over again while we go ice skating will help.
1. The People of Pawnee
The Parks department is our favorite group of folks in the town, but the best thing about this show is seeing all of the other colorful characters moseying around Indiana -- especially when they come back. Perd Hapley has reached new highs recently, Tammy 2 is simply divine, Jean-Ralphio is the Snapple (R.I.P. E720), creepy Oren is an excellent weirdo, recently divorced Joan Calamezzo is the best gotcha journalist... we could go on. Because it's got so much heart to it, Pawnee would definitely be our top fictional place to visit, assuming the town finished up its water fountain sanitation project. In the meantime, watching drunk Ron Swanson on an endless loop will have to do.
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