"Farmers Market" started out with a lot of things I don't like about this show -- like saccharine cute Ben and Leslie and annoyingly positive Chris and Leslie insisting that she's right about everything. But somewhere around the 15 chard or vegetable-related pun, it turned all of the things I don't like into positives and delivered a realer Ben and Leslie and a comforting Chris and Leslie coming up with a creative solution to a problem. As much as I griped about all the delays and the show being on hiatus earlier this year, I'm kind of glad as it means that the Chris/Ann departure that is scheduled for next week didn't air on the same night as Troy leaving Community. Not that I'm going to get weepy about either of them going at this point, but I don't need two shows with send-offs in the same night. Oh, and I realized that one big problem I constantly have with Parks is all the jokes at the expense of the townspeople. I get that they are unhealthy and supposedly obese, but the Farmers Market was filled with a ton of people of average and totally healthy weight. Same with all the town meetings. Do they just not have overweight people in Los Angeles to choose from? Can they not go do some network synergy crossover and steal people from The Biggest Loser ranch for a day? Anyway, on to the Farmers Market, where we learned that cauliflower is not just a dead tree.
Ben and Leslie
As I mentioned, they were far too adorably cute with their little in sync moments, but if you aren't going to borrow from Arrested Development like Frozen did and finish each other's "sandwiches" or something equally ridiculous, I'm not really that interested. Things got sticky when the Farmers Market chard vendor brought in sexy booth babes (and hunks) in order to entice people to buy the bitter veggie he'd been saddled with growing. After all, it "tastes like kale took a dump on spinach." Leslie gets all indignant about the questionable taste level, given that there are children walking around (I've seen kids younger than those at Hooters, but you know Leslie). Ben has to set up a work firewall, and then Leslie keeps finding loop holes around it, so as a grown man, Ben has no option but to run away from his wife. That actually made me crack up, as did most of his skeptical facial expressions. Then the two end up freezing in a fountain to prove their point, before they finally realize they can be sane people and come up with a Farmers Market After Dark solution. Guys, maybe those chard shots would taste better with some of Tom's SnakeJuice in it.
Best Ben Line: "Because…" [*running away*]
Best Leslie Line: "What? That is totally crazy I am super chill all the time!"
Wine & Cheese Cigars & Sushi Club
Love that Ron's solution to HR's demand that he hear employee complaints is to put on headphones and listen to Willie Nelson while Tom, Donna and Jerry/Larry sit around eating wine and cheese and complaining about important things like facial soap in the men's room. Ann sees this, tries to join in and immediately starts taking far too much time up from the events, so they change it to a cigar and sushi club where Donna gets a Cuban cigar and some yellowtail and is happy. It's the like the work-approved version of "Treat Yo Self." Before the Cigar and Sushi Club has to go on the road to solve relationship problems. Maybe that can be Tom's new side project.
Best Ron Line: (Love both of his iPod comments) "Tom put all my records into this rectangle… The songs just play one after another. This is an excellent rectangle."
Ann and Chris
Ann is at that stage of pregnancy where she is just over it and Chris is being extra accommodating and going over and above to take care of her every need… which is only driving her crazy. Ann heads to the wine and cheese club, to whine about not being able to eat cheese, and then in turn makes her former co-workers insane so they stage an intervention on Chris' night job, to tell him that sometimes he just needs to say "that sucks." This is all very true to life, but far from the most entertaining story of the night.
Best Chris Line: "I've been reading up on nipples."
Best Ann Line: "You know what I want? Pork rinds. I want jelly beans. And a huge trash bag filled with mashed potatoes. I want to be Pac-Man and instead of dots, I want them to be cinnamon buns. I want to be a giant head and a mouth and I just want to eat rows and rows of junk food pellets. And where's my trash bag of potatoes?
Speaking of the most entertaining storyline of the night, it was this one, hands down. Craig saw Andy in the office noodling on his guitar and singing a song about poop (naturally) and immediately commandeers him and his band Mouserat to play his nephew's sixth birthday party. After Mouserat finds out they can't sing all their songs about sex to the kindergarten set, they bail, leaving Andy alone with his guitar. Craig makes him perform (in order to ensure that his nephew will remain popular) and introduces Andy as Johnny Karate. I don't think I could have come up with a better name for him if I'd had hours to brainstorm. So he starts singing songs about boogers and stinky feet and the crowd eats it up, and his booking manager April Karate starts raising his rates to get him more gigs, especially since he loved playing for the kids. Her face when he was performing for the kids made me think that there may be a little Karate running around soon.
Best April Line: "The word 'hair' wasn't the problem with 'Sex Hair.'"
Best Andy Line: "Dave Grohl might be there. I don't know. He might be anywhere. The guy is awesome and he's unpredictable."
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