Adam Levine... actor? Sounds like a horrifying thought to us.
Before you get too excited, the following has nothing to do with Harry Potter.
Poor Super Bowl XLVII. It's only the third most-watched program in TV history.
I was not a fan of "Emergency Response." Aside from the Upright Citizens Brigade mini-reunion (where's Crazy Ira when you need him?!), Leslie's pre-taped emergency alerts, "You're On with Ron" and the Mouse Rat performance, nothing really made me laugh or even very excited. I know I talked about (and disagreed with) the show being too upbeat last week, but I think this episode was way too predictable and over-the-top in its positivity and triumph of spirit. I miss Human Disaster Ben (who can now throw together a gala in hours?), directionless Tom, sad Ann and pre-therapy Chris -- if one of them had been having a bad time in "Emergency Response," there would have been at least some balance to the episode. Instead, everything worked out in the end, even with Leslie simulating the destruction of Pawnee and Andy failing his police exam test, considering the light bulb we saw turn on in Chris's head while getting the "bad" news. Ugh, and now Ben and Leslie are rushing their wedding (not unlike... every other sitcom ever, most recently 30 Rock)? You had one job, Show! (And don't get me started on the in-your-face Macy's and Vita Coco Coconut Water advertising.)
About five minutes in to "Women in Garbage," my fiancé and I were laughing so hard that we had to pause, rewind and turn up the volume -- and this continued throughout. Maybe this episode didn't move the season's plot along very far, but it was consistently funny and made me extremely happy in the way that Parks and Recreation often does. I wouldn't describe it as "epic" the way I would "Two Parties" (and I don't use that term lightly), but I do think it's the kind of episode you can show a non-believer in order to finally convince them to binge-watch Parks & Rec with you from the beginning (actually, I'd recommended starting at the first episode of Season 2, but I digress). Until then, let's do this:
Half of Two Parties was so good -- like, series-highlight, disappointed-in-the-middle-of-the-episode-that-there-were-only-so-many-minutes-left, waiting-for-this-premise-to-turn-into-a-feature-length-movie good. The other half felt oversaturated, rushed and disorganized, and a waste of Donna with a male stripper and Leslie, Ann and April surrounded by penises and alcohol.
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.)
At last, Joe Biden discovers the real perks of being Vice President.
"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.
"Partridge" was great. I mean, of course we were going to love doped-up Ben -- given how good flu-stricken Leslie and human disaster Ben have been in the past, it only makes sense. The pacing in this episodes was fantastic, all of the storylines were fun and my only real complaint is that Parks and Recreation is never frickin' on, and I desperately want to watch a new episode every week instead of a seemingly random installment every first Thursday of the month, or whatever this schedule is. More, I say, more! On the bright side, there are still four episodes left this season, all of which are consecutive -- there's even two in one night on April 18! -- so I can stop my complaining and get to talking about how much I laughed last night. Until then, I'm not above suing the parents of whoever made up this stupid schedule for spawning a human turdburger.