Monday, May 9, 2011

What I’m Watching: Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation: Season 3, Episode 12 “Eagleton” (B+)

How impressive is it when a show utilizes a plotline similar to one that’s been done before and it manages to come off as entirely fresh? Quite. The town of Pawnee was mocked and insulted relentlessly by the visitors from their sister city in Venezuela, and it’s even more entertaining to see and hear how the residents of the infinitely nicer neighboring town of Eagleton like to put down those that reside in Pawnee. Parker Posey is a fun choice to play Leslie’s number one nemesis, and rivaled Marcia Langman when it came to her ability to talk down to Leslie. It’s an added bonus having Ben around to experience all of this stuff for the first time, so appalled by the sheer differences between the two towns and not already familiar with it, unlike Tom, who travels there every eight days to get his choice cosmetic products. Ron’s birthday made for a stellar subplot, which included a thoroughly amusing and rare interaction between Ron and Anne, where Anne didn’t have a chance to say much. I especially enjoyed April’s dedication to tricking Ron into thinking that Leslie was planning a major surprise party for him by pretending to order inflatable saxophones and then arguing strongly that she would never make a work call at work. Ultimately, we learn what we already know – when Leslie cares about someone, she really knows how to take care of her friends, giving Ron the manliest of gifts in his private steak and movie dinner.

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