TV Time: Parks and Recreation 5.03

Title How a Bill Becomes a Law

Two-Sentence Summary As Leslie works to pass a bill to help a Pawnee youth swim team, Chris creates a 311 system to deal with queries from citizens, which leads Ron to a single mother and possible new love interest. In Washington, April and Ben’s spur-of-the-moment trip to Pawnee is derailed when a presidential motorcade leaves them stuck in a parking garage.

Favorite Line “Ron and Diane, sittin’ in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i. Did you hear that bird?” (Andy)

My Thoughts This episode helped me see that Parks and Rec is back on the right track after a slow start to the season. Though it still felt a little disjointed at times (I just really need Ben back in Pawnee with Leslie), it was the funniest episode of the season so far—and the one that felt most like the Parks and Rec that I love.

I have such a strange soft spot for Tom (he’s probably my favorite character besides Leslie and Ben), so I can never get enough of seeing him interact with Leslie. Their A-plot was well-executed and found a nice balance between celebrating Leslie’s idealism and showing the challenges that idealism faces in her new role in the government. I love when we get to see Tom’s good heart, so it made me smile to see him defend Leslie the way he did in the end.

There were some details I loved in Leslie’s storyline and some that I wasn’t so crazy about. I adored her photos of inspirational women in her office, but what I adored even more was that she included herself (you inspire me too, Leslie Knope). I laughed out loud at Councilman Milton originally running on a platform to de-integrate baseball. And Leslie’s porpoise sounds cracked me up (anytime Leslie interacts with kids I find myself thoroughly enjoying it). However, I didn’t care for the overused bathroom humor (just not my style). And I thought the half-perm sight gag was trying a little too hard to be funny.

I also genuinely enjoyed what was going on with the rest of the cast this week. Ron’s plot was really strong, and I could watch an entire episode of just him interacting with Andy because they are such good counterbalances for one another. I’m so excited to see what happens with Ron and Diane because I can never get enough of Ron in relationships. Plus, Lucy Lawless is looking more gorgeous than ever. The 311 plot felt like a natural source of comedy for the show, and it gave us more Donna, which is always a good thing.

That leaves us with Ben and April, who once again had my favorite storyline in the episode. The detail the writers and Adam Scott put into Ben’s characterization is incredible. It wasn’t enough to have April mock him by insinuating that he writes Star Trek fan fiction; he actually writes it (and reads it to her in the car). Those kinds of quirky details make him not just a hilarious character but an interesting one, a character I always want to know more about because I always love what I learn. And if anyone wants more of Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz Mix (and who doesn’t), you can listen to the whole thing on Spotify. Have I mentioned lately how much I love the amount of thought and detail put into every aspect of this show?

“How a Bill Becomes a Law” still wasn’t a great episode of Parks and Rec, but it was closer to great than the show has been since last season’s finale. It featured pairs of characters that are known to work well together (Donna and Jerry, Ben and April, Ron and Andy, and Tom and Leslie), and those combinations proved golden once again. Each week, Parks and Rec has been getting stronger, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s to come as the season progresses.


2 thoughts on “TV Time: Parks and Recreation 5.03

  1. I really enjoyed this episode and I’m starting to get used to the somewhat disjointed storylines. I like that we are getting different groups of people to interact each week (with the exception of Ben and April) although I would still prefer them all as a group.

    Ron and Andy will always be one of my favorite people to see together because Ron is at his best when he has someone to balance out his personality and Andy is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. I think they had my favorite subplot this week and I’m already shipping Ron and Diane (as is Andy, apparently!)

    I loved Ben even more than usual this week. The fact that he writes fan fiction fits his character so well and him reading it to April was hilarious. I hope the next episode will be of him and April in Pawnee for the weekend, because I miss Leslie and Ben.

    Like you, I could have done without the bathroom humor. It just doesn’t appeal to me at all. I did enjoy Leslie’s half-permed hair though, mostly because it just felt so in character for her to get a perm despite Ann’s disapproval and realize halfway through that she’s made a mistake.

    • Andy is climbing up my list of favorite characters, too! He has such a good heart, and Chris Pratt is so funny that any time Andy is onscreen I’m basically already laughing in anticipation of what he’s going to do.

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