TV Time: Parks and Recreation 5.12

This week, the beautiful tropical fish Heather takes the reins and shares her thoughts on Parks and Rec

Title Ann’s Decision

Two-Sentence Summary When Ann decides she wants to be a mother and is willing to do it on her own, Leslie steps in to keep Ann from making a rash decision. Elsewhere in Pawnee, Ben picks a caterer for his and Leslie’s wedding and April channels her inner Leslie Knope at a public forum.

Favorite Line “Tragically, we are both heterosexual.” (Leslie, about her friendship with Ann)

My Thoughts The main focus of this week’s episode was on Ann’s decision to have a baby with herself and Leslie’s reaction to her decision. Leslie felt Ann was rushing into the decision, especially considering the quality of guys from whom she was considering getting sperm. If there is one thing that is undeniable about Parks and Rec, it is how much Leslie loves Ann and wants her to live a beautiful, happy life, and so Leslie makes it her mission to stop Ann from going through with what she sees as a big mistake.

Without the final scene between Leslie and Ann, I would have been disappointed by Leslie’s actions. I never doubted that Leslie wanted the best thing for Ann, I was just sad that she thought she should make that decision rather than Ann. I recognize that Leslie is always going to think her way is the best and often will go to ridiculous lengths to prove that, but I also know she is also capable of recognizing when she’s gone too far, especially when she’s hurt someone she loves, which is why I was grateful for that final scene. I’m glad Leslie was both willing to admit that the way she went about things was wrong and openly tell Ann that she should take a little more time with this. To me, that is what makes their friendship the best one on television. Ann recognized that Leslie had her best interests at heart, and Leslie recognized that it was okay if her friend chose something in life other than what she would have chosen. At the end of the day, they will always love and accept the other for who they are, and that’s what a good friendship is all about.

All that being said, however, I thought Ann’s decision kind of came out of nowhere. I don’t often have much to criticize about this show where characterization is concerned, but I couldn’t recall any indication that Ann really wanted kids in the past. They got a good story out of it, but I would have preferred for it to feel a little more organic to Ann’s previous characterization.

The funniest plot of the episode came from Ben, Chris, Ron, and Tom. Ben’s weird obsession with calzones always cracks me up, although I was glad to see it seemingly come to an end so it couldn’t be overused. Tom’s method of judging the caterers was perfect, as was Ben’s reactions to what he was saying. What really made this plot great was the scene in Chris’s office. Ron knocking the phone of the desk so Ben could dial Tom’s number with his nose was hilarious. I would love to see more physical comedy from Adam Scott in future episodes. I am also very excited that JJ’s Diner is catering Ben and Leslie’s wedding, so I was grateful that the calzone made that possible.

Finally, April’s story was about her continuing growth as a character. Leslie has clearly had a big influence on her, so it seemed reasonable for her to think that she had to mimic Leslie’s style (literally, as evidenced by the “Fleetwood Mac sex pants”) in order to get things accomplished. I loved her attempts to be cheerful and reference all the politicians that Leslie loves so much, but what I loved the most was that she showed she could do a good job just by being herself. Yes, she got complaints that she was too rude, but she got a lot of signatures for Pawnee Commons (and she made it very clear that it would not be a topless park). I am so happy with the way her character has continued to grow over the course of the show while staying true to who she is.

While I didn’t love this episode as much as I have others this season, it was still a solid episode with a lot of really good moments in it.


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