TV Time: Parks and Recreation 5.19/5.20

Title Article Two/Jerry’s Retirement

Two-Sentence Summary In “Article Two,” Leslie battles a staunch traditionalist over outdated portions of Pawnee’s town charter, while Ben and Ann get into a bidding war over a waffle iron they both hope to give Leslie. “Jerry’s Retirement” focuses on Jerry’s last official day as a Pawnee government worker as both Ben and Leslie and Ann and Chris think about their future families.

Favorite Line from “Article Two” “Have you seen those Dothraki? They can get it. Everybody on that show can get it.” (Donna, talking to Ann about Game of Thrones)

Favorite Line from “Jerry’s Retirement” “I went back to check Season One of Fringe for plot holes. As I suspected, airtight.” (Ben)

My Thoughts This has been a hard week, a sad week, and a week that’s been filled with more tension than any in recent memory. During times like this, I find it important to have breaks from the news, the Twitter feeds, and the endless cycle of anxiety. During times like this, it’s important to have something that allows you time to escape, to laugh, and to feel happy. For me, that something was last night’s hour of Parks and Recreation. In a dark week, visiting Pawnee was the little bit of sunshine I (and I’m sure many others) needed.

I don’t have much to say specifically about these episodes. I’m happy that Ann and Chris seem to be moving towards a romance because I have always loved the chemistry between Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones. I liked that Leslie showed Jerry some real kindness, and I liked that she was able to see just how beautiful his home life is. (Amy Poehler’s facial expressions during that breakfast scene were beyond priceless.) I loved Patton Oswalt’s appearance more than words can say. And if you haven’t watched his entire filibuster, then you haven’t really felt joy.

Ultimately, I went into these episodes simply wanting to laugh and to feel good. And that’s exactly what I got. Parks and Rec is like a security blanket for me; when I feel stressed or sad about the state of the world, I reach for Leslie Knope and her idealism and optimism. On a night when I looked for one TV show to make me happy, I was rewarded with so many little gems of happiness.

As many of you know, few things in life make me happier than the love story of Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope, so I was on cloud nine last night when it came to their interactions. Is it weird that I still smile every time Ben refers to Leslie as his wife? Poehler and Adam Scott have such an effortlessly intimate chemistry. I can’t find the right words to describe it, but they just look like a happily married couple together. It’s in their smiles, their body language as they both shared the same chair in her office, and the way they kiss. (Yes, Leslie, I would also kiss any adorable man who offered to make me mac and cheese pizza.)

I found myself getting unsurprisingly choked up at Ben’s face when Leslie told him she wanted to really start thinking about their family. He looked so happy to be married to her and to be the man she wants a family with. And that’s something I love about Leslie; she wants to be a mom in addition to being the president. She’s written as a woman we know would be a great, loving mother AND a great, passionate politician. The fact that Leslie gets to have it all because we’ve seen her work so hard for it makes me very emotional sometimes—and very proud to be a fan of this show.

If there’s anything that makes me happier than Ben and Leslie, it’s Ben and his nerdy passions, and we also got a full helping of that this week. Of course, Ben’s eBay name would be TallTyrionLannister. Of course, he would have to tell Ann exactly how wrong she is about the Lannisters having magical powers. Of course, he would re-watch Fringe for plot holes after Leslie falls asleep. He’s Ben Wyatt, my flawlessly nerdy dream man. I said it on Twitter last night, and I’ll say it again here: I would give my right hand (Jaime-Lannister-style) for a husband exactly like Ben Wyatt. There’s nothing cuter to me on television than Ben’s face every time he talks about Game of Thrones. Scott’s work this season has been his best yet, and he’s never better than when Ben gets to be a total, unashamed fanboy.

Speaking of fanboys (and fangirls), there were so many little nerdy references this week that it was like heaven for me. The aforementioned filibuster would have been enough to make me thrilled beyond belief, but then we were given so many glorious shout-outs to Game of Thrones, too. As someone whose obsession with that series is growing every day, I literally did a happy dance when Donna talked to Ann about the show. And yes, she is correct: Everyone on that show can get it. (Retta’s delivery was once again perfect throughout both episodes.) The love this cast and writing staff have for Game of Thrones is one of my favorite little things about the show.

As I said before, I turned on the TV last night just hoping to have an hour of lighthearted laughter after what’s become a week filled with tragedy. While one happy hour of TV could never diminish that tragedy or make me forget those lives lost this week, it was nice to be reminded that there are still people out there who believe in good things and good people enough to make a TV show about them.

 

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8 thoughts on “TV Time: Parks and Recreation 5.19/5.20

  1. Ben and Leslie are delightful. I’m so glad they brought his character in to the show. I wasn’t so sure about Parks and Rec in the first season (I wanted to like it, but I just wasn’t sure if I did), but I’ve really enjoyed it since Ben and Chris joined the cast. My husband loves it every time Chris says “literally” so he had a great time this week. I felt a little shortchanged by Ann and Chris scurrying off – I could have used a little romantic fix, a little more passion, but regardless, I love them together. Jerry at home is really great. I loved the Christmas episode where we first got to see him at home with his beautiful ladies, and all you can do is scratch your head in amazement, wondering how?! And it was a great way to bring the value of home and family into the show for Leslie. I really enjoy all of the characters. There’s a lot of great humor and I love that it’s fast paced and smart and full of nerdy references – even if I don’t get half of them!

    This week has been sad. I have avoided the news for the most part. I hate it when they run out of new information and they just start speculating wildly. I have a friend who ran the Boston Marathon 6 years ago, and I immediately thought of her when I heard what happened. She is a very emotional, sensitive person, and was hit very hard by the news. But in one day she and her fiancé were able to rally their friends together and hold a run/walk in honor of the victims. Over 100 people came out on a Tuesday night to run and show their support. We are clear across the country (a small city near Seattle) but I heard that their event was acknowledged in a Boston paper and they were on the cover of every local paper here in our county. I was really impressed by her choice to do something positive, and pleased that is also her best stress reliever. And it’s a reminder that most people are good. I hope you are feeling better.

    • First of all, that’s such a great story about your friend organizing that run/walk. I love hearing these stories of the good in humanity in the wake of what happened last week.

      And I totally agree with you about Parks and Rec getting much better when it added Ben and Chris. It took until Season Three’s “Flu Season” for me to go from liking the show to being in love with it, and I definitely attribute that to the presence of Ben Wyatt.

  2. I just discovered your blog and I love it!! I’m a big Castle and Parks & Rec fan, so this is the place for me 🙂 I totally get what you mean about Parks & Rec being like a security blanket, especially this week. It’s great to tune into a show each week that’s so unabashedly full of optimism and joy. Looking forward to reading more from you!

  3. This really was a nice light set of episodes this week. Ben’s nerdiness will always be incredibly charming to me and I really loved that he and Ann got to interact a little bit! Now that Ann and Chris are dating again, I wouldn’t mind seeing a double date with them and Ben/Leslie.

    Jerry’s home life makes me so happy. I love that even though he didn’t accomplish all of his career goals, he got to spend time with his family and he was happy with that. He has such a beautiful and loving family and that’s all he needs. I find that message incredibly heartwarming and I love that it made Leslie stop and think about her own life as well.

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