While many TV shows took a little hiatus this week, there were still plenty of memorable moments to get us from Sunday to Sunday. The week began with playoff football, and the fallout from one of those games dominated much of the television landscape this week in the form of nonstop talk about “Deflategate.” On Monday, Castle featured a trip into the dramatic world of telenovelas. And Tuesday’s hour of Parks and Recreation offered plenty of laughs and even more tears.
“Leslie and Ron,” the second half of Tuesday’s Parks and Rec double-header wasn’t just the best thing I’ve seen on TV this week. It was the best episode of television I’ve seen so far this year (and probably this whole TV season). The phrase “instant classic” is often hyperbolic, but I honestly believe it’s the perfect way to describe “Leslie and Ron.” It was a series highlight for a series filled with highlights—that’s how special it was.
While it’s difficult to select just one moment in the episode as the best, I can’t stop thinking about the unforced emotion in the scene where Ron told Leslie what motivated him to leave the Parks Department. That scene was a testament to what happens when great writing over the course of an entire series combines with performances given by actors who love and understand their characters even more than their passionate fans do. Ron admitting to Leslie that he missed his friends so much that he was willing to ask for a job with the federal government only resonated the way it did because of who we know Ron Swanson to be as a character and the emotions Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler brought to that moment. It was sweet, it was sad, and it was simply perfect. Such a brilliant, effortlessly moving scene could only be achieved by writers and actors at their top of their game. I’m so glad that my favorite show on television seems to be going out on top creatively in a way few shows I’ve loved ever have before.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?