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Parks and Recreation “2017”/ “Ron & Jammy” Review (7×01/7×02)

13 Jan

Parks and Recreation

“Life is about taking risks.”

It’s the final season of Parks and Recreation, and while it’s clear that this is around the time when most shows should finish, it’s also clear that Parks can still deliver sweet and funny stories each week. “2017” is a very pleasant return to the show, but “Ron & Jammy” takes it up a notch, expertly straddling the line between ridiculous and hilarious as it reminds us why exactly we watch these characters: to laugh.

As is oftentimes the case during final seasons, the show begins to explore the passage of time, the effect that confronting your own mortality has on you. It’s certainly not quite as dark as I make it sound, but there’s a common thread throughout these two episodes about looking back on your life and perhaps making a change. There’s an undercurrent of dissatisfaction here, and although the time jump doesn’t make for too huge of a change in the status quo, it still provides a nice context for that dissatisfaction. April laments the fact that she and Andy aren’t spontaneous and cool anymore, and she asks: “Do I even like my job?” She connects with Joan Callamezzo, who says that life is about finding your passion and doing what you love–in Gotham, apparently–and this spurs April to reflect on what she loves to do. She ends up with a bunch of cadavers, which doesn’t really come as much of a surprise.

Elsewhere, Andy and Tom are starting to feel a bit of that dissatisfaction as well, so they head off to Chicago to find Lucy (and later, to explore the city). Tom is a character who has been consistently developing over the course of the series, and here, it’s nice to see him continuing to do so; it’s also nice to see Ansari and Natalie Morales interacting again, so I look forward to wherever that takes us.

That brings us to Leslie and Ron, two characters who we never want to see fight, yet two characters whose fight makes sense. A rift was bound to happen sometime, and although it’s not what I want to see for the rest of the series, it’s an interesting introduction point to 2017 and an interesting scenario for the two; thankfully, though, the two must work together in part 2 of the premiere, and as always, it’s absolutely wonderful to watch.

In the end, whether it’s Ron’s “Looks like the crotch blinder was in you all along” or Leslie’s Tammy impression or Ben and Tom breaking down over the Bicentennial Gala speech, the show uses the new time to continue to explore older conflicts. It does this very well, and if it keeps it up over the remaining 11 episodes, it’ll be a bittersweet, hilarious, and moving finish to the series.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

– “How about her?!” “That’s my dad!”

-Oh, the Cubs won.

-Kevin James is James Bourne.

– “Very Good Building and Development Company”

– “My son sells them on etsy…he’s a huge disappointment.”

– “On a second note, I think America should have a Purge night. Let me explain.”

– “If anybody wants to hang, I’ll be at Subway!” Can Jon Hamm please stay for the rest of the season?

-That law firm name is hilarious. I hope that it consists of 50 names by the series finale.

-It looks like it’s Terry now.

-I really want to see Andy as coach of the Bulls.

– “After 47 years living here, I decided to move to Orlando to be close to Disney World.” Werner Herzog’s scene in this premiere is excellent.

-Oh, NBC. You cancel Community, and then you burn this off in seven weeks. I’m not sure you have a comedy that can crack a 1.0 anymore.

Photo credit: NBC, Parks and Recreation

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5 Responses to “Parks and Recreation “2017”/ “Ron & Jammy” Review (7×01/7×02)”

  1. Matthew Thompson January 13, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    This is a spot-on take on these first two eps. I thought the show was kind of in cruise control the past couple seasons (though still funny) and I liked the idea of the time jump because it felt like it could give things a shot in the arm. It felt a little off at first in the premiere, but by the second episode I was really digging it. I think having Leslie and Ron working together helped a lot because as you said, we don’t necessarily want to see them at odds even if it makes sense. Her Tammy impression was just incredible too. Probably the highlight of this first hour for me.

    • polarbears16 January 13, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

      Yeah, I completely agree about the last few seasons: still enjoyable, but definitely not seasons 2/3 level. The time jump was a pleasant surprise for me last year, mostly because of Jon Hamm but also because the show needed a shake up.

  2. Veronika Zakonjšek January 14, 2015 at 8:18 am #

    Great write-up! Werner Herzog’s appearance was excellent indeed, and Jon Hamm was absolutely hilarious.

  3. Hepburn3 January 14, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    Is it wrong that I see Tammy as kind of hero/role model? 😉
    She is truly my favourite villain. I too wish I could live off of rats and rain water… well not really but in my heart I do. 😉
    I love Leslie’s Tammy impressions she was spot on.
    I love Parks and Recreation it is such a well acted show with people with amazing comedic timing and skills.
    I always think that if an actor can do comedy as well as drama then they have skill and the whole cast is just amazing. And yes Jon Hamm’s as Ed is just the best, it just makes me have a bigger crush on the man I wish he could stay on the show, maybe he will because he is apparently too stupid to realize he has been let go.
    I am sad that the show is ending for
    like you said NBC has not much in the funny area, and that is sad, especially since they foolishly cancelled Community.
    I am looking forward to seeing the Saperstien twins, they are just insane.
    Glad to know you will be covering this last but (hopefully) epically funny last season. 🙂

  4. sarah9461 January 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    Polar Bear, have you been watching “The Missing” (GRIPPING!) or “The Honourable Woman?” (“The Missing” meets “Homeland”) ??

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