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Parks and Recreation “One Last Ride” Review (7×12/7×13)

24 Feb

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“Yes, I’m ready.”

After 7 years and 125 episodes, Parks and Recreation has finally come to a close. It’s been an up-and-down ride in recent years, but this final season brought the show back to its roots–back to what made it truly great–even as it was showing us where its characters were going in the future. In “One Last Ride”, we get one last look at these wonderful people that we’ve come to know and love, and we get to experience a moving and satisfying series finale to one of the funniest shows on television.

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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.

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Parks and Recreation “Ann and Chris” Review (6×13)

30 Jan

b22c3ade977a4413c43ca2c5b5d5aaf1“Oh, Ann, you beautiful sunflower.”

Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins are friends. They’re two people who understand each other, make each other better people, and are inseparable. Yet, that’s exactly what happens tonight; Ann and Chris are leaving Pawnee, and it’s all tears and laughs and goodbyes in a heartwarming episode of Parks and Recreation.

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Parks and Recreation “Second Chunce” Review (6×10)

9 Jan

Parks-and-Recreation-9-550x365Moving on in life is a difficult thing to do, especially so for the people of Pawnee, the small town that’s been the one constant in all these characters’ recent adventures. Parks and Recreation‘s 100th episode deals with this idea in a funny, touching manner that serves as both a conclusion and a new beginning.

In fact, it seems like a lot of storylines have run their course, and we’re getting closer to the series’ inevitable end. For one, we definitely wouldn’t have needed to see Leslie running for city council again; that would’ve frustrated me beyond belief. Thankfully, the writers take a step back and zero in on Leslie and Ben, highlighting exactly what’s great about their relationship. It’s understandable that Leslie wouldn’t want to let go of her past, but Ben is a smart guy; he realizes that she’s destined for greater things, a greater future that elevates her beyond Pawnee’s borders. So, he brings in Kathryn Hahn’s Jen Barclay for a little motivational speech, so to speak. The “I don’t care enough about you to lie to you” line is very telling; Leslie’s often bogged down by her emotions and her interpersonal relationships, and she not only needs her husband to motivate her, but also someone with little emotional ties to the situation.

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Parks and Recreation “Filibuster/Recall Vote” Review (6×06/6×07)

14 Nov

Parks and Recreation - Season 6Leslie Knope isn’t much of an enigma; she’s an inherently good person with certain flaws, one of which is Eagleton. So, whether it be her intense hatred of the town from previous episodes or her determination to fight for their rights here, something’s eventually going to come around and bite her in the ass…maybe Ben Wyatt, as long as Leslie’s wearing roller skates. It’s his crazy sex fantasy, after all.

Surprisingly, she loses the recall vote, not because Eagleton has it out for her, but because she hurt her own chances. It’s a very good choice by the writers–I applaud them for breaking from the norm–that is sure to pave the way for some interesting stories down the road. In fact, I’m completely invested in whatever crusade of kindness that will undoubtedly follow; it’s a much more realistic scenario that, while still saccharine, opens the floodgates for character development.

Speaking of, I like how the writers are strengthening the interpersonal relationships, whether it be Leslie/Ben (in a very funny, drunken, tattoo-almost obtaining storyline in “Recall Vote”), Ron/Donna, Leslie/Ann, or April/Andy. These two episodes are full of small character moments amidst the hilarity that is, say, Ron and Donna playing Big Buck Hunter.

I don’t think the filibuster itself works, as it comes across as more of a straight up parody of Wendy Davis. It’s a storyline ripe with hilarious imagery and Leslie lusting over a margarita (“Democracy is like a cake. It’s layered, delicious, chocolate, and I want some.”), but neither this nor the Erinn Hayes celebrity lifestyle storyline amount to much (I did like “Thank you. It’s genetic and unattainable.”).

Still, it’s a very enjoyable hour that serves up the laughs while moving the show forward in an interesting direction.

GRADE FOR BOTH PARTS: B

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-The first episode is a nice sendoff for Tatiana Maslany, and it opens the door for future appearances. I would’ve liked to see a bit more, especially considering she seems to have great chemistry with Ann, but she still was a great presence and fit right in.

-Kristen Bell’s back!

-That interview does not touch “You’re On With Ron”. Still, “Yes, mostly it’s used for sitting. Put it by a table and eat a meal.”

-Sandwiches made with cookies. You know Andy so well, April.

-I’m happy we got Andy back for an episode. I’ve missed him.

-“I am not a sore loser. It’s just that I want to win, and when I don’t, I get furious. EMPLOYEE.”

-“Ann, you noble and poetic land mermaid.” Also, “Your brain is almost as perfect as your face.”

-“If I know anything about Rwanda, and I don’t, I bet it’s full of rich guys who’ll buy her whatever she wants.”

-I like Youtube videos of turtles and birds becoming friends, too.

-So the Larry thing is permanent now. “Larry, everyone is miserable, and you are only making it worse.”

-Ron is still great. “Start over and speak differently.” Also, “I regret everything.”

-“Eat my shorts, Jabronis. Knope out.” Best concession speech ever.

-Not even Lil’ Sebastien can cheer Leslie up. The shot of Leslie asleep on the bench and everyone looking through the window is priceless….or Leslie Buttface Hitler the Fourth.

-“Just remember kids, nothing gold can stay.”

-“Please back up two paces so I can physically destroy this machine.”

-I loved Ben holding the chainsaw while asking if there was anything to numb the pain.

-“C’mon now. You know I don’t give a ****.” Oh, Donna.

“Truly we did steal a toy from your pregnant friend.”

“My initials are private.” Also, Ron’s laugh.

-“It is Ms. Knope; it’s not Councilwoman Knope because that chapter of my life is already over.”

-The Buttercup and Westley costumes are great.

Credit to NBC and Parks and Recreation for all pictures. I own nothing.

 

 

 

Parks and Recreation “Gin It Up!” Review (6×05)

18 Oct

627-9First, let’s get this out of the way….Tatiana Maslany freaking rocks.

There. All right, now onto the rest of the episode.

LESLIE RECALL

Councilman Jamm’s back, and he’s out to get Leslie once again; this time, he’s using one of Donna’s tweets against her. It’s a nice storyline because it seems as if the show’s transitioning from Ann to Donna; whereas this is something that Leslie and Ann would’ve had to go through before, Donna handles it in a different way. It’s a nice setup for a potentially fantastic relationship going forward.

RON AND HIS WILL

Ron’s storylines do seem repetitive at times, but his interactions with Ben are just good enough to sell it. I would like to see him interact with Diane more, but I understand that he’s a person that’s afraid of commitment; it might not be in character for him to move fast. Nevertheless, Scott and Offerman are fantastic here, as always.

TOM AND NADIA

Guest star Tatiana Maslany plays a more straightforward character here, but she and Plaza play their respective characters perfectly. The storyline could’ve easily become cliched (Tom is pretty insufferable here), but the two are able to ground the storyline and make it endearing. Still, I don’t like that Tom gets Tatiana Maslany. He’s one lucky man.

GRADE: B+

Other thoughts:

-“Upon my death, all my belongings will transfer to the man or animal that has killed me.”

-“She was talking dirty to me.” “She was reading the emails you sent to the first woman!”

-“Another word for ‘joke’ is ‘lies’.”

-#Bossbitch vs. #bitchboss

-“Nice meeting you, April….kinda. You’re weird too. “Thank you.”

-“I will leave my children 50 dollars apiece for the cab ride home from my funeral and a steak dinner. That’s all.”

-“We need to talk.” “That has never been true.”

-Ethel Beavers reading Donna’s tweets is perfection. “Number sign.”

-Maslany looks good in a lab coat.

-Speaking of, you should all watch Orphan Black.

Credit to NBC and Parks and Recreation for all pictures. I own nothing.

Thursday TV Round Up 10/10/13: Parks and Recreation, The Vampire Diaries, Parenthood

11 Oct

Due to my lack of time to write 3 separate reviews, I’ve decided to introduce TV Round-ups to provide abbreviated thoughts on shows I’ve watched.

DATE: October 10, 2013

SHOWS COVERED: Parks and Recreation, The Vampire Diaries, Parenthood

627-4PARKS AND RECREATION, “DOPPELGANGERS” (6×04)

Now here’s a much better way to handle Leslie Knope. Last week, she bordered on insufferable because 1) No one called her out on her actions, and 2) Her relationship with Eagleton isn’t as deeply personal as her relationship with Ann. While at times she may seem childish, her actions here are understandable. She’s acting out because her best friend has told her she’s leaving (the scene where Ann goes to Leslie with waffles and a picture of Joe Biden is sweet and hilarious).

We also have a bunch of Eagleton Doppelgangers joining the proceedings, and it’s absolutely fantastic. I like that all of them aren’t really straight up “rivals”; there’s a spin on each that subverts my expectations of what the show would do with the character. Billy Eichner and Sam Elliott are wonderful here.

GRADE: B+

627THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, “TRUE LIES” (5×02)

This is a slower episode than last week’s, seemingly more of a “move the pieces into place” episode. It’s not bad, but there seems to be a bit of wheel-spinning going on. It’s always entertaining to see Silas-Stefan, especially when he’s battling it out with Jeremy, and I think Bonnie’s storyline is better handled this week. Her scenes with Matt are touching, and she doesn’t feel as superfluous here. In addition, Katherine is becoming increasingly entertaining; I could watch her complain about her sinus infection all day.

However, I’m finding that the Damon-Elena scenes don’t work for me. Elena’s made her choice, and bringing up the Stefan drama again is tiring.

GRADE: B

627-2PARENTHOOD, “Nipple Confusion” (5×03)

The episode has its ups and downs. I love the Crosby storyline; it really details the difficulties of parenthood in a moving, realistic way. In addition, the Zeek and Camille storyline shines; they never get enough to do, and this episode shows exactly why they’re great. It’s a very relatable and realistic conversation to have, and I’m looking forward to where this goes.

As for Sarah, I hope that she can settle down and focus on photography. I love that Hank calls her out on her “flightiness”, and I like that he doesn’t sugarcoat things too much when she visits him later with the photos. She has a need for validation from others, and I like that Hank just compliments her on her photography, not her person.

The Drew college adventures are pretty inconsequential, mainly used as an excuse to have Matt Lauria act all badass. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to watch. Joel and Julia’s spat seems a little excessive, but it’s still rooted in reality. I hope that Julia’s relationship with Ed doesn’t turn romantic, as I think it’s an extremely interesting premise to explore an emotional connection, not a physical one.

Now, on to Kristina. She acts childish in this episode; I’m having a hard time believing that she wouldn’t worry about their finances. Also, it’s unrealistic that she would get going this quickly. I love Monica Potter, but this storyline’s dragging a bit.

GRADE: B

Credit to NBC, The CW, Parenthood, The Vampire Diaries, and Parks and Recreation for all pictures. I own nothing.

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