TV Review: Parks and Recreation Season 5 Episode 10
I think I should just start off by saying that the above image is not capturing a hangover. Because nobody gets sufficiently drunk this episode, which seems like a real missed opportunity. Because the Parks and Recreation characters are perfection when they’re binge drinking.
Nevertheless, we still get a good combo of penis hats, pretentious hipster bars, another political guest star (Newt Gingrich. Because somebody at NBC thought that’d be cute?) and some more progress on Lot 48.
Oh, and penis gummies.
TL;DR Leslie’s plot does a good job of moving the season arc forward, while Ben’s is more joke laden. Those 2 really are meant to be together. Aww.
I just wish all the penises hadn’t been blurred out.
Yeah, so Leslie and Ben are having the bachelor/bachelorette parties on the same night. The girls go for the traditional strippers/penises/drinking thing, while Ben (having been asked what his ideal night would be) decides on the guys playing some board game. Naturally, Tom revolts and the boys head out to a fucking bizarre bar, which eventually leads to the discovery that none of them have had the bachelor party they wanted, so they spend the night fulfilling some dude fantasies. Meanwhile, Leslie is distracted from her party at Ann’s house by the early development by Councilman Jamm of the Paunch Burger foundations on Lot 48 (he’s started before official council approval because he’s confident). Leslie takes action by planting some Wamapoke Indian “artifacts” on the site. Despite coming to her senses and enlisting the partygoers to help her take them back, the story breaks. Luckily, Ken the Wamapoke leader helps Leslie out of the pickle.
I gotta say it again: pretty disappointed that there was no awesome binge drinking. Would have made me feel like less of an alcoholic last night if I’d had some company, even in televised form. Rude.
But I feel like a bit of cunty Grinch complaining about things I wanted but weren’t there, so I’ll give Parks and Recreation a conceded pass for finding a way to play the stock bachelor/bachelorette party situation in a different way. How many sitcoms have you watched where a bachelorette party devolved into trying to undo a crime against Native American legacy?
Why I hate this episode:
They even interrupt the stripper (the Abraham Lincoln themed stripper) before he can really get going. So cruel.
Most of the fantasies are pretty disposable and forgettable. Jerry takes them to an ice-cream shop, Andy gets to go to a stadium and do some footbabll shit with what I assume to be famous players (Australian here), Tom’s is the crappy bar they go to, and Ron’s is just a restaurant. Meh.
I’m a bit disappointed that Leslie so quickly caved RE the artifakes (oh ho, portmanteau). Worse, she takes up a lot of time trying to clean up the mess. Gurl, you need to commit to this park. Get in there. Get dirty. And not just in the literal sense when you’re trying to dig up artifakes.
And Parks and Recreation always likes to have its cake and eat it, too, so even after Leslie’s plan fails (succeeds?) and the investigation concludes the artifacts are fake, she doesn’t have to take any responsibility for it. Ken forgives her almost immediately, and when she tries to admit her guilt he steps in and diffuses the situation. For a woman who’s about to get married, bitch ain’t understandin’ commitment, ho.
I really want to like Ben, but when he suggests they watch Homeland at a bachelor party, I just can’t do anything to help you. Might as well pull out a DVD box set of The Wire while you DVR some Breaking Bad (I’m a rude douchebag who hates “serious” shows even though I’ve never watched them. If you hadn’t picked that up yet).
Oh, and there’s an awkwardly, super overlong joke later in the episode when the boys are talking about Chris’ hypothetical future wife. Andy says maybe it’ll be April, which would have been a fine joke on its own (because Andy is, you know, dumb), but then he goes on to painfully detail how that future would come to be, include plot twists about how he didn’t die then secretly stalked Chris and April then came to accept it but didn’t blah blah blah. This isn’t Family Guy.
Reasons to watch:
Ann stress-binge eating penis gummies.
Although she totally goes back on it, Leslie’s plan is a delightful combination of righteous indignation, haste and prop gags. Even I felt her fury when she saw Jamm all smug.
Ken is as boss as ever. Remember when he fake blessed the Harvest Festival? He hasn’t changed a bit. He ends the meeting with Leslie, Jamm and the blonde Paunch Burger woman by forcing them to wear a headdress and do some Wamapoke dance thing. Jamm initially refuses but Ken says that would be offensive, so Jamm consents. Then when he goes to do it, Ken says that’s offensive. Beautiful.
He’s also not shy about being a dick (if you hadn’t noticed). He’s threatening Jamm and Blondie. Her response: “Is that a threat?” Ken: “Yes. I thought that was obvious.” Abusing racial sensitivity with style.
Shauna Malwae-Tweep is back. Leslie tips her off to the artifact discovery before she has her change of heart. And at the end of the episode, the boys decide to set her up with Chris. I like her.
Best line goes to Ron: “There is no wrong way to consume alcohol.” Yes.
Although he does turn out to be wrong when Tom takes them to the sublimely pathetic “alternative” bar in Eagleton (the scotch is served as a lotion. A. Lotion).
Second best line goes to Ann when Leslie baulks a bit at the Abe Lincoln stripper: “I know for a fact this is a sex dream you’ve had.” Lol.
Ron says things are going well with Diane. Aww.
Oh, and Ron apparently has not mastered the art of eating ice-cream with a moustache.