TV Review: Parks and Recreation Season 5 Episode 12
So with 30 Rock dead and buried (embalmed in my tears!), it’s up to Parks and Rec to pick up the NBC sitcom slack.
Yeah, good luck with that.
TL;DR I’m getting that plateau feeling. Everything feels just a bit too comfortable.
It’s like last season all over again.
The plot mainly focuses on Ann and Leslie this week. Following her encounter with Diane’s children, Ann has now decided that it’s time to get prego. Against Leslie’s wishes (Leslie wants her to have the fairytale she and Ben are currently experiencing, but Ann is more realistic), Ann hits up a sperm bank. When that doesn’t go well, she interviews men she knows and lands on The Douche (from the gross-out, Pawnee radio show Crazy Ira and The Douche) as the most suitable candidate. Shockingly, Leslie is able to convince her that a man who calls himself The Douche is not a great option, and they decide to continue their search elsewhere. Meanwhile, April is running the public forums for the development of Lot 48. They (as per usual) don’t go well. After trying to do things like Leslie, she learns that being her belligerent self works better. And Chris gets Tom, Ron and Chris to help him pick a caterer for the wedding. Food poisoning ensues.
My big boo with this episode is just how bleh it is. Ann’s plot has come out of basically nowhere, so I’m not invested in it at all. And there is no surprise that she would eventually nix her plans with The Douche.
And after having Jack and Liz have such intense, true and meaningful fights on 30 Rock, it’s hard to give a fuck about Leslie and Ann bickering over arbitrary sperm donors.
The April subplot is also something we’ve seen a billion times before (the bizarre public forum), and I’m getting sick of it. Maybe it’s time for NBC to cancel this show before it further embarrasses itself through mediocrity.
Why I hate this episode:
It really is just going through the motions this week. We’ve got the “dramatic” A-plot of Leslie and Ann fighting/making up. The recycled public forum B-plot. And the meaningless nothing C-plot. I don’t think I’ve experienced an episode of Parks and Rec that’s felt so obviously constructed.
Also, just get to the damn wedding already.
Ann has begun dating herself. Bitch, you’re not Sue Sylvester. This isn’t Glee. This is supposed to be respectable television (again, so not Glee). Take that shit back to Ryan Murphy’s acid nightmare lockup, where it belongs.
Out of all the boys, Tom is the only one who doesn’t get sick. There is no justice.
Honestly, are Ann’s standards getting so low that she’s willing to put the sperm of someone named The Douche into her body? What the fuck? Is Leslie the only one who can see how hot she is?
Oh, and April’s little lesson about being herself is so redundant. Really, April? You didn’t already know that pretending to be Leslie would be hard and you wouldn’t like it? Golly gee whiz.
Reasons to watch:
Despite meaning nothing, the catering/food poisoning subplot does have some funny moments. Watching Ben, Ron and Chris writhe around, nearly immobilized by pain, is more than beauty.
Ben also makes a joke during the testing about how Tom spends most of his time Instagramming his food instead of eating it. Totally Tom.
Tom’s prentension also awards him best line of the episode, which he delivers when describing his pick of the caterers: “Number 3’s told a story. A story from a book I wouldn’t read, but I would watch the movie of it.” I am conflicted by my closeness to Tom at this time.
And Tom suggests Jean-Ralphio as a caterer following the food poisoning fiasco. It is shut down, obviously.
Ann has created a crappy blog. So like me. She uses it as an excuse to “interview” her potential sperm donors. Stop giving me ideas.
Leslie is almost forced to jell-o wrestle a hot blonde skank by The Douche when she wants him to stop talking about Ann’s vagina on air. It doesn’t happen, but I still got the visual.
JJ’s Diner ends up being chosen to cater for the wedding. Fuck yeah.
Oh, and April (though she doesn’t think so) looks a bit alright in Leslie’s vintage threads. Andy agrees with me.