TV Review: Parks and Recreation Season 5 Episode 14
I am here to spread dissatisfaction.
What? Somebody has to dampen all this love and sincere emotion.
It’s the only thing that keeps my filthy humanity at bay. Fuck empathy.
TL;DR Leslie and Ben get married. Warm fuzzies ensue.
At least they kept it simple.
So yeah, this is The One Where They Finally Get Married. Leslie and Ben try to co-ordinate a slapjob of a wedding in under 2 hours. Nothing goes to plan, but eventually they get there and Leslie makes her walk down the aisle at the gala. Jamm shows up to ruin the day, though. He and Ron have an altercation that lands them both in jail. But yet, all hope is not lost. The crew eventually bail Ron out and take Leslie to a much more intimate ceremony in the Parks Department office. Aaaaand they’re married.
As a long serving Parks and Recreation devotee, I can’t say this episode isn’t tingle-tastic.
But as a long serving Parks and Recreation complainant, this is just another episode swallowed by a pandering to emotion. Parks and Recreation just feels like a bunch of filler episodes in between the scheduled “Aww” episode where everyone is super cute and nice and happy-super-sweet-times abound.
The show has turned Leslie into a little baby that we just want to cuddle and see constantly winning and getting everything she wants. Yes, Leslie is a woman you can care about, but gone are the days where she really had to work for anything. Now, whenever the plot calls for it, the whole crew is ready to tear apart whatever new challenge they face in complete unison.
Why I hate this episode:
Did you actually think there was any risk of Leslie and Ben not getting married? Their only worthwhile opposition comes in Jamm, who is just one drunk guy at a party. Then, when Ron’s in jail, Leslie refuses to have the wedding without him. Cue his immediate bail.
As it’s the wedding episode, ridiculously mooshy speeches are a given. But the one Ron gives to Leslie before they enter the Parks office is especially syrupy. He calls her beautiful and says that he values her friendship. I’m already at risk for type 2 diabetes, Parks and Recreation. I don’t need your help.
In less than 2 hours, Ann somehow manages to fundamentally alter Leslie’s incomplete wedding dress. She makes the skirt out of a collection of bills, documents and newspaper clippings of Leslie’s. Unrealistic!
Ron’s take-down of Jamm should have been way more severe. He pretty much just boops him on the nose. If you’re gonna have Ron be a slave to emotion, at least unleash his full fury.
I don’t really care about Andy’s police exam failure. Do you? Don’t lie to me.
Oh, and my dissatisfaction with Parks and Recreation’s nose dive into cuteness comes mainly from my constant comparison of it to 30 Rock. This would have never happened there. Jenna, Tracy and Jack were able to remain Liz’s best friends without becoming subservient to her every emotional whim. It’s like Parks and Recreation is scared to have their characters feel anything below wry disappointment (which is usually counteracted immediately with some type of consolation).
Reasons to watch:
But hey, Leslie gets married, yo.
And her suspension of disbelief-ruining dress is adorable.
Li’l Sebastian returns (well, a look-alike). As bizarrbitrary (portmanteau of “bizarre” and “arbitrary.” Because I’m just that skilled) as Li’l Sebastian has always been, he is a great symbol of Pawnee, and an appropriate sign to Leslie of how tonight was meant to happen. It’s also still confusing to Ben, which is just gravy.
April and Andy actually do something mildly interesting and rude this episode. They break into City Hall to steal a marriage licence for Leslie and Ben. April then offers to forge signatures on it, but is forced by Leslie to obtain the real deal. So she and Andy go wake up Ethel Beavers to do it. Rude April is good April.
When Chris and Ben can’t find rings, Ron breaks a sconce off Ann’s wall and fashions rings himself. I lol’d.
Jamm, in his childish, drunken stupor, sets off stink bombs at the gala wedding. That’s more like it.
Best line of the episode goes to Tom, who is frustrated at the 24 hour waiting period for his online ordainment (so he can perform the ceremony): “This is America. I want it now!” Ooh, social commentary.
Donna can apparently sing? I was pleasantly surprised.
Leslie gets waffles.
Oh, and Li’l Sebastian isn’t the only returning character worth sticking around for…