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October 13, 2015

Parks & Recreation: The Banquet

by Jason Hughes, posted May 8th 2009 1:28AM
Aziz Ansari of Parks and Recreation(S01E05) Man, Leslie Knope is a dope. But Tom is the bomb! Okay, I'm sorry. There's no excuse for that kind of crap. Still, though, Tom was hilarious in his speech to Leslie's mother, who will always be Jericho's Gail Green to me, at the banquet. Certainly it was smoother than Leslie's. But then Ron's speech of facts was better than Leslie's painful attempt at name-dropping.

It's amazing that Leslie and her mother are related, considering how vastly different they are. Her mother is shrewd and calculating, and clearly willing to muck around in the dirt to further her own agenda (i.e. a politician), while Leslie is an optimistic do-gooder who's more heart than smart ... oh crap, I did it again, didn't I?

Word is officially in that Parks & Recreation will be coming back next season, and tonight we got a glimpse of what that show could be like without the pit as the major focus. Instead, we expanded into political life in Pawnee. I like Ann as the voice of the normal person in this strange world of politics. The rest of the cast, as odd as they are, think the landscape they live in is normal. It's their lives. But for Leslie the whole thing is crazy.

They even covered how to keep Ann around. With Andy basically unable to do much of anything, she's got the cabin fever bad and apparently doesn't have a lot of outside friends. So there's Leslie, needy and nice enough. And so a friendship blooms under extraordinary circumstances. It's interesting that Chris Pratt has been listed as a guest star this season, even though he's basically in all the episodes. Does that mean that Andy and Ann are going to break up?

There were some great little moments of humor throughout the episode. Tom is so charismatic that it was fun seeing how horrible he is at trying to pick up the ladies. And I'm going to back Mark up on those girls being boring. Their best real estate story involved forgetting the keys to the house and ... wait for it ... driving back to the office to get them? And I always forget that Tom's married. I see his wife as one of those sitcom characters that we should never see.

I also loved Leslie's mannish hairstyle, but am I the only one who thought it reminiscent of her hair when she played Hillary Clinton on SNL? Even better was the guy who thought she and Ann were a gay couple, and it certainly did look that way. Ann did look gorgeous, by the way, and definitely overdressed. The little things like that are what's making this show work a little more with each episode. Finding humor in the small things of small government.

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This episode had Rashida Jones in a tank top, and that it all I need to be happy.

May 11 2009 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Her hairstyle reminded me of Rachel Maddow's. I am not familiar with this type of show, but if the pit gets finished will whats-her-name (the nurse) stay on the show?

May 08 2009 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to iamored8907's comment

She actually looked like she used to when she would impersonate Dennis Kucinich on SNL.

May 08 2009 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Bacon-wrapped shrimp. My first-favorite food wrapped around my third-favorite food. I'd go to a banquet in honor of those Somali pirates if they served bacon-wrapped shrimp."

That cracked me up.

May 08 2009 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jack's comment

Right on, that guy is a funny character.

The show is growing on me more and more, and I like the idea of it being a show about city government and politics.

I see a breakup in the future for Ann, and Leslie's hair WAS Hilary Clinton!


May 08 2009 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show still hasn't won me over yet, but this episode did have some good moments for sure. Tom is by far the funniest character of the bunch. I loved his hat that he wore to pick up women.

May 08 2009 at 7:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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