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August 31, 2015

Review: Parks and Recreation - The Camel

by Kona Gallagher, posted Nov 13th 2009 10:23AM
parks and rec
(S02E09) It's nice to see an episode where everybody in the office (and Ann) is working together. They're usually broken up into their own smaller storylines, so people like Donna often get shoved into the background, if we see her at all. This time, she was front and center, along with Jesus Greg Kinnear, and Indiana's pride, Michael Jackson. Speaking of which-- American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert was born in Indianapolis, so he totally could have helped round out the table.

Jerry, another mainly background character, generally serves as the show's whipping boy, which I find really funny -- especially in the episode where they were all trying to dig up dirt on each other, and he found out he was adopted. Granted, that's pretty bad, but I still laughed. This time though, where they ridiculed him and dismissed his mural, it didn't really work for me.

I think the reason I didn't like what they were doing to Jerry in this episode, is because it was frustrating. His mural was perfect! It would have easily won them the competition! Yet they decided to be just weird and cruel about it. It wasn't the worst thing in the world, and "murinal" is a funny word, but that part of the episode just didn't sit right with me.

My favorite part about the whole mural competition is Tom's part in it. I love how he gave some random art student 20 bucks to make him some art, then got pissed because it was abstract, only to fall in love with it. As a non-artistic person myself, this is something I could identify with. Plus, the look of fear in Tom's eyes when he says, "I had an emotional reaction to a piece of art! Is this normal?" was probably the funniest part of the entire episode.

Okay, maybe the second-funniest part, because I do believe that honor has to go to Ron and Andy's entire storyline in this episode. Installing Andy in the building as a shoe-shiner was a brilliant move on the writers' part. Seeing the dopey look on his face as he shines shoes never seems to get old for me.

So, the moan. Oh my god, the moan. Poor Andy never thought he'd be giving shoe shines with happy endings. What do you do when something like that happens? It's such a terrible, unexpected reaction to such a random, public situation. I guess other than trying and failing to avoid the other person, and then promising never to speak of it again, there's not a whole lot you can do.

[Watch clips and episodes of Parks and Recreation on SlashControl.]

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I find Jerry to be the equivalent of Toby on "The Office," just a sad sack kind of guy that no one really likes for whatever reason. The whole "murinal" bit went a little far and I felt badly for him, but I still found it funny so I guess that says something about my sense of humor.

This is the fast becoming the comedy I look forward to the most on Thursdays. It has been consistently funny this season with maybe only one truly bad episode, and has made a complete turnaround from the first season. Wish more people would give it another shot since I know it's getting pretty bad ratings along with Community, which is unfortunate.

November 13 2009 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh please, please tell me I don't have to believe that Ron had a real "happy ending" during his shoe shine. Wasn't that just a little irrepressible bunion-relief pleasure moan? (Though rightfully freaky to Andy, no doubt...)

November 13 2009 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As far as I'm concerned, this show has been much better than 30 Rock this season. 30 Rock just hasn't been that funny, but this show has had some really good eps.

November 13 2009 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They never even seriously judged Jerry's work after he said 'murinal'.

I guess it's a dating/life parable - there are some situations where you don't get a second chance, so you have to say the words and do the social dance correctly --any early missteps and you are out.

And Tom's growing love of the art was great.

November 13 2009 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think you're missing the point entirely with Jerry. What's funny is the fact that he is a nice guy and submitted a great mural - but everyone still shat on him for no particular reason. That is the joke. The fact that he is the (undeserved) office punching bag. i for one find it hilarious. And this is by far the BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION!!!!

November 13 2009 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was a bit disappointed with the Jerry story too. I thought for sure Jerry would submit his on his own in the end and win the competition, or at least someone would have the sense to look at his mural and realize they needed to submit it. Oh well.

November 13 2009 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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