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September 18, 2014

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Summer Catalog' Recap

by Kona Gallagher, posted Mar 26th 2010 12:22AM
paul schneider(S02E20) Now that I know that Paul Schneider is leaving 'Parks and Recreation,' it's all I can think about any time he and Anne have scenes together. They're celebrating their six-month anniversary in a very low-key way,which is not unusual for them, but they're not exactly in the honeymoon phase, are they? Six months really isn't a long time to be together, yet the thrill seems to be gone.

When Mark and Anne were doing the photo shoot with Tom, his whole schtick of "make your face look better" initially seemed to be a joke about hot girls taking bad pictures (kind of the opposite of Barney's talent on this week's 'How I Met Your Mother'), but it soon seemed to turn into something else entirely. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it definitely seemed like Mark was concerned when he was looking at the pictures Tom took; like maybe he was realizing that the fact that Anne looks so miserable when they're pretending to be a family could be indicative of a much larger problem.

Mark was set up early as a cad, but he seems to be the type of guy who has spent a long time running around with drunk chicks, and is now ready to settle down and have a family. He wants to do that with Anne mainly because she's there, but it looks like he may be reevaluating his plans after this incident.

Also reevaluating his plans is Andy, which is super-depressing to me, as it was beginning to seem as though he was finally getting a clue, and we were going to get some forward movement with the April/Andy storyline. We've watched for months as April has yearned after him like a puppy dog, so when he asked her out for a drink, I thought we were finally getting somewhere.

I understand that her not being able to get into a bar is awkward, but I was kind of surprised by how Andy reacted. He shut down and retreated immediately, when I figured he'd just brush it off and make a joke out of the situation. Could it be that he's actually weirded out by the age difference between them? That doesn't seem likely, but it would actually be pretty interesting if Andy worried that he was too old for her. It's not as though he has a history of wanting to be the best guy he can be for his lady.

I've been a huge fan of the April/Andy storyline all season, but this has me a little worried. There's no real reason to have this strung out for the remainder of the season, without some sort of conclusion. However, it's episode 20, and it doesn't seem like we're much closer than we were in episode 10. They need to delve deeper into this, or else it's going to seem like just a gimmick.

Elsewhere in the episode, the picnic with the former heads of the Parks Department was okay, but it wasn't exactly a big surprise that all of Ron's predecessors were damaged in some way. The Pawnee Parks Department doesn't really seem to attract the best and the brightest. I must say, I was a little disappointed that we had Michael Gross on an episode and didn't use him more. However, the end of the episode, with Leslie and Ron having breakfast for dinner together, was so adorable that it pretty much made up for any of the episode's transgressions.

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jlprizm

I was just wondering something about the April/Andy thing. Are we assuming that Andy asked out April for a
drink with a romantic notion in mind? I know that usually people go out to the bar as a date but maybe Andy didn't
see it this way. I was trying to figure that out. It seems that he didn't even see them as anything as friends until
he sees the cover of the catalog and has that smile on his face cause maybe he finally saw that there was something else there other than friendship.
else

April 28 2010 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
arnaud

loved the mad men reference, when tom tried to pull a don draper with a glass of whiskey, and saying gibberish to sell his ideas for the summer catalogue.
also loved the "am i right, justin -- oh you broke up a few months ago"...

March 27 2010 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael

I loved seeing Leslie get fed up with the antics & attitudes of the former P&R Supervisors.Up until now she's been a naive,driven & enthusiastic P&R employee who is also prone to get in over her head.Here she took charge,gave 'em hell,& didn't take anymore nonsense from these guys.

March 26 2010 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Michael's comment
Taramoor

I have to say, that the cover picture for the catalog and the subsequent reactions to it did a lot to drive the April/Andy story in my mind. I think it will pick up quite a bit in the next couple of episodes. Then we'll get a horrific Anne-jealousy storyline, after Mark leaves, but otherwise we'll be okay.

March 26 2010 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beanspants1

I'm guessing Andy is late '20s, almost 30. Dating a 20 year old (even a mature one, or one who matches his maturity) is quite jarring, so I totally bought it.

March 26 2010 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRM

I can't believe you didn't mention who actually DID get the cover story of the catalog. Those last few seconds showing the facial reactions were great television in my opinion. I even rewound a few minutes to see it again.

Also, I totally buy Andy's reaction. Here's this happy go-lucky guy with no responsibilities, no worries, etc. Then he realizes via April, even if just for a second, that hey, you're not just some kid anymore and maybe it's time to grow up a bit. I don't think the writers will take it in this direction, but I could see this whole episode leading to Ann and Andy kind of meeting somewhere in the middle for a new relationship. Andy grows up a little and Ann relaxes a little.

March 26 2010 at 12:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dan

What--no comment on the very low-key cameo by Michael Gross from Family Ties? He plays a convincing old stoner.

March 26 2010 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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