Parks and Rec 2-11: Oh, Tom.

Plot: Tom’s getting a divorce and Leslie wants to cheer him up. Oh, and there’s a totally stupid subplot involving Andy and that nameless guy Ann’s dating who have a pool competition to see who owns Ann. Mark realizes it’s ridiculous, of course, but I don’t care because he is a zero. Andy again seems to have no idea that he’s being scary, because as we all know, stalking is love, and it’s gross, and I can’t wait for him to move on.

Deep Thoughts: If I were being sentimental and giving the writers a lot of credit, I’d say this episode is about how people can be both good and bad and do both unconsciously. Ron is in fact the only one who knows that Tom’s marriage is for his wife’s legal benefit only, and therefore he’s the only one who can properly commiserate with Tom and give him the support he needs in the situation he’s really in. On the other hand, Continue reading

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Parks and Rec 2-10: Shoot me

Plot: The whole crew goes hunting, and someone shoots Ron in the head. More importantly, they shoot out one of Donna’s car’s windows. Left behind at work, April and Andy become friends. Also, women can’t shoot guns good because they get tunnel vision.

Deep Thoughts: Wow is there a major writing problem with this episode. I mean, you get past it pretty fast, but the setup premise is that Ron, Mark, and Jerry have a years-long history of a guys’ hunting trip, and that Leslie insists the whole office be invited. We’ve seen Ron have a relationship with Tom, Continue reading

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Parks and Rec 2-9: Art and Bunions

Plot: Pawnee needs a new mural and Leslie is determined that her department will win the suggestion contest. Ron likes Andy’s shoe-shining a little too much. Tom discovers art. For the first time in this second watching of the show, I have that “Oh wow, I married Ron Swanson” feeling.

Deep Thoughts: OH MY GOD I HATE MARK. It’s completely unjustified at this point, but I just cannot stand this character, and I think it’s mostly because there’s no there there. He is a poster child for lazy writing. We’re supposed to like him because other people do, but he’s never anything but whiny or sarcastic or smarmy. Continue reading

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Parks and Rec 2-8: Libraries Are Evil

Plot: Leslie finds out the Library Department wants her newly filled lot, the woman behind this nefarious plot wants Ron, and Ron wants a naked brunette and a waffle.

Deep Thoughts: There is some loss in knowing that Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally are real-life married, because this isn’t just a truly delightful onscreen chemistry between two professional actors. But it is nonetheless truly delightful to watch. Tammy is a fabulously evil character and Ron-out-of-control is a beautiful thing.

Your Related Link For The Day: Tammy says “We government gals have to watch each other’s backs, right?” Tammy is evil, but her point stands. We have to watch each other’s backs… and we need to be in government. Go read about Emily’s List and then think about running for office (if you’re a lady), or helping an awesome woman you know do so.

There Is Only One Ron Swanson: This whole episode is Ron-tastic. He does say “bitch” a lot, which I don’t love, but Tammy almost earns it. I love the vulnerability his character shows, Continue reading

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Parks and Rec 2-7: Teens, TP, and Tom

Plot: It’s Halloween! Ann throws a terrible party, which Leslie misses entirely because of her obsession with a local teen and his vandalism. This is one sharp teenager, too. You can tell he’s going to grow up to be Julian Assange or something and think he’s very badass. This is also our first encounter with the delightful Bert Macklin of the FBI. Apparently the FBI also loved Bert Macklin.

Deep Thoughts: I wish there were a little more backstory about how Leslie pinpointed Greg as her vandal, and the things he’s done to “screw with her ’cause she gets all riled up, and her face gets all scrunched up like this.” Or that he ever showed up again. Maybe as an intern? That would have been excellent, and might have helped divert him from the path of a criminal mastermind.

Your Related Link For The Day: Why April is no longer my Spirit Animal (spoiler: because I will no longer be using the term). I actually Continue reading

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Parks and Rec 2-6: On pitfalls and legal procedures

Plot: There’s a completely unnecessary outside plot involving a one-time visiting character who “pranks” cities into building playgrounds. Like the 30 Rock/Kimmy Schmidt team, this team likes random whimsy, and I get that. But given that they’re also into throwing way too much character complexity at a 30-minute format (hi, Tom!), I think the show could have stood fewer one-offs like this guy, and more attention to its actual cast. Just a thought from the treadmill this morning before coffee.

In other news, Leslie decides to fill in the pit without asking permission, at Mark’s suggestion. I can’t explain my dislike for Mark. I guess he’s like the male Ann, in that we’re told he’s sexy and charming and desirable and fun to be around, and we’re never shown that in any way, and in fact what we do see is him grinning at Tom’s crude jokes and randomly suggesting that Leslie break the law with no background at all. But I digress. Leslie accidentally hurts Andy, again, some more, in the pit, and then breaks all sorts of more laws to convince him to pressure the city into filling in the pit.

Deep Thoughts: I’m probably in a bad mood today, but the ends-justify-the-means of Continue reading

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Parks & Rec 2-5: Tu te entierras en tu trabajo porque tu eres infeliz en tu vida personal

This episode, y’all. It’s a throwaway episode in many ways, but I literally had to pause and do some deep breaths at the Hillary Clinton quote.

Plot: The parks team from Pawnee’s sister city in Venezuela visits, giving Continue reading

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That ten-concerts meme

First off, for those of you expressing how sick and tired you are of that nine-concerts-and-a-lie meme all your friends are posting?






For those of you posting slightly more legitimate posts questioning why so many people are hopping on board this meme, I have some thoughts.

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On Jeff Varner, prejudice, and absolutely instant regret

There are incidents in all of our lives that come back to us over and over. I believe it’s because we haven’t finished fully wringing out their meaning, and I’ve been revisiting one of mine a lot in the last year or so. I’ve considered writing about it, because when I write I often surprise myself with my own thoughts. I haven’t found a way that made sense. I don’t want this to be a confession because I’m not seeking absolution. And I didn’t want to write something that sounded like a clickbaity “The Time I Said A Racist Thing” article you’d see on Upworthy.

And then this morning I watched the clip of Jeff Varner outing Zeke Smith on Survivor this week. (That link, by the way, is not a link to the Survivor clip; it’s a link to Zeke’s piece on the experience, which is incredibly good reading, even if like me you quit watching Survivor after you got tired of Rupert. The Survivor clip is through-linked in that article, but you should read the article.) Continue reading

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Parks & Rec 2-4: Dirty secrets

Plot: A local politician’s sex scandal prompts the crew to try to gather dirt on each other. Leslie is extremely anxious about her impending first date with Officer Sanderson. She humiliates herself, but Officer Sanderson declares the next day their second date and saves the day. 

Deep Thoughts: I hate the knowing-what-happens with Officer Sanderson, because these episodes are reminding me how much I loved him for Leslie when I first watched the series. He’s awkward and adorable and so kind.

Continue reading

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