“Parks and Recreation” Episode Review: Soda Tax

Grade: B-

“New plan. Instead of firing them…I’ m going to kiss their asses like crazy”- Ben

This may only be the second Parks and Rec episode that I’ve ever reviewed, but I have to say that I was rather pleased. It has been an adjustment having characters in D.C. and Leslie in City Council, but the writers have managed to make it work and maintain the humor.

The cold opening this week was fantastic! April and Ben received care packages from their significant others and naturally the collection of items in each box was rather different. I loved that Andy sent April his laundry and asked her to to return it to him after it had been cleaned.

This week, Leslie decided to try to tackle the obesity problem in Pawnee by proposing a tax on soda. As illustrated in the picture above, the companies in the town are taking advantage of people’s addictions to sugar by offering “consumer friendly” deals.  It was such a completely realistic scenario that the sight of the cups made it even more entertaining, especially the 512 oz. “child size.” My favorite scene, however, was when Leslie was faced with the challenge of voting for or against her own tax (after hearing both sides of the argument) and drank so much soda to calm her nerves that she puked it all back up in the cup during the meeting.

Meanwhile, Chris and Tom offered to help train Andy to become a police officer by getting him in shape. His first work-out caused him to strip down to his boxers and lay on the track in exhaustion. That had to have been one of the only highlights of this storyline for me. Tom’s ridiculous high-tech pace car (though it suited him) was more annoying than anything else. Chris’s emotional breakdown was also less than amusing and I could have done without watching it unfold.

Finally, the last storyline centered around Ben dealing with a group of college interns (and April) in D.C. I commend him for standing his ground and threatening to fire them after their lazy, disrespectful behavior, but I am annoyed that he decided to suck up to them with pizza and ultimate frisbee once he discovered they were related to prominent politicians. I was not anticipating April to be the artist behind the disrespectful cartoons of Ben with a stick up his butt, but it was a comical surprise, as well as the fact that all of the other interns thought April was his daughter.

Overall, an amusing episode with some rather “supersized” comedy!


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