“Parks and Recreation” Episode Review: How a Bill Becomes a Law

Grade: A

“Government is inefficient and should be dissolved. Please hold while I transfer you”- Ron

Following an impressive episode of “The Office,” I was pleased to find that “Parks and Rec” delivered a high-quality episode, as well.

The cold opening featured Leslie giving Ben a tour of her office via webcam, showcasing all of her motivational pictures and decorations, along with her latest addition of two wall-clocks labeled DC and Pawnee (which Ben pointed out are actually in the same-time zone). Her next act was one that has been done thousands of times on television, but never fails to result in laughter from the sheer awkwardness of the situation. Leslie went to show Ben her own private bathroom only to find one of the councilmen using it at that exact moment.

The three storylines in the episode could not have been more different, but I think they all balanced each other out nicely. The first focused on Chris’s idea for a hotline where people could call in and share any problems they were experiencing which the Parks department could potentially fix. This led to phone calls from a resident complaining about a pothole that the city had never been filled, prompting Ron and Andy to head to the site and fix the problem themselves.  I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the trip, especially all of the scenes involving two girls dressed up as princesses, whose mother happened to be the woman who filed the complaint. Andy’s such a child himself so it was a joy to watch him interact with the girls to the point where he said, “Ron, for the last time, it’s Princess Rainbow Sparkle.” This visit also led to a new love interest for Ron, even if it did require a little nudging from Andy.

In another storyline, Leslie was trying to pass a bill for a local youth swim team that would extend the public pool hours for them.  While the political aspect wasn’t all that entertaining for me, I greatly enjoyed all of the other chaos that came about as a result of Leslie’s endeavors.  One example of this occurred when Leslie was getting a perm and received news that her bill was going to be voted down by the councilman that had been using her bathroom (not because she walked in on him, but because he wanted the bathroom for himself).  Instead of letting the hairstylist finish the perm, however, she left with only half of her hair curled in order to fix the problem, which made it next to impossible not to laugh at every time she was on the screen.

The other memorable scene was when Leslie and Tom visited one of the elderly councilmen in order to win his vote, only they were not expecting him to have such an eccentric personality. I found him to be creepy, but in an amusing manner.  For example, he kept rambling on about the salad he was eating, and at the end of the meeting he asked for a kiss from Leslie, only to have her dodge it and watch him fall face down on the floor.

Finally, April suggested that she and Ben take an impromptu road trip to surprise Ben and Leslie, but they spent their entire time stuck in a parking garage waiting for traffic to clear out because of a politician.  These two characters are not normally forced to interact, so having them stuck in a vehicle together was perfect, especially given their contrasting personality types.  Ben’s choice of music and his decision to read aloud his Star Trek fanfic was enough to cause April to reply “I’m going to murder you.” After deciding to just give up on the trip after only moving 40 ft. in hours, Ben initiated some playful banter reflecting a similar joke from April earlier in the episode. I hope to see more scenarios like this between the two, as it was quite refreshing.

Overall, I would have to say this was a gratifying episode that featured creative storylines and unique character interactions!

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