Parks & Recreation Watch: Season 4, Episode 12 - Campaign Ad

Parks and Recreation has introduced Leslie’s opposing candidate, Bobby Newport, and he is already out to a seventy point lead in the polls.

Bobby Newport fits right into the world of Parks & Rec and he is brought to life wonderfully by Paul Rudd. The character is quite an idiot as he is an over privileged daddy’s boy from the local Sweetum’s empire. The character is sweet, sincere, and likable, yet by the end of the episode they have set him up as a villain. As Bobby begs for Leslie to quit her campaign, or better yet do his job for him after he wins, it is so deplorable because it is juxtaposed against Leslie’s lifelong desire to run for office. Rudd’s inherent likability helps the character to be one we can kind of like and he plays the part wonderfully stupid. I can’t wait to see more.

The rest of the week’s plot revolves around a trio threads and they all succeed rather well. The weakest link was Ron and Chris’ budding “friendship” as Chris is trying to find a replacement for Ben in his life. That means Chris needs a new lunch buddy, someone to deliver the bad news as he cuts government programs, and be his right hand man at his extracurricular cultural affairs; Ron can help with one of these three. After a successful cost cutting meeting, Ron quickly finds Chris is far more than even he can handle and he pawns him off onto another lowly civil servant. The plot line was affective and worthwhile for a couple of reasons; one, Ron’s glee when he cut that Public Works budget; two, that Chris is considering Ron to replace Ben as his second in command. We will see where that goes. This story had a couple great visual gags as well with Ron unable to foil Chris with his remote control door and the magical transporting cut from city hall to the restaurant. I am really intrigued to see these two forced into working together every day; could be great.

Andy and April were on a medical marathon of sorts as they discover they both have health insurance and Andy has a laundry list of ailments he needs to get checked out. To even try and keep up with Andy’s injuries is next to impossible, but the duo spent the better part of a week getting treated for everything; well, diagnosed at least. Seeing them go from doctor to doctor, Andy coming up with more and more problems, the issues kept getting more and more crazy. The couple was just delightfully ignorant with their “free” health care and while it was just one giant escalating joke, I was laughing quite a bit. But where was Champion? Oh, and I don’t think there is anyone on TV that can take a fall quite like Christ Pratt can, and this episode was full of them; the sneeze that started it all was probably my favorite though.

Lastly we have Leslie and the rest of the crew trying to come up with a plan to swing that seventy point lead back in her favor and they do so by creating opposing ads within the campaign; Ben on one side, Leslie on the other. Ben feels they need to release an attack ad during the big high school basketball game of the week, but Leslie never wants to go negative, ever. Leslie’s ad goes ridiculously positive and the results are quite fantastic. The giant list of things Leslie is “pro” for is insane and I can’t wait till we get a transcription of all of those crazy positives.

Ben’s “negative” ad simply states facts about Bobby Newport and sums up Leslie quite nicely in the process, but it is too much for our positive hero Leslie Knope to bear. The ad they go with is sweet and fair, they pull directly from Bobby’s ad for the “negative” portion, and it leads to the confrontation I mentioned in the opening paragraph. Seeing Ben and Leslie realize that they can, and have to, go after Bobby with everything they got because he doesn’t care was a great way to bring the characters back on the same side and set up the dynamic of Bobby Newport in one scene. This story gets real for a moment and the show effortless ability to get serious among the humor never ceases to amaze me. Ben tells Leslie that if she wants to win that she will have to toughen up and I am intrigued to see what might come out Leslie as she has to fight the super power that is Bobby Newport.

Parks & Rec wasn’t able to top the fantastic episode from last week, but they delivered as solid of an episode as we expect from these guys. A lot of good laughs and constant narrative progression is what helps keeps this show out in front of the other comedies out there and I am really excited to see where they go with this Bobby Newport character.


-Paul Rudd!

-I want a Bobby Bar!

-Is Bobby Newport mentally challenged?

-Chris Pratt does a great fall.

-The double finger point.

-"Have you considered cutting out the entire fire department?"

-Oh my God, his thumb. There were just too many things to list in that Andy rant.

-"And your dream has been crushed," and Ron whistles on the way out.

-Tom hasn't been doing it for me as of late, hmmm.

-I love how oblivious Jerry has become to the insults.

-"And now he's working for his girlfriend."

-Chris Pratt is on fire.

-I like Ben's voice over voice.

-Poor Jerry.

-"You'll have to be more specific."

-Slick transition to the restaurant.

-"Something raw and cucumber based, a cucumber."

-Leslie is Pro!


-Someone please transcribe that list Leslie is pro.

-Vice President of nougat.

-Love Anne's reaction.

-They can't miss with April and Andy this week.

-"I am Leslie Knope and I do not approve this message!"

-Tom still isn't working for me.

-"I know how much you value silence."

-It's the Field of Dreams house.

-Paul Rudd is perfect for this part.

-"You're a brother Japonafile?"

-"I'm not lonely, I have me. Plus 4000 Facebook friends and a hot girlfriend."

-Rudd is so sincere even when spoiled.

-Rudd is also an excellent villain in the context of the show.