Parks And Rec takes a break from its big storylines this week and decides to spread some love around in one of its broadest ensemble pieces in some time.
In the office we get the rare pairing of Ron and Anne as they attempt to babysit Ron's girlfriend's daughters as she is short a sitter. Day one goes ok, Ron's desk, face and wall are covered in markers and stickers, but he is quickly running out of things to do in day two. Enter Anne, who is actually incredibly awkward with children, who not only slowly forms a bond with the girls, but entices them to perform doctor on one another unsupervised and locked in a room. Everything turns out ok outside a couple of bad haircuts, but seeing Ron sweat and panic is a lot of fun. The show also nicely weaves in the revelation that Ron is actually in love with his girl and Nick Offerman plays Ron's sweet and vulnerable side about as great as one could expect Ron to react. It was an interesting wrinkle for Anne to be so terrible with kids as well and I kind of wonder if this will be a foreshadowing for a future plot with Miss Perkins.
Leslie is also hard at work around the office and eventually finds herself on a garbage truck as she tries to get more women hired by Pawnee City Hall. She calls for a committee meeting on gender equality in the workplace, only to have all men show up, but she uses the opportunity to take on her bitter rivals in Sanitation to prove a woman can do a supposed “man's job.” Leslie brings April along for the ride and she quickly steals the show as she, “loves garbage.” April's excitement and amusement with the job sort of fits her character, but the fact that she is doing it irony-free is the most interesting revelation. Why does she love garbage so much? What makes this fun for her? The world may never know. Our honorary garbage women more than make up for the lame duck plotline surrounding Chris and his new lady Tweep. Chris is already freaking out and I hope they don't go down another road of necroses surrounding him and his relationships. Rob Lowe does get a couple of moments to shine though, my favorite being his reaction to an old man mistaking him for a really attractive lady.
The last plotline of the week is a slight, yet entertaining, diversion back into the world of Rent-A-Swag as Tom tries to become hip to the game of basketball. All of his customers are really into B-Ball, but recruiting Andy and Ben doesn't seem like the best plan. Neither seem like they know a whole lot about the game, but seeing them getting to play and get whooped by a bunch of middle schoolers was a lot of fun. Chris Pratt steals the scenes with some great physical comedy, as always, none more so than his terrible dunk attempt. The post-credits scene comes out of this plotline as well, and it was one of the better entries of the season. The commercial for Rent-A-Swag is not only effective to its end goal, but it is also hilarious to see all of those kids looking like they just walked out of the Thunder locker room.
A solid episode of Parks & Rec this week that gave us a little bit of everything. No one dominated the episode and it was nice to see Ron get a meaty role again as he has been background for a few weeks now. The episode didn't move the big plots forward this week, but I think we needed a break from the big stories to have a little fun with everyone again; whether its on a basketball court or on the back of a garbage truck.
-I like Paula Hork.
-"We must always walk behind the man."
-Ron the babysitter?
-Anne Perkins? "Your weird."
-"Oh, my, God, I'm part of the problem."
-"It's not the 7th yet."
-"What? I love garbage."
-"I thought your last name was Hanson for some reason."
-"You look more like a Hanson."
-Maybe Tweep isn't for Chris?
-"Google Earth, always taking pics."
-Ron got the hell out of dodge.
-"This is the best day of my life."
-An excellent Pratt Fall.
-"That's the Cover Girl slogan, didn't mean to say that."
-No one could move that fridge.
-"I don't know why sneaking up on it would work."
-"Let's cut off our toes."
-"For God sakes Hanson will you focus on the problem."
-"I love nothing!"
-"Are you a ghost?"
-I knew it.
-"No, double dribbled it."
-"Impossible to follow, but great advice."
-Hell of a commercial.