Last night’s episode of Parks and Recreation, which the lovely Amy Poehler herself wrote and directed, was probably one of my favorites of the season. I’ve really enjoyed the storyline of the city council election, and Leslie’s debate against Bobby Newport and the other candidates couldn’t have gone better.
Let’s start with the three other candidates – both great. I loved that Buddy Garrity played a gun-enthusiast, and I loved how much the porn star Brandi Maxxxx looked like Leslie. I think they kind of overshadowed the third, whose name I can’t remember. But generally, they added a nice extra layer of ridiculous to the election. Leslie is obviously the most qualified candidate, but Pawnee is a weird city. We’ve established what Pawnee’s citizens are like enough by this point to know that they won’t necessarily make a smart decision at the polls.
The debate didn’t go as well as Leslie hoped. Her opening statement was brilliant, but the crowd sympathized with Bobby when he said she hurt his feelings. Joan Callamezzo kept pointing out that Leslie and Brandi are essentially the same person. And then came the bomb – Bobby said Leslie was anti-business, and that maybe Sweetums would have to move their factory to Mexico if she won the election.
Meanwhile, all the other characters were used in fantastic ways. Tom and Ann – who have broken up, hopefully for good – joined Chris on the “spin” team. This generated some great material since Tom was still upset about the breakup, and Chris decided to ask Ann out again. She considered Chris’s proposition, but eventually said no.
April and Andy hosted a party for donors, but since no one had paid their cable bill they actually weren’t able to watch the debate. Instead, Andy acted out his favorite movies – it turns out he has quite a talent for that.
In the end, Leslie knocked it out of the park with her closing remarks. Ron had gotten the cable working just in time, but Andy was so moved that he accidentally kicked over the TV. Even Bobby Newport was touched by Leslie’s words. It was a great way to end the episode, leaving room for Leslie to maybe win the election, or maybe not.
A lot of people have commented that this season of Parks and Rec hasn’t been as strong as last season. The third season was definitely outstanding – nearly prefect, really – and that’s hard to follow. But I like a lot of what’s been done this season, and how characters have been paired together. I might not have loved the Tom/Ann relationship, but I love that April was able to console Tom about the breakup and give him a much-needed dose of reality. I love that we’ve seen Chris be very sad, that we’ve learned a bit more about Donna, that Leslie is in a healthy relationship and that April has been forced to take on more responsibility in the office. The season might not be as funny as last season, but it’s still one of the best comedies on TV.
What did you guys think of “The Debate”?