The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Archive for the ‘Parks and Recreation’ Category

Are You Better Off?

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I am an extremely fun person!

I am an extremely fun person!

Daniel,

If “Are You Better Off?” turns out to be the series finale, I will be a little frustrated with the amount of questions it raised and potential storylines that it stirred up. It won’t change my love for the show, but that can’t be the end? Right? There are parts of the episode that really did feel like they were trying to come around to a well wrapped up moment, but there were plenty of loose ends. And, I guess that is how the writers had to approach things. They needed to provide some closure in case this is the end, but they also needed to have somewhere to go for a potential 6th season. That has to be an incredibly frustrating task for a writing team. Read the rest of this entry »

Swing Vote

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swing vote

Bryan,

I’ve noticed various rumblings from critics I respect calling this episode out for rehashing old storylines, offering little in the way of stakes to hold our interest, and not really clicking on the comedic level.  To a degree, I can sympathize with these complaints — this is the first season of Parks that hasn’t significantly expanded the world of Pawnee, focusing instead on tying up loose ends like Lot 48 and advancing its characters’ personal arcs.  That’s not an issue in and of itself; the problem is, most of those character arcs seemed to come to a natural resolution during the midseason wedding episode, and the lack of a major driving storyline (insofar as you can call the Leslie v. Paunch Burger throwdown over Lot 48 a driving storyline) in these last few episodes of the season has made them feel like arbitrary “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if?” exercises.  I’m largely ok with this, in part because that’s been the typical format for sitcoms for the last half century or so, but I can understand some disappointment in a formerly ambitiously-structured show seeming to rest on its laurels in the back half of what’s already been a victory lap of a season.  Furthermore, a plot featuring Leslie and Ron squaring off over budget cuts to the apparently city-subsidized Mini Golf establishment does indeed tread familiar ground — most recently covered in the “Bailout” episode — without offering anything new, as do the Andy/Mouse Rat and Tom/Mona Lisa storylines.

However.   Read the rest of this entry »

Article Two/Jerry’s Retirement

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Parks and Rec S05E19

Daniel,

The closer we get to the end of this season and potentially the end of the series, the more sad I am about what we will be losing as an audience. Parks and Rec’s ability to get basically all of my favorite comics on the show is something that will definitely be hard to see go. We get to see Aziz every week. We got to spend a few weeks with Louis C.K. playing the dopey cop who is in love with Leslie, and now we got to see Patton Oswalt play the history-loving, filibustering citizen who can churn butter (Andy’s favorite food!) as well as anyone. As the show is able to expand and add more and more characters to the Pawnee world, it is able to lean less on the tropes that have been built around the main characters (even though those tropes are awesome and hilarious). Read the rest of this entry »

Animal Control

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A-cat-or-a-raccoon-at-Pawnees-horribly-run-Department-of-Animal-Control

Cat or raccoon?

Bryan,

While “Animal Control” was a little frontloaded — all three storylines got their jokes in early and often, but petered out a bit and/or turned their attention to plot logistics   — my main reaction to this episode was something along the nuanced, informed lines of “That was awesome.”  Our latest tour of the eponymous, incompetent Pawnee department was as much as I’ve laughed at a cold open this season, and it set the tone for an episode that mined a lot of great comedy from fairly familiar sources* through sharp writing and execution**. Read the rest of this entry »

The Ice Clown

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Parks and Rec S05E17

Ben Wyatt, feeding the eagle

Daniel,

Thanks to the NCAA Tournament, NBC postponed new episodes of Parks and Recreation for two weeks. I am not complaining because the NCAA Tournament is probably my favorite event of the year. However, taking time away from the show after it had been on a solid roll with the wedding episodes seemed to suck a little energy out of this episode. My initial impression was that it was “OK,” but I think that it would have been better in a Netflix style binge watching (Arrested Development! Sorry, I couldn’t resist). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by breklis

April 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Bailout

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Parks and Rec - S05E16

¨…So you´re saying it´s just ´…or death´, then?¨

Daniel,

This is another one of those episodes that makes me feel like Parks and Rec could/should just keep making episodes for another 15 seasons. This episode seamlessly added two new Pawnee residents in Mona Lisa Saperstein (she is the worst!) and Dennis Lerpiss. Read the rest of this entry »

Leslie and Ben/Correspondents’ Lunch

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leslie and ben

Bryan,

In what’s becoming an increasingly common sitcom practice, “Leslie and Ben” was written as a potential finale for Parks and Recreation, in case the show didn’t get picked up for a back 9 this season.  It’s not the first time Parks has been on the chopping block — the finales for Seasons 3 and 4 were both consciously calibrated to provide a sense of resolution while still leaving some loose ends open for possible future episodes — and all that practice at walking the line resulted in another stellar pseudo-finale in “Leslie and Ben,” an episode that wraps up our major Season 5 storylines up to this point, puts a ribbon on them, and celebrates with a drunken singalong.  As series-enders go, you could do a lot worse than the first half of this week’s double serving of Knope & co. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by danielvswriting

February 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm