The Moth Chase

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

Posts Tagged ‘leslie knope

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 »

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

Emergency Response

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Parks and Rec - S05E13

Daniel,

This week was a great example of how Parks and Rec is able to simply look around at the gigantic world they have built and put the characters together in new situations and combinations and just let it be funny. For example, Ron being on Pawnee Today “with” Joan Callamezzo. Or, you can simply put Leslie and Jamm in the same room and add Matt Walsh as a Matt Walsh style, impotent emergency planner named Leonard and enjoy. We’ve talked before about how expansive Pawnee is and how wonderful that is. I think this episode shows that the show could almost self sustain with it’s great characters for another few seasons. While that seems completely unlikely given the show’s subpar ratings and what seems to be the end of an era at NBC with 30 Rock now over and The Office coming to a close this season, it does make me wonder if this show would be able to last for several more seasons at a high level. Read the rest of this entry »

Equal Gender Employment Commission

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Parks and Rec - S05E11

Daniel,

We’ve talked before about Parks and Rec’s ability to handle political topics with grace, and this episode was no exception. This week, they brought up and handled the topic of gender inequality in politics. And, it was pretty hilariously done. On a larger scale, this episode was about generation gaps. Leslie and April had to fight against an older, male dominated mindset in government, specifically the sanitation department, which we all know is the smelly glue that holds the city together. Ron and Ann struggle to deal with Diane’s daughters and how to relate to them. Similarly, Tom wants to learn how to deal with his customers. And Chris is trying to understand how Shauna Malwae-Tweep is defining their “personal relationship.” Read the rest of this entry »

Beer and Board Games

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Parks and Rec - S05E10 Toast

Daniel,

So this episode dove right back into the story, moving the Leslie/Ben marriage storyline along with bachelor and bachelorette parties, and Leslie picks up a new ally in the fight against Paunch Burger (Start Drooling, Fatties!). Overall, it was a very solid episode, but I loved the group bachelor party so much that, in contrast, the bachelorette party/Wamapoke storyline was a little less exciting to me. I think the highlight of that side of the episode was Ken Hotate making all the white people feel uncomfortable, especially Councilman Jamm. Read the rest of this entry »