The Moth Chase

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

Posts Tagged ‘parks and rec

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 »

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 »

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 »

Ann’s Decision

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"Tragically, we are both heterosexual."

“Tragically, we are both heterosexual.”

Bryan,

After only 6 weeks of dating, it turns out things have gotten pretty serious between Oatmeal Ann and Catfish Ann.  Much to Leslie’s chagrin, all that skydiving and impulsive pumpernickel bread-ordering has led Ann to consider a major life decision (despite the confusing absence of Channing Tatum* in her life)  Read the rest of this entry »