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Parks and Recreation Review: America, Buffets, Honor...

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It felt so good to return to Pawnee last night. 

After NBC stupidly pushed one of their strongest Thursday night shows to the midseason (in favor of... shudder... Outsourced) Leslie Knope and the Parks Department came back to provide us with laughter, a particuarly bad date and a life lesson from Ron Swanson.

Ann and Chris

From the moment Leslie gathered up her old troops from their new lives, "Rainy Day" had us consistently laughing.  So how does season three look like it's going to shape up?

For starters, we need to discuss the newest members of the Parks and Recreation cast introduced at the end of season two: Adam Scott as Ben and Rob Lowe as Chris.  Now into their third episode, the two characters are starting to find their stride - especially Ben, who already feels like he belongs.

Meanwhile, when Lowe first made his appearance as the ridiculously upbeat Chris, I thought his one-note character would wear thing quickly.  However, much like Ann, we fell for this guy after their date.  He is kind of awesome.

However, if you read my Parks reviews in the past, you know there's certain character I watch this show for: Ron Swanson.  The man was especially on fire this episode.  Whether he was channeling his inner Bobby Knight or simply chopping wood, this man has the ability to make us laugh whenever he's on screen.

Sticking with tradition, however, we do have to name the Ron Swanson Moment of the Week and it clearly goes to a piece of cardboard: The Pyramid of Greatness.  For you sane people that didn't pause their DVR to read the pyramid, we have it in all its glory below.  Click to enlarge.

Swanson Pyramid of Greatness

It also looks like the writers decided to throw yet another wrench in the will-they-or-won't-they between April and Andy.  This wrench was in the form of a hunky Venezuelan.  I'm kind of ready for the "will they" to happen already and getting slightly sick of the contrived issues being thrown at them.

Overall, it was a fantastic season premiere that set up the overall story arc for this season: The Harvest Festival.  While it might not be the pit, we're sure it will lead to some great adventures along the way.  Meanwhile, I'll leave you with the best Parks quotes until next week.

Andy: April! Hey, it's me. Andy... Dwyer. Uh, this is like the 200th time I've left you a message without a response, so if you're trying to tell me something, I do not know what it is because you won't call me back. | permalink
Ron: Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into Swansons. | permalink
Andy: I'd say my coaching style is centered around fundamentals, with an emphasis on fun. And a second emphasis on... mental. | permalink
Ben: Apparently in Indiana if you don't provide a basketball league, people get very upset. And quite frankly throw things at you and call you names. Like Turd boy? Whatever. Point is I reinstated youth basketball.
Leslie: This says here you only have money for two teams?
Ben: Yeah, they're going to develop a great rivalry. | permalink
Leslie: Would you be cool doing things that a prostitute does?
Ann: Uh...
Leslie: Minus the money?
Ann: Definitely yes then. | permalink

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (19 Votes)

Eric Hochberger is the programmer of TV Fanatic, so please forgive his mediocre writing. His programming is far better. Follow him on Twitter and/or email him. Just don't request threaded comments. They're coming.

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Tilly

So happy they returned and am actually starting to like Chris. The story about why he is so optimistic gave me some insight into his character. Also hilarious watching Ben dance at Bulge.

Addict666

I loved this episode! This is one of my favorite shows!!!