Parks and Recreation Review: Pillner for Pawnee
Parks and Recreation returned this week with "Live Ammo," and it was as warm and comfy as Tom Haverford’s apartment, where there’s always a soft blanket within reach and the temperature is 80 degrees, night and day.
The A story:
Leslie asks Councilman Pillner (guest star Bradley Whitford) to reverse an eight percent cut in the city parks dept. The money is coming from a county animal shelter, leading accusations that she might personally kill an adorable yellow lab puppy. She seems likes she’s about to learn a lesson about making hard budget decisions, until she comes up with a creative solution, even though it’s bad for her campaign. But it’s no big deal, because she’s going to demolish Bobby Newport a the debate next week (foreshadowing?)
I get that Pawnee is about as realistic as Springfield, and that the show is trying to make a bigger point about political races and media coverage. But as someone who grew up in Indiana and currently lives in D.C., it always takes me out of it a little bit when we’re supposed to believe how much attention every action in the race gets, or that a city council campaign has access to accurate and instant polling.
It was a solid story, and Leslie’s solution was a clever surprise and totally in character. It was probably the weakest of the three plots this week, though only because the other two were outstanding.
The B story:
April is having trouble filling in for Leslie in the Parks department, as she finds bureaucracy boring and hates other human beings.
It was nice to see Tom mentoring April and to see Tom behave more like an actual human being. I also love how Aziz Ansari pronounces “puuUupy.” And it made me wonder how many cats I could have on me at the same time (Andy’s record was five.)
The C story:
Chris tells Ron he’s a finalist for the assistant city manager job, but he has to come mediate with Chris first. Ron comes along, but he refuses to mediate - he just stands there quietly breathing, his mind a complete blank.
Chris and Ron really bring out the best in each other - remember the burger cookoff in “Soulmates?" Ron’s unwitting possession of a calming chi, his desire to eat the spinning cone of meat at the Greek restaurant (Achilles Meal!) next to the meditation center, teaching Chris that true freedom and relaxation can be found in a bottle of whiskey, all priceless.
Review the best Parks and Recreation quotes from the episode now and sound off with your thoughts. How far would you go to not murder puppies?