I don’t actually talk about Parks and Rec that often on here, and it almost strikes me as odd, until I remember that I don’t actually have that much to say about it. Not in a bad way, mind, it’s just…how do you talk about a show that’s pretty much perfect?
Yeah, I know, I’m setting the stakes pretty high here, but let me explain.
Parks and Recreation is pretty much my perfect storm of things that I love in a television show. First, it’s written and produced by a woman, stars a woman, and has tons of female characters. Second, those female characters (and the male characters) are all racially and ideologically diverse. Third, the writing is excellent. Fourth, the subject material makes me smile, and fifth, I just love it, okay?
Leslie Knope reminds me of whom I wanted to be when I was sixteen and starting a chapter of Amnesty International at my high school because it matters, dammit, and I want to make the world a better place! (I still want to make the world a better place, mind, just now I do it through yelling on the internet. Eh, things change.)
At any rate, Parks and Recreation has returned for its improbably sixth season, and I would like to take this opportunity to give it the glorious bath of love that it deserves.
So, if you’re one of those people who really only reads my blog because you like it when I get pissed off and rant a lot, I would skip on over to these articles here, because this is going to be disgustingly positive.
For the two of you who don’t already know, Parks and Recreation follows the exploits of the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana. Or, well, it used to follow those exploits. Now it follows the exploits of a bunch of random government employees and their various friends and lovers, but still in Pawnee because where else would they go?
Head of the pack is Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler who also writes and produces the show. Leslie is overwhelmingly positive, unabashedly feminist, blissfully ambitious, and completely insane. I love her. I want to stand next to her and just bask sometimes. Leslie started out as the Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation for the city (I think, I’m too lazy to google it) and has now advanced to holding a seat on the City Council.
Only things aren’t going so well on the City Council. Leslie’s approval rating is in the toilet, and her attempts to climb out of that toilet are meeting with little success. Ann (Rashida Jones) wants Leslie to remain positive, but it’s hard when her latest efforts are met with complaints about slugs instead of issues.
Into this strolls April (Aubrey Plaza), who has found a solution to all of this. She nominated Leslie for an award for women in government, and shockingly, Leslie won. She gets to accept the award next month in London. All of this, mind, happens in the first five minutes, to set up the basic premise of the episode, which is that our gang takes on London.
There are also the side plots, where Ron (Nick Offerman) and Diane (Lucy Lawless) get married in the first two minutes of the show, are going to have a baby, and Ron ends up in London alone while Diane has morning sickness. Ben (Adam Scott) and Andy (Chris Pratt) are off to London to talk to some investors for their afterschool arts program, and Andy manages to completely insult everyone there in minutes, but it all turns out okay in the end because Andy is disturbingly lovable.
And Tom (Aziz Ansari) has his own plotline about someone with a competing formalwear store in Pawnee, but that was easily my least favorite part of the episode.