TV Recap PARKS AND RECREATION, “The Comeback Kid”
I know, I know—this is a little (a lot) late. I was busy making my spectacular clay-mation follow up to “Requiem for a Tuesday” that I brilliantly titled “Requiem for a Being Really Sick.” So, you know, priorities.
This weeks Parks and Recreation started exactly where we left off before the break, Lesley’s campaign starting up again, Ben out of a job and everyone doing their best to help Lesley reach her dreams of being an elected official. “The Comeback Kid” brought out what Parks and Rec does best, allow these ridiculous and often completely incompetent people help each other out, however begrudgingly.
With Ann named campaign manager, the Knope ’12 campaign gets back underway with big plans for a rally re-announcing the Knope candidacy. In wonderful Pawnee fashion it goes spectacularly awry. First, Pistol Pete who made a slam dunk some twenty years previous against Eagleton and is still a town legend, doesn’t want to dunk. See—that’s in his past and he would like to focus on his future as a regional distributor for whatsy-what, and why focus on being a high school basketball star when you can be a regional distributor?
Also, Ron and his “philosophical differences” with the police officer that pulls the team over in a giant truck on what the law means, ends up almost getting the team arrested. As we know from season 2 and Lesley’s brief affair with Officer Louis CK, the police in Pawnee love Lesley, and she gets them off. Granted, they have to take a car instead of the truck to the gym that they rented and thus have to take only what they can get their hands on. So now, with little to no supplies to build a stage, banner and have a red carpet, they head to the gym—where they find out that April hated the stupid guy who was renting them the gym and thus didn’t listen when he told them it was turned from a basketball court into a ice rink.
In the madness that ensues as Lesley and her team try and walk out to the tiny stage, including a three legged dog peeing, Andy falling down and some of the most hilarious stopping and starting of music in a long while, I remembered why I missed Parks and Recreation so much. This is a show that is able to bring together a cast of misfit characters and have them fall down in the funniest and most creative ways of anyone on television, but also instill in them a pathos and loveliness that makes us want them to succeed in every imaginable way. Yes, we were laughing at the people falling down on the ice, but we were laughing because we love them. Because they have no idea what they are doing, but they are doing it with such heart and enthusiasm that it goes passed being funny and into being endearing of their characters.
The endearing characters and loving friendships that are the hallmark of the show came out in spades in the B-story, where Chris came to make sure his recently unemployed friend Ben was not too depressed. Even though Ben believed he was happy making Lo Cal Calzones for his Lo Cal Calzone Zone restaurant idea, and making a claymation video that he compared to Avatar, Chris saw how deeply depressed Ben was. It was not only hilarious, but also telling of the characters that Ben can lean so much on Chris, and that Chris knows Ben well enough to be there when he needs help.
The resolution of the whole debacle and Ben’s decent into madness is a tidy job offer to Ben as campaign manager. Now Lesley has experience, and her man, on her side and Ben has something to do. More importantly, we get to hang out with this group of people in one place more often. It’s was a spectacular start to the second half of the season—and I am looking forward to voting Knope in 2012.