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PARKS AND RECREATION “Sex Education” Episode Recap


It seems that Pawnee, Indiana always mirrors real life, but with some exaggeration to make things hilarious. And it’s uncertain exactly how crucial Parks and Rec thinks sexually transmitted diseases among senior citizens is in our country. But seriously, it’s an issue apparently. Anyway, Tom Haverford does represent a more obvious problem: texting while driving. And also being obsessively and ridiculously addicted to anything with a screen. If you can tap, scroll, zoom, or click it–Tom is probably using it right now. He starts every morning with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn; pretty much exactly what most teenagers do.

The episode opens with Tom in court because he was caught texting tweeting while driving. Apparently that doesn’t count, because Tom argues “I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but case dismissed.” The judge gives Tom a perfectly sitcom punishment–one week without screens. Harsh. “Sex Education” was a great episode because, for the first time in way too long, Aziz Ansari has the reigns. Ron Swanson surprisingly and rightfully lets Tom have this one. If you told me before I watched the episode that Ron would be overseeing the judge’s orders over Tom, I would’ve thought we’d be in for plenty of more Swansonisms. Not the case (mostly). Not only does Tom outshine Ron, but also Leslie and Andy. What’s technically considered the sub-plot, Aziz Ansari makes it much more memorable than the main plot of Leslie’s job-of-the-week. I’m not sure Parks and Rec will ever be The Tom Haverford Show, but it’s nice to be reminded he’s still here.

Behold: the triumphant return of Perd Hapley. He is back to discuss Leslie’s plan to combat STDs with the 100% of Pawneeans that are “Perd-verts.” In order to prepare for her encounter with inquisitive old people, Leslie asks Ann, Donna, and Andy to raise possible questions she might face. Such as: “Where can I get lube that is healthy to eat.” A reasonable inquiry. Not that old people shouldn’t have sex, but they definitely, definitely shouldn’t talk about it. Observe: ALL of Andy’s reactions. Leslie is again faced with the decision to either stay loyal to what she believes, or do the only thing that won’t kill her career as a politician. Remember, this is a woman who wants to be the first female President. And if that ever happens, also recall that she once twice put a condom on a banana.

Ben and April Blart: Mall Cop seem stuck in Washington, D.C. The fact that they are still there certainly isn’t hurting the show, but it’s hardly helping it. Neither funny nor unfunny, their obsession with the new congressional candidate has it’s moments. The best of such moments come when the candidate is staring at the wall, and Ben absolutely has to go into his office to see if he has a television, or anything, there. Nope.

Parks and Rec still is, and forever shall be, extremely funny. However, they seem to be slipping into a formula that we may get tired of quickly. They have a message for us, but sometimes it’s a little too obvious that we are being preached at. When Tom tells Ron he relies on his technology because he’s unhappy with his life, it sort of came out of nowhere. It didn’t seem at all like his enthusiasm was being motivated by sorrow, and Tom definitely isn’t the type to acknowledge this.

Best moments:

Ron: “Neither doodle, nor jump.”

“I’m also a bit fearful we’re verging on what I call feelings territory. So let’s stare at the fire in silence.”

Andy: “Do pubic hairs get longer the older you get… because that’s happening to me. What should I do?”

Tom: “I really wish I could click those.”

“Jerry, you don’t deserve the internet!”

Perd: “Strong words from a woman who is trying to pin a piece of paper to her blazer.”

Leslie, while tossing condoms into the crowd of seniors: “Hey, who wants to party!”

“Chapter 3, there’s a party in your pants and no one is invited.”

Bottom line: A lot of solid moments, but nothing particularly memorable aside from Perd Hapley and Tom’s outrageous obsession.

I will be recapping each new episode of Parks and Recreation, as well as The Office this fall. Please follow @MattBenincasa and @ScreenInvasion on Twitter!

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The Author

Matt Benincasa

Matt Benincasa

Matt is an actor and writer from NYC, attending Fordham University with a Major in Communications and Minor in Theatre.