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PARKS AND RECREATION “Women in Garbage” Recap/Review

Poor Chris. He finds out his relationship status at the same time as the rest of Pawnee, and he probably secretly wishes that “in a personal relationship with” means “in love.” I said last week that he’s in store for a legitimate relationship (because establishing long-term romantic relationships seems to be w hat’s popular on TV these days), but it’ll take a while. “Women in Garbage” isn’t about Chris, but it really isn’t about Leslie either. I suppose it’s impressive enough to craft a fully functional episode with so much going on separately. (1) Chris and Shauna start things up (2) Leslie and April fight the exaggeratedly chauvinistic Sanitation Department (3) Ben, Tom, and Andy “do basketball” (4)Ann Hanson and Ron babysit.

Leslie and April fight for equality for women in government, and the stereotypes that go along with them. First of all, if a man is a bear, a female is not a canary. That is a HUGE difference, which would mean men are like 3,000 times larger than women. To be fair, that’s not true. A woman would be, like, a somewhat smaller bear. But I see some irony in the fact that an episode that tries to break away from stereotypes is such a stereotypical Parks and Recreation episode. The opening scene was mostly flat until April started talking about how men are better than women–and I’m not just saying that because I’m a man. April insists “We must always obey them because they are our masters.”

Why did Leslie choose garbage collecting as a field that should contain more women? The male rebuttal, by the same people who do in fact keep a calendar of Leslie’s menstrual cycle, that the average woman couldn’t handle it is a sloppy way to let Leslie have the upper hand. I just can’t help but think there were better roads for this plot to take. Still, what we are a left with is satisfactory: a somehow ravishing April in a sanitation outfit, and Leslie posing for the Google Earth camera. By the way, there is no man version of Leslie Knope. If there was, this contest would at least be a tie.

If Ron can be directly responsible for Diane’s daughters to cut off their own hair, and she doesn’t get mad at him–they are going to have a very happy relationship. Ron’s exclamation that he loves nothing would be a marvelous quote from Season 1 or 2. But come on, it’s not entirely true; he loves meat, and woodworking, and outdoor barbecues, and hunting, and silence. Oh, and he also loves Diane. That happened too. I’m still quite curious how Ron Swanson “loves.” It’s all well and good that he loves, and I’m not saying he has to cry at their wedding, but I’m willing to bet there is an untapped lake of Swansonisms that come from his weird love instead of the lack of it.

Andy’s To-Do List: Buy and eat a bag of Skittles

Tom’s abysmal basketball skills are only half as embarrassing as Ben’s goggles. Someone tell him where the racquetball courts are. The highlight of an otherwise conventional episode is what happens on the basketball court–especially with Andy. Chris Pratt recently shared with Ellen Degeneres that Kathryn Bigelow had not seen Parks and Rec, because if she had, she would not have cast him in Zero Dark Thirty. Navy Seal Chris Pratt would have wiped the floor with the teenagers half his size. Andy Dwyer, however, is THE worst 6-foot-3 basketball player ever. It turns out giving Tom and Andy a basketball can’t not be hilarious. But Ben takes it too seriously, and says the best thing you can possibly say to someone you are competing against in sport: “Well, you suck at being polite, sir.”

Notes:

“We are not leaving until this symbolic feminist obstacle is loaded onto that truck of women’s advancement.”

Chris Traeger doesn’t really look like a woman, but he definitely smiles like one.

Chris Pratt looks like he was trying not to crack up while he had a mouth full of Skittles.

Again…Andy’s tie.

“Women in Garbage” is an unbelievably stupid title for an episode.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us below, and 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.