If you aren’t watching Parks and Recreation by now then you must not enjoy laughing. I can’t believe I have to even write this but if you are one of those unfortunate souls who is missing out on the fun…Parks & Rec is a mockumentary style comedy on NBC about the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana. After a slow first season, the second season delivers week after week with awesome writing, acting, editing, and character development. The series stars SNL’s Amy Poehler as the ambitious and kindhearted Leslie Knope with a fantastic supporting cast, particularly Aziz Ansari as Leslie’s right-hand man Tom Haverford.
Stand-up comedian Ansari is priceless in his breakthrough performance as the suited up, self-serving, sarcastic underachiever Tom Haverford. Haverford, much like Barney Stinson of my other favorite comedy HIMYM, is also obsessed with getting booty. The difference is that unlike Barney, he fails miserably. At least Tom can always count on some (paid) lovin’ from his ladies at the strip club. Guys, watch this video of “The Haverford Method” so that you know what NOT to do when picking up ladies.
While I would love to write a whole essay about this brilliant show, I wanted to highlight a line in Thursday night’s episode that made me crack up hysterically for 30 minutes. It involves Leslie impersonating Tom making fun of Jerry falling in a creek for a burrito. Sounds AMAZING right?! But first, a recap because the whole episode was hysterical as usual and deserves a long post in my uber-professional blog.
The “Park Safety” episode was, ummm, Jerry-heavy. Jerry is the employee in the office that everybody makes fun of. He’s chunky, he’s clumsy, he mispronounces words in the strangest way (“twout”), he farts at inappropriate moments (yes anytime you’re in public its inappropriate to fart but he picks the very worst times); he vacations and has a timeshare in Muncie, Indiana of all places. He just has a shitload of badd luck and is an unfortunately un-cool person.
At the beginning of the episode Jerry gets “randomly” picked to refill the hummingbird feeders in the park. He ends up at the hospital with a dislocated shoulder, which he claims happened when he was mugged in the park. After his “mugging,” Leslie makes everybody in the office be nice to him, as in not crack jokes at his expense. But OMG does Jerry make it really hard for them. Upon returning to the office he proceeds to do a presentation, except that the whole segment just consists of all the embarrassing things that make Jerry the Butt of the Joke, including splitting his pants straight down the ass-crack and some burrito farting. Watch video clip here.
Leslie embarks on a crusade to improve park safety employing the assistance of the Head Park Ranger. SNL’s Andy Samberg guest stars as Carl the LOUD Park Ranger, emphasis on the LOUD, as in he is so LOUD that he was reassigned to a job outdoors because he does not have an inside voice. Leslie and peeps visit the site of Jerry’s alleged mugging riding on the only golf cart left standing, the one coated in raccoon urine, after a series of unfortunate events—apparently the Park Rangers (like Jerry) are not a lucky people.
To get media attention on the park safety issue, Leslie makes an appearance on the local TV show Pawnee Today from Pawnee Public Access to talk about Jerry getting mugged in the park. “Who’s next? Your frumpy uncle, your simple neighbor, your unpopular coworker?” This prompts City Hall to allocate more money for park safety. Jerry decides to wait until the press conference to confess the truth about his mugging to Leslie: he didn’t get mugged but rather dislocated his shoulder when his burrito fell on a log in a creek…but of course Jerry couldn’t let that stop him from consuming a perfectly good burrito—he reached for it and fell into the creek landing on his shoulder. Jerry didn’t tell the truth because he was too afraid of how Tom would make fun of him. Quick cut to Leslie doing a genius impersonation of what Tom would’ve said, complete with sarcasm, fake big-ass smile, and Tom’s classic “Damn….”:
“Damn Jerry, you jumped in a creek for a burrito! What would you do for a Klondike bar, kill your wife?”
I was literally dying of laughter for the longest time after that. And if you don’t think that joke is funny then you do not grasp how spot-on that impersonation was. Earlier in the episode, Tom makes a Winnie the Pooh reference when he asks Jerry: “Did you throw out your shoulder trying to swing a honey pot off your hand?” Later, he says behind Jerry’s back: “He needs a lot of support… I’m talking about a bra for a man.”
Shortly after the press conference, a citizen turns in a video of Jerry’s burrito mishap to the LOUD Park Ranger. The hilarious home video clip, available here, also shows Jerry refusing to share his wet burrito with his dog.
At the end, the office celebrates as Jerry gives them permission to tease him after another amusing Jerry accident. Leslie claps, “Making fun of Jerry is back!” What a relief! It didn’t feel right in the office for them not to make fun of him.
Other noteworthy moments:
• Everybody submitted Jerry’s name instead of their own for the Hummingbird lottery. Even Leslie whose moral compass is always pointing north placed 20 Jerry’s to counteract her 1 Leslie.
• Ann paying Andy more attention and saying he never did something nice for anybody, including her when they were dating, like he is now doing for April.
• Jerry’s dog is named Lord Sheldon.
• Ron teaches everyone self-defense. In one practice exercise, Ron engages Andy in an attack hold (more like a hug from behind), Andy tries to break free by flailing his neck around like a raptor, and subsequently passes out.
• Ann watches too many Lifetime movies, and not the good ones either. Yes there are good ones, haters!
How awesome is Parks and Rec? If you are one of those unlucky folk who have been missing out, will you start watching now because if you don’t you are basically as un-cool as Jerry. The full episode is available here. Parks & Rec airs on NBC Thursdays at 8:30 before The Office.