Parks and Recreation is one of the shows I wish more people knew about. If their recent few episode shows viewers anything, it is that this once-unknown show is really sprinting up the hill of success. Few comedies compared to Amy Poehler’s brilliant creation at this point in the race, and you can quote me on that.
Leslie Knope is one of the fiercest, hardest working characters on TV - and one of the most loveable. She is the everywoman, a classic girlie girl and a devoted and passionate employee. There is literally no way not to love her charisma, and Poehler’s Knope is in every sense of the world: perfect.
In “Campaign Shake Up,” viewers get a nice glimpse of the anxiety to come before the finale with no resolution - the resolution is headed straight to be the finale. Knope’s campaign hit a rough turn as Bobby Newport takes the lead after weeks of falling behind. This is particularly devastating for Ben, who has been working hard on keeping his girlfriend ahead.
The head of their issues? Kathryn Hahn’s Jennifer Barkley is introduced, a love-hate character that comes from Washington to lead Newport’s campaign. She’s quirky, openly admitting that she’s there to win, but does not care about the campaign at all. Hahn’s charm and matching charisma sets aflame a plot twist that creates enough anxiety to pop a balloon. As hard as Knope and her team try, they simply cannot win.
What’s worse is that the obvious lack of interest in Pawnee the residents express highlight Knope’s plights as much ado for nothing. No one in Pawnee seems to care about Pawnee except Knope, a frustrating fact for viewers. We want to see Knope prevail - she’s smart with her plans, reliable, and efficient. There’s no one like her, but the Pawnee residents really only care about the lavish lies that people feed them, regardless or not of whether they make sense. The total and utter disbelief on the part of Knope brings in a comedic twist: it is literally unbelievable (as Chris would say) that these people are buying so many lies, and as hard as Leslie tries, she cannot fight them.
In the meantime, Leslie’s office is threatened with hiring a replacement. Instead, they take on the issue of building a new water fountain where residents cannot put their entire mouth over the faucet, an epidemic that threatens hygiene. This comedic twist is a perfect contrast for Leslie’s hardships. Ann’s struggle to control her team as she leads this project ends in a water balloon fight that angers Ron.
His fight not to introduce another team member ends in April secretly stepping up to solve the water fountain problem.When Ron wants to hire Ann, she deters him to April, the true force of power. April thus reluctantly agrees to step up and take more responsibility. This plan works out nicely and I’m excited to see how it turns out: April has always been one of my favorite characters, dark and twisty, but too smart too deny, and I am thrilled to see where this new step will take her. She can’t, after all, deal with people very well.
While the episode ends with no resolution at all, something that should disappoint viewers at the very least, I do not believe anyone was truly mad. After all, this past episode did introduce a new, fresh vision and humor to the show. Half the mood felt like a flashback to something that would come out of 30 Rock - and combined with Parks and Rec’s usual smart, girlie humor, I could honestly not be any more pleased.
This show never has never had a dull moment. It’s well paced, hilarious, and full of quirky, original characters that simply steal your heart. What more could you honestly want from a show? We can only hope that Leslie Knope’s honest and fervent plight ends in success, but whether or not she wins, Parks and Rec will endure as one of the funniest, more original, and most all-around brilliant shows to ever hit TV. And for that, we have the lovely Amy Poehler to thank.
# parks and rec # Parks and Recreation # amy poehler # aziz # parks # recreation # television # On Criticism # recap # parks recap # brilliant # i love this show # amy effing poehler # tv critic # television recap
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