Our Parks & Recreation Addiction

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Parks and Recreation is a stellar sitcom starring gems of the modern comedy world such as Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Retta, Adam Scott, and more (plus, stellar guest stars including Vice President Joe Biden)! But besides being the wittiest show to come along in a very long while, it had the power to build friendships. Indeed, the friendship of the authors of this article is in part due to their mutual love of this fine program. Here, Haleh Kanani and Sara Spruch-Feiner discuss a few of their favorites from the first five seasons of P & R. If you’re just discovering the show and want some episodes to try out, we STRONGLY recommend the following.*

FLU SEASON

Kanani: Rob Lowe says these words to himself in the mirror: “STOP. POOPING.” So there’s that. Leslie is always deliriously weird and funny but when she comes down with the flu...she gets really delirious, which means great things for a great episode.

Spruch-Feiner: Mr. Swanson also provides one of his best sound bites in this ep: “I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes” priceless.

 

SEX EDUCATION

Spruch-Feiner: Not only does this episode betray Amy Poehler’s feminist leanings, but is also hilarious. We witness Tom’s nearly debilitating addiction to technology which has brought him a court mandated week without technology in punishment for tweeting while driving. Ron and Tom even take a trip to the woods together intended to help Tom detox. Meanwhile, Leslie strives to provide senior citizens while facing opposition from Marsha and Marshall, the towns “morality watchdogs.” Highlighted moment: Tom makes a pinterest board out of paper.

Kanani: And we learn way too much about how Pawnee’s elderly like to...you know...do it.

PAWNEE RANGERS

Spruch-Feiner: Ah, the infamous “Treat Yo’Self” episode that has become a cultural touchstone. I can just hear Donna’s affirmation of acupuncture ringing in my ears when I have mine done: “needles in yo face, pleasure in yo base.” The image of Ben emotionally worn out over being torn away from Leslie in a full-body batman suit, as Donna and Tom encourage him to treat himself in whatever fashion suits him best (aka maybe not cashmere socks). Meanwhile, Leslie is swearing in Pawnee Rangers as Pawnee Goddesses having them chant that they are “beautiful female warriors.” This episode is made even better by Chris dating Millicent and trying to inform Jerry that they spent the night together.

Kanani: Watching April lead a group of girl scouts is reason enough to watch this episode. Plus, Leslie’s competitive side comes out, which is always a good thing. Actually, I think the Pawnee Goddesses trip is pretty great in every way possible.

 

FANCY PARTY

Kanani: Remember when Ann and Andy were dating? Yeah, us neither. APRIL AND ANDY 4 EVER. To avoid spoilers, let’s just say that April probably smiles more in this episode than she does in the entire rest of the season combined, and we’re smiling right along with her. I don’t care if that makes me a softie--these kids just melt my heart.

Spruch-Feiner: This show knows how to do weddings (see below!) and they specialize in quirky, heartwarming, and come to think of it (spoiler alert) somewhat impromptu ones that manage to be all the more endearing and delightful.

HALLOWEEN SURPRISE

Spruch-Feiner: We could talk about Leslie and Ben’s wedding, Leslie’s newspaper dress, and the efforts of the whole crew to make magic...but let’s talk about their engagement instead. I cried, you cried, we all cried. Has a TV couple ever been so beloved and adorable as these two? They’re just great. Their engagement is great. Their understanding of one another is both beautiful, touching, and comedic gold. Whatever, I’m done now.

Kanani: I’m crying again.

 

*=Spruch-Feiner: I will admit this show is an acquired taste. I remember downloading the pilot as an iTunes freebie a longgg time ago and thinking “wtf”--flash-forward to now and my friends have expressed concern regarding my endless P&R appetite.

About The Author

Sara is a senior English major, Art History minor, and Women's and Gender studies concentrator at Kenyon College. She was born and raised in Manhattan and never dreamed she would attend college surrounded by cornfields. She has spent two summers as an editorial intern at ELLE Magazine. She always has a magazine (or three) with her. She loves her role as Kenyon's Campus Correspondent!