***In Lexington, NBC is analog channel 8, satellite 382, and high def cable 906.***
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Those four aren’t the only ones involved in the romantic stuff. Andy (Chris Pratt) has been pining for April (Aubrey Plaza), who hasn’t returned his calls or texts, for months. After Andy’s kiss with Ann last spring, the last thing Andy needed to finally get over her, he is upset he can’t seem to get to April. April doesn’t show up until late in the episode, but when she does, she has her new, non-English speaking boyfriend in tow. April translates Andy’s declarations of adoration to him as Andy wanting a sex change operation. Priceless joke.
Ron (Nick Offerman) is still dating Tom’s (Aziz Ansari) ex-wife, Wendy (Jama Williamson). Although it was a green card marriage, and Tom has a new girlfriend, he still has feelings for Wendy. Tom is chosen to referee a basketball game between teams Ron and Andy are now coaching, and Tom takes that jealousy out on Ron and his team in a big way.
Ansari has given Tom a layer of vulnerability covered with sarcastic narcissism that is unmatched anywhere on television. It makes him one of the show’s most interesting characters. Offerman, on the other hand, has made Ron a picture of the type of macho manliness that Chuck Norris jokes spring from. I will soon be googling Ron’s chart that he showed to his basketball team, as I imagine every box is filled with witty humor. Andy has grown in ways I never imagined, as has April, overcoming the snotty teenager routine she used to give. The four of them, along with Retta as Donna and Jim O’Heir as Jerry, have made this such a rich ensemble comedy that it rivals even The Office in characters. Pure delight, each and every single one of them.
I can’t express in words how good it is to have Parks and Recreation back on television. After a rocky first season where the show struggled with what it wanted to be, season two was a stellar triumph. It made the waiting for season three all the more difficult. I hope now that it’s back, we won’t be facing another shortage of new episodes anytime soon. Surely the series has earned a quick pickup for season four, along with other veteran NBC comedies!
If you gave up on P and R before it found its voice, or just haven’t been watching it, I strongly urge you to check it out. It’s not just another sitcom, but a special one, that will surely be remembered and syndicated on other networks for years to come. I can’t recommend it enough.
Parks and Recreation airs Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
Article first published as TV Review: Parks and Recreation Went Big! on Blogcritics.
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