Parks and Recreation is back and it’s all about the new: New life, new problems, new jobs, and new ambitions.
New life: Between Ron and Diane, Chris and Anne, it seems like everyone’s having a baby!
In Ron and Diane’s case, this prompts a brief, hurried, and completely romantic wedding ceremony at the office. Leslie and April are involved, and there’s a highlighter bouquet and Leslie is painfully excited. I thought that London was going to be the most exciting part of the premiere, but this was way better. Don’t we all wish we had such enthusiastic personal cheerleaders in our lives as Leslie is for Ron and Diane?
Chris and Anne’s reaction to future parenthood is much more business-like. By which I mean dull. They break the exciting news to co-workers who don’t care and get traumatized by Jerry talking about Anne’s milk (I definitely won’t be able to eat cereal ever again). Their problems are so normal and serious and boring that I’m kinda not sad they won’t be on the show for much longer.
New problems: An update on Leslie’s impeachment troubles in Pawnee finds her in phase 26 of her 40 phase plan for crisis control. She’s taking meetings with any and every community member as a method of hyper-personal campaigning. Those brief snapshots of the types she’s been seeing are gold. (I wonder if Leslie wants to handle the slug problem I have in my basement..? They’re, like, six inches long.)
In an attempt at repairing Leslie’s reputation (and also ’cause she’s secretly sweet), April nominates Leslie for an award, the presentation of which brings he entire gang to London. Of course, this gives Ron plenty of opportunities for amusingly staunch America’s-better-than-Europe lectures. Diane is obviously good news for Ron, as she forced him to broaden his horizons with sightseeing instead of sticking with the familiar whiskey and sex.
Tom’s business problems are still problems, too, with the mysterious, shadowy investor (that Tom really wants to be a celebrity) continuing with his Rent-a-Swag rip-off. It’s not Lebron James. Or Jason Statham. But it’s someone seemingly vindictive, and he’s messing with Tom’s profits. While Jean-Ralphio and Mona Lisa are busy not being helpful, they reveal that their father is the one behind Tommy’s Closet.
Can we please take a moment to celebrate Henry Winkler?! He was perfect and wonderful in the role of Tom’s adversary, but I kept expecting him to mention his lawsuit with the LA Kings. Did you expect two such failures as Jean-Ralphio and Mona Lisa to have such a successful, protective, and encouraging father? Turns out he’s just really gullible. Well, that explains everything. Too bad that even after his hilariously sociopathic children tell him the truth, he’s still determined to crush Tom. Does this mean we’ll keep seeing Winkler on the show? I’m sorry for Tom’s business troubles, but if we get Winkler, it’s worth it.
New jobs: Ben and Andy used the trip to London as a chance to do some charity peddlin’ for their foundation and explain Chris Pratt’s bangin’ “Guardians of the Galaxy” bod. Which reminds me that’s what they do now, and how cute it is that Andy has a real job now. But he still wants to do fake accents, so rest assured that real job or not, Andy will always be a lovable goon. And look at that – his gooniness turns out to be an asset with Lord Whateverington of Fancyshire. Ice cream! Remote control helicopters! And Ben plays dad. But guys, didn’t this really make you look forward to when Ben and Leslie have kids? You know it’s coming, and you know it will be deathly cute. Andy will be the coolest uncle, Leslie will be an enthusiastic, cheerleading mom, and Ben will be patient to a fault.
Will Andy stay in London to help the Lord run his new non-profit? Either way, his decision-making process is a chance for his marriage to shine. We all thought Andy and April were impulsive and crazy, but turned out to be perfectly matched; mature and mutually supportive. For anyone who married young (ahem), it’s an incredible relief to see this well-adjusted (though uniquely quirky) relationship represented.
New ambitions: Leslie and Ben want to travel. Is NBC setting a precedent for more international rambling in the future? Maybe next time Jerry can tag along and get lost in Reykjavik or fall into the Nile..?
And more travelling may be in Ron’s future, too, as we’re left with this beautiful image: Ron Swanson, coming to terms with the fact that not all of Europe is garbage, sitting on the coast, looking like a sexy commercial for whiskey and wool sweaters, perfectly in his element. Once again Leslie proves she knows Ron better than anyone. Hope Diane doesn’t take that personally.
Other significant highlights:
Perd Hapley doin’ his thing! I got so sick of watching Jay Jackson be a serious news guy on Scandal. I like him better when he speaks in empty, newsy riddles.
Heidi Klum was pretty cute and not as wooden as non-actor guest stars usually are.
April’s attachment to a Mongolian wolverine hunter is almost too on-character.
Leslie’s “cheese eye” is brilliant, and something I aspire to as well.
Most representative character quotes:
Leslie: [At Ron and Diane’s impromptu wedding.] “Why is there no rice in this municipal government building?!”
Chris: [In reference to a slug infestation.] “Life is precious, and every day is a miracle.”
April: [In reference to Leslie’s award acceptance speech.] “I think you should lose the first line and the last line and all the other lines and instead just walk up to the mike and and meow really loudly for eight minutes.”
Ron: [In response to Leslie getting excited about European history.] “History began on July 14th, 1776. Everything before that was a mistake.”
What did everyone think of last night’s season premiere? Sound off in the comments!
Hannah McIlveen is a freelance graphic designer and TV-obsessed writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. She grew up riding horses and reading Roald Dahl books, got an art degree, and then spent the next several years moving around the country and watching television. Her greatest goals in life are to write good stuff, produce a web series, build a house with her husband, and have six cats at once. Hannah has contributed to BitchMagazine.org and is a staff blogger for the soon-to-launch TeenSized.com. She also writes her own daily blog, Click Watch Write. Hannah can be accosted on Twitter @ClickWatchWrite.