The Parks and Rec Open Thread

[Content Note for video: Hunting imagery.]

Above: The video for Leslie Knope's campaign song, "Catch Your Dream (And Shackle It to Your Heart)," featuring excellent saxophone and deeply inappropriate metaphors. Lyrics here.

(Hereafter be spoilers.)

So many laughs in last night's episode! Lady Presh-Presh! O Captain, my Captain! I dropped all of the hotdogs, like a thousand. Memories…of Now. God, that was hot nonsense. Whizzingham Manor. He's a gorgeous genius, people—don't question his methods! I think you sound like an angel, and everyone else sounds like demons. I would like to eat at the game! Maybe if I hit my head against the floor; that's worked before. Pretty sweet sauce in there, eh, Ace? Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm about to endorse ten beers into my mouth, because this has been an incredibly stressful evening.

I also endorse ten beers!

I have two confessions to make: 1. Although, as we've discussed in comments, the picking on Jerry (Gary!) is uncool, I nearly pissed myself laughing when April crashed those cymbals at him to stop his observing the similarity between Duke Silver and Ron Swanson. OMFG. 2. At first, I really did not like the whole Leslie-Ben-Dave storyline. AT FIRST!

But then there was the juxtaposition of Ben telling Leslie that he understands if she'd like to have dinner alone with Dave to catch up, with Dave cuffing Ben in the men's room so that he can speak to Leslie alone. And Ben said to Dave: "I'm not going to give you permission to try to win my girlfriend away from me." Which is really precise language that leaves Leslie as the decision-making person in the triangle, once again turning a familiar rom-com trope of two dudes fighting over a woman as if her will doesn't even matter on its head.

You did it again, Parks and Rec!

There was a lot of rom-com trope subversion happening throughout the Ann-Tom arc, too. Two exchanges in particular stood out:

Tom: "Ann, I caught feelings for you, and I want you to be my girl, and I don't care who knows."

Ann: "I know you don't care, dummy. I care!"

The "I don't care who knows!" shout-it-from-the-rooftops meme is so pervasive in rom-coms, accompanied by shots of a lady cringing with outward embarrassment while simultaneously grinning with inner delight, and Ann's utterly contemptuous response was awesome. Later came this:

Tom: "I was waiting outside in the rain for you, because I thought you would come out and be like, 'Awwww, he's all wet. That's so romantic!' But you didn't! And now I've got the sniffles."

Ann: "What on earth would make you think I would like that?"

Tom: "Movies."

Ann: "Oh, god, Tom!"

SO! PERFECT! So absolutely perfect. I love that Parks and Rec is exploring the reality that there are a lot of men who get their (terrible) ideas about love and romance from romantic comedies, too.

And finally, I have to give some love to the scene in which Leslie and Ben are in the car after the disastrous dinner with Dave, and Ben is talking Leslie down off the ledge because she's considering skipping the party for the retiring captain. Ben says wryly: "Leslie, let's not let your terrible decision-making get in the way of this election." And then they turn and grin at each other. Nice.

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