The Parks and Rec Open Thread

image of Donna (Retta) making a woo-hoo! face next to a stripper dressed as Abraham Lincoln at Leslie's bachelorette party
"Tear it up, 16! Emancipate some abs!"

(Spoilers are stress-eating gummi penises herein.)

Penis hats! Molecular mixology! Babe Lincoln and the Gettysburg Undress! Ice cream mustache! Touchdown dance! Extra cream; thirty sugars! Tweep! There were a lot of fun things about this episode!

And whooooooooooooops there were a lot of not fun things about this episode!

1. I am Officially Done with no one being able to figure out why Gayle loves Jerry. Leaving aside the gross implicit commentary that someone who is fat and goofy is axiomatically unlovable (by anyone who is not themselves fat and goofy, anyway), it just doesn't even make sense with everything else we know about Ben as the character has been written that he couldn't imagine why Jerry is a lovable guy. The writers are undermining their own work in order to keep making a nasty joke at Jerry's expense.

2. The fat jokes. Gaming t-shirts only come in XXL. Paunch Burger. "Start drooling, fatties." You know, in a show whose main characters eat waffles and steaks like they're going out of style, you'd think we could skip the tired trope about how eating burgers makes people fat.

3. I loved the men's super fun and sweet rotating bachelor party concept. I did not love the juxtaposition of the men having fun while the women worked, especially since there was no frame that suggested work was the perfect party for Leslie, as has happened before. This was no fun for her, or anyone else. I didn't want that for Leslie, and I didn't like how Ann felt it was a failure on her part, and it bummed me out.

4. The entire Wamapoke sub-plot. On the one hand, I liked that the show addressed, pretty bluntly, how local government in states like Indiana have historically oppressed, often violently, native peoples, and that many contemporary interactions are still appropriative and exploitative. On the other hand, I'm not sure that kind of commentary works in a comedy show with ironic humor that looks exactly like non-ironic humor ubiquitously made at Native Americans' expense. There's a lot to tease out about this thread in the episode, so have at it in comments.

Anyway. Here are some other things I did like...

Ron Swanson head bullet-point "And anything that can be penis-shaped, will be penis-shaped."

Ron Swanson head bullet-point "I know you said no strippers, because they make you sad." "Correct."

Ron Swanson head bullet-point "Can I ask if this entire establishment is a practical joke of some kind?"

Ron Swanson head bullet-point "I'm just not in the mood for historical nudity. Please, Mr. President, put your pants back on."

Ron Swanson head bullet-point "It's the lord's work you're doing, John. I'd like four more glasses of Lagavulin in liquid form."

Ron Swanson head bullet-point "The Zodiac Killer never confessed. Why do I have to?!"

Ron Swanson head bullet-point "Is that a threat?" "Well, yes, I thought that was obvious."


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