Parks and Rec 2-6: On pitfalls and legal procedures

Plot: There’s a completely unnecessary outside plot involving a one-time visiting character who “pranks” cities into building playgrounds. Like the 30 Rock/Kimmy Schmidt team, this team likes random whimsy, and I get that. But given that they’re also into throwing way too much character complexity at a 30-minute format (hi, Tom!), I think the show could have stood fewer one-offs like this guy, and more attention to its actual cast. Just a thought from the treadmill this morning before coffee.

In other news, Leslie decides to fill in the pit without asking permission, at Mark’s suggestion. I can’t explain my dislike for Mark. I guess he’s like the male Ann, in that we’re told he’s sexy and charming and desirable and fun to be around, and we’re never shown that in any way, and in fact what we do see is him grinning at Tom’s crude jokes and randomly suggesting that Leslie break the law with no background at all. But I digress. Leslie accidentally hurts Andy, again, some more, in the pit, and then breaks all sorts of more laws to convince him to pressure the city into filling in the pit.

Deep Thoughts: I’m probably in a bad mood today, but the ends-justify-the-means of this episode rubbed me the wrong way this morning. Not because they are of themselves that dastardly, but because I can’t suspend my disbelief that Leslie could possibly tamper with a case like this and get away with it.

I need more coffee.

Your Related Link For The Day: “Is that all you lawyers think about? Lawsuits, and laws and legalese?” Yep. I want to link here to a thing I heard on NPR this morning about how our president actually is not a babe in the legal woods and does know a good bit about federal investigations — and how he’s betrayed that knowledge in his Rage Tweets in ways that probably make his lawyers very sad. But it isn’t online yet. Link later if I remember.

Ann is Mean: Ann is actually insufficiently mean in this episode. I love later-seasons Andy for what he is, but early-seasons Andy needs a kick in the nads, not an eyeroll and a half-giggle. Even if he genuinely hears “We’re getting back together” when Ann says totally innocuous things, and isn’t just trying to pressure her, he isn’t listening. Only yes means yes, asshole.

Jerrybashing: Interestingly, the Jerrybashing in this episode actually includes a Jerry-flub, and an implication that Jerry screws up a lot. I don’t need there to be a useless scapegoat member of the office staff, but I infinitely prefer Jerry being a useless screw-up as a reason why he’s mocked.

April Is My Spirit Animal: IMDB informs me that this is actually the only episode in the entire series in which April does not appear. Five points from Gryffindor for lack of April.

The LOL moment: Leslie’s credit card purchasing record. I’d totally pay $120 in tuition to Hogwarts.

I am Leslie: “So who gives me the go-ahead to not ask for permission but ask for forgiveness?”

I want to be more like Leslie:  Regarding the filled-in pit, Ann thinks “There’s so much more to do” and Leslie thinks “Oh, my God, we’re so close.” We all need to be more Leslie!

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