'Parks and Recreation' recap: Let's hear it for the schlemiel and schlemazel
Image Credit: Justin Lubin/NBCI’m starting to feel like a broken record. There are only so many times you can praise a series before you become a bore, so from here on forward, let’s assume this: Parks and Recreation is awesome and hilarious. Write it down in your book of facts, write it on a Post-It and stick it to your bathroom mirror to remind yourself every day, and begin using the show’s title as a replacement for the word combination ”awesome and hilarious” (example: ”I saw a man get kicked in his bean bag today; it was Parks and Recreation.”) If people look at you weird, just know that you are superior to them because you watch the show. If something changes, I’ll let you know.
Whew. Now that we got that out of the way, this week we were graced with a Jerry-centric episode. (By the way, thanks for the spoiler alert, those of you who hinted at a Jerry episode in last week’s comments. Okay, I know I’ve accidentally spoiled you all, too. So consider us even.). The premise was as follows:
Jerry gets hurt while out filling the hummingbird feeders in the park and says he was mugged. Leslie (played by a visibly pregnant Amy Poehler, something you sharp commenters caught at least two weeks back) launches into action like only a Knope can and begins a campaign for safer parks.
Ron volunteered to teach everyone self defense because, as Leslie pointed out, everyone needs it (”…especially Tom”). We learned a few things from this segment. (1) Ann can kick ass. (2) Ann likes Lifetime movies and remembers them with almost frightening detail. (3) April is not happy with Ann’s apparent hang-up on Andy. (4) I’m not happy about it either. (5) Ron can make a person (errm… Andy) pass out by holding them tightly around the chest as part of a defense move. (6) You should not try to escape such a hold by flailing your neck (yup, Andy again).
Back in the park, we meet possibly one of the most annoying characters ever to visit Parks: A loud-talking park ranger named Carl (played by Andy Samberg), who shows Leslie and Co. the scene of Jerry’s mugging. His voice can clear a field of crows, as the episode showed, but the character has the power to clear a room of viewers, as I wish I could have shown. In an otherwise great episode, the scream-talking gag got old fast. I would give my best raccoon-savaged, urine-soaked golf cart to the person who could guarantee me we’d never see that character again. Agree/disagree?
Moving on, after seeing the need for park safety funding, Leslie went on a campy local TV program (we all have ’em) to talk about the problem and bash city officials for not giving the matter enough attention. In doing so, she angered City Hall but also got funding for safer parks. Win-win? Not quite. It turns out Jerry was lying about being mugged. He actually fell into a creek after attempting to recover a breakfast burrito that fell in. Oh, Jerry.
So before you jump into the laugh-gasam that is Best Moments and Best Lines, a few talking points: I loved that they showed how Andy treats April better than he treated Ann. Did you? What were your favorite parts of the episode? And with this Mark-light episode as an indicator, are you going to miss Paul Schneider?
-The honorable Leslie Knope admitting she puts 20 ”Jerry” names into the hat when doing the hummingbird lottery.
-The ”Safe Parks Now” posters with Jerry’s digitally created black eye
-Andy counting his money
– Jerry’s presentation, specifically the double-disaster (a down-the-crack pant splitting followed by some massive flatulence)
– Tom running alongside the golf cart
Ron: David Meyers, the Jewish guy who works at City Hall, once told me something. A schlemiel is the guy who spills soup at a fancy party. A schlemazel is the guy he spills it on. Jerry is both the schlemiel and schlemazel of our office.
April: I thought Freddie Spaghetti ODed.
Leslie: No, that’s Mr. Funny Noodle. And he didn’t OD; his neighbor shot him.
Tom to Jerry: Did you throw out your shoulder trying to swing a honey pot off your hand?
Jerry: I was on my way to the humming bird feeders and I was walking Lord Sheldon…
April: Eew. Is that code for some sort of weird sex act?
Jerry: Lord Sheldon is my dog.
Tom: He needs a lot of support… I’m talking about a bra for a man.