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Parks and Recreation meets "Citizen Knope"

Parks And Recreation poster

Written by : published Monday 12th December 2011

     Leslie (Amy Poehler) goes on trial in last week's Parks and Recreation on NBC, and is sentenced to two weeks of (paid) suspension for dating Ben (Adam Scott). This week's episode is the aftermath of those events, as Leslie tries to find something to do. Her campaign tanks because of the "scandal," so campaigning is out. She decides to form PCP, a poorly named political action committee, that she can use to lobby Chris (Rob Lowe) for better parks funding. Chris responds by getting Leslie's suspension lifted. Meanwhile, Ben considers a new accounting position following his "resignation in disgrace," but instead decides to look for something fun.

     "Citizen Knope" is unbelievably hilarious. From Ben interviewing to be an accountant to an accounting firm, to Jean-Ralphio's (Ben Schwartz) return, to April's (Aubrey Plaza) Marshmellow Ron Swanson, there are plenty of great jokes. It's hard not to crack up when Andy (Chris Pratt) eats Donna's (Retta) silver-painted M&Ms, and Ann (Rashida Jones) has to tell him to throw up. Jerry (Jim O'Heir) is delighted to recieve socks for Christmas. Tom (Aziz Ansari) makes a word cloud from Leslie's e-mails. A great Easter egg is when The Guild's Robin Thorsen pops up in a too-small role as a mother who ignores her children in favor of her passions. Sound familiar, Guildies?

     But this week's Parks and Recreation also an emotional triumph. Leslie gives the perfect gifts to each member of the staff, as well as Chris. Ron (Nick Offerman) decides everyone must pull together to come up with something to give Leslie worthy of her, a high bar indeed. He suggests a model of the Parks Department that he can build, and Ann takes it a step further, wanting the structure made out of gingerbread. Ron reluctantly consents, but can't build it, so Andy takes over. Everyone contributes, and it becomes a very sweet (pun intended) present that Leslie really enjoys.

     Even more moving, though, the staff pledges to run Leslie's campaign. All of the things that she has done for them over the years has made them all adore her as much as viewing audiences, and they willingly give up their free time to help run a sinking ship. Leslie is choked up, and those at home should be too, especially as Ron announces his new job title, "Any Other Damn Thing You Need." It is a display of just how Leslie impacts lives, and the good that she does. Despite overwhelming odds against her (for now), it seems certain that Leslie is destined to win her office. Which would fundamentally change Parks and Recreation. But growth can be a good thing, and it would not mean her leaving the series, so there's really no argument against it.

     Chris does seem to feel a little guilty for getting Leslie suspended. Much of last week's trial on Parks and Recreation is very clearly Chris reacting because he feels personally betrayed. He is upset that Ben and Leslie are not up front with him about their relationship for a very long time. It's understandable, but then, so are the reasons that they keep things a secret. However, with a little time to get used to the idea, and Ben removing himself as a factor at the office, which must also hurt, as he works closely with Chris, Chris begins to come around. It isn't clear in "Citizen Knope," but it looks like Chris gets the suspension lifted early. He realizes Leslie is a very valuable person and should not be so severely punished, as suspension is for her, for such a small mistake.

    Parks and Recreation, one of the best sitcoms currently running, will retun to NBC in January.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV

JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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