Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Parks and Recreation' Premiere Review - 5.01 Ms. Knope Goes to Washington

        On the season premiere of NBC's Parks and Recreation, Leslie and Andy visit Ben and April at their new jobs in Washington D.C.; Leslie feels overwhelmed by the city - especially after she meets two of her idols; and Ron throws a "thank you" barbecue for the entire Parks and Recreation staff.

        Parks and Recreation returned for its fifth season tonight and I have to admit I was a bit worried about the show creatively. Season four had this wonderful season-long arc of Leslie running for city council and I was unsure of how season five would sustain the same level of creativity. But all of my trepidation was quickly diminished as this premiere was this series at its best. It had heart, humor, warmth and pretty of memorable moments.
        One of the episode's most horrific image (even bigger than Tom the pig) was a depressed Leslie as she dealt with the big-league D.C. politics. She stated the hour as perky and ambitious as ever only this time in Washington D.C. She was star-strucked by all the historical monuments and her idea of how things worked in our nation's capital. She was then faced with the truth as her important meeting to get funding was just a binder collecting bin and the fact that Ben had no time to spend with her as he was too busy with all the high-stakes political campaigning. But a great speech from Andy was able to get Leslie back to her all-action ways as she vows to clean the river herself. That speech was great and the overall story in Washington D.C. was a great success as the backdrop for the opener as well as for the four characters there.
        Three real-life senators (Barbara Boxer, Olympia Snowe & John McCain) made small cameo appearances during the episode. McCain definitely had the most hilarious guest arc but I thought all three did fine and were a nice addition to the overall season opener.
        Ron Swanson had some of the greatest lines of the night as he tried to initiate "meat virgins" at his barbecue party. It's not often that we see the Ron that cares about a huge group of people. So while the material in the park was fantastic comedic writing, the closing moments of him recognizing the people at work was equally well-earned and poignant.
        In more good news, it was revealed that Ann and Tom say just how terrible their relationship was just like the rest of the world. It was cute that they did stay together to keep up the appearance that they were a happy couple but someone just had to learn the truth. The resolution to this story was a welcome thing to see in the episode and I'm hoping that both of them will move on to greater stories this season.

So what did everyone think of the premiere? Excited for at least 21 more episodes of Parks and Recreation greatness? Share your thoughts in the comments.