Friday, October 19, 2012

'Parks and Recreation' Review - 5.04 Sex Education

        On the newest episode of NBC's Parks and Recreation, an STD outbreak amongst Pawnee seniors prompts Leslie to conduct a sex education class; Ron helps Tom adjust to life without technology after his gadgets are taken away; and Ben and April meet Congressman Murray for the first time.

        Parks and Recreation has kept the last few episodes very simple and formulaic. Focusing less on the serial plots and more on the character interactions. The show can get away with this because its cast is so fantastic and play off each other so well. But lately it feels as if each episode has the exact same structure: Leslie adjusts to a new situation with her new power in law and learns something new, Ben and April interact in subplot in Washington; and another subplot for the rest of the cast. But despite this, this show is exceptional hilarious and keeps me entertained so I can't complain too much.
        This week's three plots all had great comedic moments and all flowed effortlessly in the episode. My only large complaint in the structure is that now of them cross-overed and allowed for more interplay from the many members of the cast. Each cast member was assigned to a plot and they stayed and interacted with the rest of them in that plot. But all the various relationships and nuances are so well done that every single pairing could make me laugh.
        Leslie this week had to teach old people about safe sex and Marcia Langman returned as a great opposing foil to the plot. This series has just done such a great job of creating the town atmosphere that any time Leslie talks to a large group of people it is bound to be hilarious. As I mentioned, the character conflict felt similar to other iterations this season but it was worthy it too see Andy's reactions as well as her dynamic with Ann be tested yet again. The episode also saw the return of Perd Hapley and he had some of the episode's best lines and delivery - especially the stuff with Perd-verts and Pier 1.
        Tom may sometimes come across as a more one-note character than the rest of the cast - but the repercussions of taking technology away from him was genius. Everything he "had to let out of his system" made an instant connection because many people are technologically connected and thusly understand how funny yet severe his addiction is.
        Ben and April continue to excel opposite each other and this week they actually got to meet their candidate. Their reactions to him being robotic were priceless. Ben's career prospects may not intrigue me much and the overall D.C. subplots still feel a little too separated from the main plot and characters in Pawnee. However, I appreciate the fun that the two characters are having - and the audience as well.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Could any character interact with any other character and it would be extremely hilarious? Share your thoughts in the comments.