Thursday, February 7, 2013

'Parks and Recreation' Review - 5.12 Ann's Decision

         On the newest episode of NBC's Parks and Recreation, Ann makes a dramatic life decision after several unsuccessful relationships; Ben enlists the help of Chris, Tom and Ron to choose a caterer for the wedding; and April has to handle one of Leslie's usual tasks.

        This episode of Parks and Recreation continued to employ a strategy that has been working for the show all season - isolating its characters into three main plots without too much crossover. While this plotting may not be as effective as having the entire cast bounce off of each other all the time, it does a phenomenal job for episodic plots when done well - and Parks and Recreation has been doing so for awhile now. Yes, all of the plots in the episode had the characters falling into similar tropes that have been used before on the series. However, when a show is able to craft a sequence as killer hilarious as Ben, Ron and Chris having food poisoning and trying to use the phone, it almost doesn't matter what else happens. Also, it makes perfect sense that JJ's would be the caterers for Ben and Leslie's wedding because - duh! That allowed the series to be absolutely hysterically for an episode while also remaining true to the world that has been built up over the last five seasons.
        Ann has almost always been the most hit-or-miss character on the show simply because she mostly is asked to play the straight women to Leslie's antics. Her announcement of waiting to have a baby had the potential to be very dull but the show cleverly allowed it to be turned back onto Leslie and her reactions allowed everything to be quite fascinating while also giving Ann some character development. Likewise, "The Douche" also was a great addition to the proceedings here because they allowed his story of the personality becoming such a huge hit on the radio and now he can't turn it off into the whole Ann story.
        Similarly, April's story of dealing with the public forums for the new Pawnee Commons while trying to imitate Leslie has been done before. The resolution of her releasing that she can handle all the questions as herself also was predictable. However, town gatherings have always been one of Parks and Recreations strong suits. So even though we know how this story will resolve, it is still very entertaining just to hear the random stuff that come out of the mouths of the various people of this unique town.  

So what did everyone think of the episode? Should Ann get a baby or a man first? JJ's is the perfect caterer for the wedding, right? Share your thoughts in the comments.