Thursday, March 20, 2014

REVIEW: 'Parks and Recreation' - Ann Gives Birth to Her Baby & Ben Announces His Friendship with Larry in 'Galentine's Day'

NBC's Parks and Recreation - Episode 6.17 Galentine's Day

Leslie throws a hasty Galentine's Day in an attempt to find a replacement for Ann; Tom and Ben look to finalize a deal on tents for the Unity Concert; and Ron finds himself looking after Andy.

"Galentine's Day" is just a really funny episode of Parks and Recreation. It's a nice return to form because it spends its time focusing on the interactions of the characters at the Parks & Rec department. There's no loud and outlandish characters talking about the merger and the idea of the job in Chicago is tabled for now. This episode is about these characters and the friendships they have with one another.

Parks and Recreation is probably the best show out there right now for female friendship. The Leslie-Ann friendship got most of that credit for a long time but Leslie's relationships with April and Donna have been equally as great. With Ann leaving town earlier this year, we all were curious as to who would fill that Ann-sized void in Leslie's life. "Galentine's Day" tries to answer that question in the most Leslie Knope way possibly. She gets all the female candidates together to decide which one can be her best female friend who also lives in town. Of course, things backfire on her. But it's all a way to say that Ann Perkins will still be a huge presence in Leslie's life. Rashida Jones returns here as Ann gives birth to baby Oliver and Leslie rushes up to see her. It's all very sweet stuff. Television needs many more stories about female friendship.

Elsewhere, Ben and Tom try to get a deal with a tent supplier for the Unity concert from an owner who likes to charge for every possible thing. However, it's more importantly a story about Ben respecting what Larry does for the office. He's always the go-to punching bag for everyone on the show - pushed to an even further degree this season through the commitment of the Larry joke. Ben notices how much value Larry brings to the job and thinks it's wrong for everyone else to be treating him so unfairly all the time. But Larry sees Ben sticking up for him as a waste of time which would embarrass him to his co-workers. It all ends on a great 'O Captain, my Captain' moment where Ben promises his friendship with Larry only for it to be undercut by Larry's excessive farting.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Galentine's Day" was written by Emma Fletcher & Rachna Fruchbom and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller.
  • Then, there was the Ron-Andy story which honestly relied on Andy behaving like a kid much more than he normally does.
  • I really wish Lucy Lawless could make another appearance as Diane soon. I know the scheduling is difficult but I still wanna see the woman who Ron is happily with right now.
  • Jones was able to come back but Rob Lowe couldn't which the show very easily got to explain with one line.
  • Donna talking about Scandal is always good. Plus, Friday Night Lights jokes too!