Thursday, May 7, 2009

Parks and Recreation - The Banquet

Unlike you, I am from the Channelup lineage, so I understand Leslie. She hails from the Knope dynasty; a powerful Pawnee, Indiana political family. We are cut from the same cloth. Much like the Kennedys, Rockefellers, and Carnegies we aspire to political and social excellence. We don't take 'no' for an answer and we strive for world domination. (or at minimum to be mayor)

Leslie's mother is up for a big time award. You may have heard of it: the Tellyson Award for excellence in public service. Its like the Nobel Prize but for smalltown yokels with their priorities all askew. Some people get the insignificance (Mark and Ron) while others people thrive on it (Leslie and her mom).

Before attending the award ceremony, Leslie's warped sensibilities point her in the direction of the local barber shop. She strives to be "one of the guys," which precipitates her getting a Hillary Clinton/boy hair cut. Poor Leslie. All she wants to do is enter the boys club, be on the inside, get the goods, wheel and deal, and make some moves. She doesn't know how to pull it off.

I think in the end, Leslie just wants to be her mother. This is a small, small feat but in Leslie's eyes it is the acme of success. She wants to be the kind of woman that has all the inside info, exerts her influence and makes things happen out of sheer will. I almost envy her sensibility here as it is, in effect, striving for so little. How could one fail? Unfortunately Leslie can. She isn't able to pull of even the minute details of political interplay and ends up apologizing after a failed attempt at extortion. What a shame.

One of the things that makes Parks and Recreation funny is Leslie's awe in respect to the average politico. She never ceases to be amazed by the the third rung political figures in her presence. Whether it be the head of the zoning board, some former town councilman or the like. She knows them all and here her political savvy/ obsession comes into play. Its like being the biggest "trekkie" or Star Wars fan. The excess of specific knowledge may work in a few select circles, but for the most part it just make you look the fool. Leslie is guilty in this respect.


- Ron Swanson's increased role in this show. His two main contributions tonight were eating all the bacon-wrapped shrimp (its my first favorite food wrapped in my third favorite food) and being completely honest in his speech

- the implication is that Mark is yearning for Leslie, but I think it is obvious he wants to hook up with Ann Perkins (Rasheeda Jones)

- Tom admitting, after many failed attempts at scoring the ladies, that he is married. He said it in the first episode but no other mention has come of it. I can't wait to meet his wife.

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