Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Parks n Rec's Heartfelt Halloween. Also, Fart Attack

By John Richards

“Am I interrupting something important?”

“Impossible. I work for the government.”

I’ve always wondered why every sitcom feels like it needs to make holiday episodes for their shows. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines Day. I guess holiday parties are easy situations for writers to feature characters’ zany antics. However, this past week’s episode of Parks and Recreation, or Parks n Rec for us diehards, managed to weave some major drama in with the usual Halloween lulz.

First, we find out Ron is continuing his relationship with Xena: Warrior Princess, Lucy Lawless, Vice Principal Diane, who has invited him to come trick or treating with her and her little girls. Andy invited himself along as well. April being in Washington DC with Ben has allowed the show to pair Ron and Andy together a lot more this season, resulting in hilarious Andy-ness with Ron looking on with disapproval.

Meanwhile, Councilwoman Knope has been looking for a house for her and Ben to move into together, after Ben comes back from DC. After learning that no house comes equipped with a trampoline room, she decides to lease one anyways, resulting in a celebratory rave feat. Anne.

The Parks Department is hosting a scary movie party in the courtyard of the city offices, providing an opportunity for everyone to dress up in costumes. Donna is addicted to Twitter. Snooze. Moving on.

Ben calls Leslie to say that he might be taking another campaign manager job in Florida. But Leslie just signed a lease for that house, oh no! Leslie is bummed about Ben, so Anne says let’s go scare Tom, but instead they frighten Jerry, who promptly has a fart attack heart attack. Leslie kicks into her “Save insert cause here!” mode and holds a garage sale/live auction to raise money for Jerry’s medical bills. The entire garage sale auction bit was quite unfunny, although Tom did discover a new business idea: Rent-a-Swag. I really hope this means the return of Jean-Ralphio. *fingers crossed*

Back to the other plotline, Diane left her kids with Ron to continue trick or treating while she attended to a poop incident at the school. Of course, Ron has no idea what to do and ruins the rest of the night. At the Save Jerry garage sale auction, Diane confronts Ron about the ordeal. Unable to admit fault, Ron further angers Diane who storms off in rage (personally I wouldn’t piss off Xena, but this IS Ron Swanson that we’re talking about). April, oh yeah she is back from DC now, makes fun of Ron being sad about losing Diane. This makes Ron realize that he does want to continue with Diane, so he does something completely un-Swanson-esque -- apologize.

Back to Leslie, Ben calls and says the Florida guy really wants him to run his campaign. Leslie is even more sad, but while visiting him in the hospital, Jerry drops a wisdom bomb on her about life happiness. Leslie decides that her future with Ben can wait while he chases his career goals. While Leslie is trying to get out of the lease that she just signed, SURPRISE, Ben shows up and gets down on a knee and proposes to Leslie. Awwwww.

Now the gang’s all back together and the show can return to normalcy. It was great to see the show use the annual Halloween episode to further develop characters and plug in some treat, rather than a half an hour of stale tricks. Can’t wait for next week solely because of the title: Ben’s Parents.

John is currently pursuing a JD/MBA at Santa Clara University School of Law. He likes sports, technology, and of course television. Follow him on twitter @j_rich or check out his blog www.johnericrichards.com.

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