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Save Our Parks & Recreation

May 7, 2010

I have been falling hard for this second season of Parks and Recreation (don’t worry about watching the first season, it’s just alright).  I came to the party late this year, getting hooked at the episode when Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) crashes the Ron Swanson hunting trip, then I decided to spend a weekend on Hulu catching up, and anxiously waiting for fresh content every week this spring.  Every episode has me busting out loud laughing (I wrote that out in it’s entirety, so you know I’m for real), so much so that I often have to pause the laptop to catch up — well, except for that episode with the Ecuadorian ambassadors guest starring Fred Armisen, that was a clunker.  With each 22 minutes, I was falling deeply in love, seamlessly expanding/transferring my affections from 30 Rock.  But I could really love Leslie Knope, a character that manages to satirize feminists and women’s perceptions of such, but get this — in a feminist manner.  Leslie has quirky idiosyncrasies, some of them borderline pathological for the sake of humor and absurdity, but at the end of the day she is a capable and smart woman who deserves good things, frequently receives them, and is portrayed as well-liked and respected.

But it’s not the politics of the show that make me laugh, although I do also enjoy that it satirizes local government while ultimately being pro-government.  No, I laugh because I love Aziz Ansari’s portrayal of Tom.  I love Ron Fcking Swanson.   I love sullen April the intern and her courtship with the dippy shoeshiner Andy.  And I kinda liked Ann.  Or rather, I liked Rashida Jones because I saw her in that bromance movie I actually enjoyed, “I Love You, Man.”  So as Leslie’s best friend, Ann does a good job of playing the straight man to show off the kooky.  But more and more, Ann has become the constant eye-roller (not that we as the audience are rolling our eyes, but more her general attitude towards the other characters could be metaphorically summed up in that way).  A couple months ago there was an episode when she makes a distasteful remark that was something along the lines of “well, I think there are just too many fat people running around, there I said it.”  Now, I am used to the annoyance of encountering body hatred in some form in pop culture, by which I mean I know it happens all the time and I find ways to shake it off while changing the channel, but it’s a special wound when you aren’t expecting it from the one you love.  I mean, sure, on other inferior sitcoms, but not YOUR LOVE who makes you laugh so hard as if they are writing jokes from your personal memories and absurd connections, how could a terrible fat joke come from that?  How?  So I will ignore it, pretend it didn’t happen, it’s an anomaly, I will ignore it.  And so I did.  Because then there are scenes like this:

Have you ever eaten pastries from Beard Papa?  Well, next time you do, imagine me next to you singing “I like it when you call me Beard Papa,” because that is what I do every time I eat one.  And now for every other item of food, I sing “this is how you eat it.”

But I digress.  Just last week, Ann had another scene, where she was taking meetings on behalf of the parks department, even though she’s a nurse (don’t ask, it’s a flimsy premise of the sake of absurd), and so when she tells people she’s a nurse, they immediately start telling her details of ailments for her to diagnose.  That is the joke, about how it happens all the time, it is annoying to her as a nurse.  However, the first person to do this is a large guy, who for some reason needs to take his shirt off completely, while standing up, therefore placing his belly dangerously near the precious face of Rashida Jones, who turns away, flinching and a look in disgust.  Because there is nothing worse in the world than a shirtless guy with a non-six-pack belly.  The horror!  The horror!

It is harder to ignore this second dig.  The honeymoon is over.  I realized it just moments ago, when I sat down to watch last night’s episode, but right before starting it, usually a joyous and exciting moment of pause for me, I abruptly turned off the tv and went to bed.  I just….wasn’t that into it.  I came to Fry Butter to share my woes instead, to offer up a plea to the gods of the golden age of television, please save my show!  I will forgive you if you change the course, and never do it again.  For real.  I know, my calls out to the wilderness will probably go unheard.  I may be foolish and see if a rebound is possible….but only if they give me a Donna episode.  She is way underused.  Then we’ll talk about couples counseling, Parks & Recreation.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. araymondjohnson permalink
    May 8, 2010 3:08 pm

    ah, the good old days when I first fell in love with you…..

  2. araymondjohnson permalink
    May 8, 2010 3:11 pm

    i’m a simple man too, Ron.

  3. araymondjohnson permalink
    May 8, 2010 3:20 pm

    ok, last one — maybe ?uestlove will help my campaign.

  4. eieioj permalink
    May 8, 2010 3:45 pm

    Somehow I’ve managed to miss both of the episodes with the fatophobic comments. I’m not surprised that they’re there, though.

    I’m surprised by how much I like this show. The hunting episode never fails to make me laugh my butt off, and I think most anything that comes out of Aziz Ansari’s mouth is genius. And I enjoy randomly saying “Ron. F*cking. Swanson.” in various social situations.

    It’s less problematic for me (and funnier, to me) than 30 Rock, and less painful/awkward to watch than The Office (Oh, Michael Scott, how I want to smack you, even as I want to cry for you).

    Also, yay! someone else liked I Love You, Man other than my boyfriend and I!

  5. May 8, 2010 5:34 pm

    This week’s episode featured a “One butt, two chairs” joke. Did they get a new writer or something?

  6. May 8, 2010 8:40 pm

    This week’s episode featured a “One butt, two chairs” joke. Did they get a new writer or something?

    Is it Bruce Vilanch?

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