Thursday, October 29, 2009

Parks and Recreation, "Greg Pikitis": The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handle

Spoilers for tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I send a peach pit to the lab...
"Greg Pikitis sucks and I want to destroy him." -Leslie
I didn't have major problems with the last two episodes, but "Greg Pikitis" felt much more like the version of "Parks and Recreation" that I most enjoy: silly, but also intentionally small in scale. The idea that Leslie's arch-nemesis would be a teenage vandal (with one of those names designed to sound funny every time Amy Poehler said it) was inspired, as was the combination of tightly-wound Leslie, deadpan Dave(*) and enthusiastic but inept Andy, who gets to stick around with the series as a part-time Parks Department employee.

(*) Seriously, how great has Louis CK been on this show? He always seems to know (and/or is getting great direction about) the right amount of time to pause between words to make a simple line like "I would be frightened to live in the town that she's a cop of" sound really, really funny.

The party storyline was also a case of taking something really simple and hanging as many jokes on it as possible, from Ron being oblivious about the message being sent by the combination of his mustache and his costume, to the "straight guy" costume being identical to Brendanawicz's regular wardrobe, to the realization that all of Ann's "watchdog" friends loved Andy. And does anyone want to set the over/under on how many episodes before Ron F'ing Swanson is hooking up with the soon-to-be-ex Mrs. Haverford?

Like "The Office" when it's clicking, "Parks and Recreation" this season works on two levels: it makes me laugh a lot, and it also makes me happy to spend time with these characters in their mundane but goofy little world.

What did everybody else think?

28 comments:

Yet another anonymous said...

I admit to not really getting into this show; I tend to watch it in the background between Community and The Office. Tonight, I paid attention and I enjoyed it, so yeah, this episode worked for me.

I agree about Louis CK. And loved Poehler's grumpy scrunchy face.

amyp3 said...

My NBC affiliate preempted this. They must be run by the same chuckleheads who run the network. (And yes, I let them know how I felt about doing that.)

Chris said...

Seriously, what was Chris Pratt doing on a WB drama for so long? He's been depriving the comedy world of brilliance.

"I'm allergic to jerks."

Anonymous said...

I think I missed Ron's costume joke. What was it?

olucy said...

If someone had told me back in May that this show would turn out to be the funniest show on Thursday night, i never would have believed them.

But at the rate The Office and 30 Rock are going, this is the new gem of Thursday.

Anonymous said...

"Let them go. Stay on the leader"

Puff

fgmerchant said...

Ron being oblivious about the message being sent by the combination of his mustache and his costume

Sorry, I think I missed an obvious joke here. What was the message being sent?

Kensington said...

Wait, that was Louis CK!?! He can act! His energy was so different on Lucky Louie that I didn't even recognize him here (this was the first Parks episode I've seen).

Brian said...

Chris Pratt is the funniest dude on TV right now, bar none.

That moment when he jumped into the bushes was a divine bit of physical comedy.

Brian said...

fgmerchant: one of April's gay boyfriends assumed Ron was gay and hit on him. It was kind of an underplayed gag and I didn't even get it until Alan mentioned it.

Allison said...

Seriously, how great has Louis CK been on this show?

I like him so much on this show that even though I know it's impossible, I just want Leslie and Dave to get married so Louis CK can stay on the show. He is absolutely pitch-perfect.

Jobin said...

Chris Pratt has been a REVELATION. He was an annoying jackass last season but every single scene he's been in this year, he's hit it out of the park. I still remember him diving head-first into the pit to avoid Ann seeing him in an earlier episode. The last 3-4 episodes, I've laughed out loud every time he's had a line in a scene.

Art McGregor said...

I still can't believe Chris Pratt/Andy was in Season 4 of "The OC" as Che.

Eldo Owens said...

Was anyone else distracted by how much the kid who played Greg Pikitis looked like a young Phil Simms?

Dave Sandell said...

I appreciate all the Chris Pratt love, and would be inclined to agree that he's the funniest actor on TV right now, if it wasn't for Nick Offerman's Ron Swanson. This show's got the best cast of anything on TV right now, and the writing is giving them tons to work with. Well done.

Nina said...

Andy was Che from The OC? I sort of wish I never read that.

Bryan Murray said...

Andy is ridiculous and awesome. I needed to pause the "interrogation" scene which ended with Andy being allergic to jerks because I was laughing so hard - I think the Pikitis actor was genuinely laughing in that scene as well.

Louis C.K. is really great and his relationship with Poehler seems fairly normal in her crazy world.

I also didn't get the Ron Swanson costume thing but also have to sing the praises of the character. Hopefully this show can last a few years because the writers really seem to be setting the stage for lasting story lines with each character. Still think the show should be called Parks and Rec though.

Imamarilyn said...

Finding a mom on craigslist. Brilliant!

DolphinFan said...

This was a great episode! I loved Leslie's instincts being right, the fact that the end of ER doesn't mean NBC will stop rightfully illustrating that some doctors are absolutely jackasses when dealing with nurses, the first of two terrific jokes from the night about "gay Halloween", and Tom actually showing he has a lot of genuine likability to go with his BS (and that after Ann didn't want him at the party).
But the two best features of last night's show were the contrast between Andy's ready-to-explode expressions and his clueless/amiable goof personality, and the way Tom hid his clear sadness over his green-card marriage being about to end. Those bits made this the best of a very strong lineup to watch.

fgmerchant said...

Did anyone notice Jerry int he background when Leslie was talking to the camera at the beginning of the episode? He scratched his back with a some long stick, and then he smelt it! I didn't realize that they were putting little funny gags into the backgrounds of the show! Now I have to watch them again and see what else I missed!

rhys said...

I was glad they've been taking more steps to make Tom a real person. It was awesome that he got the party going and was rocking a pretty awesome T-pain costume. Then the look on his face when his wife was talking about being happy to divorce him. Pretty well done. Louis CK is definitely awesome in this show. The guy is always hilarious when on talk shows and doing stand-up. Lucky Louie was just trying too hard to take his stand-up persona and turn it into a full character. It works for a routine, but not when you are trying to force it around a plot.

LA said...

And does anyone want to set the over/under on how many episodes before Ron F'ing Swanson is hooking up with the soon-to-be-ex Mrs. Haverford?

I'll take that action. I'm looking at early in the back 11.

Seriously, Parks has skyrocketed to my favorite show on Thursday nights. I can't get enough of it.

amyp3 said...

Shrug. Maybe it's because I had to wait to watch it on Hulu a day late (thx again, Local 4) but I didn't like this as much as many other epis this season. In fact, that poor old supposedly-on-its- last-legs 30 Rock made me laugh more this week.

Which is good - I lurve the idea of a friendly Tina/Amy fight for best sitcom. (Well, along with Better Off Ted. Oh gawd, I can hardly wait for more Portia/Veronica.)

I felt like Leslie was a little OTT again on this edition. And I didn't find the party storyline that interesting. But Louis CK and Amy remain adorable together and I liked Andy more than I usually do.

J.J. said...

As someone who spent a little time working at a state park in south Jersey, I thought it was bizarre for Leslie's big gripe to be that it takes "10 days to clean up" after a kid who TP's some statue.

Those messes are rather quick and easy to clean up, and I only wish those were the biggest messes left for us.

It's nothing compared to the messes left in the wake of a post-Prom campout where a bunch of 17 and 18-year olds went nuts with booze they didn't know they couldn't handle. And that's to say nothing of the semi-monthly fecal explosion that happens when people trash the bathrooms. Or the almost-daily occurrences where somebody'd stumble onto soiled underwear that a patron would ball up and hide in a weird place (out of shame for having crapped their pants).

Unused toilet paper being strewn about was really not the nightmare scenario.

Rob said...

this and Modern Family are the best comedies right now. Odd.

Louis CK is a genius. Maybe more people will pay attention to him now.

I get your point Alan, about the scale of the comedy. I think there's room for both types of episodes in this show, though. Good stuff.

belinda said...

I was worried I'd hate this episode because the theme could warrant too much crazy, but they worked it out again - it was great! It's great to see Poehler really gel with the pysche of Leslie without it being too nutty - her anger at the kid (and Dave's response to the anger) was hilarious and really well done.

I liked how they've switched up the pairings so we can see Andy with Leslie and Dave instead of with Anne and wasn't completely unhelpful. Tom (and green card wife) coming in to save Anne's party was predictable, but it's nice to see again the softer side of Tom and the little moments with the rest of the office people outside of the office. And that even Anne hates Jerry, which is hilarious!

Anonymous said...

... and I don't know who this guy's boss is...

"The President of the United States."


Chris Pratt's delivery of that line slayed me.

Tyroc said...

This was my favorite episode of the series so far. Really funny stuff.

The use of the mockumentary format continues to bug me (all the doctors and nurses who showed up for their co-worker's party didn't mind being filmed? Tom's wife revealed a huge secret that could jeopardize her being in the country in front of the camera crew?) And of course the joke of someone saying something stupid and then Rashida Jones looking at the camera, exasperated, feels WAY too close to a joke that's commonly done on The Office so therefore feels derivative.

I have to learn to suck it up I guess, or find something else to watch!