A review of last night's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I drop in a token and look at a duck...
"Sweetums" lived up to its name, not only in its high-fructose antics like the parks department turning the office into a rave after having too many NutriYum bars(*) or Tom introducing his co-workers (and the audience) to the hilarious splendor of DJ Roomba, but in its level of genuine sweetness.
(*) The actual NutriYum commercial reminded me very much of the sort of thing that Troy McClure would have done on "The Simpsons," and I mean that in a good way.
This season has made it clear that Ron F'ing Swanson(**) not only appreciates Leslie for making his job so much easier, but likes her as a person. So it was interesting to see her push her status as Ron's work wife too far (to his mind), then funny to see Ron try to prove her wrong (the hand-crafted harp, complete with photographic evidence, was a highlight), and then ultimately for him to realize(***) he was over-reacting, and to give a very Swanson-esque apology, complete with the terse, factual closing line, "That is the end of what I have to say."
(**) If you haven't seen it yet, the NBC promo department put together this awesome Ron-centric trailer for the show. Enjoy.
(***) He realized this after Leslie made what's at least the second "Dead Poets Society" reference on an NBC Thursday comedy this season, after the "Community" episode that introduced John Michael Higgins. I would like to hear more of a eulogy that begins, "Oh captain, my captain! Ron Swanson: a swan song."
The Leslie/Ron story also returned to a goldmine for the series: the civil servants having to deal with the insane questions and complaints from their constituents. (And this time, Ann had to suffer through it with them, in a pretty good comic outing for Rashida Jones, who also got to spray Leslie with water, Jim Halpert-style.)
Tom's story was impressive in that it made me feel sorry for him (for his inability to tell Wendy how he feels) at the same time he was being an inconsiderate jerk to all the co-workers who showed up to help him move. The episode was awash in Tom Haverford d-baggery, from his fashion show in the teaser (with the LED belt that said variations on "What's crackin'?") to his Canadian DVD edition of "Deep Blue Sea" to him having a box containing nothing but pocket squares.
We also got a continuation of the running gag about the Parks department's hatred of the library (and vice versa), and more movement on the Andy/April quasi-romance, with April feeling squeezed between her judgmental gay boyfriends and Andy's cheerful obliviousness.
Finally, in case you missed the news last week, NBC gave the show a very early renewal for next season. The ratings still aren't very good, so it's nice to see the network rewarding the show for raising its game and being so consistently good this year.
What did everybody else think?