"The IOW is a bunch of sexist jerks who need to get back in the kitchen where they belong and leave the feminist work to actual feminists like Ron Swanson!... Ohmigod, what is happening?" -Leslie"Woman of the Year" does something very smart early on, in letting Ron tell the audience that he's just messing with Leslie because he knows he can, and that he knows how obviously she deserves this award over him. By letting us know that Ron's coming from a (mostly) good-hearted place, it makes it okay to laugh at him pretending to be a jerk and a sexist dipwad ("the Dorothy Everytime Smurf girl trophy for excellence in female stuff"), and also to see the lengths to which he'll go (paying for his own portrait) to bust Leslie's chops. It's a clever have-your-cake-and-eat-it conceit: Ron behaving like an ass out of love, because what greater tribute could Ron F'ing Swanson pay to a friend then to play a prank on them before complimenting their work?
They also didn't drag the story out too long, with Ron fessing up halfway through and then the story shifting into a more satiric gear as Ron and Leslie struggled to deal with a women's group determined to give their award to "the opposite of a woman" (aka "a mustachioed, masculine man") for the PR value. It was another fun, sweet two-hander for Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. And if Leslie and Ron like and respect each other too much for their pairing to be as balls-out funny as some other "Parks & Rec" combos, the duo click so well together that I enjoy watching even when the laughs aren't as big as the breakfast buffet at the Glitter Factory.
The supporting cast (other than Ann, presumably absent for budgetary reasons) all had their moments as well. Andy announced that Mouse Rat had changed its name to Tackle Shaft (which has both a K sound and an over-the-top sexual connotation, but still may not be quite as funny a combination of words as Mouse Rat) and got to make April fall even more deeply in love with him by selflessly giving up his savings to help Tom buy part of a share at the new Pawnee club. Tom in turn got to get his d-bag on - and then surround himself with the spectacularly douchey return of Ben Schwartz as Jean Ralphio (last seen auditioning to be Ron's secretary). There were also small grace notes for Jerry (whose protestations about seizures were ignored), Donna (who understandably hated Jean Ralphio, then bought three club shares on her own) and Mark (whom Tom mocked for being boring, but who was revealed to have a history with one of the dancers Tom hired).
What did everybody else think? And when is NBC (which markets every single item of every other one of its shows) going to release a Mouse Rat/Tackle Shaft/Scarecrow Boat CD?