Parks and Recreation, Season 6, Episode 5: “Gin It Up!”

By Kim Hart
Via The A.V. Club

Via The A.V. Club

Why do bad things happen to good people? That may be a strange question to ask at the beginning of this week’s “Parks and Recreation” review, but it’s rather fitting. Yet again, the loving, kind-hearted Leslie Knope finds herself at the center of a vicious recall campaign, complete with “Recall Knope” merchandise, that nearly the entire town of Pawnee is in support of it. This forms the main conflict of the episode, but Leslie isn’t the only one trying to win over other peoples’ opinions.

The bizzare campaign to recall Leslie has grown stronger, and in this episode, we learn that Councilman Jeremy Jamm — the rude, conniving guy with an awful hairstyle that’s been out to get Leslie since last season — is behind it, which is really not that surprising. Trouble soon arises when a sexually suggestive tweet is posted on the parks department’s Twitter, and all signs point to Donna Meagle, who forgot to switch accounts before she posted the tweet. This leads to “Twitter Watergate,” a quasi-scandal that Jamm vows to “blow completely out of proportion.”

However, perhaps even more disappointing than this “scandal” is the secret twitter of Donna, where she frequently rants about Leslie and how annoying the “#bitchboss” can be. I never thought of Donna as the type of person to do this, but regardless, the revelation of her tweets about Leslie ends up leading to a nice moment between the two at the end. I found this storyline to be rather realistic, actually, because in reality, friends tend to get annoyed by each other at one point or another, and by being honest, the friendship can grow even closer. (Life lessons from “Parks and Rec”!)

Meanwhile, Tom Haverford becomes absolutely smitten with a visitor to the parks department named Nadia, a doctor who wants to rent out a park to administer vaccines. Tom tries so hard to impress her to the point that he adopts a British accent and seeks advice from April, who ends up being the wingwoman that scores him a date with her. It’ll be fun to find out if anything plays out between Tom and Nadia, or if she’ll just be a temporary thing for him, like the many other girls he’s dated throughout the series. It was also great to see the ever-“swaggy” Tom lose all his cool in the presence of an attractive woman who is, as he admitted, “way out of his league.”

Ben Wyatt also offers to help Ron Swanson write out his last will and testament, which is particularly important now that Ron has a wife and family. Yet in typical Ron Swanson fashion, his will was written at age eight on a piece of yellow notepaper that offers all of his belongings to the “man or animal that has killed him.” While this is not surprising, what did shock was the fact that Ron has a seemingly humongous fortune, especially considering what his mother was like in her fourth season appearance. Ron declares that he will leave his children “$50 apiece for the cab home from my funeral and a steak dinner,” and that it’s more important to teach them moral values than to let them grow up spoiled. It’s easy to tell that Ron is going to be a great father to his kids.

Similar to last week’s episode, some regular faces on “Parks” were missing this week — Chris Pratt (Andy) for the second episode in a row, as well as Rashida Jones (Ann). In all honesty, Ann’s absence was barely noticeable for me, as she hasn’t had any major plotlines this season anyway. I do hope that Andy returns soon, though, as well as another potential Jean Ralphio appearance, which are always welcome in my book.

Kim Hart is a contributing writer. Email her at entertainment@nyunews.com.

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