Parks and Recreations, "94 Meetings": for realskies

Quick Take: Parks and Recreations, "94 Meetings"
"To me, this situation is a blood soaked nightmarish hellscape. To Leslie Knope..." – Ron Swanson

Review: Parks and Recreations, "94 Meetings"
(S0221) It's a pleasure that we have such a lock on the main characters on Parks and Recreation that it makes perfect sense that April (Aubry Plaza) would try to impress her boss, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), by attempting to avoid all scheduling of meetings by scheduling all meetings on March 31st. April believes March 31st does not exist, leaving Ron and crew with a perfect storm of meetings to contend with.  

And we know Ron so well, and Leslie (Amy Poehler) so well, and what Ron thinks of Leslie so well, that it's a knockout when Ron deadpans as only Ron "freakin'" Swanson can: "To me, this situation is a blood soaked, nightmarish hellscape. To Leslie Knope…". (Leslie wants to bump things up another seven meetings to an even 100, because that would be cool). And speaking of knowing characters and what they think of each other, Swanson/Offerman kills yet again later when gathering "all hands on deck" to handle the swarm of meetings. "I need anyone with a pulse and a brain to pitch in," he tells the troops. Then poor Jerry (Jim O'Heir) pops his head through the door and says, "Ron, do you need help with anything?" "No, we're good, thanks. In fact, you can go home early," Ron responds. It's all in the timing kids, it's all in the timing.

The supercharged round of random municipal meetings, a combination of community concerns and bureaucratic nonsense, allowed Parks and Recreation to delve into comedic areas of gold that few shows get to touch (and who would have ever thought that a sitcom about a Parks and Recreation department in a fictional Indiana city could mine new territory?). A perfect example is a chubby man who calmly says to Ron Swanson, "I ask you: is this too revealing for a public pool?" He then pulls up his shirt to unveil a bright purple and revealing pair of swimsuit trunks. "Kindly get your groin off my desk," Ron replies, grimacing.

April ends up quitting and then returning after Ron goes to her house to get her to come back. Not so interesting in of itself, but it's funny and sweet that Ron learns that Aprils' parents call her Zu-Zu, and April reveals that she knows  him as jazz musician and saxophonist Duke Silver. After explaining that she has not told anyone about Ron's secret, Ron says, "good girl," and leaves.

The storyline involving Leslie and Jessica Wicks, Nick Newport, Jr. and the "restored" mansion wasn't quite up the same level, but it was still fun to watch Leslie on her ever earnest adventures and Tom Haverford on his epic quest to act the hipster and get the pretty (rich) girl.  And Leslie's freaked out reaction to the possibility that Mark (Paul Schneider) and Ann (Rashinda Jones) might move into together wasn't quite explored, but hopefully we'll see more on that scenario in coming weeks.

More thoughts on "94 Meetings":

  • "Fortunately there were two survivors. Unfortunately, they were both horses." – Leslie. Once again. Parks and Recreation makes amazing use of props (in this case the freaky mural depiction of a wedding ceremony "blood bath") and single-camera direction to maximize the comedy.
  • "Round up whoever's free. We're gonna need more Ron Swansons." – Ron Swanson
  • How great is it that Andy (Chris Pratt), shoe shiner and convenience store clerk, is pulled into Ron's scheme to handle the onslaught of meetings?
  • "Tell me straight: are you a Chinese?" – Nick Newport Jr. to Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari). That right there is snort-worthy.
  • "Jessica's a gold digger. But I'm a gold digger digger." – Tom Haverford. You can't quote Aziz Ansari as Tom enough. Seriously.
  • "Councilman Hauser… I saw your penis." – Leslie. You have to love that Leslie can't tell a lie, even if its an error of omission. And even when that error of omission is seeing a councilman's penis by accident in the men's bathroom.

    Video: Parks and Recreations, "94 Meetings"
    Check out the rec-ness in full while available, from Hulu:

    Recap: Parks and Recreations, "94 Meetings"
    Leslie becomes upset when a former beauty queen and the CEO of Sweetums try to make alterations to a historic town mansion.

    From Around the Web: Parks and Recreations, "94 Meetings"

  • TV Squad: Thank you, 'Parks and Recreation,' for finally remembering that Leslie was in love with Mark. I haven't been shy when it comes to my dislike of Mark and Anne's relationship, but the thing that bugged me the most is the fact that after being in love with this guy for something like six years, she's suddenly over him.
  • TV with Alan Sepinwall: And any episode that can give us both Ron whittling a duck and an introduction to April's parents (who couldn't be less like her) and sister (who couldn't be more like her) is an overall winner. 
  • By Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader"

    About the author

    Eric is the publisher and revered leader of TV Geek Army… at least in his own mind. TV Geek Army is a place for serious TV reviews and news for serious fans of great television. Contact: eric-[at] 

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