After four (or is it technically three?) episodes, I’m not too sure how I feel about the sixth season of Parks and Recreation so far. There are plenty of funny lines and the performances from the actors are just as great as ever, but the constant mix of comedy and storytelling that made the first five seasons of Parks and Rec such a pleasure to watch hasn’t really come together. For lack of a better explanation, something just feels off about this season of Parks and Recreation so far.
With this in mind, I can say that while I liked last night’s episode, “Doppelgangers,” I didn’t love it. The main jokes of the night stemmed from the Pawnee gang interacting with their Eagleton counterparts, and while some of these moments worked (I loved Ron’s switching opinion about Eagleton Ron as soon as he found out that he was a vegan, and I also really enjoyed April’s time with Tinnifer, as she embraced her inner ditz), just as many didn’t (Donna’s and Tom’s storylines fell really flat for me).
Overall, when it came to comedy last night, Parks and Recreation definitely wasn’t firing on all cylinders, which is something I’ve found an issue with in all three episodes this season. For every line or gag that works incredibly well (I loved the “dressage” being horse dancing, not just fancy horse riding joke last night), there are equally as many misfires, and that’s really disappointing for a series that has been as consistently excellent as Parks and Rec has been over its past five seasons.
What has been working for the show though (and has always worked for Parks and Recreation), despite its minor struggles, is Leslie Knope and Amy Poehler’s performance, particularly in last night’s episode, as she dealt with the possibility that Ann, her best friend, could leave Pawnee with Chris. Even though we know how this story will eventually end (Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe will be gone after episode thirteen of this season), it’s still extremely satisfying to watch Leslie and Ann go through this change together.
With Ann and Chris’s impending departure on the horizon and the new partnership that has been formed between Pawnee and Eagleton, there’s a lot to be excited about story-wise for Parks and Recreation this season. I only hope that the comedy portions of Parks and Rec can regain their former excellence and add even more to the series’ compelling storylines.
- Ben and Chris teaming back up again to slash down Eagleton’s budget was another enjoyable part of this episode. I especially loved their dinner conversation about Ann and Leslie, which truly shows how far both these characters have come since their introductions at the end of Park and Recreation’s second season.
- Ann using both waffles and Joe Biden to distract Leslie while telling her about her possibly moving was hilarious.
- Ben used to rewatch Twin Peaks and then go on the Twin Peaks message boards before he met Leslie. Oh, Ben, sweet, nerdy Ben.
- Jerry tries to finally get everyone to call him his proper name, “Gary,” when he comes back to work, but April stops that idea in its tracks and now everyone is calling him “Larry.” Jerry can just never win one, can he? But, hey, we wouldn’t laugh if he did.
- “I believe that all men’s feet should remain uncaged. Same with chickens.” Eagleton Ron, you could never compete with Ron “The Man” Swanson.
What did everyone else think about last night’s episode of Parks and Recreation? Are you enjoying this season so far?