I finally got caught up on Parks and Rec this week, marathoning “Operation Ann” and “Dave Returns” on hulu before tuning in for Thursday’s new episode, “Sweet Sixteen.” Obviously the big news from these three episodes is that Tom and Ann have (kind of) started dating, and apparently a lot of people have responded negatively. (The New York Post’s headline was “Tom and Ann need to break up immediately.”)
I am going to through my hat in the ring of “like it.” I mean, if these were real people, this relationship would be a trainwreck. But it’s TV! Sometimes you just put people together because you like to see them argue – the Xander/Cordelia effect, if you will.
Right now, Tom Haverford is one of the most popular characters in comedy. He’s a one-man catchphrase machine and Aziz Anzari plays him to perfection. However, he spent all of the first half of the season at his Entertainment 720 company, being awesome, and this character is inherently goofy. He needs to be less awesome for a while, more of a bumbling idiot, and that’s why the Ann Perkins thing needed to happen.
What didn’t need to happen? Louis C.K. returning! I think we were all really stoked about Officer Dave coming back, especially with all of Louis C.K.’s success in the past year. It seemed logical to bring him back, but I wish they didn’t. It wasn’t bad, but his arrival was just frivolous, and I didn’t laugh as hard at Dave’s invented “police jargon” as I did to the Pawnee police at the pizza party in “Ron & Tammy Part Two.” I love Louis, but unless that episode is going to lead to moere appearances in the future (maybe he’ll get the chief job?), we didn’t need to see him again.
The most surprising thing about Parks continues to be the stellar supporting cast – Donna, Jerry, and even Champion. I love learning that “the Meagles are a cold people,” and that Donna is not just pretending to be wealthy with her Mercedes. Donna really did just have one joke in early seasons – “My Mercedes!” – and she’s now become a fan favorite, thanks to the phenomenon of “Treat Yourself.”
One last thing I’ve gotta say – it is truly a treat to watch a series in its prime. Sometimes we don’t appreciate a show until it goes south, and it ALWAYS goes south, in some way or another. Look at 30 Rock – still great, but past its best days. Now, the bitchin and the moanin comes out. Seriously, people, just appreciate it while its great. Parks and Rec won’t be awesome forever. Enjoy this.