Episodes like “Sex Education” show a lot about what makes Parks and Recreation a great show. It is unyielding in its consistency. It’s straight forward, stays in its lane, and hits the mark with such accuracy and frequency that you almost take it granted. That’s why the cancellation of Parks will not inspire the same level of vitriol as the cancellation of Community. Community takes massive swings and has a far lower connect percentage. However, its high concept thinking inspires its fans. Meanwhile, Parks‘ fans are simply in awe of the show’s consistent brilliance. When it finally rides off into the sunset, very few people will call for Bob Greenblatt’s head. Instead, the show will simply be played out by the slow clap of appreciation from its fans. Its remarkable consistency will always be remembered.
One of the things that allows the show to be consistently funny is how well they utilize the people surrounding the ensemble. Anytime you can get a group of Pawnee citizens together, you know you’re in good hands. This week’s group was some Pawnee seniors who were brought in by Councilwoman Knope to discuss safe sex. Apparently, far too many of them have been “going at it hard; old people style” without necessary protection. The seniors delivered humorous gross outs for Andy and plenty of fun questions for Leslie (“What if the banana is soft and mushy and dog legs sharply to the left?”). In addition, the storyline allowed Leslie a chance to square off with an old nemesis (Marcia Langman) who just wanted those crazy seniors to wait until they were married. She even came with a closeted gay husband who had a sweet rap about abstinence to really bring it home.
The Tom story, while amusing, should serve as a wake-up call for all of us. Tom’s morning routine probably isn’t that far off from the majority of people who aren’t busy getting STDs in the nursing home. I imagine there are plenty of us out there that could use a little time at Ron’s cabin. It turns out that Tom’s addiction comes from a place of real pain over the inadequacies that he notices in his own life. It was one of those rare moments of personal honesty from Tom that always seems earned when they happen. Kudos to Ron for helping him through these dark times with the use of a book on automotive repair and referral to Leslie to discuss feelings.
Ben and April’s story was very low-aiming this week, but the chemistry between these two characters continues to sparkle. Mike Schur can just turn the camera on those two whenever he wants and get some good television.
Steady, consistent, and always hilarious. Make sure you take the time to appreciate this rare gift of a comedy while its still here.
What did all you Perd-verts think of tonight’s episode?