Parks and Recreation Season 5 Review “Two Parties” January 17, 2013 Parks and Recreation, Reviews No cast on television has a better on screen rapport than Parks and Recreation. It’s a testament to that strength that they can pair up virtually any two characters and have them go on an amusing adventure. That being said, it’s always more fun when you can put the entire group together. The show has done party episodes in the past, often with hilarious results (Ron Swanson dancing on Snake Juice anyone?). Though there have been some classics, when we reflect back on the series during President Nick Cannon’s first term in office, we may consider “Two Parties” the best one of the bunch. The reason this episode ascends above other Parks and Recreation party spots is because “Two Parties” accomplishes all of the things we expect from a typical episode. Despite the inherent debauchery that can come from bachelor and bachelorette parties, we were still able to work in moments that were touching, hilarious, and had some fun callbacks. While Leslie and the women dug around in the dirt with penis hats, the men engaged in the ultimate bachelor party with each guy getting a shot at the bachelor party they never had. With each additional party, it’s hard to not get wrapped up in the sheer enjoyment each character was getting from the experience. By the end of the party when they run into Roy Hibbert and Andy throws his hands up in sheer disbelief, it all feels so earned, and so perfectly captured by the episode’s director. Normally, you would forgive Leslie’s bachelorette party for not living up to the guys, but the work story that evolved from the party wasn’t without its moments. First off, it’s a testament to the show’s wonderfully deep bench that Councilman Jamm and Ken Hotate fit so seamlessly within an episode. Hotate is always a thrill to see because you know you are getting two things: 1) More hilariously horrible stories about the settlers of Pawnee’s interactions with the Wamapoke, and 2) Ken Hotate’s wonderful ability to utilize white guilt to get whatever he wants. Fortunately, since he exists in Leslie Knope’s orbit, he uses his powers for good on most occasions. Poehler was her usually fantastic self in this episode. She always excels when direction calls for the more manic parts of Leslie’s personality. It’s probably Poehler’s greatest strength if you don’t count her ability to end up in the laps of extremely attractive men. Just an overall treat of an episode. What did everyone else think? mrbeefcastle This was definitely one of the best episodes of Parks and Rec to date. It wasn’t over-the-top funny; it wouldn’t be the episode to capture the attention of a first-time viewer, but for true fans this episode was unbelievably enjoyable. Getting to see the characters living out their ideal bachelor parties genuinely made fans happy for them. Especially when you know how much it means to them—like Andy finally getting to meet his idol Reggie Wayne (and telling him he got married in his jersey). We see Ron open up to the guys for the first time, willingly telling them about his feelings for Diane and expressing his satisfaction with the way the relationship is going. We see Jerry finally get some love from everyone (and then we are reminded that he’s Jerry when he’s left at a gas station and nobody notices until they are back in Pawnee). Chris wraps the show up with an short, but appropriate speech about the importance of friendship and happiness (and dimples). The awesome cameos don’t hurt either, including the brilliant impromptu Gingrich/Gergich mix up. The episode had everything viewers have come to know and love about Parks and Recreation. This show has the best cast dynamic of any on TV, and “Two Parties” solidified that. TVCzar I couldn’t agree more. Very well said.