Parks and Recreation “Campaign Shake-Up” Review

Parks and Recreation

After the dismal episode of Parks and Recreation last week, I was pleased that “Campaign Shake-Up” really played to the strengths of the NBC comedy. Parks and Rec was spot on and full of humor, wit, and even some drama!

Introducing Jennifer Barkley (Kathryn Hahn) as the manager for Bobby Newport (played by Paul Rudd), opponent extraordinaire! With this addition of a great stand-in villain like character the story line of Leslie’s campaign run (which had lacked a lot in the previous episode) was brought back to life. The “anti-Leslie”, Barkley is completely unapologetic, incredibly smart, and clearly puts her opponent back into the underdog position. Which, let’s face it, this is why we love Leslie to begin with.

I love watching Leslie and Ben work together and with Jennifer Barkley added in… well, things were just hilarious. Especially when Barkley steps in and actually starts helping Leslie with her campaign to make things more interesting and challenging for herself. I didn’t know if I was supposed to hate or love Barkley; so I decided on both.

Leslie has taken a break from the Parks Department and it was interesting to see how things were going to run without her. It turns out that Leslie is needed. Desperately. While attempting to devise a plan to make water fountains more hygienic (it turns out Pawnee residents drink from the fountains by putting their ENTIRE MOUTH on the spout), things start to break down quickly.

Eventually they come up with an idea (spoutless water fountain) and Ron moves to promote Ann, only for Ann to confess that it was April’s idea. The episode ends with a father-daughter moment between April and Ron, which is always really great to watch.

I’m curious to find out what’s going to come of April and Andy as April is consistently forced to grow up and be pulled into adulthood. I love those two crazy kids, so I hope things mellow out for them and they work through their issues. Come on, Parks and Rec, just let me have that.

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