Sunday, May 2, 2010

Parks still good, Office still uneven

While I favored Community among Thursday's shows this week, Parks and Recreation was still pretty entertaining. Leslie tried to stop a rich socialite and former Miss Pawnee - one of the judges from the beauty contest in an earlier episode - from demolishing several historical aspects of a local mansion. Leslie going nuts about an environmental issue isn't exactly new, exciting ground for the show, but it didn't suck.

The better plot of the show centered on April and Ron's relationship. She had mistakenly scheduled him for 90+ meetings on March 31 because she thought March only had 30 days, not 31. As a result, dozens of people showed up, expecting a meeting with Ron. Because of this, Ron ordered April, Andy and Ann to pretend to be important Parks and Recreation employees to deal with all of the people.

Ron also yelled at April at one point, which later caused her to quit. This results in the episode's best scenes and sight gags, as Ron has to venture to April's parents' house to talk her into working in the department again. Of course, April's parents are completely normal and friendly, which has caused April and her sister Natalie to rebel by being apathetic. These three or four minutes really elevate an otherwise average episode.

Grade: B

So much for The Office recovering some of its mojo. A week after a pretty decent episode that didn't suck, we go right back to the awkward, uncomfortable episode of the early and mid-season. NBC already screwed up Heroes, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they managed to do the same to The Office. (Note to self: Find some way to protect Parks and Recreation and Community.

The episode was mostly ridiculous and uncomfortable (some might say ridiculously uncomfortable) because of Michael's flirting with a bartender he met a couple of episodes ago. While she is undoubtedly foxy, which is nice, she already seems weird and kind of like Jan. I suppose someone on the show has to date regularly, but for an unsuccessful clod, Michael sure does pull down plenty of tail - Jan, the girl who moved to New Hampshire, Pam's mom, the woman he proposed to at Casino Night after three dates, this new bartender...

In other business around the office, Dwight at first tried to get Kelly into the minority training program, believing that he would be able to use her for his own benefit, as opposed to Daryl. However, Dwight changes his mind when he realizes that Ryan has more pull with her, and he then tries to get a Japanese janitor to apply instead. Kelly gets the appointment instead though, and honestly, this isn't Dwight's best work. This whole subplot is much better than all of Michael's awkward flirting with the bartender, but it is the B-plot of the episode for a reason.

Grade: D+

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