Best Episode of the Season: Parks and Recreation Season 3

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“Road Trip”

We love relationships on TV when they are in the pre-consummation stage because of the romantic tension inherent in that stage.  Tension makes for great entertainment.  By the time of “Road Trip,” Leslie and Ben both knew their feelings for each other, but a relationship had not yet begun due to a strongly enforced guideline against interoffice romance.  Thus, the tension became even more frustrated.  And when there is a problem, you can count on Leslie Knope to make a spectacle out of dealing with that problem, as she did so marvelously with her anti-romantic mix CD for her road trip with Ben.  Meanwhile, the subplot of Tom testing out his Newlywed Game ripoff, “Know Ya Boo,” provided perhaps the steadiest stream of laughs of the entire season, particularly Tom’s rundown of esoteric cable channels (Boom, Zip, Wow, Slurp, Slurp Latin, Slurp HD).  Donna and Jerry’s success as a couple on “Know Ya Boo” was an old, but often hilarious, sitcom staple: characters who have previously had little interaction together displaying a freakily uncanny knowledge of each other.

Next up: Running Wilde

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Best Episode of the Season: Parks and Recreation

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“Practice Date”

“What if he shows up with another woman? What if one of my sleeves catches on fire and it spreads rapidly. What if instead of tic tacs I accidentally pop a couple of Ambien and I have to keep punching my leg to stay awake?”
“Those are all insane hypotheticals and I promise you they won’t happen.”
“They have happened. All of these have happened to me.”

Less awkward and more endearing than Michael Scott and Liz Lemon, but just as hilarious, Leslie Knope has suddenly become the most likable lead character on NBC Thursday nights.  She is so upfront about her strangeness that you will either laugh or gasp nonstop, whichever one happens first.  “Practice Date” was an opportunity for Amy Poehler to run completely free and crazy with her performance.  It was one of those episodes whose hilarity is best explained by listing quotes, so here are some more:

Do you have like a first-date outfit I could borrow? Like, I don’t know, a pair of cargo pants?
Yeah I wouldn’t go with the cargo pant.”
“What about like a sexy hat?”
“I don’t even know what that is.”
“Helping already.”

“What if I get drunk and talk about Darfur too much? Or not enough? What if I don’t bring up Darfur enough?”

Another time I went to a really boring movie with a guy and while I was asleep he tried to pull out one of my teeth. I literally woke up with his hand in my mouth. We went out a couple times after that but then he got weird.”

“Let’s begin our conversation.”
“What’s on the note cards?”
“They’re possible topics of conversation.”
“Whales. Parades. Electricity. And the rest are blank.”
“Yeah, well I couldn’t think of anything else.”

“Is she practice laughing?”

“You’re 20 minutes late. I almost left.”
“Well, I was, dropping my niece off.”
“What’s your niece’s name?”
“Torple. What? I don’t know. That’s not a name. I don’t have a niece. My niece’s name is Stephanie?”

Next up: The Office

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