“Little She Knows” – A What Would Ryan Lochte Do? Recap

Guest Post by Jaime

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent this past week in agony.  The sounds of an overgrown frat boy whooping and yelling for you to “turn it up” have been echoing in your ears…You’ve had the constant urge to pump your fists…And no action is complete without yelling a certain word.  You know it.  Say it with me.

“JEEEEEEEEEEE-YEAH!”

Wait, no, that’s not quite it…Like Ryan’s mother, I haven’t quite perfected the “jeah”.  But she got plenty of opportunities to practice in this week’s episode, as she spent time with her son in Washington, D.C., where he was receiving an award for his work with a muscular dystrophy charity.

Like last week, we get hints of the few elements that combine to make the greatest personality television has ever seen: there’s his relationship with his friends, which we see through his drunken game of golf with his friend/assistant Gene*; the constant pressure to find a stable relationship and settle down; and of course, his family.  None of these strings feel like parts of a cohesive plot; I guess it would be worse if they did, because then the show would seem too artificial, but it seems like they just have a few core themes that they like to throw in a few times every episode.  Basically, it’s kind of a mess, structurally.

*Is anyone else really saddened by the fact that the only one of Ryan’s friends we really get to know is also his personal assistant?  For as much as I enjoy laughing at the things that come out of Ryan’s mouth, he does seem like a genuinely good-hearted person, and I worry that he doesn’t have many friends.  Okay, moment over, back to making fun of him.

Even Ryan doesn’t know what his show’s about.

Like I said, this episode focuses more on Ryan’s relationship with his mother.  While he still said some beautiful, dumb things (and we’ll get to those), we saw a softer and more positive side to Ryan, proving that he’s not just a party boy who brings every date to the same restaurant.  He’s accepting an award for his work with the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, but, much to his mother’s chagrin, he hasn’t planned on writing his speech in advance, figuring he’d just wing it.  His mother is horrified by the idea; E! executives undoubtedly high fived each other at the prospect of what’s to come.

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“You’re the worst.” – Parks and Recreation Recap

 photo parksandrecswingvote_zps3fe5dd89.jpg

Parks and Recreation
Season 5, Episode 21: Swing Vote
– Posted by Sage

Ron and Leslie, you guys. If Leslie/Ann is the lady friendship against to measure all other TV lady friendships, Ron/Leslie set a similarly high bar for friendships between colleagues.

In “Swing Vote,” these two went toe to toe again, this time to decide on the fate of the Pawnee Palms Public Put-Put. You’d be hard pressed to find another pair this evenly matched in determination and idealism, which makes for a stiff competition. Ron sees the course as a drain on the taxpayer and has proposed cutting it completely, while Leslie sees it as a public service that enriches the community and, of course, seeks to save it. The other City Council members are divided, which makes our pal Jeremy Jamm the swing vote. Just like Kevin Costner! (That was a thing, right?)

Leslie’s savviness has a limit. This first year in City Council, she’s been surprised to uncover (gasp!) a deep well of cronyism and corruption (mild as it is) in local politics. And when she has her heart set on an outcome, she finds herself engaging in the same questionable behavior as her less savory colleagues. Do the ends justify the means? Ron doesn’t think so. He calls Leslie out on her schmoozing and borderline bribery (via snow cones and mylar balloons, of course) of Jamm. He gives speeches about principles and ethics until Leslie is ready to take him out with the fat Hawaiian guy’s putter. But after Jamm promises his vote to Ron and then comes to her ready to re-sell it, she realizes that she’s become a part of cycle. We’re all dreaming of Knope 2020, but could it be possible that Leslie isn’t cut out for this line of work?

Leslie goes to Ron’s office to apologize, and it’s one of my favorite scenes ever between them. She confesses that she thought that political conflicts would be more like dealing with Ron – people having strong opinions and hashing them out until they reach a compromise. Or, until someone gets hungry and gives up. She also says that Ron’s principles drive her completely nuts, but also that they are one of the reasons she loves and respects him so much. Somewhere in that yellow head, she knew that using gifts to influence Jamm was wrong – that’s why she was so frustrated with Ron calling her out. Ron never lets Leslie off the hook, because he knows who she is and what she’s capable of.  Now, that’s a mentor.

Andy is dealing with his own unwritten code, when he finds out that Burley and the rest of Mouserat have been performing without him. Yes, Ratmouse is gigging and Andy accidentally stumbles on them at celebratory drinks with April and  his boss and reluctant DD, Ben.

Didn't recognize them Andy Parks and Recreation
When confronted, the guys tell him that they’ve been trying to get a hold of him. He’s just been so busy with his job that he hasn’t made rehearsals. After a somewhat triumphant solo performance (a “swan song” where Andy=a swan), Andy gives up music. He equates being a successful adult – and he is successful at this Sweetums Foundation thing – with letting go of the passions that keep you from leaping out of any open window. (“I don’t need the stress of playing guitar with my friends a few times a week.”) Luckily, he’s got April, who – even though Mouserat hardly compares to German Death Reggae in her mind – reminds him how much he loves his band and encourages him to apologize and ask to be let back in. Mouserat lives, now with two lead singers!

Finally this week, Jenny Slate as Mona Lisa Saperstein is back. Jean Ralphio’s sister is still dating Tom, though Tom is beginning to fear for his own safety. Jean Ralphio is harmless (annnnnd hot), but Mona Lisa is 10000% crazytown bananapants. Tom offers ex-gf Ann (remember that?) his very favorite blanket, Chenille O’Neal, if she will break up with Mona Lisa for him. Mona Lisa impassively pulls out a screwdriver when Ann introduces herself, and the night pretty much proceeds from there: Mona Lisa dumps Tom for being a “poorsie,” becomes best friends with Ann, gives Ann a dirt and glitter makeover, reconsiders Tom, catches Ann and Tom “making out,” and then, because what else would you do in this situation, suggests they have a threesome. When Ann says no, she propositions a willing blond. Best night of Tom’s life? Well, it would have been if Mona Lisa hadn’t gotten into a fight with the girl in the parking lot, smashed her car window, and stole all her birth control pills.

You're Gonna Get Pregnant Parks and Recreation

Ke$ha has already optioned the rights.

Random Thoughts/B-Stories:

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Drug Ballad – A #SmashBash Gif-Cap

Not Since the Internet
Smash
Season 2, Episode 13: The Producers
– Posted by Sage

I want to dedicate this week’s #SmashBash to each and every beautiful soul who shares this weekly tradition with us. This would truly be no fun without you. A third season is looking more and more like a no-go, so we will treasure these last few bashes with you.

We’re going to put up a Facebook poll soon to ask you which show we should hate/love-watch and hate/love-recap next season. The Smash may be ending, but the Bash must go on.

On with this week’s!

Ivy, that yellow dress.

Have Mercy

“Are you ready to Mambo with me?” Take it away, Kathie Lee!

Kristen Wiig as Kathie Lee

“I think you and Julia should start working on your next project, after she’s finished with Gatsby.” Way to blow up Julia’s spot, Eileen.

Britney Patrick surprised

“You don’t really wanna kill her.” Of course not.

Castle evil laugh

Brooklyn Jimmy doesn’t show up for the photoshoot.

Hey losers Neville Longbottom

“Let him duke it out with those ten other producers.” Lol, as if that’s even a fair fight. Rudin’s like, “Come at me, bitches.”

Nick Offerman dancing

“Oh, is he? Poor baby. Well, so am I.” Sometimes Derek gets a little to pal-sy with these idiots. I like him better when he’s giving them real talk.

Tom Hiddleston bless you

If only Broadway performers actually got this much exposure. I’d get to see my favorites a lot more often, and they wouldn’t be forced into pilot season after excruciating pilot season.

Norbert and Aaron

“Marisa Tomei broke her leg.” “Which means?” “Moonstruck won’t be going to Broadway.” I had to rewind this three times to make sure I was hearing it correctly. Poor fictionalized Marisa Tomei! But Eileen and Mimi Marquez have no problem stepping over her broken body on the path to the Tony Awards.

Out of the way girls SpiceWorld.

“Well, now you can un-promise it, and start working on it with me.” I’m actually really emotionally attached to these two as partners.

Bridesmaids cop

THAT HIT LIST POSTER.

Jonas Brothers ew

Decent casting of extras for the Hit List rush line. Hi, theater nerds!

Dork Outreach program She's All That

“I don’t know, there was a lot of tequila involved.” You’re such a bad ass, Brooklyn Jimmy.

Drunk dancing Bridesmaids

“The first time. What about those other two you told me about?” GET IT.

Easy A Oh my god

“No, for your understudy, genius.” Heh heh heh.

 Amy and Seth high five

“We’d be delighted to do a performance at the Brighton Beach Senior Center.” That’s sweet and all, Eileen, but you probably shouldn’t burn out your cast doing performances for people who can’t even buy tickets to your show.

Tangled a horrible decision

“Sounds stupid, but I thought maybe she was the one.” Sounds stupid because it is stupid, Brooklyn Jimmy. But just have yourself a good cry anyway.

Sixteen candles it just hurts

“I’ve lost my sense of humor.” Yo, WHIP THESE GUYS INTO SHAPE, DEREK.

Loki you are all beneath me

“You want his autograph? You want mine? I’m his mother.”

Happy Gilmore no

“Is he using again?” “MARIE.” The parents were cute for five seconds, but I’m done with them now.

Veggie Tales go away

Uh oh – Tom owns half of Gatsby. Shoulda thought about that one, Julia.

Right to be a lawyer 21 Jump Street

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Kim Casts the Guys and Dolls Movie

Posted by Kim

Earlier this week news broke that Fox was looking to remake Guys and Dolls with Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as their dream leads.  Now while the article on Deadline infers (to me) that Tatum would be playing Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra in the movie, Nathan Lane in the 90’s revival) and JGL would be playing Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando in the movie, Peter Gallagher in the revival), I have to assume this is sloppy writing.  I mean, look at the gif at the top of this post.  If you are going by physical typing, CLEARLY Channing Tatum would be playing Sky and JGL would be playing Nathan.  So that’s what I am going with for now.

I know this may surprise you, but I am a tad bit opinionated (I KNOW).  So when this news broke, naturally I began screaming on Twitter about who else they should cast.  Said screaming prompted my friend Chelsea to say “Why don’t you just write a blog post about it?’.  So here goes…

I’m going to cover my thoughts on the 6 principle roles in Guys and Dolls: Nathan, Sky, Sarah Brown, Miss Adelaide, Nicely-Nicely Johnson, and Benny Southstreet.   I’m also breaking my thoughts into three categories: “Yes, cast this famous person” (it should be noted that I am putting Tatum and JGL in this category as that is what the studio wants), “But also consider this alternative, perhaps less famous person” and “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD DO NOT CAST THIS PERSON” (for the four principles).

To the casting armchair we go!

Nathan Detroit: Manager of the “Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”.  Always on the run from the cops, he’s also always desperate for cash.  Engaged to Miss Adelaide for 14 years and there is no wedding date in sight.

Please Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

JGL has proven his song and dance skills many times over between his appearance in this year’s Oscars, his stripping routine on SNL and his delightful song and dance number in 5oo Days of Summer.  JGL also has just the right balance of charm and smarmy charisma that Nathan needs to have.  Nathan is a shady guy and he’s a slick talker but he’s also incredibly charming.  And JGL could pull off the pinstripe suit and fedora look with ease.  Boom.  Done.

But Also Consider: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Nathan Detroit is a perfect role for him.  The Studio is totally right in their wishes.

Please Don’t Cast: Anyone From Glee #Sorry #NotSorry Gleeks.

Sky Masterson: Suave, handsome, wealthy dreamboat Gambler who has a reputation on betting on anything.

Please Cast: Channing Tatum

This is not my ideal choice, but this is who the studio wants.  Tatum DEFINITELY has the looks for Sky and well…we know he has the dancing skills.  But Sky sings a LOT, including perhaps the most famous song in the show “Luck Be a Lady”.  Does he have the vocal chops to do it?  Since when has that mattered to Hollywood?

But Also Consider: Aaron Tveit

His profile is rising after a great performance in Les Miserables.  He’s a Broadway Baby, so we KNOW he has the vocal chops.  And look how cute he is!  Also, if you saw him in Catch Me If You Can on Broadway, you already know he looks good in a fedora.

Please Don’t Cast: Jeremy Jordan

I know he is the cuurent musical theatre It Boy.  I’ve yet to see him on stage, but I have watched Smash and he does NOT translate well on screen…and you can’t just blame that on the fact that Brooklyn Jimmy is a terrible character.    He comes off as smug and vacant and I am terrified of what he is going to do as Jamie in the movie of The Last Five Years.  So ignore the urge, Hollywood!

Miss Adelaide: Headlining showgirl at the Hot Box club.  Dumb, but not so dumb, she has a perpetual cold due to Nathan’s refusal to nail down a wedding date

Please Cast: Scarlett Johansson

I think this would be INSPIRED casting.  Scarlett has long professed to be a musical lover and there were rumors a few years ago that producers wanted her for Maria in a new production of The Sound of Music.  We know that she looks great in period clothes and she has the perfect body for those skimpy Hot Box girl costumes.  Plus, she and JGL are buddies!  Can you imagine them singing “Sue Me” together?

But Also Consider: Megan Hilty

Because Lord knows the Hilty needs a project better than Smash.  She has the voice and she has the comedic acting chops.  And like Scarlett, she would look AMAZING in those Hot Box costumes.

Please Don’t Cast: Amanda Seyfried

While you don’t have to be THAT GREAT of a singer to play Adelaide, it is so much better when you DO.  Also, she made it pretty clear during all the Les Mis press junkets that she didn’t like doing musicals.  So let’s think out of the box, okay Hollywood?

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“Sunlight is like Gold” – Arthur Darvill in Once

Arthur

Posted by Kim

Way back when we first launched Head Over Feels, Sage and I wrote a post that encompassed our life philosophy of “Screw It We’re Doing This”.  That philosophy has (just within the past year) gotten us into the press junket for the “Asylum of the Daleks” premiere (Matt Smith saying “What a thing to say to someone! Do you want to come with me?” to us will NEVER be replaced as my text alert) and it has gotten us pictures with Joel McHale, James Corden, Dan Stevens, Fred Armisen and Stefon.  It’s that philosophy that brings all sorts of hate/love raining down upon us from our Twitter friends whenever we tweet about our adventures.  The other (unspoken) part of our philosophy is “good things come to those who wait”.  You’ve got to be willing to get up at ungodly hours and sit in line to have the adventures we do (especially if you are not rich).  It’s only fitting that we had to apply this life philosophy to meet Rory the Roman.  Sitting in a rush line for 4 and a half hours is comparable to 2000 years waiting outside of a box, right?

Right.

The moment we found out that Arthur Darvill would be taking over the role of “Guy” in Once on Broadway, Sage and I planned to be at his first performance, where we would of course meet him after the show at the stage door.  However, we were thwarted in that, as they (oh so sneakily) put Arthur and his new “Girl” Joanna Christie over the weekend instead of the announced date of Tuesday April 23.  It took all of our will power to avoid the bootlegs that started popping up on Tumblr over the weekend.  Sage and I would both randomly start shouting “ARTHUR!!”  We both took Tuesday off of work and planned to get in the rush line first thing in the morning.  Why the rush line?  The answer is simple: $35 tickets, as opposed to at least $70 at TKTS or $140 full price orchestra seats.

It should be noted it was APRIL 23. And we were FREEZING.

It should be noted it was APRIL 23. And we were FREEZING.

As we know better than to underestimate the Whovian fandom, I set my alarm for 5:30 AM (aka Stupid O’Clock) on Tuesday morning.  The tickets, I should state, go on sale at 10 AM.  But as Once is the current Best Musical winner, its rush line has been notoriously long.  Factor in Doctor Who fans and you have potential for a shit storm.  Another part of my life philosophy is that I would rather get somewhere early and wait longer but be GUARANTEED I would have tickets and my wait wasn’t for nothing.  So 5:30 AM it was.  After stopping at a deli for coffee and a bagel, I was in front of the Jacobs theatre at 5:50 AM.  I was fourth in line.  The girls ahead of me were clearly Whovians, down to one of them having a TARDIS bag, so I settled in and started chatting with them.  That’s the other thing with rush lines.  There is always a sense of camaraderie because you KNOW that the person sitting next to you is just as insane as you are…so why not make friends with them?  What else are you going to do for the 4 hours you are in line?  Besides, you’ll probably be sitting next to them at the show that night anyway!  Sage showed up a little bit before 7, bringing a second round of coffee for me and Mad Libs for entertainment.  And so we sat on the sidewalk.  For four hours.  In the unseasonably cold April weather, freezing our asses off.

I can’t believe I used to do that ALL THE TIME when I first moved to New York City.  Because that last hour or so, due to the cold, was torture.  It was worth it though.  Cause we got our tickets.

They had yet to change the cast board in front of the theatre.

They had yet to change the cast board in front of the theatre.

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“It does tend to haunt you.” – Doctor Who Recap

Doctor Who Hide ghost
Doctor Who
Season 7, Episode 10: Hide
– Posted by Sage

To be perfectly honest, the convoluted plotting of Series 6 left me exhausted and more than a little frustrated with Doctor Who. I was missing the standalone episodes that pluck the Doctor and friends out of their own serial dramas and get them busy having a good old fashioned adventure. Happily, the good lord Moffat has heard my cries, and Series 7 has been rich in “Monster of the Week” fun. I was SO looking forward to watching and recapping “Hide,” which seemed to have all the hallmarks of a spooky Doctor Who classic. A huge, fuck-off Victorian manor? Check. Attractive ghost hunters in tasteful 70s fashions? Check. A scary thunderstorm? You got it. It’s ghost time.

Ghostbusters Doctor Who

The Doctor and Clara show up on the door step of Downton Shabby to meet aforementioned good-looking explorers Emma Grayling (Jessica Raine, who is also starring as Verity Lambert in the dramatization of Who‘s origin story) and Major Alec Palmer (Dougray Scott – Drew Barrymore’s prince – you’re welcome). And then the Doctor does that thing where he meets someone he admires and shamelessly fangirls him. Alec is a seeker of knowledge – a man who bought a huge, fuck-off Victorian manor just so he could investigate its haunting – just the Doctor’s type.

But it’s not all man-crushes and toggle switches. Alec is haunted, not by the Caliban Ghost, but by the ghosts of his past. He has killed and “has caused to have killed” and he really doesn’t know how else to live his life but to keep on reaching out for the next mystery. Sound like anyone we know?

Like the Doctor, Alec is not alone. The lovely Emma serves his project as an empathic psychic – he catalogs the appearances of the ghost, while Emma interprets her emotions. But she also gives him a reason to hold on. The Major is not exactly forthcoming with his feelings about her though, until the moment of crisis arrives. (SOUND LIKE ANYONE WE KNOW?) “You brought me back from the dead,” he tells her.

And here is where I launch into my frantic analysis of the Rose Tyler parallels and allusions in this episode. I know that I am biased, and maybe I’m seeing things that I want to see, but writer Neil Cross (Luther showrunner, “The Rings of Akhaten”) has packed so many references into this episode that I can’t be making them ALL up:

  • The “ghost”, really time traveler Hilla Tacorien, is stuck in a pocket universe, not a parallel one. But the term is bandied about quite a bit, with Clara trying to understand the difference between the two. Don’t tell me there isn’t a pang in his hearts when someone says those words.
  • The original ghostbusters.
  • The Doctor takes Clara to the end of the earth to prove his theory about Hilla’s whereabouts (whenabouts?). At the VERY SAME MOMENT, Nine and Rose are holding hands and watching the planet’s death from Platform One. Stop taking your dates to watch the world end, Doctor. It makes us feel very insignificant.
  • When they say goodbye, Alec asks the Doctor what he and Emma should do now. The Doctor tells them to “hold hands.” “Keep doing that, and don’t let go.” I juuuuust…

  • In fact, the entire relationship between Alec and Emma is very Rose and Doctor-esque. I wrote in one of my playlist posts about Rose’s deep empathy for the Doctor. More than any other modern companion, she seemed to feel what he was feeling. (“Girl in the Fireplace” is the ultimate proof of that.) And Emma is an empath – very literally able to do that. That skill serves Alec personally more than professionally. He needed someone to bring him back, someone who would only consider his past mistakes in terms of how they still affect him. This is so Rose and Nine that it hurts.
  • The moment where everyone in the Doctor/Rose fandom fell apart: “It’s the oldest story in the universe, this one or any other. Boy and girl fall in love, get separated by events, war, politics, accidents in time. Since they’ve been yearning for each other, across time and space across dimensions! It’s not a ghost story, it’s a love story!”
Doomsday wall Doctor Who

No.

Now that I have that out of my system, let’s get back to the companion at hand. Just because this was a MoTW ep, it doesn’t mean that the Clara mystery was ignored. Quite the contrary. The whole reason that the Doctor came to meet Alec and Emma in 1974 was to learn more about the impossible girl. Emma is sure that Clara is completely normal. But Emma is an empath, not a Time Lord. She doesn’t have the depth of knowledge to explain entities from other worlds or times. She could only feel what Hilla felt, not identify her origin. So: the only way she could explain Clara would be if Clara HERSELF knew what she was. Am I rambling? I feel like I’m rambling.

Clara Tardis

Besides Emma’s analysis, the other Clara clues in “Hide” were the pops of bright red that are always near her (this time, the umbrella and her signature bag) and the fact that the TARDIS still rejects her. The TARDIS was giving me serious Tinkerbell vibes this episode, especially when she used Clara’s own image for the visual interface. Is she jealous, or does her dislike have to do with the anomaly of Clara? As others have pointed out, the TARDIS also doesn’t like Jack – another impossibility. The Doctor brushes the friction off when she mentions it, but I think he’s weighing it along with the rest of the clues to Clara.

Timey-Wimey Observations:

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“What Woman Want” – A What Would Ryan Lochte Do? Recap

Guest Post by Jaime

When promos for What Would Ryan Lochte Do? started airing, we had several requests to recap it.  Sage and I didn’t have the will to do it, despite the many requests, but luckily our good friend Jaime volunteered to recap for us.  Welcome to the Head Over Feels family, love! –Kim

Once every few years, a show comes along that changes the landscape of television.  2003 gave us Arrested Development.  2007 gave us Mad Men.  And now, in 2013, we have What Would Ryan Lochte Do?

 He was overshadowed by Michael Phelps in the 2008 Olympics, but this past summer, more attention was paid to Lochte.  And thank god for that.  We quickly realized that he was an absolute idiot.  Here’s just one example of what happens when you let him talk:

Now, the premise of the show isn’t particularly revolutionary.  We follow Lochte while he trains, spends time with his family, and, naturally, parties with his friends.  The episode opened with a group of his friends playing a game of flag football (complete with a random push-up contest.  You know.  As people do), where he and his brother/roommate Devon made a bet: if Ryan’s team scored the next touchdown, Devon had to do his brother’s laundry for a week.  And if Devon’s team scored, Ryan had to scrub the rims of his car with a toothbrush.

It’s a good way to start us off with a positive image of Lochte’s life, so that we’re not overwhelmed with moments that prove over and over again how stupid he is.  Because, um.  Yeah.  They happen a lot.  My personal favorite moment of the episode was when he told his sisters they should watch “What Woman Want” [sic] at their family movie night…and then said in a talking head that “What Woman Want” is one of his favorite movies, proving that he genuinely believes that’s the title of the seminal Mel Gibson classic.

Apparently his family is a big part of his life.  They have bowling and movie nights together, and it’s all pretty adorbs.  But, of course, he’s got two crazy older sisters who worry about his love life, because, you know, it’s just your normal, crazy family here!!!!

His love life is a big issue for Ryan, because, as he says, he’s 28 and sees how happy his sisters are with “families of their owns” (DIRECT QUOTE).  I mean, five minutes into the episode, he talked about how he’s not married or dating anyone so he gets to have fun, but now suddenly is desperate to settle down, but whatever.  The only long-term relationship he’s had is with a girl named Jaimee, but clearly they’re unsuitable for each other as her name is what happens if you’re typing my name and one of your keys sticks.  We see him talking to a few girls, including one self-proclaimed ballerina who, upon being prompted to dance, puts up her arms and spins in a circle.  Don’t worry – even Ryan calls bullshit on this one.  At a bar, he meets a girl named Megan and asks her out for the next night…to a sushi restaurant that, as his sisters discover, Ryan brings all his dates.  And sits at the same table every time.

The date doesn’t go very well, but Ryan likes her; after all, she makes him laugh “a little,” which is apparently the way to his heart.  And besides, she’s moving to LA soon, so, you know, obviously things won’t work out.

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“Hello, Ann Perkins, my fallopian princess!” – Parks and Recreation Recap

Gergich family breakfast - Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation
Season 5, Episode 19: Article Two
Season 5, Episode 20: Jerry’s Retirement
– Posted by Sage

The conclusion of Season 5 and the likely announcement of Season 6 are in sight, and we got a Parks doubleheader this week! With no elections, no clandestine relationships, and the wedding in the can, the lead up to the season finale isn’t as tension-filled as years past. I’ve been sure for a few weeks now that we’d have a pregnant Ann Perkins by the season finale. But (twist!), could Leslie and Ann both be knocked up in Season 6? If you think they’re cute now, just imagine them in maternity wear.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

It’s Ted Party Day in Pawnee, and thanks to some hard-to-decipher handwriting in the charter, the town celebrates a historic tea dump by throwing some poor guy who actually goes by Theodore into Ramsett Lake. This is what Leslie Knope LIVES for. It’s everything she loves about Pawnee, and I have to side with her on this one – these quirky traditions are what make towns into communities. But the Ted in question has pretty much had it, and challenges Leslie to man up and hold up all of the other outdated laws in the town charter too. He had his phone in his pocket. I can understand the rage.

Has Patton Oswalt been on this show forever? Because that’s what it feels like. Garth Blunden (another classic name) is so perfectly Pawnee and such an appropriate foil for Leslie. Unless you are headless, you have seen or at least heard about Oswalt’s 8 minute plus outtake from this week’s episode, where he busted out the best filibuster since Stackhouse to block Leslie’s proposed amendments to the charter. If you haven’t watched it yet, you owe it to yourself to do so now. I hope JJ Abrams took notes, because I would watch the shit out of that movie. My only quibble is that Han and Leia stay together in the officially licensed Star Wars sequel novels, so that’s canon. Sorry, Garth. Also, how am I still single?

Garth challenges Leslie to play house, pioneer style, and he schools her. Leslie is unaccustomed to not being the best student of Pawnee history in the room, but she realizes that Garth’s aptitude for the task is a direct result of his sad and lonely life. (I refuse to read anything into this and my extensive knowledge of Star Wars novelized fanfic.) Garth accepts her invitation to join the Pawnee Historical Society and volunteers to be their Ted. There is no quicker way of making friends than by suggesting that they ceremoniously throw you into a freezing lake. Or hand-churning them some sweet, delicious sunshine.

Butter is my favorite food

Meanwhile, Ann and Ben are making friends by, well, battling over who is the better friend to Leslie. FutureMrsTigerWoods and TallTyrionLannister are in a bidding war for a vintage JJ’s waffle maker to give to their bestie/wife for Breakfast Day or Waffle Day, respectively. Leslie’s thoughtfulness drives them to take more and more drastic action to prove themselves worthy. I.E. future mother Ann Perkins is considering doing $500 worth of nitrous with the scary pawn shop guy. And so on. But Ben and Ann find out that they’re more powerful when they join forces. Together, they can give Leslie the perfect gift for both occasions, and convince her to cram all of their mini-anniversaries into an Ann Week and a Ben Week and a Friend Week, where they will commemorate this very decision. There will always be a tiny bit of competitiveness in Ben and Ann’s relationship, and that’s okay. Ann could hardly approve a husband who didn’t wouldn’t enter into these little challenges to prove his love for Leslie, and likewise, Ben couldn’t respect a best friend who wouldn’t do the same.

Sadly, in the second episode of last week, it was time to say goodbye to our friend Jerry. (Or was it?) He’s retiring today. (Or is he?) Unfortunately, no one realized it until he brought out his sad little file box of belongings and bid a teary farewell to his coworkers. Leslie, who was supposed to be taking the day off with Ben, decides to help make a few of Young Jerry’s work dreams come true. How she is able to resist a day of making out and mac and cheese pizza with a rumpled Ben Wyatt going casual in an old LETTERS TO CLEO T-SHIRT is completely beyond my understanding, but there you have it.

Ben and Leslie's day off

Jerry’s hopes and dreams are just as depressing as we all imagined, and it’s all the more gloomy that Leslie can’t manage to make any of them really come true. It’s difficult to arrange a meet and greet with a crooked politician who was pushed out of a plane, for example. But the triumph in Jerry’s life isn’t work. It’s his creepily beautiful, sweet, and upbeat family and their insatiable admiration of him. Leslie steps into their idyllic happy home and regrets neglecting her own family in favor of her job. Now, I’m sort of into just having Leslie and Ben on their own for a while longer, but if Season 6 is our last chance to see baby Joe Knope-Wyatt, then let’s do this.

Actually doing it are Chris and Ann, taking the advice that Kim and I have been screaming into our TVs for months. Chris has the resting heart rate of a tortoise and Ann’s ovulating, but the cold and clinical reality of the sperm bank is depressing them. After a couple of fertility pamphlets and a little bit of sexy talk, it’s off to make a baby the old-fashioned way. HURRAY. When Chris and Ann first came about, Chris was still the teensiest bit insufferable. They weren’t a match. Now that he’s emerged from his midlife crisis as a more practical, less neurotic man, he’s a much better fit for our lovely Ann Perkins. They attempt to have “the talk,” but “the talk” doesn’t always result in answers. It’s enough to pose the questions and then put it all on pause to make out.

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