'Parks And Recreation' Review: Episode 'The Pawnee-Eagleton Tip Off Classic'
October 4th, 2013 9:11am EDT
The rivalry between Pawnee and Eagleton had been a major thread of the series. 200 years before, Eagleton succeeded from Pawnee, taking all their money and haughtiness with them. Eagleton is the sort of town that has Michael Buble on retainer for expensive functions that celebrate their own bankruptcy. Leslie, and the rest of Pawnee, hates their feuding town with a vengeance. It’s one of the only things they ever agree on. ( That and Lil’ Sebastian’s greatness, of course.)
The problem with these episodes is that is goes against everything Parks and Recreation is usually about. Leslie is a very hopeful character and a bright spot among a bunch of delusional and willfully ignorant townies. The episodes with Eagleton always seem transform Leslie into a completely different monster. She goes out of her way to be rude to the Eagletonians, to the point of cruelty. Yes, they’re bastards who show off their wealth and perceived superiority at any given chance. They stick their noses up at Pawnee and trade as many barbs as they can.
But Leslie is supposed to be better than that. It’s the major point of the show. She’s not a mean spirited person. Of course, nobody wants to watch a show about a perfect person who can do no wrong. But these episodes tend to send Leslie over the top. In this episode, Leslie celebrates her opponent town’s bankruptcy (who wouldn’t?) in such an unethical way that it makes it a little tough to root for her.
So, clearly I am not happy about the Pawnee/Eagleton merge. Now the towns will be sharing their government resources and debts, there will be ample opportunity for the stuck-up Eagleton government officials to share a space with Leslie and possible hurt her chances of at the recall. As if she didn’t have enough stacked against her already. It’s bad enough when Eagleton episodes roll around once or twice a season. But now their presence will be constant? Will we have to see that same Leslie-monster that shows up when they’re around?
I’m always impressed when the show tries to move in a new direction, like when Leslie ran for city council and Ben and Chris moved to Pawnee permanently. However, I’m not so sure about the multiple moves this episode makes. Eagleton joins Pawnee, April drops her dream of being a vet on a whim, and Ann decides to abandon Leslie because the baby store in Bloomington was kind of nice.
Maybe I’m just like another citizen of Pawnee. I don’t like too much change. Hopefully the show will manage to make these changes gracefully and not take the joy out of the show.
Ron’s storyline is about his complete overreaction to getting a Pennysaver in the mail. He goes around town trying to destroy all proof that he exists. It’s so over-the-top absurd, like we’ve come to expect from Ron. I don’t quite buy that he’d be so afraid of being on the grid that he’d rid his photo off the wall of JJ’s. He signed a marriage license just last week. He owns multiple properties. He works for the freaking government. Ron is on the grid whether he likes it or not.Tom and Donna are a great pairing. Donna is basically the same as Tom, only more successful, charming, and lucky. It was funny to see them making a vine or Ron’s vine.Donna: “I’m vining you vine your selfie.” Ron: “The world is a nighmare.”Kristen Bell played the face of Eagleton in this episode. It’s basically Parker Posey’s role recast. Snooze.“Am I proud of it? Yes, because Eagleton sucks. Is it the classiest move? Yes, because Eagleton sucks. Would I do it again? Yes, because Eagleton sucks.”Ben named his calculator Dr. Buttons because he’s the best.Leslie is the best power point maker ever: You Blew It, Super Hard, Complete Buffoonery, It’s Hilarious, You Deserve ItApril talking about her gut: “It was right when it said you were the worst person I would ever meet. And I met Guy Fieri, Ann. So gross.”Diane: “I love you but your solution to everything is to live inside a mountain.”“They’re a town of angels. Greasy, denim-clad angels.”Tom about Ron’s phone “Gross, it has buttons.”
Photo Credits: NBCUniversal, Inc