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'Parks And Recreation': New Beginnings (6x11)

January 23rd, 2014 10:59am EST

Parks and Recreation Okay! Fast review time.

Leslie gets her job back at the Parks department, but she's feeling unneeded, since everyone is doing so well without her. She tries to interfere with Tom's presentation, but after a while accepts that he can handle it on his own. Eventually, Ron points out that maybe it's okay that she's not needed, because she's on her way to bigger and better things, and now she can trust that everyone will be okay without her.
I enjoyed this plot for the same reason I've been enjoying Leslie's story line all season. She's settling back into an old routine, but it's clear that this is just a pit stop for the great Leslie Knope. She's on to bigger and better things. It might seem like they're just putting Leslie back into her old spot, but I can tell they're going to push her character forward in big ways. I'm excited for that. Also, I liked how successful Tom was in his presentation, and Ron's fatherly guidance is always sweet. One of the highlights: when Leslie decides to let Tom shine in his presentation, she gives a purposefully horrible presentation of her own. That made me laugh.
Ben has started his new job as well, but he's having a bit of a hard time adjusting to being everyone's boss. Donna, April, and Tom play a practical joke on him, but Ben then tries to lay down the law. Andy suggests that instead of acting like a boss, he should get back at them with a practical joke of his own. Although the joke doesn't go as planned, April still says that it was a good one, and Ben starts to relax and find the balance between being a fun guy and an effective boss.
Another good strong plot thread. Ben too is going through a transition in his life, and it's up to the rest of the department to help him strike a good balance. The fake gunshot thing got a chuckle out of me, too.
The last of the plots involved Ann and Chris, who try to decide if they should get married or not. They go to get a ring, and continually go back and forth on whether or not they should actually get married. Eventually, after thoroughly annoying the ring salesman, they decide not to get married, because nothing about their relationship has been exactly traditional.
As I've been mentioning a lot lately, the Ann and Chris plots just aren't keeping me very interested. There were some cute moments in here, such as when the poor salesman just lets them take the necklace that Ann picks out, because he's so tired of dealing with them. I also like the way they're keeping their relationship unconventional by not having them go the traditional route. However, nothing new happened here. Unlike with Leslie and Ben's plots, I don't feel like Ann and Chris's characters developed or changed here. I also wish, since their time on the show is coming to an end, that we could see Ann interact with Leslie more, and Chris interact with Ben. Those two relationships are some of my favorite parts of this show, and I'm really going to miss them when these characters leave.
So, two of the plots I greatly enjoyed, and one was just okay. Over all, this was a pretty good one!
7.5/10

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