In addition to being very funny, “Parks and Recreation” also gets quite a few details right about the way local government works in a small(ish) city. Those details might be exaggerated — as they were in this week’s “Time Capsule” episode — but there’s a lot of truth behind them.
If you’ve ever seen a city council or county board meeting get hijacked by a handful of citizens with axes to grind, you know that the argument over whether “Twilight” deserves to be in a Pawnee time capsule isn’t that far from reality. We’ll grant you that most of those arguments are not about best-selling YA fiction, but the show got the tenor of the I’m right-you’re wrong argument about whether “Twilight” was too Christian or not Christian enough, and whether pet ashes and paintings belonged in time capsule 4 or time capsule 9, just about exactly right.
The show also got a lot of things about “Twilight” mania right, from agitator Kelly’s (guest star Will Forte) unblinking devotion to the series to Donna’s more than slightly unhealthy attraction to Robert Pattinson. Case in point: When Leslie, on day three of Kelly’s sit-in at her office, tells him that she’s “more of a Harry Potter girl,” he gets a sad, disgusted look on his face and replies, “Really?!” Again, the attention to detail is what makes it great: Google “Harry Potter vs. Twilight,” we dare you.
(Side note: “Parks and Rec” co-creator Mike Schur wrote and directed this episode. Was he already a Twihard, or did he become one in the process of his “research”?)
One other bonus of the “Twilight”-heavy story was seeing Tom get waaaay too into the books (“It’s like she sees into my soul!”), to the point that he can only view his breakup with Lucy (Natalie Morales) through an Edward-Bella-Jacob prism. We too would like to see Tom get over his Wendy issues, because Morales was fun to have around in her limited time on the show, and we’d like to see her back.
“Time Capsule” wasn’t up to the (extremely high) standard of “The Flu” last week, but as a smaller, government-centric episode, it worked just fine. Other thoughts from the episode:
- More Chris and Andy, please. Chris becoming Andy’s life coach for a few days as Andy tries to win April back worked fantastically well, even if all Chris had to work with was “Nice” and “Band.” Andy’s a doofus, but he’s a doofus who’s hard not to like, and that proved to be poor Eduardo’s undoing in April’s eyes. Having Ann’s fears that her ex would screw up her and Chris go unfounded also played well; it doesn’t strike us that Chris would even think to feel threatened by Ann and Andy’s past in the first place, but having Andy do her a solid and tell Chris how great she is was a nice touch.
- The Chris-Andy teamup also gave us Andy walking like a monkey, which cannot in any way be a bad thing.
- Also? We really like the way Rob Lowe says “literally”: “I can LIT’rally see my reflection in my shoes.”
- Not much Ron this week, alas. Although we totally want to dig into a Four Horse-meals of the Egg-pork-alypse at JJ’s Diner.
- The woman arguing against “Twilight” being included in the time capsule was the same person who went after Leslie for performing the gay-penguin marriage in Season 2.
- “Time Capsule” was always intended to air at this point of the season, but it was the last episode filmed in the spring because it afforded the best props to hide Amy Poehler’s pregnancy.
What did you think of “Parks and Rec” this week?