The over-the-top, pushing-the-envelope-and-then-some hilarity of Thursday’s (Feb. 10) “Parks and Recreation” can be summed up in five words. I think you know which five:
“It rubbed off … from friction.”
“Ron & Tammy: Part Two” was maybe not as wall-to-wall great as “The Flu” a couple weeks ago, but it wasn’t far off. The return of Ron’s ex (played by Nick Offerman‘s real-life wife, Megan Mullally) provided so many great moments that it’s tempting just to list them all. And I will, in a minute. But first, let’s acknowledge that there were very funny bits outside the Ron-and-Tammy story, including the best comic showcase for Adam Scott‘s Ben thus far this season.
There have been hints that Ben doesn’t really get the Pawnee way, but his incomprehension (and discomfort around cops) came out in a big way in this episode. His stumbles around the police chief earn him the nickname “Calzone Boy,” he still doesn’t quite understand when Leslie is joking and he comes close to blowing the latest step in the harvest festival planning. But he comes to learn another piece of Leslie’s peculiarly effective style — “She uses her favors to help other people.”
Also, seeing the least motivated worker in the world, April, working under the most enthusiastic man ever, Chris, made for a lot of fun (“Way to come in! Great initiative!” “You … called me.”), both in exchanges like that and in Ann’s confusion over why Chris would ask April to come to Indianapolis before he asked her. Ouch. Also, Ann doing Chris continues to be great: “I would like a glass of white wine, I would like it to be chardonnay, and I would like that with one ice cube.”
Before we get to Ron and Tammy, one more really funny bit from the episode: the rapid-fire description of Tammy slapping Ron from the cops, all using cop-speak and concluding with “a real piece of work.”
OK, on to the Ron-Tammy awesomeness, which in addition to the quote above includes:
- Tammy slapping her face with beef jerky while a horrified/fascinated Leslie and a (for now) unmoved Ron look on.
- Tom and Tammy “dancing” in front of Ron in an effort to make him jealous.
- Pretty much every time the camera was on Ron with his cornrows and his kimono, because, well, come on. How could that not be funny?
- Ron punching through the glass to break into City Hall and swipe a marriage license.
- Several moments in the intervention scene, including Jerry mistakenly thinking it was a reception (paid off again when he’s eating cake at Tammy’s library shower) and Ron on tape warning Cornrow Ron away from his ex (concluding with “You dumb f***”).
- Ron pawing the ground like a bull when Tammy found him at the intervention. I had to rewind that one at least three times, I was laughing so hard.
- Tammy throwing Tom around like a rag doll at the library (and still calling him “Glenn”), and then Ron carrying him out in his arms, “Officer and a Gentleman” style.
- Tammy to Ron: “You’re not even a man anymore. And by the way, last night I faked four out of the seven.” Ron: “So did I.”
It was a tour de force for Offerman, who usually gets laughs by being completely self-possessed and deadpan. Here he got to go completely wild, but it was just as great.
“Ron & Tammy: Part Two” — which, had “Parks and Rec” premiered in the fall as was originally planned, would have aired sometime in October — also made an inadvertently excellent, twisted Valentine’s episode and a great companion with tonight’s “Office.” What did you think of it?