Parks and Recreation S7 Ep2 “Ron and Jammy”

Parks and RecreationAs one of the Pawnee Bicentennial activities, Ben has organized a walk of fame, where Pawnee celebrities will be inducted. First up, of course, is Joan Callamezzo, popular television host. April has a strange love for the woman since she’s gone off the deep end. Recent stunts include hosting her show during her stint in rehab, giving one car away for everyone in the audience to fight over, and calling her ex-boyfriends from on top of a washing machine.

She of course had plenty of lavish requests for the ceremony, including a bottle of Chateau Marmont (which, as Ben astutely points out, is a hotel and not a bottle of wine) and an appearance by the long dead Buddy Holly. Pawnee in 2017 might have amazing technology thanks to Gryzzl, but I guess they can’t pull together a Tupac hologram for their bicentennial. This is one of the places where the producer’s cut really wins: April reads excerpts from Joan’s ninth autobiography, Game of Joans, a truly inspiring life tale.

Somehow, in the middle of the talk-show host’s drunken ramblings, she is able to make a very important point. How does Joan manage to do it all? She loves what she does, always has and always will.

This, of course, sends April into crisis. She doesn’t love what she’s doing, she’s simply done everything Leslie has told her to do since she accepted that internship eight years ago. So she turns to Ben for help. He talks her out of making a rash decision and instead asks what she’s passionate about. In the producer’s cut, there is plenty of extra fun in this scene, too. It seems like April is the one who we miss the most from in the TV-aired episodes.

Parks and RecreationFinally, the two end up at a funeral home, so April can learn about her dream job as a mortician. Unfortunately a person can’t simply jump into being a mortician. You need two years of school and a year of apprenticeship before beginning the job, and the first year is usually just paperwork. April is disgruntled to realize that all work requires paperwork and training, so she and Ben leave. Ben is overjoyed to be leaving, as his fear of death was kicked into overdrive.

Tom, meanwhile, is bemoaning that he has everything except a girlfriend. Andy decides to help his friend out (and get very drunk in the process) by looking through Tom’s GryzzlBook page. Gryzzl has done a lot for Pawnee in the last three years. They brought town-wide wifi, gave free phones and tablets to all the citizens, and have created a new social network. The ultra-sleek technology, such as transparent cell phones and hologram tablets, are an interesting prediction for the future, and certainly seem more realistic than some of the Back to the Future predictions for 2015. One thing that will never change about predictions for the future: the Chicago Cubs as World Series Champions. Somehow, only two years doesn’t seem enough to whip those Cubs into shape…

Parks and RecreationDuring Andy’s perusal of Tom’s Gryzzl friends, he notices that Tom got a message from his ex-girlfriend, Lucy, who is now living in Chicago. The two incredibly intoxicated friends decide that Lucy must be the key to Tom’s happiness, and set off for Chicago in the backseat of a cab.

When Lucy reveals that she kind of wants to return to Pawnee, Tom gets an idea and offers her a job working for him. Well, first he wants to ask her out, but he chickens out at the last moment. So a job is a good cover, right?

Yes. Offering her a job was definitely a better idea. When Lucy thinks out loud about accepting the job, she mentions having to talk to her boyfriend first. Instant sad Tom. Andy tries his best to cheer Tom up (or maybe he just really wants ice cream, who knows when it comes to that man?) and the two head back to Pawnee.

Quotable moments:

“My old city council mate and human equivalent of gas station sushi, Jeremy Jamm.” – Leslie Knope providing the best description of Jeremy Jamm ever.

“It’s worth it. And you can trust my opinion because I have a lot to gain by being right and I have severe tunnel vision about achieving my goals.” – Leslie Knope’s impossibly optimistic spirit, explained

“In my experience with butt-faces, you are one.” – I wish I could say that Leslie is censoring her language because she has toddlers, but she’s always talked like this.

“Thank you Commissioner Gordon, people of Gotham…” – Joan, oddly, not Ben, mistaking Parks and Rec for Batman.

“I used to be so great. Remember? Everyone thought so!” – Jamm and his inflated sense of self

“He is a monster. Monsters do not have souls.”
“Uhhh have you ever seen Monsters Inc.?”
“Dammit, Ron, engage in the culture once in a while!”
Ron and Leslie, verbally battling it out

“Tammy does not abide by the Geneva Convention.” – Ron on his twice ex wife

“Life is about taking risks. Look at me, Tom, I’m moving to Chicago!”
“It’s just us right now. Do you really think you’re moving here?”
Andy sometimes has trouble with real life and make believe

“Well done, Jeremy. Turns out the crotch blinder was inside you all along.” – Ron Swanson

Parks and Rec‘s final season is off to a great start. They haven’t lost their pacing and humor, even in the midst of all the changes that needed to be accounted for due to the time jump. Despite all those changes, some things are still the same. One big difference: the Parks and Rec writers have mentioned making Amy Poehler do imitations as frequently as possible because that’s the only thing she can’t do. Does anyone else think that Amy Poehler’s Tammy Two was spectacular?

Another difference: my opinion on Jeremy Jamm. He wasn’t a character I loved to hate. I just hated him. But his arc in this episode made me kinda-sorta-maybe not hate him so much. Although Leslie and Ron are still on opposing sides of the Newport land issue, the Jamm incident has brought them back to their old ways (at least temporarily). I never thought I’d appreciate him so much.

I love that this season is exploring the friendships we never got to see enough of before.  I wish there had been more Tom and Andy time in the past. Seeing those two work together to get Lucy for Tom is a really fun dynamic that the show never really paid much attention to before.

I, for one, absolutely love the little moments of Ben and April. Seeing their relationship grow over the past several seasons has been really fantastic. It also reveals the side of April that truly does care deeply and passionately about things, even if she doesn’t like to show that to anyone.

What are your thoughts about season 7, readers? Who else do you hope to see come back? And seriously, what the heck is Morningstar?

Next up: Episode 3, “William Henry Harrison”!

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