A Hop Across the Pond for the ‘Parks and Recreation’ Gang

After what felt like forever, season six of television’s happiest show (okay, maybe I’m biased) finally premiered tonight. We’ve known for awhile that the Pawnee gang was heading across the pond – the “Parks and Recreation” cast did a substantial amount of filming in London – but the exact reason for the trip wasn’t clear. We found out in the aptly titled “London,” but not before the Swanson-Lewis-warrior princess baby was addressed.

The episode picked up right where season five ended: the pregnancy test mystery was solved. Ron took it a step further and proposed to Diane right there in his office, and since they’re already in the municipal building, they might as well just head up to the fourth floor and get it done today. Leslie was so excited, she could barely speak. I feel like her inner monologue was very similar to mine: “OMGRONSWANSONISGONNABEADADDY. OMGRONSWANSONISGETTINGMARRIED.” Ron and the the future Mrs. Swanson just want to sign the papers and get out. Leslie can’t help herself and assembles a bouquet made of highlighters while throwing paper disguised as rice in the air in typical, glorious Leslie fashion.

Later, we find Leslie and the gang are knee-deep in a plan to improve her public image after last season’s backlash; they’re currently in Phase 26, through which they address any resident’s problem regardless of size or importance. Back during Phase 13 (“Think Outside the Box”), April had an idea. She nominated Leslie for an International Coalition of Women in Government award. Leslie won, and the ceremony is in London, hence the trip.

While there, Ben and Andy pull double duty: they want to further the reach of their charity, so they meet with a Lord Covington, aka the overseas, upper crust Andy Dwyer. Andy and Ben don’t need to do any convincing. He’s sold, thanks so Andy’s remote control helicopter skills. The catch? Andy has to hang around London for a few months. Ron, in the meantime, is not enjoying his trip but stuck around even after Diane had to bow out because “My love for her trumps my hatred for Europe.” The way Nick Offerman delivers lines like this is so great. It’s so matter-of-fact, like we should already know this, but it’s still strange and so wonderful hearing Ron talk about love the same way he talks about wooden chairs or Charles Mulligan’s.

Another pressing question from season five was answered tonight: who was the unnamed client trying to overtake Rent-A-Swag? It’s the Saperstein patriarch, played by Henry Winkler. Turns out both Jean Ralphio and Mona Lisa placed the blame on Tom for several of their problems, so the elder Saperstein decided to take it out on poor Tikky Tikky Tom Tom. Even when  his kids eventually own up, he decides to keep moving forward with the business. Jean Ralphio tells Tom to keep pressing on as only he can: “When Babyface was your age, he hadn’t even signed Toni Braxton yet, let alone Usher.” You’re basically Babyface, Tom.

Back in London, it’s Leslie’s turn to accept her award. She can only badmouth the “peepee heads” of Pawnee in her speech, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, word got back to Indiana. Jerry livestreamed the ceremony in order to support Leslie, but it obviously went wrong as many of Jerry’s well-intentioned projects tend to do. Ron, who always knows exactly what advice Leslie needs to hear, says, “When your kid screams I hate you you don’t sink to his level and scream I hate you back.” It sinks in.

Chris and Ann, meanwhile, are also expecting travel around the building to tell their friends and co-workers about their upcoming addition. Jerry reminisces about breastfeeding (a literal “lol” moment for me), and Donna, of course, is not surprised. Her impeccable observation also allow her to notice Chris’ underwear change, inciting a perfect Meagle once-over.

The episode ends with a literal and figurative love letter to Leslie. We hear the same things about her so often – she’s selfless, she’s passionate, she’s an overall optimal human being – but they never get old. Leslie is a delightful character who always seems to outdo herself. She sends Ron on a journey to the Lagavulin Distillery on the island of Islay, and what could be more perfect? LESLIE KNOPE IS THE QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE. KNOPE 2016.

About Sam Sciarrotta

Hi there! I'm Sam. I like baseball, Bruce Springsteen, tomato pie, and most other things. I'm looking at you, but I'm thinking about Breaking Bad. 2012 college graduate and budding journalist.

Posted on September 27, 2013, in Comedy, NBC, Network Television, Primetime and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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