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"Parks and Recreation" Review/Recap: “New Slogan”

Emma Doherty ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Aubrey Plaze, Aziz Ansari,  Chris Pratt, Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Retta, Nick Offerman and Adam Scott in the Parks and Recreation episode "New Slogan." Photo Credit: NBC.
Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, Amy Poehler, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Nick Offerman and Adam Scott in the Parks and Recreation episode “New Slogan.” Photo Credit: NBC.

Well, it seems that for the first time since the Pawnee-Eagleton merger, the city of Pawnee is finally getting back on its feet and growing along with its residents. Ben (Adam Scott) and Leslie (Amy Poehler) have worked together to create a new official website for the town to start giving them a fresh start. They are also looking for feedback from the citizens on what the new slogan for the town should be and are trying to get all of the citizens to come together as one new city. Of course, whenever Leslie tries to make progress in Pawnee, it is only met with resistance and hardship. This episode was very light on the Leslie backlash, however, and came across as light-hearted and hilarious.

Since Leslie is trying to make changes to the town, everyone wants to have their say, and a lot of popular characters make an appearance. Leslie interviews a myriad of people that have frequented the show in the past including Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson), Joan Callamezzo (Mo Collins), Crazy Ira (Matt Besser), and The Douche (Nick Kroll). It’s always great to see these incredible comedians return to the show, and seeing Kroll interact with Poehler was hilarious since the two are dating in real life. The Douche and Crazy Ira repulse Leslie but they came up with a scheme to get people to vote for their own slogan, “Welcome to Douche Nation,” and Leslie doesn’t react well. She ends up discovering the names of all the people who helped the two immature radio hosts, which goes against their privacy. Leslie tries to deal with the situation, but only ends up making it worse.

Once she has a conversation with the man offering her the position in the National Park Service, Leslie realizes that this job would be a lot of managing and requires less hands-on work. Leslie gets nervous at this realization, but she tries to learn how to hand over the reign of control and manage from a distance. When she has Larry (Jim O’Heir) run a town meeting about the new slogan, she sees that she is not the only competent person around and that things can work without her doing everything.

Aubrey Plaza and Aziz Ansari in the Parks and Recreation episode "New Slogan." Photo Credit: NBC.
Aubrey Plaza and Aziz Ansari in the Parks and Recreation episode “New Slogan.” Photo Credit: NBC.

Meanwhile, the other characters back in city hall are continuing to develop along with Leslie’s impending new career. Tom (Aziz Ansari) is finally getting the chance to be the entrepreneur he’s always wanted to be. Now that he has the backing for opening his own restaurant, it’s clear to see how much Tom has really developed. He chooses a location close to the center of town with the help of Donna (Retta) and April (Aubrey Plaza), which means he won’t be far if he decided in the future that he wants to focus more on his business. Since this character has been getting very little focus this season, it was nice to see that things are finally starting to happen again in his life. Ever since Rent-A-Swag closed, it was unclear to see what was happening with Tom, but this looks like he’s heading in the right direction. Hopefully he’ll be in a relationship soon, preferably with the amazing Tatiana Maslany who played Nadia on the show earlier this season.

Speaking of new characters, seeing more and more of Craig (Billy Eichner) has been one of the highlights of the season. Offering witty remarks and crude observations, Craig never fails to steal the scene and cause one to double over in laughter.

One of the best quotes from the episode occurs when Craig is talking to Andy about a bar he knows about that gets crowded on Thursdays (hint hint Duke Silver) and says: “But I’ve never been because it’s packed with middle aged women, and I’m allergic to turkey neck!” Eichner was definitely a surprise addition to the cast, especially with the loss of Chris (Rob Lowe) and Ann (Rashida Jones). Eichner produces and stars in his own comedy show on Fuse called Billy on the Street which is a pop culture variety show where he tests and questions unsuspecting people on the streets on New York City. It’s unknown if there will ever be a look into the life of Craig or if he will develop over the rest of the season. It would definitely be nice to see how he spends time outside of work, but it seems for now he’s here just to offer hilarious one-liners. Either way, there is definitely progress in Pawnee, and the characters seem to be heading to new exciting adventures.

Make sure to watch Parks and Recreation on Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.

Overall Episode Rating: B

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