Because Parks (and Great TV Shows) Don’t Grow on Trees

This season of “Parks and Recreation”. Woah. It’s entirely possible what’s happened in Pawnee, Indiana this year has turned “Parks and Rec” into my favorite show, and that’s a hard-earned spot in my TV hierarchy. If you’re not tuned into the Amy Poehler-led comedy yet, do yourself a favor and catch up.

My top five favorite things that have happened on “Parks and Rec” this season:

5. Ben goes to Washington, D.C. (and Leslie, too!)
Ben working in Washington showcases just one of the things I love about these two. When Leslie meets all of the beautiful and powerful women Ben shares his days with, her normal, perky self-confidence turns tail to shy insecurity and inferiority. But all is eventually well — even with half of the country between them, Ben and Leslie’s relationship is super strong, rock solid. (And seriously, how awesome of a guest star was Joe Biden, Leslie’s number one crush!)

4. Rent a Swag
As shows go on, there’s a natural push to take the standard punch line characters and turn them into real people, and I love seeing shows showcase their buffoon characters’ hidden strengths and transform them into true successes. “Rent a Swag” is a ridiculous company name, but the idea itself is pure gold. It takes Tom Haverford’s childlike enthusiasm — and body type — and with a little financial reigning in from the more conservative Parks employees, turns it into a company doing some especially fashionable good for Pawnee’s preteens. Plus, watching Tom attempt to play basketball to promote it? To call it highly amusing is putting it lightly.

3. Andy’s New Ambition
When we first met Andy, he was a little bit of a lazy bum, riding on Ann’s generous coattails. But like Tom, he’s come a long way. His relationship with April, while incredibly unique and frequently all together puzzling, is akin to Ben and Leslie’s in its strength. Andy’s eagerness and drive to be a cop is just so endearing, and even if the latest episode put up a bit of a roadblock, I’m still confident “Parks and Rec” will find a way for Andy to do what he loves — and is really, really, really good at, judging by his exam scores.

2. Leslie and Ann vs. Councilman Jamm
This is a classic case of good vs. evil, light vs. dark, park employees vs. orthodontists. Now that Leslie’s on the City Council, she finally has the power to make her park, Pawnee Commons, a reality. Jamm, however, has other far more nefarious plans: a new Paunch Burger. Jamm’s got Leslie “jammed” at every turn, and I love seeing how Leslie prevails over every one of his malicious stunts – even if it does involve killing all of Pawnee.

1. Ben and Leslie
I couldn’t pick just one thing that I love about Ben and Leslie because I love everything. From how “Parks and Rec” broke the mold with an out-of-left-field engagement to their heat-of-the-moment wedding — everything about their relationship is amazing. They are unendingly supportive of each other, and Ben lets Leslie be true to her Pawnee-lovin’ self. Not every fiancé would let his significant other choose a local diner known for its waffles as the caterer, and certainly not every man would let his wife invite the whole town. I can’t wait to see what “Parks and Rec” has in store for these two next.


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