Parks and Recreation Coverage: A Bummer Start

Episode Commentary: “I’m Leslie Knope”

Well, the wait’s over—the season premiere of “Parks and Recreation” has come.  The dreaded, legendary Tammy One reveals herself.  Ron Swanson’s inner vulnerability reveals itself a little more. Leslie Knope is indeed running for office—the Pawnee City Council, to be exact.  The season’s storyline has taken a rough shape, one that is promising.

However, the premiere could have been better.

Sadly, “I’m Leslie Knope” was probably one of the least funny episodes of the series.  A few jokes hit, but overall the episode had a “nuts and bolts” feel to it that minimized the laughs.  Compared to last season’s premiere, “Go Big or Go Home”—the episode that brought the world the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness—it’s no contest.

No need to get worried.  There was an enormous amount of exposition that had to get done in twenty-two minutes, and the episode at least promised an interesting season.


Ron Swanson’s Tammy One Emergency Protocol.  Nick Offerman once again shows he—and Ron—are quicker on their feet than they appear.  Something about Ron Swanson running is just inherently hilarious.  The emergency kit stashed in the heating vent was brilliant.  Also, the fear in Ron’s eyes shows he isn’t as all powerful as he appears.  Another great Ron moment.

The Anthony Weiner Reference.  While the storyline was not as funny as it could have been, Ann Perkins telling Leslie she doesn’t need to answer any of the texts she’s getting because it’s “just penises” was gold.  Hopefully, the producers can figure out something to do with Ann this year—Rashida Jones’ comedic acting was sadly underused last season, and the character seemed dangerously close to fading into the background a la Mark Brendanawicz.

The Doctor In Awe of Jerry’s Size.  No, this doesn’t mean his weight.

Tammy One Works for the I.R.S.  There couldn’t be a more brilliant job to give libertarian Ron Swanson’s nemesis.  Patricia Clarkson didn’t show up till the end, and didn’t make much of an impression, but this set-up, and her upcoming audit of Ron, suggests this season will reveal a whole new side of the Swanson.  Added bonus: someone finally rattles April Ludgate. Tammy One may be something special.

Things that fell flat:

Tom Haverford’s Entertainment 720 Merch.  Overkill. Not that funny in the first place.

Andy Dwyer Becoming Leslie’s Assistant.  Not even remotely believable.

-Ben and Leslie Breaking Up.  Too neat.  Too easy.  Had better come back.

About Justin Mitchell 48 Articles
Justin Mitchell is a freelance multi-media journalist and writer working in New York. In addition to his work at Review Fix, Justin has written for Latitude News, The New York Daily News, and Feet in 2 Worlds. Follow him on twitter: @mittinjuschell

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