Parks and Recreation Recap: Jerry Gets His

“Parks and Recreation” Recap: “Sweet Sixteen”

Finally, Jerry Gergich gets his. Everyone from the Pawnee Parks Department gets together to celebrate Jerry’s birthday, which comes once every four years on February 29th.

That birthday party is entrenched in the midst of two larger storylines, though.

First: Tom and Ann. A bit confusing. Last week, Ann hesitantly agreed to go out with Tom again. This week, they’re a bickering couple. Where was the transition from indifference to attraction? Yet the contrast between Tom’s high maintenance fussiness and Ann’s wholesome simplicity is hilarious, and you can’t help but feel for April in her role as hesitant confidant to both. This storyline is great for the show, and deserves more thorough treatment. Here’s to more “Haverkins” soon.

Second: Leslie’s campaign for City Council. Ron thinks Leslie needs to take a leave of absence because she can’t juggle her campaign with her responsibilities at the Parks Department. Leslie uses Jerry’s party to demonstrate she can still stay on top of everything, and fails, forgetting to invite Jerry. Leslie and Ron face off, as they usually do, but make a truce in the end, ending with a nugget of Ron Swanson wisdom that could be buried along with all the gold in his backyard.

Learning more about Jerry Gergich is welcome. His life is about what you would expect, a masterpiece of Midwestern blandness. While he still gets plenty of the Jerry treatment, you can at least see that the other characters care about him, which is questionable sometimes.

Poor Chris Traeger. His break-up with Millicent Gergich (who apparently doesn’t celebrate her father’s birthday) is proving to be more than just a switchback in his journey across the peaks of human existence. Instead of hopping right back up top, Chris tumbles farther into the dark valley where the rest of us live.

With the rampant coupling in the show this season, this revelation of one character’s deep, hidden loneliness and isolation is welcome and grounding, proving that outer physical perfection and sunny manners cannot make up for emotional detachment. Chris will make it, and he’ll be more human for it, and that’s what “Parks and Recreation” is all about.

“Sweet Sixteen” feels like a lead-up to the really kick-ass Tom and Ann episode everyone wants to see, but it shows viewers enough that is new in a manner amusing enough to make it worthwhile.

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

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.