Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'New Slogan': Rest in jazz
A quick review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I participate in your Julia Roberts weird cameraman husband fantasy...
"New Slogan" was something of a trip down "Parks" memory lane, with the return of Crazy Ira and the Douche, with Andy discovering the true identity of Duke Silver (with some prompting from Ron), and with Tom paying a visit to Jurassic Fork (site of the post-divorce dinner Leslie threw him back in the Mark Brendanwicz era). And while all of those things put a smile on my face, Duke Silver was the only one where it wasn't almost entirely out of nostalgia, because Chris Pratt's facial expressions as he slowly learned the truth about Duke (first at the club, then in Ron's office) were delightful.
Again, the show is almost certainly coming back next season, and that will probably the final year. And right now "Parks" is in this weird transitional period where they're not really close enough to the end to start really wrapping up everyone's story — even though the federal job in Chicago is still out there for Leslie (and this episode did a decent job of demonstrating some of the downsides for her, even though it's still insane if she doesn't take it) — but where the show has told the same stories about these characters for so long that they don't have the impact they used to. Every now and again we'll get an episode as strong as "London" or "Anniversaries," but I have much higher hopes for next season — which is when comedies of this caliber often get one last energy boost with the finish line in sight — than I do for the rest of this season. It's not that there are wrong-headed creative decisions the way that "The Office" went down so many bad paths towards the end. It's just that the show's been around a while, and this is what happens sometimes.
But as to "New Slogan," what did everybody think? Did you enjoy Leslie's attempt to get down and Douche-y? Did you enjoy Tom's search for the perfect restaurant space? Ron's attempt to kill Duke Silver? Jerry's belt/chair problem?