Soda Tax

Parks and Recreation
Season 5, Episode 2: Soda Tax
– Posted by Sage

Taking last week’s premiere and this week’s episode into consideration, it’s pretty obvious that the theme of this season of Parks will be Leslie adjusting to being the small fish in a bigger Pawnee pond. Now, this is a HUGE hurdle for her to overcome, and not because of her ego. It just seems that the more powerful you are, the more obstacles stand in the way of you getting shit done. There’s an Obama joke in here somewhere, but I’m just a pop culture blogger.

Even Leslie Knope’s enthusiasm and determination have their limits. When she crashes, she crashes hard; and that’s the time that her friends rally around her, individually or as a mighty Parks Department. Last week, it was up to Andy (who’s been wearing a bandanna as underwear for three days) to remind Leslie that her awesomeness still stands, even in the face of crippling bureaucracy.

This week, Leslie turned to reluctant mentor and hater of feelings and emotions, Ron. Her proposed giant soda tax resulted in a town divided down the middle and a threat of layoffs from the miraculously bitch-named Kathryn Pinewood. Should Leslie bend to the pressure and protect herself or vote her conscience? Ron laid out some Swanson-brand tough love by showing Leslie her personnel file. Turns out, he started the process to have her fired no less than 4 times. Her bubbliness being the main reason in most cases. The Ron moral of the story: not everyone is going to like you right away. Not everyone is going to like you at all. But if you have your handy adventurer’s compass, you won’t let that stray you from your path.

Random thoughts/B-storys:

  • Parks excels at callbacks and rewards us for paying attention. My favorites in this episode were – 1) the return of Ethel Beavers (“Crying noise, crying noise. Nose blow.”); 2) Leslie giving Ben a Batman comic in care package 1 of 12; 3) The despised Sue’s Salads has been run out of town and replaced by Colonel Plump’s Slop Trough; 4) Leslie’s book on Ben’s D.C. office bookshelf, swoon; and 5) Ron’s ever-welcoming electronic doors.
  • Can Leslie’s wardrobe person be my personal stylist, please? That polka dot top. That red blazer and bird blouse!
  • Whatever, Ben. Garamond is the best font and everyone knows it.
    But I do agree that 13-pt is “just obnoxious.”
  • I choose to take Tom’s “Anything is possible!!!” as a Lonely Island reference.
  • “How is this a child-sized soda?”
    “It’s roughly the size of a 2 year old child, if that child were liquified.”
  • Andy stripping down and laying flat on the track. Maybe he and Ann were compatible at one time because they both hate running so much.

Running Sucks

  • Ben’s Ivy League interns are named Nathaniel and Ellis.
  • FRAT BOY BEN, trying oh so hard. “What’s up, my male? Grab a slice of ‘za, bra!”

Cool Ben

  • As usual, the town hall meeting brought us some amazing gems from Pawnee citizens: “We put a tax on soda, what’s next? Income?” “I think we should tax all bad things. Like racism. And women’s vaginas.”
  • Ben’s Ultimate outfit. My heart explodes in rainbows and glitter and tiny, tiny marsupials.
  • “I run for April. I run for love.” Andy breaks Chris Traeger. And you know what’s wrong with him? Nothing. “The silent killer.”
  • “F-four fire times??”
  • The battle cry of low standards: “MINIMUM CHAMPION!”

So far, Parks has been hitting solidly this season. I’m still waiting on that standout episode, and have a feeling it’ll happen when the gang is all back together. See you next week, Smellis.