Knope and Change

After the mass of TV posts I've written lately, I figured it would be a while before a bunch more stacked up, and I'd finally get back to winnowing down the long list of movies on my queue. Hoo boy, was I wrong. Another crop of television shows is coming to a close, so it's time to box them up before the next group starts raining down on my head.

First up is the fifth season of Parks & Recreation. I really loved the fourth season - in fact, I named it my favorite show of 2012. How could the fifth season possibly follow that act? Well, it couldn't. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it. There was a lot to love about individual episodes, but the overall seasonal arc just wasn't as compelling as Leslie's run for city council last year. This season's antagonist (Jon Glaser as Councilman Jeremy Jamm) was often amusing, but wore out his welcome in a hurry. Jenny Slate as Jean-Ralphio's sister Mona Lisa made for a really fun foil, though. I wish the show could find something better to do with Ann, but then, I felt the same way last season. Her quest for a baby in Season 5 may not have been the most gripping arc, but it sure as shit beats the hell out of her dating Tom.

As far as favorite episodes, most of them are towards the end of the season. I did like "Soda Tax" a lot, but I feel like these characters need to be together in Pawnee, if not the office, so I was glad they brought April and Ben back from D.C. shortly after that. "Pawnee Commons" was a great take on the always-hilarious rivalry between Pawnee and those jerks over in Eagleton. If you want an awesome example of how the show can be heartfelt without sinking into being overly sentimental, check out Ben's bachelor party in "Two Parties". And while I'm not a shipper in any way, shape, or form, I did really enjoy the wedding in "Leslie and Ben", which would have been the series' end if it hadn't been picked up.

Fortunately, I heard just today that the show has been renewed for a sixth season. And I'll happily tune in. This may not have been the best season of Parks & Rec ever, but it says a lot about this show's overall quality that even a slow season of this is better than 90% of anything else on the air.

Parks & Recreation - Season 5: B


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