Parks and Rec: Congratulations Are in Order

Leslie Knope wasn’t the only one surprised by the startling events of Thursday’s Parks and Recreation: I went into the episode blind and was stunned by the turn it took. If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch before reading this. It’s on Hulu. I’ll wait.




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So, yes, April and Andy got married. At first it struck me as a terrible idea—both for the characters and for the show. But as the episode progressed, I warmed up to the couple’s adorable thoughtlessness and came to appreciate Parks and Rec’s ability to casually slip in a major milestone event. When was the last time you saw a wedding on TV that wasn’t hyped to death? There’s something really refreshing about being caught off guard.

While I’m not confident the April-Andy marriage is going to last, it makes sense for the characters. They’re both very much in love with each other—and have been for some time—and they both make really poor decisions. Andy is kind of a lovable oaf: It figures that he wouldn’t think marriage through. He acts first and deals with the consequences later. April is clearly the brains of the operation, but she’s also apathetic enough to roll with whatever comes her way. She greeted Andy’s half-proposal with a shrug, so they went through with it. Because, why not?

And there is something romantic about being impulsive. April and Andy are two kids in love doing a stupid thing. (And it’s not having an oops baby, so points there!) These two provide the perfect counterpoint to Leslie, who is so aggressively rational that she can’t get anything done without making a pros and cons list. At the end of the episode, Leslie was able to ask Ben to stay in Pawnee, precisely because she saw how well April and Andy’s free-thinking worked out.

The episode also provided some of the sweetest moments we’ve seen on Parks and Rec, made all the more poignant by the fact that we didn’t see them coming. I’m not even gonna front—I got misty as soon as April told Leslie that she loved her. Who knew someone so dour had it in her? I even thought the vows the couple exchanged were emotionally satisfying, in addition to being hilarious.

Kudos to Parks and Recreation for doing something so unexpected, and to NBC for airing the episode without a barrage of “guess who’s getting married!” promos. [Ed. note: Apparently many viewers were accidentally spoiled by a teaser that aired several weeks ago after a mix-up in the NBC promo department. If, like us, you didn't blissfully miss said teaser and knew about the nuptials before the episode aired, check out show co-creator Mike Schur's apologetic explanation at Hitfix.] It was important that the audience experience what Leslie felt—that initial sense of “WTF?!” followed by, “Hey, this actually kind of makes sense.” And it’s nice to know a series can still do something like this without using it as a ratings ploy. April and Andy got married because they felt like it, not because Parks and Rec needed a surefire way to bring in new viewers.

Now that April and Andy are happily wed, I can concentrate on my other ship, Leslie and Ben. Seriously, Leslie is long overdue for a serious relationship; her brief stints with cop Dave and lawyer Justin hardly count. I want to see Leslie make it work with someone— and then spend several seasons of Parks and Recreation planning the wedding.

What did you think of April and Andy’s surprise wedding? Can these two crazy kids make it work?


Follow TV.com writer Louis Peitzman on Twitter: @LouisAtTVDotCom

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I had the same feelings as Leslie--that the wedding was a bad idea. But by the time they came to the ceremony it seemed perfectly right.
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I agree with the Leslie/Ben love, they are adorable and Leslie deserves someone awesome who is going to be around for a while. I also loved the April/Andy wedding. Like you, I thought it was a big mistake at first and then came around and loved the idea. I am a bit annoying by Ann's whole story though. While I quite enjoyed her storyline tonight, I still don't understand why Rob Lowe broke up with her, and it makes me not like his character, who I LOVED until he broke up with Ann so randomly. I just don't understand where they're going with Ann or Rob Lowe's character (I just cannot remember his name atm). I loved them as a couple and I hope they explore them further. P&R, along with Community, is by far the best comedy on tv atm.
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Yeah that misplaced promo got me, but even with that it was a hilarious and memorable episode. Further solidifying P+R's position as the best broadcast sitcom running.
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I loved it! Parks and Rec never fails to deliver. I'm also enthusiastically behind Leslie and Ben. I hope that stays strong.
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It was an awesome episode, hilarious, totally unexpected..This is why i love P&R..
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I thought the episode was also very funny on its own! I love a jon ralpho sighting! hhahaha
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Oh yeah and the wedding was cool with me I had no idea that any wedding would be happening and I was totally fine with it. Above all it made sense in the context of the characters and the show.
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P & R, so much better than most other comedies that are hyped to death, the first 2 mins with Ron and his tooth had me laughing a lot straight off, a whole episode of The Office with both Will Ferrell and Steve Carell didn't come close to even those first few mins. i don't get people that don't appreciate it, sure the first series had it's dodgy bits but the second season was great and this third one is better yet, few shows are this funny in their 3rd year. More Ron though please, the whole show could just be him and it would be great.
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I totally loved the ep, it was by far the funniest of all the comedies last night but still managed to be really sweet
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I also liked the fact that the wedding just suddenly happened. It made this on-screen small-scale, intimate wedding also a moment between the show and the audience. If the wedding had been hyped up and everyone would know about it, you would feel you had to share that moment with millions of people. But I don't think it'll last. April's comment about divorcing, and then marrying Andy again was ominous. They do everything at a whim. It's not that they're going to have a serious fight about something, and become mortal enemies. But they'll probably break up for some minor reason (and get together again, and break up and so on...). It wouldn't be a TV show if they didn't, right? Who would like to watch a show in which everyone lives happily ever after?
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