After some so-so episodes (at least by Parks and Rec Standards) this was a better episode. Leslie has always been proud of her hometown (you will see this in a book she wrote and I review) and you admire her for that. I also like how she admits that the town has flaws. The fight she has with her former friend was entertaining but didn't go too far. I think it's very interesting that the big difference between Eagletown and Pawnee. My only complaint is that the town was too good. One of the funnier parts is when Tom was talking to Leslie's former friend, Lindsay when he was trying to tell her off and try to get a job. The B Story was also very good. I loved how Ron was scared what Leslie was planning for his birthday. All of the things she had planned to distract Ron was great. The ending, what Leslie actually did for him was great. I also liked how Leslie didn't let the fence deter her. You have to admire her more for that.
Okay, so the whole story line was a bit far-fetched but it remained consistently funny, and better than The Office. Something that this show seems to always pull off. We got a lot of funny gags like the rich jail cell or the difference in the public meetings.
Finally, after 11 episodes of watching Ann with some guy, she has a story line involving Leslie. That's definitely something to write home about. The birthday surprise was really great, it was definitely unexpected.
We got a really nice moment between Ron & Leslie too, something the show had been lacking of recently. Overall, solid installment from Parks and Recreation, but as all of us know, this isn't unusual.
I'm pretty sure Eagleton has been mentioned in previous episodes of the show, but never to the extent that it was today. Here, we got an episode that not only reminds of why Pawnee is the funnest town in television but also reminds us of why we love these characters so much. We've gotten dozens of Ron/Leslie moments here, but the ones in this episode were among the best.
I've always thought that Parks and Recreation is able to get away with all the extremely goofy moments that it does because right from the get-go, in order to differentiate it from The Office, it made sure people knew that this was going to be a show that wasn't afraid to do ridiculous things despite the documentary format. As a result, we get Leslie doing ridiculous things to get back at Eagleton for placing a fence in the middle of a park that Pawnee and Eagleton share. In the middle of this is Leslie's old friend, who in the process of taking a job as the Parks Department Director of Eagleton, has become snobbish. She goes as far as to feed one of JJ's waffles to her dog, something that pushes Leslie over the edge, tackling her old friend into a pile of trash and fighting (Andy yelling "Garbage fight!" and hitting Tom with a bag of garbage was the highlight of my week.
We also got a great subplot involving Ron's birthday being discovered by Leslie and with Ron worrying that Leslie is going to go over the top, something that scares Ron to death. I loved watching Ron grow more and more anxious as his birthday approaches, and when we learn that Leslie, all along, was planning on simply letting Ron have a dinner with his favorite food and his favorite movies, you can't help but marvel at how great these characters have become since Season 1. They all have their strengths and have grown into their own.
I also have to comment on how well the show has used Ben and Chris. Some people may not be huge fans, but I've always liked Adam Scott in everything, and his role as Ben Wyatt here has been a stand-out. Obviously him and Leslie have chemistry, but his facial expressions at Pawnee's suggestions for what to do with the fence ("We should light it on fire and burn it down.") and Eagleton's snobbiness were classic, and as for Chris, seeing him kiss Ron right on the mouth was hilarious, especially Ron's reaction.
I'd say that this ranked among the better episodes of the season. It had some stand-out lines from every character (except maybe Jerry) and also brought us even deeper into the mythology of Pawnee. It's quickly becoming one of the best towns to watch, even if its people are shorter and eighty pounds heavier on average...
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