Parks and Recreation

Season 3 Episode 1

Go Big or Go Home

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 20, 2011 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
155 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The third season kicks off with the Pawnee government still shut down, but that doesn't stop Leslie from putting together a Harvest Fest which might threaten their jobs in the Parks Department.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Season 3 begins

    This was a great way to start the season. Leslie saying on how she handled the government shutdown ("Sometimes I stayed in bed until seven.") was classic Leslie. You also see how much Leslie tries to help out at the expense of others while not being mean about it. The start of the episode was very funny. Ron's reaction after finding out he has to go back to his job was classic Ron. Not far from that on the funny scale was Leslie throwing Jerry's painting (a reference to how good he is on season 2) and Tom quitting his job. Also good was the basketball game between Ron as coach and Andy as coach. Andy explaining his "ways" as coach was very funny. Also good and while small is Ron's shirt a nod to Bobby Knight. I think it was a reference to the picture he had in his office in Season one. The chair throw was one of the best things to see. If you are a sports fan, you don't need to know what that in reference too. The dinner scene was also funny. I liked how Adam was trying to stop Leslie while trying not to hurt Chris was entertaining. Chris's reaction to him being set up (his first bad date) was memorable. Like I said before a great way to start the series and sets up some things later on for the season.moreless
  • A sad season starter to a great series.

    Maybe it was the involuntary hiatus but this episode just did not represent the quality that this series achieved in season 2. I understand that the storyline required a reuniting of characters but the character dynamics just weren't the same and the absence of Paul Schneider leaves a hole that is made even worse by the continued presence of Rob Lowe. If I were a new viewer I would not be impressed by this season premier. I've seen too many good shows get canceled to notice the early warning signs and I fear for the future of Parks and Recreation, one of my favorite shows! I hope now that the characters are reunited with this episode they will return to the character dynamics and writing that made the show so good.moreless
  • Third season premiere

    Anybody who gave up on Parks and Rec. during its first season and then decided to stay away from it its second season completely based on that first season needs to come back, because between the second season and this premiere, the show has made one of the biggest turnarounds I've ever seen on a show. The characters are way more realistic and fleshed out than some of the characters on "The Office," and the town of Pawnee has certain places and people that are just as relevant and hilarious as the actual characters.

    It's a shame that all of these other NBC shows, such as Community (which I still semi-enjoy), Outsourced and yes, even 30 Rock, get such quick renewals and great timeslots while Parks and Recreation gets shoved to the back-end of the schedule. Hopefully, the ratings and the critical reviews will prove this show to stand out.

    The third season premiere takes place three months after the end of season two. All of the other employees have different jobs.. for instance, Tom works at Footlocker, using his flirting skills on women, Donna's a telemarketer, Jerry's painting landscapes while Ron's cutting wood. Ron's first line of the episode pretty much sums up my love for everything about the show ("Bully.")

    From here, we pick up where we left off. Leslie and the Parks department cannot do anything about the pit or anything about ANYthing, due to the extremely low budget. The new auditors, new stars Chris (Rob Lowe, who is perfect in this show) and Ben (Adam Scott who is a tough guy and a meanie but seems to have an unspoken respect for Leslie despite it all) claim that they only have enough money to create a two-team basketball league for Pawnee. And since they can't do anything else, Ron and Andy decide to be the coaches for the respective teams. And since Tom is still wearing his ref shirt from Footlocker, he's the referee.. but he sees that Ron has arrived to the game with his ex-wife Wendy.. So much stuff going on, but it all blends together.

    Plus, we get Leslie in a more conniving mode, trying to set up Ann and Chris on a date just so they can weasel their way into getting more money for the department. I must say, at first, I thought Rob Lowe's character was a bit grating, but as Parks is wont to do, they make his backstory interesting and touching enough to flesh him out a bit and make him completely interesting. Turns out his energetic and positive background comes from a much deeper and serious place. And Adam Scott is still in super-serious mode, but there's a strange way that him and Leslie react with each other, as if they respect one another while simultaneously hating each other.

    There's just a lot of great stuff here (the re-appearance of "The Bulge" and the reference to the "Pawnee Zoo" episode was superb) and the Andy and April plot got a bit more interesting, although I'm not sure how I feel about his random Venezuelan boyfriend of hers.. it's weird that April would go so far in the opposite direction without even giving Andy a chance to explain himself.. but still, this is more interesting than any other relationship on television right now. It's innocent and quirky and touching.. and Andy is still as much an idiot as ever, but he seems to be showing actual affection towards April now, which is a nice change.

    And Parks is not afraid to go for the grand dramatic moments, and watching Leslie and the rest of the group stand there, delivering an epic speech to Chris and Ben was as satisfying a moment as anything I've seen on TV or at the movies this year. What a great premiere for a show that is vastly underrated.moreless
  • Season 3 Premiere

    Yes! Parks and Recreation is finally back after being off the air for months. The season premiere definitely did not disappoint and offered us a lot of classic hilarious moments. One of which was Leslie throwing Jerry's painting in the lake or throwing his drink in the garbage. I loved how she picked on him subtly, and it was just absolutely hysterical.

    With Mark gone, Ann gets a new love interest, and that is Chris. I don't understand why every season Ann has to be in a relationship, first with Andy, then Mark, now Chris. The Andy & April development was definitely interesting, and I think it definitely is safe to say that they're the Jim & Pam of Parks & Rec, so far, they've been following in those footsteps, and it's been for the most part, entertaining.

    Amy Poehler is hilarious, and this show is wildly underrated. Give this show a chance if you haven't watched it yet. I'm sure if you watch this episode, you will definitely become a fan.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Ben: Apparently in Indiana if you don't provide a basketball league, people get very upset. And quite frankly throw things at you and call you names. Like turd boy? Whatever. Point is, I reinstated youth basketball.
      Leslie: This says here you only have money for two teams.
      Ben: Yeah, they're going to develop a great rivalry.

    • Andy: April! Hey, it's me. Andy... Dwyer. Uh, this is like the 200th time I've left you a message without a response, so if you're trying to tell me something, I do not know what it is because you won't call me back.

    • Leslie: The bankrupt government of Pawnee has been shut down all summer so it's been three months of no work, no meetings, no memos, no late nights, nothing. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

    • Tom: Foul on #3 for taking a number two on #4!

  • NOTES (5)