Review: Parks and Recreation – Meet Your Meat


by Gabriel Estrada (@mediiageek)

It is good to have Parks and Recreation back. It feels like forever ago since the last episode premiered back in May. The last season of Parks and Recreation was nearly perfect. With constant good writing and performances by the cast, no wonder this show has increased in popularity with each passing season. The big question with the season five premiere was whether or not the show could continue the high quality of the previous season. The answer to that question is YES! Let’s quickly recap what happened at the end of last season: Leslie won the election and became a councilwoman, Ben headed to Washington D.C. to work on a congressional campaign, Tom and Ann are still together (sadly), and Ron Swanson is still Ron Effing Swanson.

The episode begins with Leslie and Andy going to visit Ben and April in Washington. Ben has hired April as his intern while he works on the congressional campaign. Here we see Leslie out of her element. She is now a small fish in a big ocean and has some important meetings about federal funding to clean up the river in Pawnee, while Ben is a busy man with important dinner dates and contacts. However, when Leslie’s important meeting is cancelled and she goes to a party with Ben, the realization of how low she is on the political food chain becomes overwhelming for her. Leslie being Leslie takes the negative and turns it positive, deciding to clean the river herself.

Back in Pawnee, Ron takes some initiative and holds the annual BBQ, or as it is also referred, the “Leslie Knope Employment Enjoyment Summer Slam Grill Jam Fun-Splosion” (but lacking the enjoyment and FUN-SPLOSION). We get one of Ron Swanson’s greatest lines as he brings a live pig to the BBQ to eat, saying that most people never look their food in the eye right before consuming. Sadly, no one approves his methods, so Ron takes his barbecue home, literally towing the barbecue while it’s still going. He ultimately makes it up to the department by bringing barbeque to work and reconciling with them. Thankfully, Tom and Ann’s relationship is over so she can go back to being her own character instead of someone’s girlfriend. Hopefully, we get to see her become a significant character again.

The acting in this episode is superb. Chris Pratt shines in this episode with plenty of dialogue as he misunderstands Washington’s greatest land marks. Nick Offerman continues to be one the greatest characters on television right now as Ron Swanson. With some surprise guest appearances by John McCain and Senator Barbara Boxer, Parks and Recreation continues to be one of the funniest and most quotable television shows on right now. The season premiere shines in acting and writing, and triumphantly returns from its summer hiatus.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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