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‘Parks and Recreation’ Review: “Women in Garbage”

Parks and Recreation Women of Garbage
NBC

Leslie fights to get more women working in government, while Ben and Andy try to teach Tom about basketball to help his business in this week’s ‘Parks and Recreation.’

After speaking with a former councilwoman, Leslie realizes not much has changed in Pawnee, inspiring her to start a commission to employ more women in the government. Unfortunately, the only people on the commission are men, and just like in the days of the elderly councilwoman, the men are still keeping menstruation calendars (yes, really) so they know when their co-workers are being “emotional.” In an effort to prove that women are just as capable — if not more — than the men who work for the city, she and April suit-up for garbage truck duty.

The pair are actually working faster than the men for a while, but then they get called in to move an impossibly large industrial refrigerator, and with Shauna Malwae-Tweep on hand to document the day, things aren’t looking up for feminism. The frustrating attempts to move the refrigerator are a great analogy for Leslie — what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Well, when that force is human, sometimes the object doesn’t move, but when that object is misogyny and the force is Leslie, those men are going to have to budge. It’s always great to see Leslie follow through on her mission and become the kind of role model that a younger Leslie would have looked up to.

It’s also always great to see April let go of her sarcasm and shake her need to constantly go against the majority. One of the best scenes this week is watching her get absolutely giddy when she discovers the garbage can of an old high school bully, which contains evidence that her former oppressor dyes her hair and uses prescription deodorant.

But hands down, the best moment this week is Ron accidentally telling Ann that he loves Diane. He’s been tasked with watching her daughters during their break from school, and when Ann leaves them unattended with her nurse’s bag and scissors, the girls end up cutting each other’s hair off. Ron feels as though he’s let Diane down by proving that he’s not a reliable child-sitter, and there’s nothing more hilarious this week than the two girls and Ann chanting “Ron loves mommy,” followed by Ron shouting “I love nothing!”

Meanwhile, Ben and Andy are trying to teach Tom about basketball so he can grow his client base for Rent-a-Swag. This plot doesn’t give us much, but it does show us that Tom is relatively the height of a 13 year old boy.

Chris is still dating — or trying to date — Shauna, but she’s sending him mixed signals by inviting him out for “group hangs” with her friends. And when she has the chance to clarify their relationship with a disclosure statement in her latest article, she vaguely describes their relationship as “personal,” leaving Chris understandably baffled. Shauna seems to be a little old-fashioned, but Chris kind of needs someone who can slow him down. I know I complained about the pairing last week, but Shauna is charming enough, and if the writers don’t implode this relationship in the next episode or two, I’d like to see how it might round Chris out a bit.

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