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'Parks and Recreation' recap, 'Soda Tax'

ElectionsParks and Recreation (tv program)

Like many sitcoms, "Parks and Recreation" can be broken down by its at-times separate, at-times interweaving storylines. TV Lust's Amy Watts breaks down the plots:

In the A plot: Leslie has proposed a tax on soft drinks to deal with Pawnee's obesity epidemic. (Nevermind that most of the Pawnee folks we see regularly on this show are trim. Must be a fluke.) Unsurprisingly, Ron is against such a tax. Leslie has many arguments with the Pawnee Restaurant Association representative about the labeling of the sizes, the labeling of "Zero Water" and her threat of layoffs if the tax is passed.

Leslie stops by PaunchBurger on her way to the vote for a gallon-sized soda (with all the flavors, which we called a "suicide" when I was a kid).  It's this soda that has her vomiting through the vote. There's a really heartfelt conversation between Ron and Leslie about how he tried to fire her four times and basically explains that what stopped him was his admiration of her conviction. He gives her a compass because "all great adventurers need one." She's looking at the compass when she ultimately votes in favor of the soda tax. We see Ron quietly approving of Leslie, if not her vote, in the back of the room.

In the B plot: Ben needs to get a handle on the interns in the D.C. office. He thinks he's "Devo" because he can "whip them into shape." He is not. He can't fire the interns, though, because they're all politically connected. So Ben decides to kiss up to all the interns, buying them pizza, playing ultimate frisbee with them, etc.

And then he realizes that that approach won't work either. He chastises April for her lack of professionalism and explains that he brought her to D.C. with him because of the potential he sees in her. In the over-the-credits bit, April threatens graphic violence to get one of the interns to do his work. Aubrey Plaza's delivery is great here.

In the C plot: Chris is going to help Andy train to meet the physical requirements to be a police officer. I'm glad they're sticking with that storyline from last season of Andy wanting to be a cop. Chris faces his mortality and Andy laments, "Too bad there's not a doctor for your mind." Tom suggests Chris should see a therapist and I very much look forward to that plot development.

Notable gags/moments: 

•••• In the cold open, it's revealed that Andy's so bad at laundry he's been wearing a bandana as underwear for three days. He's sent a picture to April showing as much. Ben is disgusted; April chokes up as she says, "I love him so much."

•••• Ben has a rant about fonts — he's against Papyrus, as right-thinking people should be. Later, the interns present him with a letter in which each word is written in a different font. Heh.

•••• April's been drawing cartoons of Ben AND it turns out all the interns think she's his daughter.

Prop of the night: The giant box of sugar Ann brings out as a visual representation of how much sugar Pawnee kids consume via soft drinks every month. Noted sugar-fiend Leslie can't stop eating from it.

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ElectionsParks and Recreation (tv program)
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