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Laugh Tracks: Two P&Rs are better than one, pt. 3

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Date Posted: May 16, 2011

By Amy Van Veen (The Cascade) – Email

The Office needs a new acting manager while Deangelo is in a coma and Jo tries to find a replacement, but when Jim turns down the job because he doesn’t want to ruin a good thing, Dwight accepts it with big plans. Time cards in an antique time slot machine, staggered lunch breaks to discourage socialization, giant business cards that don’t fit in a standard wallet, pledging allegiance every morning to the flag, and morning announcements. To impress Jo, he’s also picked up a gun like the ones she has and his Great Uncle Honk sent him his own holster for it. Gabe, on the more emotional side of things, shares his love for Erin in front of the entire office and breaks down in front of Andy forcing him to promise never to date her again. Jim has also started a new social club called The Fist, but it’s not a rebellion, Dwight, it’s not a rebellion. Even though his title says “acting manager” he has no real office manager power so his only choice to discipline Jim is to pre-fire him, but if Dwight does become the manager, Jim will have to pre-quit, so it’s even. The gun comes back, as do implied “that’s what she saids,” when Dwight refuses to put a banana in his holster and instead shoots off the gun, bursting Andy’s ear drum. The office sees the chance to get what they want from Dwight by promising not to tell Jo for a fee. Everyone has their list of demands, but Jim’s outshines them all. Dwight must try to fit “shagadelic baby” into his conversation with Jo at least three times and every time Jim coughs, Dwight has to do jazz hands. Dwight can’t handle the pressure, so he tells Jo the truth, and she demotes him and has to “find a replacement for my replacement.” Gabe, Jim and Toby are on the search committee for the next office manager, but in the meantime Jo asks who is the most qualified for the acting manager position. Who in the office has the most seniority? Who is the most senior in the office? Creed, for the win. Next week is the exciting one hour season finale with a host of management potentials applying for the job. Do not miss it. Or you will be severely disappointed.

P&R takes a cue from Happy Endings and doubles up on the Pawnee fun. In the first episode, things get Snake Hole “k-raaaaazy” when Tom enlists the parks department to help him upsell his new alcohol, Snake Juice. What is it? Basically “mix a bunch of alcohol together, some sugar and other junk and it tastes kinda like Kahlua.” Tom helps everyone on their scripts for the launch party, which he ends up getting in trouble for because he used his position as a government employee for personal gain. Ben and Leslie are given the task to find a new replacement for the Parks and Recreation Health Director because the old director’s wife cheated on him and he used his power to let go of his angst via posters: “Jan Cooper Will Give You Chlamydia.” Leslie thinks she knows the perfect person, Ann, but she doesn’t want to leave her nursing career. Things get heated when everyone meets for some Snake Juice promotions and the alcohol proves fairly lethal. Ron, who doesn’t like anything, likes Snake Juice and begins to promote it in his own Swanson way. April and Andy take their roles in Tom’s script to mean role play as Janice Snake Hole and Burt Macklin, FBI. Leslie meets Ann’s latest boyfriend, The Douche (from Crazy Ira and The Douche), and the gang proceeds to get completely hammered while Leslie and Ann have their first major fight. Drunk Leslie is hilarious, as has already been proven at the gay bar last season, but drunk Parks and Rec department? It needs to be seen to be appreciated. The next morning, everyone is beyond hungover, except curiously for Ron, and Leslie and Ben try their best to be professional interviewers. Ben wants to help Leslie out, so he visits Ann, who for some reason is wearing snow pants,  and helps her make up with Leslie. The solution? Ann will be part-time at the hospital and part-time at P&R and Ron confronts Chris to help Tom keep his job.

The second P&R episode, though not as drunken, is somehow still as magical. As much as Ann wants Leslie and Ben to be together, Leslie and Ben know that if anything were to happen, they could both lose their jobs because of Chris’s little rule. However, things get a little complicated when Chris sends them both on a road trip to Indianapolis to try to get the State Little League Championship to be held in Pawnee. Leslie is worried about being able to control herself, and when she tries to look for clothes in Ann’s wardrobe, the situation is not helped. They’re all too sexy; she even has the exact prostitute dress from Pretty Woman. Leslie needs unsexy conversation topics, cue her list of ideas. Ann’s idea? “Why don’t you ask him about his penis?” After Leslie leaves for her road trip with Ben armed with unsexy conversation ideas about the history of the ladder and a CD with Learning Mandarin and the Banjo Boogie Bonanza, the P&R department get a little fun as Tom tries out his new game show on them. It’s called “Know Ya’ Boo” and it may or may not be the exact Newlywed Game stolen and made his own. Donna and Jerry compete against April and Andy, and the former win. While the actual newlyweds deal with the fact that they are poor newlyweds, Ben’s speech about why the championship game should be hosted in Pawnee wins it. The two celebrate with a romantic dinner, and Ben tells Leslie how much he likes the town, and by the town he means her. Leslie must initiate her back-up plan. She calls Ann to tell her “we have a serious Code Ben…I’m going to make out with him. On his face.” Ann then reads Leslie the note that past Leslie wrote to future Leslie, but after two and a half glasses of red, Leslie can’t stop herself. Unfortunately, Chris’s unexpected presence can. April asks Andy for forgiveness for liking a different band more than his, and Ron mentors a young girl by helping her learn the truth about government. In the end, Ron giving a landmine to a nine year old girl and Andy telling everyone that he and April are going to do it later do not hold a finger to Leslie and Ben’s “uh-oh” conclusion. She has some receipts to give Chris, who is already gone, and Ben kisses her. Two episodes left, and they double up next week.

Outsourced still celebrates a marriage. Rajiv is faced with a dilemma when Vimi is quick to forgive him of his bachelor party transgressions because everyone has a past. Manmeet is in love with Ashlynn, but she’s looking for an Eat, Pray, Love Indian experience. Charlie and Gupta lose Rajiv’s horse but find him an elephant. Madhuri has a boyfriend. Asha holds Todd’s hand. And season one ends rather lamely. Despite its high ratings in the beginning of the first season, NBC’s Outsourced has dropped among the season one cancellations. There’s not much to miss, though it was a fun concept.

Watch how the Parks & Recreation department celebrate Tom’s new liquor.

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