falulatonks: ([himym] ted-marshall - modern love)
[personal profile] falulatonks
what did you say?"

Aghhh, damn it. This week's Parks and Recreation was so great that I've had to rethink my "Community is the best thing on TV right now" statement. I've thought about it. Community is the best thing, Parks is my favourite thing, Modern Family is the most consistent thing. There, I've done it!

Why Parks is my favourite -
  1. This show has the most delightful characters ever, and it's also the most consistent. Leslie Knope may be getting a bit more screen-time, but the laughs and the general sweetness of all characters are really nicely spread out. And I love it. Every character has a list of moments that've made me laugh out loud over this season, and it makes me very happy.

  2. Also, I really, really love that the overall atmosphere at this office isn't tired, like everyone there is exasperated and annoyed that they're there - that is, like Dunder Mifflin, which is my theory for why the show worked better in the first three seasons, where we had a constant thread of Jim/Pam wanting to be there because of each other - after they got together, where could we've gotten that emotion from realistically?

    Everyone at the parks and recreation department seem to genuinely like each other (excluding Jerry, but that is hilarious, so it's OK) and that makes me happy to be there, watching them - watching this show makes me feel good, and warm. I like watching these people making each other laugh and having a good time at a shitty job.

  3. Maybe it's also because of this that the relationships are so amazing? Because all of them are. So amazing. I've stopped resisting Andy/April, and they've become one of the sweetest things on TV right now - they're goofy and so ridiculously adorable around each other and it makes me smile stupidly and want to hug them both. Andy wasn't my favourite thing about the first season, but now he's the first character I've ever wanted to say this about, ever: he is a sweetheart. April is deadpan and bored but I love that you can see her coming to really like everyone around her, especially Andy, in a totally believable way. I never expected this, but they pulled it off wonderfully.

    Just like how they started this show kind of angling for Leslie/Mark, then broke it off in favour of Ann/Mark. And Leslie isn't jealous of Ann at all! And Ann/Mark is interesting because they're kind of satisfied with each other, but not happy or in love, which is the safe kind of relationship I could imagine seeing a lot but never see a lot on TV, because TV shows don't do things like that - pairing off attractive, single people because they could have a good time together, and then having them realise that's all there is. That's interesting! Right?

  4. And then there's Ron interacting with everyone, and Leslie interacting with everyone, and those are so great, too. I've said this before, but the Leslie-Ann friendship makes me really happy, because there's finally two female friends who love each other and have a great time with each other, who aren't catty, who are willing to help, who don't always have to talk about men all the time, etc.. There are male friendships that do this just fine, but I'm so pleased that we're getting that with women.

  5. This show is hilarious. And it's very naturally hilarious, because it uses characters and their reactions to situations rather than the situation itself to make things funny, and that's awesome.

Episode-specific -
  1. Drunk Leslie and drunk Ann may be my favourite people in the world. "You know what's thirsty?" "What?" "You know what's weird? How thirsty I am when I'm weird. When I'm drunk." And then: "Oh Ben the jerk is here." "(gasp) Who are?!" Ann, I love you!! You and your singing and your "boo."s and not being able to drink things properly with a straw and being pissed off (with good reason!) about the Andy Situation? In a drunk way? I love it all.

    And then Ben coming over and Ann telling her to be professional and Leslie being all "oh you are mean and nobody likes you" (in that adorable way of hers, obviously), and when Ben walks away, Ann going, "Oh my god, Leslie, you were so professional! I'm so proud of you!" SO CUTE.

  2. I didn't want Andy/April together for a long time because of how great they are as friends, but I'm a full convert at this point (it started a couple of episodes ago) - now I spend every scene with them wanting to hug them tightly forever and ever. They are sweet and adorable and they make each other so happy, it's ridiculous. HIS SONG!!!

    And watching Leslie sort of root them on in the background is adorable. (I love Leslie.)

  3. RON FUCKING SWANSON, I ADORE YOU. Watching him giggling about the possible downfall of the government was absurdly delightful. When he started hacking away at imaginary government body parts with a machete I lost it. And then, "What's a not-gay way of asking him to go camping with me?"

    And at the same time, while hating on the big things and the rules and the leaders, he's kind of awkwardly sweet, too, like how he calmed Leslie down (like he always does) by telling her to go make herself brownies. And then later on when he patted April on the shoulder?! Too fantastic. I can't stand it. Every aspect of this character is crazy, but every bit of it is natural and believable and always, always makes me smile.

  4. Yay, Rob Lowe being kind of funny in the background. He was amusing! And that quick montage of him and Ann made me laugh very hard. And him doing chin-ups in the background of a scene for no reason.

    And yay, Natalie Morales! I loved her on Middleman, I hope she's used well here. And I can't wait to see her bartender character more with Tom, because they're pretty 'shippable.

  5. Speaking of 'shipping: So this Adam Scott guy (from Party Down? I want to see this now?) dropped by, and I saw his Ben with Leslie and thought, "oh, these two would be kind of great together", and then I got worried because I thought maybe I shouldn't be wanting to see that. Then they had that scene at the bar at 10:30 in the morning and I was relieved, because they clearly hit it off, and that is pretty damn awesome. I can't wait. Ben as a character is great, too, with his 18-year-old mayor background and having to work up towards something just like Leslie but doing it a little differently? Love it. (Also, if anyone else is as excited about possible Leslie/Ben as I am, you will be just as giddy as I am to find out that while Rob Lowe is a bit of a temporary guest star, Adam Scott may be a more long-term fixture? YAY! Can't wait to see how this one goes.)

    And that's something else this show does really well, by the way - these characters are all fully-fleshed to a point where any background that's given to them either enhances or fully explains their behaviour or character, rather than being something that's tossed away for something funny. And the best part is: these throwaway bits are still funny! I love it.

  6. "This is a real town with real people in a real building with real feelings." "This building has feelings?"

  7. "Leslie, what do we do when we get this angry?" "We count backwards from a thousand by sevens and we think of warm brownies." "Go do that in your office." "Go do it in your office." "And we'll wait for these guys to show up." "We'll wait for you to show up."

  8. I like that even Ann kind of hates Jerry, too. This showww.

I can't wait for the finale. I love this show.

Community was great as usual, obviously ("Annie is the Ark of the Covenant!"). And The Office was as surprisingly-not-bad as it's been this season! :P 30 Rock, though -
  1. Why do I not care about the Jack love triangle? If I don't want either of them with him, the show is probably doing it wrong.

  2. Drew is insane. It's funny but I also kind of hate it? I don't know why.

  3. Liz is so much greater when she isn't being pathetic, just struggling a little. She's so sad. I hope you're happy, Liz! Let her be happy, Tina!!

  4. Wesley is perfect! His comment about England not being able to control people the way China can made me laugh so hard I choked. on air.
I can't wait for the finale, too, though. This is going to be fun!

I'll go be productive now. Maybe listen to Glee music in the background. THE LEAKED SONGS ARE EXCITING.

-- rachu

Date: 2010-05-15 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
I have mixed feelings about 30 Rock. I thought the Drew thing was kind of hilarious and sad. I don't remember him being that dumb when they first introduced him. Just incredibly handsome and unable to understand the power of his handsomeness. But whatever. I LOVE WESLEY. Oh god he and his Britishisms are immensely delightful. I've concluded that I don't love the Jack love triangle because every time Colleen mentioned to Jack (or to Liz) that they haven't found "the one" yet etc., etc. I kept thinking "they're each other's one. Forget all of these other people." Which is a weird default to go to for me because I never considered myself a Jack/Liz shipper. I still don't consider myself a Jack/Liz shipper, but it feels like they are making a lot of obvious hints in that direction but then it never actually goes in that direction, if that makes sense.

That's it. I finally need to catch up with Parks and Recreation. I've been saying it forever, but it's happening over summer hiatus.

Date: 2010-05-15 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
I caught one episode from this season (I think), where Leslie chained herself to a gate? And everyone had to answer questions from the public? I was impressed by what I saw so I definitely need to pick it up once some other shows have wrapped up their seasons.

Date: 2010-05-15 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] runawayblue.livejournal.com
Wow, I totally agree with everything Parks-related up there, you've said it much better than I ever would've hoped to. It's just all so perfect.

I'll talk about 30 Rock, though.

It's funny but I also kind of hate it? I don't know why.

This pretty much sums up how I have been feeling about the show for the past two seasons, particularly this one. I mean, I laugh on one level, but on another level I am totally annoyed by the way they've been handling things on that show. Particularly Liz. They have been making her out to be pathetic in every way possible, and I feel as if it's becoming rather insulting. I mean, a lot of women can relate to and compare themselves to Liz Lemon -- I myself used to take some comfort in it in the beginning, because Liz used to seem just as real as the rest of us. But they've veered her off the deep end, and they make her out to be some sort of monster, and I feel as if it's alienating and insulting the women who used to identify with her. I kind of feel like it's a weird, backhanded attack.

But I may be reading into it too much. All I know is that the Liz is Disgusting and Pathetic angle is getting me all huffy this year. It's disappointing. But I still love Tracy and Jenna, and Kenneth, and Pete, and Toofer, and Jonathan and... Etcetera.

Date: 2010-05-16 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hyacinthian.livejournal.com
I agree so much about Parks and Rec, and while I used to ship Mark/Leslie, LESLIE/ANN ARE THE BEST BFFS EVER. I LOVE THEM. I LOVE LESLIE. She's honestly one of the best female characters ever. I love how into her job she is and how she has such good intentions and tries so hard and man, thank god for Amy Poehler being at the helm of this because the writing is just so so fantastic. And they've managed to transform my opinions entirely of two characters who I totally weren't into in Season 1 - hello, Tom and Andy! - who I now completely adore.

I want Tom to get with bartender lady so badly. He needs a little happiness. And I love how he acts so crazy all the time but when Leslie's really losing it, he can pull it together and make her sane, and just oh, show!. I'm so, so glad I stuck it out. Love it.

As for 30 Rock, yeah, I agree, I don't really care about Avery or ... Julianne Moore either. And would S2 Jack Donaghy do this? No, he would man up and pick someone. And yeah, they've really turned Liz from someone who was successful but maybe a little personally sad into someone who is totally ridiculous.

While I love Wesley as a character, the angle of we should date each other because YOU WILL FIND NOBODY ELSE AND WE CAN JUST BE MISERABLE TOGETHER just doesn't work for me. It ... bothers me, I guess, on a level that Liz is continually being told that she will always have to settle. IDK IDK. I used to see so much of myself in Liz (patron saint of nerd girls, whatup!) but they've completely transformed her character and...IDK what happened to her. I'll still watch 30 Rock but hopefully next season, they can...re-Liz-ify her?

I leave you with this:

Date: 2010-05-16 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hyacinthian.livejournal.com
Not to go all ~feministy or whatever, but one of the things I love about Leslie (and Leslie and Ann's relationship and, coincidentally, Liz Lemon) is that she is in no way defined by her relationship status. She's a lead female character on a TV show and it's about her quest career-wise for political power. It's great. I just love the idea of that SO. MUCH. We need more of that, I think.

And you're right, the character dynamics are fantastic! I totally love Andy and April. And April and Ron. And how they pretend to be all indifferent but THEY REALLY JUST LOVE EACH OTHER. Every little development this season has just made SO MUCH SENSE and the characters are CHANGING but in these little ways that is just SO. GREAT. I can't stop talking about how amazing this show is, honestly.

I think part of my problem with Avery is that Elizabeth Banks is just meh to me. As is Avery as a character. I haven't really seen enough of her to know why she's so invested in Jack as a boyfriend either.

And yeah, agreed. While I love Floyd and Dennis and Drew, I want kickass S1/S2 Liz back. I want to see her back in the writers' room bossing people around! It used to be so much lighter in terms of how ~sad Liz was, but they've really exchanged the chisel for the sledgehammer these past few seasons and I am not digging it.

Date: 2010-05-16 07:34 am (UTC)
lissomelle: (COMM: Study Group)
From: [personal profile] lissomelle
GUH, can I join you in declaring Community as the best thing on TV right now? I TOTALLY agree with your assessment of it as the best, along with Modern Family as the most consistent; between those two, I've gotten the solid viewing experience that most of my dramatic shows have been utterly failing to deliver recently. Plus, your praise of Parks and Recreation intrigues me, as I've repeatedly heard great things about the current season. I remember trying to pick it up last year and ultimately falling off the wagon, but maybe I'll give it another try now.

Also, a resounding THIS to pretty much all of your 30 Rock comments. My attraction to Jon Hamm as a person and an actor is mainly what draws me to Drew in spite of his stupidity, but I can see how the character could repel people, lol. And WESLEY. Oh my God, I love how gleeful he is over the prospect of merely settling for Liz. Plus, his "Britishisms" are solid gold win.


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