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PopWrapped | Television

SPECIAL FEATURE: Pop 10 Parks And Recreation Episodes

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author

PopWrapped

Updated 10/25/2013 2:52pm
SPECIAL FEATURE: Pop 10 Parks And Recreation Episodes

Jamie Harsip

Content Editor

So, as we all know by now, there was no new episode of Parks & Recreation tonight, and that’s super lame. Therefore, since I can’t go a week without a solid dose of Pawnee, I have compiled for you the definitive list of my top ten favorite Parks & Recreation episodes ever! Yeah, I know; it’s not as exciting as a new episode, but here’s hoping you, too, require a Parks fix! Now, my list is by no means done in order of favoritism – that would be LITERALLY (said like Chris Traeger, of course) impossible for me to do. And lucky for you guys, all of these are available right now on Netflix! So sit back, read up, and prepare your own top ten marathon, why don’t you?
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC

Greg Pikitis - 

What is so good about this episode? I don’t even know. Could it be Tom’s T-Pain Halloween costume? Maybe. Could it be Andy jumping haphazardly into the bushes outside of the Pikitis household? That’s probably part of it. Could it be Leslie’s angry face? Well, that IS pretty great. I don’t know what makes this episode one of my favorites; I just know that when I want to watch some Parks & Recreation, this is always one that I pick. Plus, it’s pretty much a given that any and all Parks Halloween episodes are great. And it features the hilarious Louis C.K. as Leslie’s boyfriend, Office Dave. We also get Andy as Bert Macklin in full force…including tears. No, not tears – Andy is allergic to jerks. Plus, since we don’t get our Halloween episode of Parks & Recreation on time this year, we can at least watch “Greg Pikitis” next week to make ourselves feel a little bit better.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
Hunting Trip – Ah, “Hunting Trip.” I believe this is the episode that, when I watched it for the first time, convinced me that Parks & Recreation would become one of my favorite shows ever. Everyone is in top form here, although it does give one a glimmer of false hope for Jerry. This episode is special and magical, and not just because of Donna’s (Retta) inimitable screeching over her Benz’s shattered window. The only two people not on the titular hunting trip are April and Andy, and their subplot is beautiful.  And, by the way, I asked Jim O’Heir (who plays Jerry) what his favorite episode of Parks & Rec is, and he said, while he couldn't pick just one, “Hunting Trip” was certainly high up on the list.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
Flu Season – If I could list “ALL OF SEASON THREE” as one of my favorite episodes, I totally would. Since I can’t, though, a huge chunk of the rest of my list will be from season three – including “Flu Season.” I think this is the episode where I decided Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) is the greatest character on TV. Anyway, Leslie is sick (but in denial about it) and has to give a presentation in promotion of the Harvest Festival. Long story short, it’s amazing. I shipped Leslie and Ben so hard after this one, because his crush on her was adorable and amazing and oh my god, he made her soup. Like, homemade soup. The Andy/Ron bonding over the Meat Tornado is also its own special kind of wonderful. Ron giggling, actually, is its own kind of special.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
Harvest Festival – Tada! All of Leslie’s hard work has paid off, and the Pawnee Harvest Festival is a go! And…there’s Li’l Sebastian! There’s “There are two things I know about white people: They love Rachel Ray, and they are terrified of curses.” It’s awesome. And it is AWESOME to see Leslie emerge victorious. She deserves it; let’s be real. And it’s especially awesome to see just how well Leslie and Ben work together – dream team, indeed! I think my favorite thing about their relationship, since before it even existed, has always been how dedicated Ben is to seeing Leslie succeed.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
Camping – Okay, this one is just wonderful. I still don’t know what the f**** a German muffin is, but that’s okay. I think the Andy/April subplot of this one is adorable. April asks Andy to meet her at the Parks and Recreation Department’s company camping trip, but he ends up…well, entirely somewhere else. So he trudges through the wilderness of Indiana to find her, with balloons, rose petals, a private tent, and champagne (which he had to drink en route to survive). But he makes it to her, he serenades her with his guitar, and it’s just so perfectly THEM. Anyway, by the time he finds her, the Parks crew has taken shelter at Elsa Clack’s Cozy Corn Bed and Breakfast. It’s awful, unless you love hundreds of cats and creepy baby dolls staring at you while you sleep.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
Andy & April’s Fancy Party – As I said for the previous episode, I love April and Andy together. They’re amazing. April’s callousness is only softened by Andy’s genuine love of, like, everything. Andy’s stupidity is tempered when April steers him in the right direction. It’s perfect. It’s hard to believe they weren’t even written to be with each other (Andy was only supposed to last on the show for a few episodes, actually). Anyway, the two of them decide to host a dinner party and invite everyone. Lo and behold, it’s not actually a dinner party – they’re getting married! Maybe it’s quick, maybe it’s ill conceived, but by god, the feelings are genuine! Those two crazy kids are in love! And it’s beautiful! Now excuse me while I go off in a corner and wipe away my joyful tears.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
Jerry’s Painting – This episode is amazing. I feel like I’ve said “amazing” about a thousand times already, but it’s true every time. In this one, Jerry has painted a scene from Greek mythology that features the goddess Diaphena, who looks remarkably like Leslie Knope – oh, and by the way, she’s topless. This sparks a crazy amount of controversy, while simultaneously lighting a fire under Leslie’s ass, inspiring her and kicking her feminist self into high gear. Meanwhile, Ben has moved in with April and Andy, and he tries to teach them how to be adults. Or at least use plates for food instead of Frisbees.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
The Fight – Okay, guys. This one contains Leslie and Ann’s first-ever fight. But actually, the crux of the episode is Tom releasing his “signature liqueur” called Snake Juice. As Donna says, it’s “basically rat poison.” So everyone – except Donna, who is on a cleanse diet, and Chris, who is Chris – gets completely wasted. This results in Ann and Leslie getting into a hilariously dramatic fight. Plus, everyone’s wasted selves are hilarious, especially Ron. And Ron is especially epic the morning after, because he is totally fine while everyone else is having hangovers from hell. But the best part of the episode happens in the “morning after.” Leslie feels awful for all the things she said to Ann (and also because of the hangover, but mostly because of the fight). Ben drives over to Ann’s house to tell her how bad Leslie feels, saying he doesn't know her very well but she must be great if Leslie loves her so much. Anyway, Ann spills that Leslie likes Ben, and he gets this goofy smile on his face, and everything is happy (even in all it’s vomit-tinged and hung-over glory). It makes my Ben/Leslie shipping heart very, very happy.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
The Trial of Leslie Knope – We’re coming down to the wire on my list of faves but there’s no way I could ever leave this one out. I mean, come on. Leslie has just laid it all on the line for Ben, and now they’re together, and everything is wonderful. Except it isn’t, because Chris has demanded a full-scale investigation of their ethics breach. But even that can’t cancel out the wonderfulness of Ben having a custom Li’l Sebastian stuffed animal made for Leslie. It’s an all-around great episode, but the best part, by far, is the very end. Ben says he loves Leslie, they kiss, but that’s not even the best part. The best part is that Ben took full blame for the breach of ethics and resigned. Not that that’s a particularly good thing, but my god, I cannot even begin to explain how much it means to me to see the man in a relationship on TV stand down and sacrifice his career in favor of allowing the woman to succeed. Ben “resigned in shame” so Leslie could keep her job and not risk her campaign for city counsel. I’ve already said I love how Ben consistently puts effort into seeing Leslie succeed, and this is the ultimate example of it. I love it. I love, love, love it.
Image courtesy of NBC Image courtesy of NBC
Leslie & Ben – Just thinking about this episode makes me tear up. And okay, maybe I’m watching it again right now and crying. These two…I have never shipped a pairing so hard and been so happy about it the whole time. Honestly, these two had the happiest courtship on TV. Minimal drama, and it stayed more than interesting. But also, again, the swap of traditional gender roles is fantastic. It’s Ben who decided on the fly to just get married that night. I am just obsessed with the way Parks & Recreation writes its characters so no one is a traditional anything; no one is fully any kind of stereotypical character. Guys, this show is amazing. I digress, but the point stands all the same. Anyway, the wedding as planned sort of falls apart when Counselor Jamm drunkenly interrupts and Ron punches him in the face, landing himself in jail. Leslie refuses to finish the wedding without having Ron to walk her down the aisle. She talks about how her father died when she was a kid and she doesn't want to do it if he’s not there to walk her down the aisle, and that’s where I started crying during the episode. Then, of course it doesn't end there. When the whole thing falls apart Ron takes Leslie back to the office. There, the entire office has been converted and decorated to be the setting for Leslie and Ben’s wedding ceremony. It’s perfect. It’s just perfect. Oh, god, all the tears. I’m so done. This is almost definitely my favorite TV wedding ever. And there you have it, friends. These are my top ten episodes of Parks & Recreation. Whether you agree or disagree, I hope I’ve helped cheer you up on this Parks-less week. Let’s be real, though. I’m not done: HONORABLE MENTIONS
  • Halloween Surprise
  • Ann’s Decision
  • London Pts 1 & 2
  • Road Trip
  • Meet ‘n’ Greet
I could go on, but I think I've given you enough to consider for now. Keep it tuned to PopWrapped next week for my Parks-less week number two feature! http://www.Twitter.com/PopWrapped http://www.PopWrapped.Tumblr.com/ http://www.SoundCloud.com/PopWrapped http://www.Facebook.com/PopWrapped http://www.Instagram.com/PopWrapped http://www.Pinterest.com/PopWrapped http://www.YouTube.com/PopWrapped http://www.PopWrapped.wordpress.com/ http://www.PopWrapped.com
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