zombie_boogie: (parks | leslie knope)
[personal profile] zombie_boogie

"Every year I give Leslie the same present I give everyone: a crisp $20 bill. And every year she gets me something thoughtful and personal. It makes me furious. This year she outdid herself."

The fact that Leslie Knope is fictional, and therefore cannot be my best friend, is a tragedy on par with human trafficking. My favourite gift has to be April's, because that is a masterpiece. I know some people were disappointed that we didn't get to see what she got Ben or Ann, but I think not showing their gifts implies a heightened degree of intimacy. She would give her boyfriend and her best friend their gifts in person and in private (not that I don't desperately want to know what they got, but it makes sense that they wouldn't show them on-camera).

"The more she's mentioned a word the larger it appears."
"Ben... and much larger Ann. She definitely loves Ann."

ANN'S FACE. Anyway, I'm assuming most people have seen the full version of Leslie's word cloud since it was released on the NBC site and made its way to Tumblr and Livejournal, but here it is nevertheless:

A few things of note:

  • I'm honestly surprised waffles isn't larger.
  • Biden!
  • Icetown!
  • I hope the fact that both "seal" and "seals" is on there is some kind of Arrested Development reference.
  • I really hope that jeggings is on there because Leslie complains about them so much.
  • I love that Leslie watches Downton Abbey. I bet she wept at this fanvid like everyone else.
  • I am somehow not surprised that she listens to Taylor Swift.

    "I didn't do anything for my office"
    "It's OK I took care of it. I made a marshmallow Ron Swanson. His arms are crossed because he's mad at all the other marshmallow workers for annoying him. Do you like it?"
    "It's fine."

    Like Alan Sepinwall, I wish that Marshmallow Ron Swansons were available at my corner grocery store. In other news, Ron and April continue to give me all of the feelings. [livejournal.com profile] falulatonks recently noted on her Tumblr that Ron and April's relationship works so well because they are both really bad at not caring, especially when it comes to each other. I also love this little moment between Ann and Andy (and the fact that April chimed in on Ann's second command - I really wish they hadn't cut the deleted scene between these two ladies). I wonder how many times Ann had to tell Andy to go throw up over the course of their relationship.

    "Clear eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose."

    I don't watch Friday Night Lights, but even I had a little squee moment when Leslie uttered the above quote (I'm thinking FNL is something I should probably watch, especially if it contains the same kind of warmth, underdog spirit, and sense of interdependence among its characters as Parks). I thought the PCP would result in far more hilarious shenanigans, especially considering how often Leslie has to face the colourful residents of Pawnee at town hall meetings, but I suppose that since the episode was already packed with funny and heartfelt moments that I can let the fact that her action committee was no more than a blip slide. We'll have to see what future episodes bring, but this group could end up being a nice flash of Leslie's ability to rally people that will surely play a part in her campaign.

    It was also interesting to me that Leslie and Chris had three scenes together, and despite their quibbles over nasal spray and jogging path harassment, they ended things on a positive note. I still have the same problems with Chris' characterization that I had as of the last episode, but I'm glad these two people are on friendly terms. A part of me might have been satisfied to see Leslie really stick it to Chris, but it isn't like her, and it isn't like the show, to hold a grudge.

    "I'm sorry Leslie. You were a great candidate, but it's over."

    Even though I was fairly certain that this blow would not result in the end of Leslie's campaign, it was still devastating to watch. It was devastating not only because Leslie was crushed, but because it broke my heart to see that at the moment Pawnee does not love Leslie the way she loves Pawnee. "Pawnee" is one of the largest words on Leslie's word cloud (along with "parks"), but Leslie doesn't even warrant a mention on the town's collective word cloud. And that makes me sad. It also makes me sad that a town that keeps re-electing Councilman Dexhart would be sour on Leslie, but sadly it's understandable. Four words: she is a woman.

    I can't say I'll be disappointed to part ways with Barnes and Elizabeth. I always found them to be peculiar additions to the story. I can't say I'm an expert on municipal elections, but from the beginning it seemed odd that Pawnee would have professional campaign strategists who head hunted potential candidates for office. It also bugged me that the only thing they seemed to do was poll people - and I suspect that the way they phrased things in their poll played heavily into Leslie's dramatic drop in public opinion. I figured that at some point Leslie would get rid of her team, but I assumed that it would take longer and it would somehow involve her team trying to push Leslie into being the kind of candidate she didn't want to be. Regardless, I am getting the exact thing I wanted for her campaign - for it to be a grassroots campaign involving Leslie and her friends. It's a Saturnalian miracle.

    I've noticed there's been a lot of discussion regarding the lack of fallout from Leslie and Ben's scandal in this episode. I think it's a legitimate complaint, though I can understand why the writers chose to avoid it for the most part. For one thing, I think adding in a lot of scandal coverage would have shifted the tone of the episode to something I do not think they were going for. I think the fallout is also something that will be addressed long-term over the course of this campaign storyline. This scandal is not something that broke, so much as it is something that will be brought up in future episodes when there is a candidates debate, when an opponent releases an attack ad, or when Leslie does interviews with Pawnee Today, Ya Heard With Perd, or with Shauna for the Pawnee Sun. It's not a contained scandal like the Dexhart incident in "Christmas Scandal" that can be brought up and then resolved in time for Christmas cheer by the end of the episode, so I'm OK with the fact that the writers decided not to address it in a substantial way. That said, I certainly do hope we see the fallout in future episodes (I am especially looking forward to Leslie interviewing with Shauna).

    "Don't touch my pickles Ann!"

    I'm so glad that they followed up the previous scene with Leslie/Ann friendship time. A lot of their conversations of late have focused on their relationships, so it was nice to see them conversing about the campaign. This scene also had the effect of making me root for Leslie more than ever before. It's not that I didn't want to see her win, or that I ever doubted that she really wanted this. It's just that in this scene she wasn't just speaking about her campaign as a dream. I think it was her direct comparison between her current job in the parks department and the city council job that she wanted that really got me, and I wanted this for her more than ever. At the same time, I'm torn on what I want the ultimate result to be. I'd hate to see Leslie lose, but at the same time I don't necessarily like the thought of her leaving parks. I've been thinking for awhile that the story in the back half of the season will be Parks vs. Office in Leslie's mind (as opposed to Ben vs. Office), in that she'll struggle with her love for her current position versus her life-long dream. There's a part of me that thinks a nice ending for the season would be her choosing the parks department (and maybe getting a promotion to director of the department so that there's still a sense of forward progression). But then this episode gave me the sense that she really, really wanted this new opportunity so I'm conflicted. We'll just have to see how it plays out.


    "This is probably the first time you've had off since you've been kid president true or false? True! Why don't you use that time and go after one of your passions, like model trains or, like, toy Gandalfs or something?
    Why'd you jump straight to model trains? I mean... it's accurate."
    I'm gonna tell you something that I once heard from a very, very smart woman named Kim..."
    The lady who waxes you?
    She told me if you don't love what you do, why do it? Then she ripped the hair from my B-hole!"

    The A and B plots set up Leslie's campaign storyline for the back half of the season beautifully, and Ben's C plot set up his story for the rest of the season really well too. His story has always been about finding a sense of belonging and meaning, and I think that will continue as he figures out where he wants his career to go. Ben is actually a lot like Leslie in that his career is a huge part of his sense self-definition, but unlike Leslie he has yet to find that job that gives him a sense of fulfillment. I think the rest of the season will be about Ben finding passion in his work, whatever that might be. I think it's fairly obvious that Ben will become involved in Leslie's campaign, which is a ripe opportunity to bring back the boy mayor stuff and add some interesting conflict to their relationship (let's not forget that he took the state auditor's job to prove he was responsible enough to run for office, and now that he's resigned in disgrace, well...). I assume in the long-term he'll eventually find his way back to city government, and can I put a vote in for him to replace a certain department head who was fired in the season premiere for harassing people with pictures of his penis? He could be Sewage Ben!

    Ben's job hunting scenes were a complete delight as they were a smorgasbord of call backs and continuity nods. I remember before the episode aired someone posted a picture of Barney the boring accountant guy on Tumblr with a note about wanting him to re-appear, and then bam! There he is! And Dennis Feinstein! AND JEAN-RALPHIO. JUMP UP ON ME. I will never, ever get tired of Ben being startled and horrified. In fact, if someone made me a gif set on Tumblr of that very thing I would love you forever! But just look at these two idiots having a motherfucking hair-off. It took a lot of willpower on my part not to use a cap from every single frame of their scene together. Ben's sad little "it's accurate" line was probably my favourite line of the episode. And that might be because I have a husband who has expressed enthusiasm for model trains (as well as math, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones. Y'all can be jealous now that I have my own Ben Wyatt).

    "I... turned down that accounting job. Just didn't feel right. That's OK, right?"
    "Yeah! I think that's great. I'm really proud of you. What are you gonna do instead?"
    "I have no idea."
    "I like it."
    "Well, I guess I'll just see you at home."

    I am going to miss your terrible, mushy faces over the next five weeks (five weeks). Obviously I loved seeing them as an established, committed couple just as much as they probably enjoyed finally being able to have a normal, public relationship. The beauty of these scenes, for me, was in the details. I loved seeing them in casual, domestic situations (the "see you at home" was such an off-hand statement, but it spoke volumes of where they are emotionally). I loved the natural back-and-forth support in their conversations, whether it was Leslie being supportive of Ben taking time to find a job he really loves, or Ben offering Leslie suggestions of how she can productively use her time. I loved the balance to their partnership - we often see Ben grounding Leslie, but Leslie is also able to pull Ben back up when he fixates on the negative like "resigned in disgrace". I loved that even though they were both dealing with a lot of heavy stuff - Ben trying to rebuild his career after resigning, and Leslie being upset over her campaign being in shambles - that I never got a sense that they were resentful or regretful over their relationship. And I loved that they could still side-eye each other's various idiosyncracies (Ben finding numbers exciting or Leslie putting sugar on her pasta). Speaking of the latter, this comparison popped up on Tumblr it it's just genius ("I just like to smile! Smiling's my favourite!"):


    Oh and of course I loved April and Andy barging in to eat Leslie's pasta. Would it be weird to say that my most fervent wish is that Leslie just moves in with Ben/April/Andy? JUST IMAGINE HOW WONDERFUL THAT WOULD BE. THERE WOULD BE MARSHMALLOW GUN FIGHTS EVERY DAY.

    I know some people were bothered that Ben didn't stay for the parks department Christmas party, and admittedly I did have a tiny twinge of sadness about it. Mostly because the first several episodes of the season were about incorporating him into the fold and having him make friends with these people outside of Leslie. That said, I think it was the best decision on a character level and on a meta textual level. I think Ben leaving to let Leslie have her moment with her department colleagues speaks to how their relationship is a mature, adult one; that moment wasn't about Ben, and it wasn't about Ben and Leslie, and he understood that. The writers understood that as well. Ben joining Leslie's campaign will likely be it's own storyline in a later episode in the new year, so having him there for the reveal would have been awkward.

    "April Ludgate, Youth Outreach and Director of New Media"
    "Tom Haverford, Image Consultant, Swagger Coach"
    "Ann Perkins, Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator"
    "Andy Dwyer, Security, Sweets, Body Man. Javelin if need be"
    "Donna Meagle, Transpo a.k.a. Rides in my Benz"
    "You guys didn't tell me we were doing this! I did not know that I was suppose to come up with something."
    "Ron Swanson, any other damn thing you might need."

    "Giving Christmas gifts is like a sport to me. Finding or making that perfect something. It's also like a sport to me because I always win. This year though, my friends won. In fact, I got my ass handed to me."

    Is there really any appropriate response to this scene other than openly weeping happy tears? Ron really got to me the most, because this is a man who proudly declared that a guy whose last name he didn't know and who he still didn't talk to sometimes was the best friend he ever had. And yet this is the guy who spent the entire episode agonizing over the fact that he couldn't participate in the gingerbread project because he felt this powerful need to make Leslie happy. And then we have the rest of this crew, who in season one treated Leslie with mild indifference verging on disdain. And now... now they are banding together as a team to help her realize her dream. Because she would do the same for them. INSERT TROY BARNES "MY EMOTIONS" GIF HERE. There are a lot of comparisons to be made between this episode and "Christmas Scandal" - the obvious holiday theme, the scandal bringing Leslie down, her colleagues showing her how much she means to them. But this episode also reminded me strongly of "Harvest Festival". It was the perfect balance between funny and sweet (sort of like the episode equivalent of salgar), and it focused on the ensemble. More than that, though, is that it gave me the same kind of hopeful feeling that "Harvest Festival" did. Almost every episode of Parks is uplifting, but "Harvest Festival" and "Citizen Knope" both gave me that feeling that this group of people, centred around Leslie, can truly achieve marvelous things together. And there I go getting all sappy.
  • Date: 2011-12-13 02:27 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] malicat.livejournal.com
    As a huge FNL fan (GO WATCH IT!!!),the 'Clear Eyes,Full Hearts,Can't Lose' bit made me squeee SO HARD! In an episode that was so full of amazing moments,this was definitely my favorite ♥
    The last scene came very close though. Unlike (almost) everyone else,I always missed the heart on P&R (which is the main reason why it took me so long to really fall in love with it) but this season they have so many scenes that gave me the warm fuzzies and this one now even made me cry and that says a lot since not many comedy shows can do that...

    Date: 2011-12-13 06:50 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Haha, everyone succumbs to the charms of Parks eventually!

    Date: 2011-12-13 02:41 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] sullen-aquarian.livejournal.com
    I could watch that gif of Jean-Ralphio jumping on Ben forever. And you have your own Ben! Lucky, lucky lady.

    I hope we get to see PCP, sans Leslie, in the coming episodes. It would be nice to see citizens rallying around Leslie and appreciating all she's done for Pawnee.

    Date: 2011-12-13 03:08 am (UTC)
    ext_84300: Paper's for wimps (Doctor Who: Poke it)
    From: [identity profile] esotaria.livejournal.com
    Yes! More PCP! I kind of want to see Jerry get involved with PCP. He could bond with the woman who kept suggesting a letter writing campaign.

    Date: 2011-12-13 06:51 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    I'm really hoping that (regardless of the outcome) by the end of the campaign we see a whole lot of people rally behind Leslie, and not just her friends in the department.

    Date: 2011-12-13 02:41 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] quick-ly.livejournal.com
    As per always, your Parks feelings are my Parks feelings. I haven't recapped this show in a while (life has been crazy busy), but your reviews always capture all my feelings.

    Date: 2011-12-13 06:52 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Oh I know what it's like to be too busy to recap (such was my life from "I'm Leslie Knope"-"The Treaty", but I am currently unemployed so I can channel my energies into picspamming, heh).

    Date: 2011-12-13 02:56 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] seeminglyreal.livejournal.com
    your recaps are always so delightful <3

    Date: 2011-12-13 06:52 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Thank you ♥

    Date: 2011-12-13 03:05 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] princess-george.livejournal.com
    As always, yay, picspam!

    So, your insights made me think of a couple of things that have been rolling around in my head:

    - I was initially bothered by Ben not going into the party, but I think it was partly also a signal that, yanno, Ben doesn't work there any more. I liked the way you put it, that they were dealing with heavy stuff, and I also agree that it was great the way they let it be heavy. Ben and Leslie aren't in this honeymoon period right now - there are some real consequences to their relationship, both being able to go out to JJ's but also having to stop saying things like "resigned in disgrace," you know? But, overall, what you said.

    - But also, I think it might just be possible that Ben would feel like, not just that it's a City Hall thing and that's not where he works any more, but it's also a Fix Leslie's Campaign thing, and that's maybe not something he feels he can play a role in. Because maybe he feels like part of the problem there? Or something a bit milder than that, perhaps?

    - I would like to note that Leslie has a bit of a hoarding problem. Ben is into things like rare coins and model trains, but is also pretty organized. Two implications: 1) they are going to have to register at The Container Store and Ikea if they ever actually get married, and 2) their house is going to be a strange, strange place.

    - Ben was eating calzones, which kind of struck me as comfort food for him. Dude is a bit bummed out, even if he gets to be with Leslie and that is still fundamentally worth it. It's just tough.

    OK, that's my comments larded onto your comments like bacon on a turkey leg. As always, thanks so much for doing these! I love the little things you catch and make me think of with these.

    Date: 2011-12-13 06:55 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    but it's also a Fix Leslie's Campaign thing, and that's maybe not something he feels he can play a role in

    I think that might be part of it. There's a chance he might feel like the drop in the polls is his fault. I think there also might be some hesitation on his part due to his own boy mayor past. I'll be interested to see how he gets involved in her campaign, because it could be a good source of tension for them now that they're together (and one that is more interesting than most other things writers tend to throw in the way of established couples).

    I really, really want them to shoot scenes at Leslie's house again. I've been dying to know how Ben would react to her "organization" style FOREVER.

    Date: 2011-12-13 03:41 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] fickery.livejournal.com
    But this episode also reminded me strongly of "Harvest Festival". It was the perfect balance between funny and sweet (sort of like the episode equivalent of salgur), and it focused on the ensemble. More than that, though, is that it gave me the same kind of hopeful feeling that "Harvest Festival" did. Almost every episode of Parks is uplifting, but "Harvest Festival" and "Citizen Knope" both gave me that feeling that this group of people, centred around Leslie, can truly achieve marvelous things together. And there I go getting all sappy.

    YES YES YES ME TOO. I can't take how adorable this show is and all the feelings it makes me feel.

    Date: 2011-12-13 04:27 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] bunnigurl.livejournal.com
    My brain immediately went to ... What happens when Chris realizes how unethical it is for the entire Parks Department to be involved in a political campaign? (Yes, I do work in government...)

    And the bit about the campaign managers totally does happen in small towns, only it's not that organized. You have groups of politically interested people with money that put up funds to see the folks they want run for office. It totally happens. There may not be polls involved, but yes.

    I do have to say that I so enjoy Ron's quote: "We need to get Leslie something that erases the enormous emotional debt that has built up over years of this gift-giving imbalance." Over the course of our relationship, my husband has been Ron, and I'm Leslie. Ha!

    Date: 2011-12-13 04:44 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Oh thanks for the input! Like I said, I know little about small town politics but it is interesting to know that those kinds of groups exist. I can definitely see people financially backing a candidate, it just seemed odd to me that they would also be acting as her campaign advisers. But I guess it doesn't require the suspension of belief that a lot of things on television do.

    I doubt they'll acknowledge the ethics involved with the entire department helping Leslie on her campaign. Would it be a problem if they only did it as friends during off-work hours (not that this is going to happen on the show, but it has me curious).

    Date: 2011-12-13 04:56 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] bunnigurl.livejournal.com
    In a real-life situation, it would depend on which employees are in the civil service system, i.e. not appointed by a city manager, mayor, etc. If I'm not mistaken, this system exists across the country.

    For example, I was appointed by the parish president (parishes instead of counties here in Louisiana), and I serve at his pleasure. If tomorrow he decides to fire me, then I'm gone. But most of the secretarial and office folks I work with are civil service, which is meant to protect their jobs during administration changes. Their supervisors have to have documented proof that they violated an ethics rule, disobeyed orders, etc. etc. to have them fired, and even then they can appeal to a Civil Service Board to get their job back.

    The trade-off with is that civil service employees are forbidden to be involved in political campaigns. The goal is to make them as apolitical as possible so there are no issues with new administrators getting elected and taking over. They can't even have political signs on any property they own.

    The show will in all likelihood gloss over something like this. I think for the most part they've gotten their government-speak and information from good sources, and the show has been spot-on. But I think if this was real-life, you'd have maybe Ron and Tom who could ethically participate in Leslie's campaign and that would be it.

    Date: 2011-12-13 06:44 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] rikyl.livejournal.com
    Fascinating. I agree, they'll probably gloss over it, like they do the nepotism run amok in City Hall hiring practices. It's just convenient to keep the characters close to each other and involved in the central story. But I hope they at least take some care not to have everyone working on campaign work during normal business hours.

    Date: 2011-12-13 06:40 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] rikyl.livejournal.com
    So glad someone who works in government chimed in on the thing with the campaign managers, because that has been driving me nuts all season. Still, it seems like to put up the funds, they would have some sort of agenda to go along with it, positions they wanted her to take or something, since they wouldn't do that just out of the goodness of their hearts, presumably. So I thought that might come up as part of the plot. And it surprised me that they had been providing a level of work on her campaign that Leslie felt weird asking of her own friends. Oh well. Suspension of disbelief!

    Date: 2011-12-13 11:16 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] bunnigurl.livejournal.com
    Oh yeah you bet there's agendas .... The money people want to exert at least some control over the official when it's all over with.

    Date: 2011-12-14 12:10 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] rikyl.livejournal.com
    That makes sense, but I can't picture Leslie being interested in being that kind of candidate. I still find their existence puzzling.

    Date: 2011-12-14 12:35 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] bunnigurl.livejournal.com
    I don't think it would be out of character for Leslie to be naive enough to believe their intentions were nothing but pure...

    Date: 2011-12-14 12:46 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] rikyl.livejournal.com
    But Marlene or Ben or someone with more political savvy would have pointed it out to her. I just think it's weird that they're gone, and that was never acknowledged in any way.

    Date: 2011-12-13 01:47 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] cityhallcupcake.livejournal.com
    This post almost made me cry. You have the besssst opinions! I am just going to read and re-read and read again.

    Date: 2011-12-16 03:38 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Awww thank you.

    Date: 2011-12-13 02:05 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] johnmayergirl23.livejournal.com
    GO WATCH FNL. GO WATCH IT. I just started last week and am already midway through s3. SO WORTH IT

    also, this was a wonderful episode. possibly one of my favorites ever.

    Date: 2011-12-16 03:37 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Ahh OK fine it is on my list. My never ending list of shows I need to watch.

    Date: 2011-12-13 03:15 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] starryeyedmagic.livejournal.com
    AH THIS EPISODE! I really think it's one of my favorites ever. TEARS!

    hmm I think I always assumed that Leslie would win city council, but still be overly involved with the Parks dept so that even though it is different, it wouldn't feel that different.

    I mean, the show can still be about the people that work in the Parks dept first and foremost, but I think it's ok for Leslie to move on technically speaking. I'd prefer that than to see Leslie just get Ron's job or something. Not that she'd be unhappy with that, but it just seems like her aspirations are bigger...and I think she can do it.

    I'm so excited to see where the writers take Ben. I agree that it's a great extension of his arc from last year, and finding a home and where he "belongs". Did anyone ever make that GIF set of Ben being startled? LOL because if not I totally will.


    Date: 2011-12-13 03:40 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Not that she'd be unhappy with that, but it just seems like her aspirations are bigger...and I think she can do it.

    Before this episode I kind of assumed that City Council might not end up being all it's cracked up to be for Leslie - she seems so passionate about parks specifically that I had a hard time picturing her spreading her focus among all the city departments (she'd have to approve things for the libraries). The parks department also seems to provide her with the kind of hands-on work in the community that she loves so much. But she was just so adamant about how much she wanted this new opportunity that I can't help but want it for her. I'm really, really curious and excited to see what the writers do - in an ideal world she'd be able to have both jobs (city counsellors usually have day jobs), but I don't think ethically she could keep a government position. I trust the writers so I'm just going along for the ride.

    Did anyone ever make that GIF set of Ben being startled?

    Not yet! LOVING YOU FOREVER IS STILL ON THE TABLE. I just think about all of the freaked out faces he's ever made (my favourite is still from "Camping") and I wonder if the writers purposefully write that kind of stuff because Adam Scott gives good face.

    Date: 2011-12-13 04:13 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] starryeyedmagic.livejournal.com
    Yea, I have always felt a little conflicted along those lines. Because on one hand, Leslie loves Pawnee specifically more than anyone, but on the other hand...she always talks about these grand political aspirations that extend farther beyond that, and potentially to Washington one day.

    And I have no doubt that Leslie could do anything she sets her mind to, but I suppose it makes me sad in a way to think of a day (even if it's 10+ years in the future) where she doesn't live in Pawnee. Well, I guess even if she worked in Washington she'd still have a house in Pawnee, BUT STILL! lol

    I suppose I always thought of Leslie moving on to "something bigger" (like maybe the Senate) as a great ending to the show. So you could say that the 7-ish years (or however long it's on) was about Leslie going from the somewhat lonely stationary life she had in the pilot to actually fulfilling her dreams with the help of all the wonderful people in her life that she met through her job at the Parks dept.

    HAHA I will totally start on that GIF set when I get home and will most likely procrastinate at work today just thinking about Adam Scott's face.

    Date: 2011-12-16 03:36 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Yes, I've always had a hard time actually picturing her moving beyond local politics because of her specific love of her town (and same with parks vs. local office). Hopefully the show will address her having that kind of internal conflict.

    And yeah, I always imagined that the end of the show might have a bit of a flash forward with Leslie as mayor of Pawnee or maybe even a senator for Indiana, and she is presiding over the opening of her park at Lot 48 (with all of her colleagues and her husband Ben and a little golden-haired daughter named Eleanor at her side OMG I NEED TO STOP).

    Date: 2011-12-13 06:22 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] rikyl.livejournal.com
    Leslie moving in with Ben/April/Andy--you have the greatest ideas! (Except for Sewage Ben! Hilarious but awful!) At minimum I want to see the four of them hanging out together or bumping into each other more around that house.

    Lovely review. I already read it twice! You know I am with you on Leslie's career and the exit of Barnes and Elizabeth. Devastating to watch, but all for the best.

    "Pawnee" is one of the largest words on Leslie's word cloud (along with "parks"), but Leslie doesn't even warrant a mention on the town's collective word cloud. Yeah, that about hits the nail on the head. I hope that even if she doesn't win, Pawnee, outside her friends, shows her some love.

    this group could end up being a nice flash of Leslie's ability to rally people that will surely play a part in her campaign. That thought crossed my mind too! She can obviously rally people for a cause. Rallying people around herself--not too much of a stretch (although maybe slightly less comfortable for her).

    That Ann scene was so simple but wonderful. It wasn't much but it gave me a clearer picture of how much Leslie wants to run for office. And it probably makes sense that Leslie would turn to Ann at that moment, as she's probably shielding Ben from some of her misery over the campaign. Great friendship episode for Ann all around.

    Comparing this episode to salgar. That is perfect.

    Go watch FNL! For starters, Coach and Mrs. Coach are possibly the best established on-screen couple I've ever seen. And it has a ton of heart all around. I think you'd love it.

    Date: 2011-12-16 03:33 am (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    Aww, I know after this past episode the idea of Sewage Ben isn't as fun as I initially thought it would be, because I really do want him to have a satisfying career. I have a feeling he's going to fall in love with the behind-the-scenes stuff during Leslie's campaign (and I do hope they address is previous political ambitions. I can believe that he might not want to run for office anymore, but I want them to address it). As for April/Andy/Ben/Leslie roommate shenanigans, I just want all of the fic!

    I think the the only way they could make a Leslie loss palatable is if she at least got a bunch of Pawneeans rallied behind her. I just want Pawnee to love her like she loves Pawnee.

    And it probably makes sense that Leslie would turn to Ann at that moment, as she's probably shielding Ben from some of her misery over the campaign.

    And this is why I'm OK with Ben not being at the party, because I think there are still some raw edges to be exploited there in terms of the fallout of them getting back together. I would expect Ben getting involved in her campaign to involve a little bit of angst (I remember seeing photos of the parks department at a skating rink - will Ben staying away because of Icetown anxiety?).

    Date: 2011-12-16 04:15 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] rikyl.livejournal.com
    I was thinking that at this point, even a loss might seem like a victory of sorts if it was by a small margin, because that would still be an impressive comeback from that supposed 1 percent number. Maybe that would be enough to have her still feel good about it and convince people who mattered that she had a promising future in politics (and that Ben is a political strategic genius!). I don't know though. Hoping for some kind of uplifting ending, whatever it is.

    And I forgot to mention, I'm really curious if they'll even touch the issue of her being a woman and the double standard they've created there between Leslie and Dexhart. It seems possible that the difference is that they wrote one scandal for comedy and the other for drama and that they wouldn't necessarily acknowledge that?

    I totally missed that skating rink photo. Possibly Ben just wasn't there because he doesn't work for the city anymore? I hope we see on-screen how he joins the campaign and that we don't just come back from hiatus with him on-board.

    Date: 2011-12-16 05:56 pm (UTC)
    From: [identity profile] zombie_boogie.livejournal.com
    I'm sure that whatever happens Parks will give us an uplifting ending.

    I kind of hope that Leslie's gender is brought up, because it is an issue in modern politics.

    I can't remember if Ben supposedly becomes her campaign manager in "Comeback Kid" or "Campaign Ad" (I think it's the latter). I can't see them not making it a thing on-screen.


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