Monday, September 18, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 18: Something That Didn't Happen I Wish Did

I think this is the hardest challenge question yet, actually. It's not that I can't see the flaws of this show, of which there are many, but I have a difficult time altering someone else's vision, especially one as focused as the creators of Parks and Rec was. However, I was able to narrow it down to one thing that always rubbed me the wrong way.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 17: Something That Happened I Wish Didn't

Via Plated
I understand that art is constantly evolving, and I can appreciate when an artist wants to part with their work to either try new things or simply take a break. That doesn't mean I have to like it. When I found out that Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe were leaving Parks and Rec, I was devastated ... well, as much as you can be about a fictional thing, I suppose. The cornerstone relationship on the show was between Leslie and Ann, and I could not imagine how things could continue without that there.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 16: Least Favorite Recurring Character

This is gonna be short and sweet; I think I'm coming down with something, and this is actually a pretty easy entry.
Via Giphy
I know he's supposed to be a hated character, but I feel like there's nothing really that interesting about Dennis Feinstein. At least Jeremy Jamm's behavior is rooted in a deep-seated self-loathing, and while I can't stand him, either, at least I don't skip through his scenes. And this is coming from someone who actually really likes the actor.

Oh, well. No show is absolutely perfect.

Friday, September 15, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 15: Favorite Recurring Character

Well, I already gave myself away earlier this week, so ... without further ado, Craig Fucking Middlebrooks.
Via Giphy
I loved Craig the minute he walked into my life, and I now follow Billy Eichner on practically anything he does because he is hilarious. Seriously, if you haven't watched Hulu's Difficult People, you need to. STAT.

Anyway, Craig doesn't come on the show until the third episode of the sixth season as Donna's counterpart in the Eagleton parks department, and it is a beautifully explosive entry into the annals of Parks and Rec history. He rants about her name being perfect, and then says this:
"I wanted to be a Spanish man named Terrence, but that didn't happen."
Now, I haven't met anyone like Craig in real life, but damn if I don't want to. I feel like he and I could just sit around telling each other about ourselves because we have no filter and we are both super animated communicators. I use my hands a lot and, when I get excited, I tend to squeak and bounce. Our conversations would be very loud, methinks, but entertaining for all involved.

As the series progresses into its final season, Craig just keeps getting better and better. He becomes the sommelier at Tom's Bistro, he ends up taking over Ron's job when Ron goes private sector, his spirit dog is discovered, he inadvertently helps Andy invent Johnny Karate, and he introduces the greatest possible list of reasons why being alive is amazing, such as the following:
  • watermelon martinis
  • exposed brick
  • Keri Russell's hair
  • tomato plants
  • unlikely animal friend pairings
Via Reddit
Honestly, one of the best parts about Craig is that he embraces his personality. He is aware he is intense and passionate, and he takes others' responses to him in stride. Like when the group chooses an angry looking chihuahua as his "spirit dog," he initially resists it but quickly changes his tune within a second, realizing that, yeah, that dog is his essence. He's also very clear about what he wants out of life: when Tom goes in search of a wine specialist for his new restaurant, Craig fights like hell to prove to Tom that he has what it takes to do the job and do it well. Naturally, he'll have to tone it down for actual dealing with the public, but he wins Tom over with his dedication and true talent for wine tasting.
Via Keysmash
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention Typhoon, the one, true love of Craig Middlebrooks. Considering the main cast is primarily white, I thought Typhoon was going to be a one-time character - as Ron's replacement hairstylist after his regular one died - and was pleasantly surprised that he married Craig and made an appearance in the finale (older but definitely still fabulous and and in love with his husband). There was a gay penguin wedding in the second season, and Chris was not at all bothered by being hit on by men, so it's not like queerness was something that the show steered clear from, but it was so nice to see that this wasn't treated any differently than other characters getting together. And they are absolutely perfect for each other, and no one can tell me any different.

So, to summarize, Craig is amazing and completely revitalized the show for me, and I am now going to go watch Difficult People and possibly Billy on the Street. Either way, I'm going to have a hellagood time.

Runners Up: Ken Hotate because he is A Boss.
Via The Whovian from Whoville
And of course, Joan Callamezzo. That requires no explanation.
Via Brightest Young Things

* I have a friend who is very similarly flamboyant like Craig and yet is as hetero as they come. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 14: Least Favorite Episode

This is going to be quick and easy because there is only one episode that I do not like to watch, which for me is whaaaaaaaa? I skip over it every time, and I'm not even going to hide it under a jump.
Via Parks and Rec Gets Waffled
Season Two's "Sister City" is just not enjoyable for me, which apparently is a minority opinion. I'm okay with that, but I really would like someone to explain what makes this episode a favorite of theirs. I didn't mind Fred Armisen, although I'm not his biggest fan (I'm sorry, I just don't like Portlandia), but everyone just seems to be phoning it in in this episode.

Except for Donna. Who rules everything.

And fin.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 13: Favorite Episode

There is so much I love about Season Six's finale, "Moving Up," that it's actually harder to list them all than it was to pick it as my favorite episode. I'm sitting here at my desk and can (channeling my inner Chris Traeger) literally come up with no words to explain why this is my favorite episode. From the Michelle Obama cameo to all of the Unity Concert bands - hi there, Wilco! - I just ... it's so amazing that it almost has me forget that Ann and Chris aren't there*.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 12: Favorite Season Seven Episode

Via Wikipedia
It's always really sad to see a show you love go off the air, and when I found out that Parks and Rec would be ending after seven seasons, I went through mad withdrawal, even before it ended. I frantically watched all of my favorite episodes and both eagerly and cautiously waited as the countdown began. I love how they skipped ahead three years; it really did revitalize the show after Chris and Ann departed, leaving a lot of unanswered questions to be revealed over the course of the season.

Monday, September 11, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 11: Favorite Season Six Episode

Via Action Chick Flick
Wow, this challenge is really just speeding through, like this entire year. How is it already September?? I guess time really flies when the country is a giant shit hole? Honestly, I think that's why Parks and Recreation constantly draws me in: the people in the show are genuinely good people who want to do good things and work tirelessly to make sure that those good things actually happen. And Season Six continues this, even as Leslie is recalled from office. Unfortunately, Six also includes the departure of Ann and Chris, changing the entire dynamic of the show, but I don't want to dwell on that. Because it's Favorite Episode Day!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 10: Favorite Season Five Episode

Yayyyyy, Season Five! Or as this challenge has noted, my favorite season!
Via Her Campus
Leslie has won the election and has already started pissing people off with her bills and political stances, Tom's Rent-A-Swag is booming, Ron and Diane are officially a thing, Leslie and Ben get married ... gah, SO. MUCH. happens this season, and I love it like I will probably love my own children. But my favorite episode?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

30 Day Parks and Recreation Challenge, Day 9: Favorite Season Four Episode

Back on Day 4, I did say that this season didn't get that coveted spot of favorite because the Ben and Leslie relationship thing took way too long to resolve, and I stand by that assertion. I mean, it took nearly half the season for them to say, "Fuck this, we want to be together," and while it was incredibly sweet to hear Ben declare his love for Leslie as he was resigning, I was more or less feeling like "ugh, finally" as opposed to, "OMG YAYYY." I'm not sure if that's what the writers were going for, but here we are.
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