Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Parks and Recreation 7x10 ("The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show") & 7x11 ("Two Funerals") [Contributor: Jaime]

"The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show" & "Two Funerals"

As you’ll recall, last week in my Parks recap, I talked about how difficult it was going to be to say goodbye to the show when this season has been so wonderful and such a consistent showcase for all of the things that make this show so great.  Now, I always knew that it was going to be hard to say goodbye…but after “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show,” holy crap.  I honestly don’t think I’m going to be able to survive in a world without Parks and Recreation.

"The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show"

Because seriously, any show capable of producing an episode like “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show” is a show worthy of being remembered as a classic.  The episode was strange, meta, heartfelt, hilarious – and, mot obviously, a huge change in format.  If this episode had happened at any other point during the show’s run, it would have absolutely changed the show and what limitations it set on its storytelling.  But the thing is, this episode absolutely could not have happened before season seven.  It’s too much of a departure from the usual format that it just wouldn’t have worked – but more importantly, this episode was meant to function as a goodbye.  Coupled with last week’s episodes, which focused on April and her relationships with Leslie and Ron, it seems pretty obvious that “Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington,” “Pie-Mary,” “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show,” and “Two Funerals” were meant to direct our focus to particular characters and let them shine one last time.  I mentioned last week how those two episodes were probably the climax to April’s story; she’s still going to be around on the show, but her particular season-long arc came to an end.  Therefore, her presence in these two episodes, as well as next week’s finale, probably aren’t going to be particularly stressful; she can just be the April we know and love, so we’re able (but certainly not willing) to say goodbye to her.

Similarly, this episode was our goodbye to Andy.  Unlike the other main characters, Andy hasn’t really had a season-long arc.  April had her job search, Tom has Lucy, Leslie and Ben have their various political storylines…But Andy hasn’t really had that.  Instead, he’s kind of been a supporting player in everyone else’s storylines.  He supported Leslie in her National Parks campaign for the Newport land, he inspired Tom to go after Lucy, he’s helped April in her search for her dream job…And finally, thanks to Johnny Karate, I realized what Andy’s arc this season has been.  He’s there to support people, just as he always has.  He’s there to help his friends in whatever way they need, without a second thought, without reservation.  So for this episode, the last time we get a spotlight on Andy Dwyer, of course it’s going to be about his friends are there for him.  Of course the climax to Andy’s story is going to be watching his friends support him as enthusiastically as he’s supported them.

The entire episode is filmed, and shown to us, as an episode of Andy’s show.  In fact, it’s the last episode of the show, since Andy and April are moving to Washington, D.C., in a few weeks.  See?  Didn’t I tell you it was meta?  But instead of doing something special, Andy treats it like a regular episode (something I suspect Parks’ series finale next week will also do).  So first, he goes to sing his welcome song – but he can’t, because someone’s stolen his guitar.  But never fear: Burt Macklin is on the case, ready to kick crime’s butt.  The chief of police (played by Donna) find a piece of cloth near where the guitar is kept that points them toward the thief.  Since he needs the guitar to play the goodbye song, Burt swears that he’ll find the culprit by the end of the episode, and put them in the Funky Monkey Dunk Tank.

After telling his audience that this is his last show, he brings April out for her segment, April’s Animal Corner.  She brings in a goliath bird-eating tarantula, but soon realizes that it’s missing from its cage – because Andy was playing with it.  This leads to another one of the show’s segments: Loose Animal in the Studio.

After that, Johnny Karate sings about the five karate moves to success, which make up the structure of each of his episodes: make something, learn something, karate chop something, try something new, and be nice to someone.  So first, he goes to make something with “Carpenter Ron,” which is too adorable to even describe.  Carpenter Ron tells them that they’re going to build a shadowbox frame, and then goes on to thank Andy for everything he’s done for the children of Pawnee.  Andy declares this a Hug Moment, with an accompanying graphic on the screen to confirm it.  Ron does not agree.  It…gets tense.

Then he goes to learn something with Professor Smartbrain (Ben, naturally).  Professor Smartbrain wants to talk about geography, and focuses on how long it would take to travel to Washington, D.C., by train, plane, or car.  Things very quickly get derailed when Andy suggests that teleportation would actually be the fastest way to travel.  I mean, he’s not wrong, but, like, he’s not right, either.

This episode is already proving pretty difficult to recap, because it just doesn’t work the way episodes are supposed to work.  It’s not so much a collection of storylines, but rather, a spotlight on the themes that have always been at the core of Andy Dwyer.  So it’s not particularly important to the plot of the episode that he goes to make something with Carpenter Ron; what’s important is that Ron, and Ben, and everyone else, has a recurring roles on the show.  And we know from previous episodes that Andy is basically making this show himself – he wasn’t getting paid well until Tom took care of his salary negotiations.  So when Andy’s friends appear on the show, it’s solely as a favor to him.  The fact that these segments are so settled, and that different clips of them appear in the show’s opening credits (which, instead of the usual Parks credits, were the Johnny Karate credits with the characters’ names) makes it pretty obvious that Carpenter Ron, Professor Smartbrain, Mailman Barry, etc., have been part of the show since it began – because of course they have.

The other main theme in the episode is Andy’s love for April, because when it comes down to it, that’s his other defining characteristic.  I already talked about how this episode serves as our goodbye to Andy, but it’s just so, so important that instead of saying goodbye through watching him get his dream job, or watching him settle down, it’s through watching him just be himself.  Andy Dwyer has always been this huge bundle of emotion and energy, and more than any other character on the show, comedy and story can be created by dropping him into any situation and watching how he reacts.  So that gave the writers a lot of room in this shortened final season; they could focus on wrapping up the storylines of other characters without worrying that Andy wasn’t getting his due.

And the thing is, Andy’s already working at his dream job.  He’s already settled down with the person he loves.  And for someone who’s so happy and content all the time, it’s not like something that can suddenly come along that’ll make Andy’s life better.  His life has always been great; he knows all he needs for things to be awesomesauce is to be surrounded by the people he loves.

But the problem with having someone in your life like Andy is that it can be so easy to take advantage of that.  People who are affable, who adapt easily to change, who don’t have demands in their own lives that can’t mesh with your own – it can be easy to forget that they have things they enjoy, and things they don’t want to give up.  So while April is excited about her new job in D.C. (and Andy’s thrilled for her), in this episode, she realizes just how much Andy’s giving up by moving to D.C. with her.  After all, he loves doing his show, and the kids who watch the show love him.  After spending the entire episode visibly upset, April finally runs out as Andy’s wrapping things up.  He goes after her and she tells him how horrible she feels that she’s the one keeping him from what he loves.  It’s such a sweet moment, one that feels especially earned given Andy’s constant status as everyone’s support system.  No one’s ever really told Andy he should be free to do what he wants, or even that he should be focusing on improving his life.  The only person who’s said that to him is April.  But the thing is, Andy loves April – that’s the thing that makes him happiest, and that’s what he wants in his life.  He doesn’t care where they live, or what job he has; as long as he and April are together, he’ll be happy.

It’s also so meaningful that after April runs out, Andy immediately goes after her.  He doesn’t acknowledge the audience, doesn’t worry about finding someone to come take his place so the show can go on – he just goes to see what’s wrong with April.  And her overwhelming support of him, and of how much he loves doing the show, is so sweet, and shows just how far they’ve come.  Remember all those years ago when Andy got upset that Mouse Rat wasn’t April’s favorite band?  Well, now, April calls him her favorite TV host, even above Tom Snyder, without hesitation.  Because she knows how much he loves doing it and how happy it makes him – so it makes her happy, too.

After talking to April, Andy checks off the last item on the list of his Five Karate Moves to Success: be nice to someone.  Earlier, he and the children karate chopped something (Mailman Barry, naturally), and tried something new, with the help of Leslie.  Which, okay, the fact that Andy’s friends constantly appear on the show is adorable enough, but the fact that Leslie is in charge of the segment about trying something new, even if it scares you?  That’s just so sweet to think about, especially since in Andy’s song about the five karate moves, he mentions that you need to try something new even if it scares you.  Just imagine Andy sitting down and figuring out how his show was going to work, and coming up with segments that could feature his friends.  It says so much about how he sees them: Ron is capable, Ben is smart, and Leslie is brave.

That’s one of the best things about this episode.  Because The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show is completely shaped by Andy, this episode serves as an uninterrupted look at Andy and how he thinks.  So while it’s already endearing to see the way he views his friends, it’s even sweeter when you think of Andy viewing them in their most basic components.  He might find Ben boring, but he believes that Ben is smart and trusts what he has to say; Ron might not embrace hugs but he’s able to work alongside Andy.  He’s able to look past other aspects of their personalities, that might otherwise be negative or contradictory or just somehow complex, and narrow it down to their most important characteristics: the things that make them valuable people and good friends.

Like I said, when you’re the friendliest friend, the one who’s a constant source of support and affirmation, it can be easy to be overlooked.  It’s not that those people aren’t loved deeply; it can just be easy to forget that sometimes, you need to turn your attention onto them in return.  So for the last episode of The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show, the new thing that Leslie tries is hosting her friend’s TV show.  She takes Andy’s hosting duties away so that, instead of him going to everyone else and putting them in the spotlight, he becomes the guest of honor on his own show.  After all, as Leslie points out, if he hadn’t broken both his legs from falling into the pit (while he was super drunk, as he inappropriately points out in front of the audience of children), she never would have known about its existence, and basically everything that followed in her life wouldn’t have happened.  And it’s true – she wouldn’t have met Ann, and she wouldn’t have developed her first real passion project that got her attention.  The show literally would not – could not – have been the same without Andy, a fact that means even more when you consider that originally, Andy was only supposed to be a recurring character in the first season.

And truly, that’s the mark of a great character.  A show or film can be focused on one central character, but the cast around that central character needs to be there for a reason.  That’s why so many romantic comedies are so flimsy – because the only people who truly need to be there are the two main characters.  Any friends or coworkers they have, more often than not, are just there to flesh out scenes involving those two characters; they don’t actually affect the plot themselves.  But on Parks, every character matters.  Their existence, and what they added to this weird cartoonish world of Pawnee, kept the show from merely being the story of Leslie Knope.  Thanks to Ron, Andy, April, Tom, Donna, and (gag) Jerry, this became the story of a family.

So this is it, the last time we’re going to spend this much time with Andy Dwyer.  And how do we spend it?  Watching him hang out with his friends, support his wife, and having as much fun as he possibly can.

Some other moments from the episode (which focused heavily on jokes over plot, so there are a lot of things to mention here):

  • The kids in the audience and their unrestrained adoration of Andy was just so cute.  Even cuter: the kids dressed as Burt Macklin.  Who would have thought that what started as a one-off joke in, what, season two or three would have led to kids dressing up as Bury Tyrannosaurus Macklin?
  • “You’re the best agent I’ve seen.  And I’ve worked with James Bond.”
  • The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show credits in place of Parks’ regular credits was so great, and along with the fake commercials that aired, made it feel like we were watching a local Pawnee TV station.
  • April Ludgate-Karate-Dwyer!  She’s April Ludgate-Karate-Dwyer!  Is that not the cutest thing you’ve ever heard in your entire life?!  The familiarity she had when she came out for her animal segment was so cute, too, as was Andy constantly gushing over her to the audience.  I’m imagining a world where they stay in Pawnee and cohost the show together and honestly, it’s a world I want to live in.
  • Those fake commercials, though.  That Paunch Burger commercial especially was absolutely something I could see airing on television; I saw a ton of tweets afterwards from people who thought it was a real commercial until Paunch Burger was mentioned.
  • The disclaimer for Loose Animal in the Studio scrolled by too quickly to read it, but a few people have transcribed it or screencapped it.  You can check it out here; it’s definitely worth reading, just for the mention of Greg Pikitis.
  • “I was not going to eat it, Carpenter Ron.  I was going to lick it.  Always remember, kids, when you find something new, you must lick it before you eat it.”
  • The fact that Andy has a boring buzzer for his segment with Ben, and Ben’s exasperation with it.  
  • Throughout the episode, Andy would occasionally roll on the floor as he entered the frame, and it makes me wish this were something that happened throughout Parks’ run.  Up until this episode aired, I wouldn’t have thought that Parks was missing anything, but now I know that it could have been so much more if they let Chris Pratt roll into frame at least once an episode.
  • Pretty early on during the episode, I had a thought that this is what the entire show would have been like if Andy were the main character instead of Leslie.  And please, let’s all just take a few moments to stop, slow down our crazy hectic lives, and just imagine what that show would have been like.
  • I wasn’t the only one who teared up a little when Mailman Barry said he had over five hundred letters from kids asking Andy to stay, right?  We’ve seen Andy interacting with his fans before, and it’s no wonder they love him so much.  If I were a kid growing up in Pawnee, I would be obsessed with Johnny Karate.
  • “Remember, never attack a real postal employee.  We’re allowed to attack Mailman Barry because he volunteered to help us with our karate moves.”
  • “Wamapoke Casino: Slowly taking back our money from white people one quarter at a time.”
  • “’Phenomenon’ means ‘to explore a cave.’”
  • The reappearance of the fourteenth Earl of Cornwall-upon-Thames Sir Edgar Covington was amazingly unexpected, as was his knighting of Andy.
  • But, okay, nothing can top Ben eagerly getting knighted as well, with his pronouncement, “Winter is coming for Ser Ben Lightstorm.”  The way he stared at his hands in the background of the shot after he was knighted might be my favorite bit of background comedy…ever, probably.
  • Andy getting an honorary badge from the Pawnee police department was such a nice touch.  It was a great reminder of what was probably his most long-term and serious storyline, and a sweet moment to show us just how far he’s come – while reminding us how versatile Andy is.  He was so passionate about becoming a police officer and it didn’t work out, but now he’s so happy to be Johnny Karate.  It was okay that he didn’t get to live his dream because he made a new dream – so when he tells April that he’ll be happy in D.C., we know that he means it.
  • The karate uniform dedication to Johnny Karate, with Donna and Ron providing musical accompaniment.  I was slain, you guys.
  • Did anyone else notice that Sir Edgar Covington was singing along to the Johnny Karate goodbye song?  You can’t convince me that he isn’t Johnny Karate’s biggest fan.  I bet he never misses an episode.

That’s it for “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show”!

"Two Funerals"

The second episode, “Two Funerals,” returns to Parks’ usual format, which means I’ll actually be able to talk about, like, plot and whatnot.  And it’s a pretty huge episode – for one thing, Leslie’s promotion is official, so she and Ben need to find a place in D.C.  Of course, we already know that Andy and April are moving there, too, and Donna drops the bomb that she and Joe have bought a house in Seattle.  Oh, and Garry’s retiring, but this is about people who are moving, so no one cares.  Leslie points out that bad news comes in threes, so the fact that all three are leaving must mean that good news is coming soon.  Of course, as soon as she says that, a news report comes on that announces Mayor Gunderson, the mayor of Pawnee, has died.  Stupid Garry jinxed them.  Dammit, Garry.

At Mayor Gunderson’s funeral, Ben asks for April’s help in finding an interim mayor.  See, as city manager, that’s Ben’s responsibility – and since his other responsibilities basically have him running the town as it is, April suggests he just appoint himself interim mayor.  Instantly, he refuses; after all, he’s already been mayor, and look what happened.

I don’t have numbers to back me up here, but it feels like we’ve gotten a lot of references to Ice Town this season, possibly more than we have in any other season.  And it makes sense – this season, we’ve seen Ben more ambitious than ever before, and it’s reasonable that the spectacular failure he was as a mayor is haunting him now that he restarts his political career.  And the thing is, it doesn’t matter how much time passes, or what else he accomplishes.  He can work hard at being a good city manager, a good husband, a good father – but that doesn’t erase the fact that he was a terrible mayor.  So instead of giving himself the chance to prove that he does know how to be a good mayor, he’s positive that he would mess it up again, and instead looks to someone else within Pawnee to take the job: someone over thirty, who somehow serves as the face of the city.  He, April, and Garry meet with a few different candidates – first Bobby Newport, who we have to assume still has never had a real job in his life.  But tragically, Bobby is preparing to go to space, and cannot take on mayoral duties.  After their other options – including Joan Callamezzo and the Douche – don’t work out, April tries again to get Ben to take the job.  This time, she refuses to accept Ice Town as an excuse; he’s the right person for the job, and taking this opportunity would allow him to erase Ice Town.

But right before he signs the paperwork naming him mayor, Ben realizes something: he doesn’t want to erase Ice Town.  Sure, he messed it up, but that mistake is such a huge part of his past.  Without it, he wouldn’t have come to Pawnee, wouldn’t have met Leslie, wouldn’t have the life he has now.

And he’s right: every choice a person makes determines who they are.  Even the life-ruining ones.  Because, after all, if your life is ruined, doesn’t that mean you have to start a new one in the aftermath?  And that’s the thing, the magical thing that happens on any long-running TV show.  We’re going on a journey with these characters, and seeing them change and adapt and grow.  So everything they do, everything that happens to them, we get to see the consequences of that, and see how they react to it.  And that’s kind of what makes this final season so great – we get to see what the next step for everyone is, but everyone’s next steps are things that were on a whole different staircase back in season one.  Everyone’s storylines are ending, but the characters aren’t over – and we were there for their beginning, and have watched them earn their accomplishments and developments every season.

And speaking of earning accomplishments, no one has earned it more than Garry Gergich.  He’s been the butt of everyone’ jokes for years.  Really, the only time he got any respect was when he retired.  So it’s fitting in a lot of ways that in this episode, when he announces his retirement for the second time, everyone once again bands together to celebrate him – not because of his retirement, but because Ben offers him the job of interim mayor.  It’s only for two months until they can hold an emergency election, but you guys, Garry is mayor.  What a crazy, crazy world.

But of course, the mood isn’t completely celebratory.  After all, the town’s long-term mayor has died, and people are moving away.  Leslie’s saddened by all of the endings going on, which just seem so much darker without any new beginnings.  So when Tom tells her that he and Lucy looked at engagement rings, she immediately dedicates herself to helping Tom plan the perfect proposal for Lucy.  After all, life is short, as she’s reminded by Ethel Beavers’ eulogy (where she reveals that she and the mayor had been sleeping together for decades), and it’s pointless not to go after the things you want.

When you combine Leslie’s unwavering enthusiasm and Tom’s never-ending cache of larger-than-life ideas, you get…an interesting proposal.  Tom decides to film it for Lucy, since she’s away in Philadelphia, and stages it like an action movie where, after going to a jewelry store to purchase her ring, he has to fight off a group of criminals (including the love of my life Jean-Ralphio).  It’s all very much something you would expect Tom to concoct.

But the thing is, it’s all about Tom, not about Lucy.  He realizes that when he goes to pick her up from the airport and tells Leslie the whole thing is off – instead, he gives her a list of items and tells her to meet him at the Snakehole Lounge.  There, he reenacts his first date with Lucy and proposes.  Naturally, she says yes.

I realized during “Donna and Joe” that, adorably, every main character (save Tom) is married.  And now, with Tom engaged, all of the characters are officially settled down.  Which, okay, on some shows could come off as very hokey, like marriage or a long-term relationship is the only possible happy ending a character can have.  But on Parks, it just feels…sweet.  The show has always been about love – particularly, the love between a family.  But when that family is makeshift, and has been formed by people bonding and choosing to become family, it just wouldn’t make sense if new members couldn’t be added along the way.

Moreover, having every character in a relationship gives them a life outside of the viewpoint of the show, which can be difficult to achieve on a show centered on a workplace.  And the best part about it is that all of the relationships are handled so, so differently – Leslie and Ben are not April and Andy, who in turn are not Ron and Diane.  These characters have all found their soulmate, their perfect match.  But when the cast on this show is populated by people whose personalities, at least on paper, don’t mesh at all, it makes it even more poignant that they’ve all found someone who complements them.

I’ve talked a lot in my recaps about why this is such a great storyline for Tom.  And if you’ll recall what I was saying earlier, how “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show” is our opportunity to say goodbye to Andy, then “Two Funerals” is our opportunity to say goodbye to Tom.  Sure, the episode isn’t as focused on Tom as “Johnny Karate” was on Andy, but we were given the chance to see Tom as part of a mature, stable relationship, and see him making selfless and caring gestures for the woman he loves.  Basically, Tom has become an adult.  Like our trust that Andy could be happy in Washington, D.C., the way Tom has been used this season has allowed us to feel confident that things are going to work between him and Lucy, and that even though he’s still as ridiculous as ever, we don’t have to worry about him.

A huge theme of this season has been change.  Changes in careers, in relationships, in dynamics – there’s been a lot going on, both in the gap from 2014-2017 and even just from within 2017.  And there has to be, right?  It’s like Leslie says – you need a balance of beginnings and endings.  Things start, they happen, they end, and then something else starts.  It’s just how life works.

This, of course, is not how Ron Swanson operates.  He’s a man stuck in his ways, so when he finds out that his barber Salvatore (who famously did Leslie’s hair for the banquet in season one) has died, he’s crushed.  He’s been going to Salvatore for over forty years, getting the same exact haircut, paying the same exact amount, and having the same exact conversations (that is to say, they do not speak to each other).  Ultimately, Donna brings him to her friend Typhoon, whose hatred of Europe and bicycles is appealing to Ron, making him able to accept Typhoon as his new barber.

In a strange way, Ron might be the most accurate audience surrogate this season in terms of his reluctance to accept change.  He doesn’t want April to leave just like we don’t want these characters to grow apart; he doesn’t want a new barber just like we don’t want the show to end.  But endings have to happen; if you’ve been paying attention, we know that endings have to happen so something else can begin.  And remember what Ron said to April last week?  What’s important is that he trusted her.  The important thing in forming any connection is that you were able to connect – that something real and important was created.

Some other great moments from the episode:

  • BILL MURRAY, you guys.  BILL MURRAY IS MAYOR GUNDERSON.  Mike Schur has ben talking about wanting Bill Murray to play Gunderson since season two, and I kind of thought it would never happen.  It’s almost a week later and I’m still freaking out about how great that reveal was.
  • “As per his final wish, his body will lie in state in the city council chambers for a day.  Which is just a real cool thing for a public space.” 
  • “Well, I was a mayor once before.  We all remember how that went.”  “Oh yeah, you completely disgraced yourself and destroyed an entire town.”   “Yeah, I said we all remember.”  I’ll never forget you, Ben/April.
  • Ron collapsing when he hears about Salvatore
  • “Was he killed by a younger, stronger barber?”  I want Andy to be a journalist.  He asks all the hard-hitting questions that everyone is thinking.
  • Ethel Beavers revealing her long-standing affair with Mayor Gunderson was great on its own, but the slow pan over to Gunderson in his coffin was a brilliant punctuation mark on the joke.
  • The name of the banner store: Sign-tologist.  I’m going to miss you so much, Pawnee.
  • Ron putting a $10 in Salvatore’s coffin and then commenting, “As you know, I don’t believe in tipping, so I will collect my change from your wife.”
  • “Look at how raggedy my hair is.  What am I supposed to be, some sort of rock star?”
  • I have been waiting for six weeks to see my beautiful sweet prince Jean-Ralphio.  I was so thrilled to finally see him, and even more thrilled that one of the first words out of his mouth was “Haver-fraud” when his character greeted Tom in the jewelry store.  Bless you, you beautiful idiot.
  • And of course, no Jean-Ralphio appearance is complete without Mona Lisa.  I love watching what happens when Jean-Ralphio and Ben get together, but watching Ben interact with Mona Lisa might even be better.
  • Ron Dunne reappeared!  And Ron Swanson still hates him!
  • “Whenever my hair feels it has completed its journey, it simply sheds itself off.”  “I hate you so much.”  “And I love you, my brother.”
  • April screaming like she was being tortured after Ben announced Garry was going to the be interim mayor.
  • Tom’s little “yay” after Lucy says yes was SO CUTE and so very Tom.
  • “So what’s your story again?  I mean, like, how married are you?  Are you down to clown?”
  • “Why are you like this?”  “PILLS, baby!”
  • Tomegranate Juice is my new favorite nickname.  BRB, going to make a friend named Tom just so I can call him that.
  • “More good news – I finally found someone to be mayor.  Garry.”  “Ugh, I’m so glad we’re leaving.”

And with that, we’re almost at the end.  Parks’ series finale is coming up way too soon; how do you think it will end?  And a bigger question – how many times do you think I’ll cry?  Let me know what you thought of “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show” and “Two Funerals,” and how you’re planning on celebrating the finale!

1 comment:

  1. First time commenting on your reviews but I just wanted to say thank you for your recaps. And also say that the Johnny Karate show would be on television for reals in my ideal world. I have always loved Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate together and separately and this show just feels like such a pure distillation of what Andy is. Tears and laughter were overlapping for the whole episode, for this whole season really. I have a toddler and I can't think of a better list of things to teach him then what Andy has created for his show: Make something, Learn something, Karate chop something, Try something new even if it scares you, and be kind. It's just beautiful.

    Ben Wyatt has always been my Parks and Rec love. I have a major soft spot for funny nerds. (for example- My husband is an electrical engineer with a Phd, he can write computer programmes in like 5 languages and he reads science fiction all the time. In fact, to fans of this show I describe him as the perfect blend of Ben Wyatt and Ron Swanson.) So when Ben Wyatt is being his nerdiest (from playing and inventing board games to writing fanfiction to wearing his awesome Letters to Cleo t-shirt) I am the most in love so his whispering to himself while being knighted killed me. But Andy is so close to that top spot simply because he is pure joy.

    I am watching all the seasons in preparation for this finale. It's gonna break my heart. Hope you love it too!