Parks and Recreation: “Flu Season 2” Season 6 Episode 19 Review

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This was the most consistent episode in a long while, with solid stories all around that brought on the laughs.

Last week’s episode was a perfect example of how uneven this show has become. Flu Season 2 is at least consistent, with all three stories hitting a similar level of quality and that level actually being pretty good. This felt like a mediocre episode from the second, third, or fourth seasons, when the show was in its very long prime and even the mediocre was still enjoyable.

Leslie is poaching a 17-year old country music star (Bo Burnham) to headline the Unity Concert. She and Andy try to convince him to do it but he appears to be what every parent probably thinks Justin Bieber is like. Burnham sold it perfectly with a sarcastically over-the-top creation that perfectly fit the show’s tone. But Leslie and Andy give up.

In the middle of this, Leslie gets a surprise revelation, she’s pregnant. It’s not surprising per se, as most comedies head into baby territory when things start to go south (I am staring so hard at The Office right now that it kind of hurts). Chris Pratt was spot on when Andy tried to hint at them getting a dog (Leslie mistook petting a dog for a baby bump).

In the end, they seemingly find a new band to play at the concert and Leslie finally, although appropriately off screen, gets to tell Ben her news.

You see, Ben was trashed this entire episode. After Tom invites April and Donna to a wine tasting where he plans to find a wine specialist for his restaurant, everyone else comes along. But Ben and Ron quickly separate when Ben gets upset about his family selling their lake house, where he has a ton of childhood memories, and gets drunk on blue wine. Both of these stories had some laugh out loud moments, especially April’s “guesses” of what kind of wine she was drinking.

This might have been the first episode that I felt Tom really trying for his restaurant. It was refreshing compared to his usual antics.

Flu Season 2 was one of the better episodes of the season even if that’s only because it was consistently solid. Nothing here measures up to last week’s outstanding April and Andy story, but nothing comes close to touching the awful Ben and Tom DJ subplot either. I’m fine with consistency. It’s a start at getting the show back on track. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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