Parks and Recreation: “Gin it Up!” Season 6 Episode 5 Review

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As Leslie’s recall approaches the entire parks department seems to be involved in the outcome. For this episode, that meant Donna.

Donna has been used pretty sparingly over the last five seasons. But I suppose with Ann and Chris leaving in the middle of this season, she is going to have to step up and take a larger role in Leslie’s life. In fact, I wonder if Ann’s absence from this episode was purposeful as the show warmed us up to the idea of Donna being Leslie’e newest go-to friend.

Too bad the dynamic between Leslie and Donna was one of the few things that worked about Gin it Up!. Donna tweets some possibly sexual things from the parks and recreation Twitter account instead of her own, leading councilman Jamm to hold endless trials to try and blame Leslie. To separate them, Jamm brings up some negative tweets about Leslie from Donna’s account. In a fairly formulaic manner the two make up and stand up to Jamm, ending his nonsense. It was fairly predictable but if this leads to Donna having a more prominent role that can be forgiven.

Meanwhile, Tom is chasing a new girl (Tatiana Maslany) who hopes to rent out a park. Of course, he immediately starts talking in a British accent. April does her best to help him, showing Tom that the matter-of-fact approach was the way to go with his new flame. Tom’s story has always been stronger when a love interest was involved that hopes to make him more mature. Hopefully that’s what we’ll be getting.

Finally, there was Ron’s story. Much like the “going off the grid” story from a few episodes back, his animosity towards having an actual will felt like a complete exaggeration of the Ron Swanson we were introduced to way back when. Ron is a character that seriously needs to be leveled out before it’s too late.

All in all, this was easily the weakest episode of the season so far. Even the good stuff felt predictable and forced. But the show is still funny. So for now, Parks and Recreation stays on the positive side. Grade: B-

By Matt Dougherty

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