Parks and Recreation: “London” Season 6 Premiere Review

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Perhaps the best thing about summer ending is that we get to go back to spending our Thursdays with Leslie Knope and the other wacky citizens of Pawnee.

But it turns out these guys are just as funny in London as they are in Indiana.

Before that though, season six picked up literally moments after season five ended. It was hysterical that Andy’s supposed knowing glance about Diane’s pregnancy wasn’t actually true. Then, in what is clearly now a Parks and Rec. tradition, we got a surprise wedding, this time for Ron and Diane. It was minimalist, much to Leslie’s dismay, but very cute in a Swanson sort of way. Heck of a way to start a season.

Anyway, April nominates Leslie for an award which she wins and travels to London to accept. This is all while Pawnee plans to recall our favorite councilwoman. I was nervous about this plotline undoing the magnificent way Leslie took office. But the premiere seems to be handling the situation well so far. She accepts the award but, in a brief moment of honesty, insults the town (calling them “pee-pee heads”). Leslie heads home to keep doing what she does best, helping Pawnee in the biggest or littlest ways possible. At least April appreciates her, in one of the more tearjerky moments between the two.

The London trip also included a business meeting with Ben and Andy trying to extend a charity from Pawnee to the UK. But of course Andy’s childish demeanor won over the Lord they met with. He even offered Andy a position for a few months in London to help build the charity. April is all for it, with a smart reference to the show’s history as she explains that they’ve done this before with her in Washington D.C. It certainly helped the plotline feel less recycled and more like Andy striving for something. We don’t need to worry about what the time apart will do to Andy and April. They’ve got this.

Meanwhile, Leslie sends Ron on a scavenger hunt through the UK that eventually leads him to the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland. A clever little subplot to give Ron a quest through Europe (especially after all his hilarious asides to the camera explaining London’s tourist attractions).

But not everyone was in London this week. Ann and Chris quickly got pregnant and are cuter than ever.

Also, Tom faces competition for Rent-A-Swag from none other than Jean-Ralphio’s father. I’m interested to see where this goes, but for now it is the least engaging new storyline.

All in all though, Parks and Rec. started season six off right. The extended runtime never felt overlong. We have plenty of new stories to look forward to that on any other show would be gimmicky instead of serving its characters. But that’s why Parks is one of the best comedies on TV. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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