Parks and Recreation: “William Henry Harrison” Season 7 Episode 3 Review

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After briefly working together in the second part of last week’s two-episode premiere, the Leslie and Ron feud is back on and more intense than we’ve seen yet.

“William Henry Harrison” was all about building the tension here to a boiling point. With the Newport land up for grabs, Leslie and her team (Andy and April) try to find some historical significance with the land. Turns out that President William Henry Harrison had a hunting lodge on the land, but it has since been demolished.

For those who need some brushing up on their history, Harrison was the president that didn’t wear a coat to his inauguration, got a cold, and died 32 days later. Amazingly, this is an example of true history being as funny the fictional history Parks and Rec. made up for Pawnee. Harrison’s short term as president is such a weird thing for a mainstream show like this to make fun of, but it was so in line with the show that the jokes were only funnier because it was real. How lucky the writers were that Harrison was governor of the Indian territory.

Meanwhile, Ron and his team (Tom and Donna) look to get a local celebrity to endorse their flashy presentation of what they want to do with the land, which is essentially nothing but to use it to make money. Learning Leslie’s plans from Terry throughout the episode, Ron agrees to a lot of things to put Leslie out of the running for the Newport land. The Ron we used to know would never have stood alongside a social networking company like Gryzzl. This makes for a bit of a jarring jump in character, considering we know very little about his feud with Leslie. While it looks like we’ll get the lowdown on that in the episode that follows, some more context would have made this episode feel less awkward.

Poor Ben and Terry get caught in the middle trying to get Leslie and Ron to sign the same form. After their press conferences get in the way of each other, Ben unites the old Parks Department, aside from Leslie and Ron, in a mission to get them on good terms again.

For an episode that mostly just builds tension for what’s to come, “William Henry Harrison” was pretty solid. There were a lot of laughs, especially around the poor president being made fun of, but also some great character moments. Season 7 is already more consistent than season 6. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

– This episode’s best 2017 joke: “The sales for Chick-fil-A went through the roof when Elton John bought them.” A close second is the feud between Morgan Freeman and Shailene Woodley.

– The Harrison museum was full of great stuff, but the best was the room of other things that were famous for a month, with “Tubthumping” playing in the background.

– I barely remember Erinn Hayes’ last guest spot as Annabel Porter, but she was on-point tonight.

– Andy has never been smarter or sweeter than when he helped April figure out that she likes working one-on-one with people.

– To be Continued…Right Now!


By Matt Dougherty


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