We’ve only had two episodes of Parks and Recreation’s third season, but that’s all I’ve needed to once again be convinced that this is the best comedy on TV. Sorry Modern Family, Glee, Big Bang Theory and every other respected comedy. “Flu Season” was a non-stop laugh-fest, an episode that put all of the show’s strengths on display, straight from the cold open. Amy Pohler, Rob Lowe, and Chris Pratt were spot on, delivering some of the best lines of the night (see the “Other Notes” section below) in what may prove to be the shows defining episode.
With flu season running through Pawnee, Leslie was trying desperately to ignore her symptoms so she could give her presentation on the Harvest Festival for the Chamber of Commerce. As Leslie gets more and more sick, she gets more and more crazy, giving Amy Pohler plenty of room to do what she does best. Finally, she breaks and and goes to the presentation, motivated by her lack of trust of Ben. Much to his amazement, she gives a fantastic presentation, winning over the Chamber of Commerce, and then promptly turns crazy again.
Meanwhile, Chris found himself sick, a position he’s rarely been in. It gave Ann a chance to see him at his most vulnerable, and gave us a chance to see Rob Lowe tear it up, showing he belongs in the same gang of comedians that drive this show. April was right down the hall, giving Ann hell, mostly just because she could. With her sick, Ron brings in Andy to work his desk, and the two end up bonding as only Ron and Andy could. When Ron finally tells Andy that April is in the hospital, he rushes to her side, only to realize she could be asleep for hours. But when he kisses her, we get a small smile out of April, adding a nice, sweet moment to the end of a pretty goofy episode.
Rashida Jones even got a chance to shine tonight, showing off some of her comedic chops. Between being constantly flustered by Chris and tormented by April, Ann was perpetually either kicking herself or ready to kill someone. We also got some great moments between Andy and Ron, especially when after hitting a car with a football, they ran away, Ron laughing like a little girl. It was an example of how much this show packs in its humor, filling every empty space with it.
All in all, I think “Flu Season” might be Parks and Recreation’s defining episode. Every member of the cast got a chance to shine, whether it was Aziz Ansari in the hot tub or Adam Scott’s look of bewilderment when Leslie started her speech. It will probably always live in the shadow of The Office, but now that it follows it, it’s plain as day that its a much better show. This episode was nearly flawless, the perfect example of why Parks and Recreation is without a doubt, the funniest show on television.
“Good evening everyone, I’m Leslie Monster, and this is Nightline.”
“Leslie, I typed your symptoms into the computer, and it says you might have ‘network connectivity problems.’”
Michael’s Score: 98
TUiW Grade: A+