Parks & Recap: April and Andy’s What?

Andrew Maxwell Dwyer and April Roberta(!) Ludgate were married last night in a shocking, cheesy but ultimately sweet sitcom wedding. When I read the description for “Fancy Party” I was expecting another popular sitcom trope; The Dinner Party (which P&R already did hilariously in “Leslie’s House”) but within the first segment it was revealed that the Dinner Party was not happening and a wedding would be happening in its place. I’m getting ahead of myself, lets go back a bit.

An unusually giggly April began the episode by handing out invitations to their party, invitations that requested the invitee bring stuff like silverwear or cooked steaks. The party was being held at Andy’s friend Burley’s house cause Andy is sorta homeless.

Meanwhile Ben is deciding whether to stay in Pawnee or go back to Indianapolis. Hmmm I wonder what series regular Adam Scott’s character is going to choose?

And then the party began and it was quickly revealed to Leslie that Andy and April were getting married. It’s not often that Leslie’s in a plot where she gets to be the audience surrogate, but here she was thinking the same thing we all were; Huh?

At this point I seriously didn’t think they’d go through with it, that just as easily as they’d made their decision, they would unmake it.

Tom pursued being Andy’s best man and even enlisted Jean-Ralphio (guest star Ben Schwartz, Undercovers) to help with the speech writing. Tom’s quest to be best man was the weakest plot of the night, but it was totally redeemed with J-R’s speech outline (see below).

The night’s B-plot featured the increasingly zany and unhinged Ann going to a singles mixer which also had Donna in attendance. Ann’s terrible flirting and Donna’s coaching made this a winner for me. I know some people really hate on Ann, that the writers don’t know what to do with her, but this season since losing Chris, I say she’s been used well. The decay of her confidence mixed with the perfection of pairing her with Donna has made her a valuable member of the ensemble – at least last night, they’re still finding her groove, but you must agree that Ann this season has been a HUGE improvement from the last.

Back at the wedding Leslie seemed determined to stop the nuptuals, and I though she would up until the moment that Simon & Garfunkle’s “April Come She Will” started playing. With those first few soft chords we knew this was happening for real.

I have a few griped with the wedding; first April is barely 21 and her parents let her just get married to a guy nearly a decade older? It was one of the more over-the-top moments on a series with very few. Like in the teaser; Ron pulling out his tooth. Him actually pulling out a tooth would have sent Parks & Rec, a series grounded in its reality into Community or 30 Rock zone, but by revealing it was a ruse to impress his co-workers (and make Tom faint), P&R once again avoided becoming a farce. While I can’t completely overlook the unlikelihood of the Wedding, I can look past it and see what Parks and Rec tried (and pretty much succeeded) in doing. They managed to have an equally funny and sappy wedding and surprised the hell out of us.

At the end Ben decided to stay in Pawnee. Wow, what a revelation. Also April and Andy went on their honeymoon at Burley’s family’s summer home.  

I’d say overall the episode was a success, no “Harvest Festival” or “Ron & Tammy 2” but better than most of the other crap on. The writing staff is so strong and they way they’ve managed to keep their cast of nutjobs grounded it prevents Parks and Rec from becoming like The Office. Any Parks character could exist and probably does in some form, but Dwight, Creed, and Meredith are caricatures. Despite the unrealistic wedding scenario there was still a lot to love, Andy put it best saying; “I cannot emphasize how little we thought about this.”

Things I Loved!

– Jerry’s party shirt. It was awful and pure Jerry.

– Donna’s reference to the movie Nell.

– Derek (April’s ex) and Ben (his boyfriend) were the flower boys.

– Oren! Oren! Oren! We’ve heard about him before in a throwaway line in a previous episode I can’t place. (Leslie was like; ‘you’re friend with the trench coat and black nailpolish creeps people out’ and April was like; “Oren’s a genius” or something along those lines – if you know where it’s from lemme know). Loved him. Must have him back. Please.

– Nerdy Ben doesn’t like Peter Jackson’s LOTR?

– Ann’s awful, awful flirting.

– Andy calling the female Justice of the Peace a man.

– Ron realizing he’d been married and divorced three times and therefore gets to burn another ex-wife effigy.

– Natalie’s speech announcing she lost her grey hoodie, probably the one April wore at the beginning to cover up her dress.

– Andy thinking Tom and Jean-Ralphio were more than just friends.

– Oren ditching Chris cause he’s too upbeat.

– April telling Leslie she thinks she’s awesome and she loves her. Awww! 

Best Lines!

“Apparently they want me to bring Avatar, and 50 pairs of 3D glasses and a 3D capable television”  – Ben telling Leslie what he has to bring to the party.

“So not only does this thing exist, but you’ve deprived everyone of cake!” – Ron on Chris vegetable loaf/cake

“Are you sick? Are you terminal? Is it like that movie A Walk to Remember?” – Leslie trying to figure out why they’re getting married.

“It took me 4 years to find the right hairdresser and we still fight all the time!” – Leslie, the line was good but Poehler’s delivery was killer.  

“That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Did you grow up in the woods? Are you Nell? From the movie, Nell?” – Donna after Ann’s fails at flirting.

“Relationships are like scuba diving. If you come up to fast, you get the bends. And the reason why I know this is because I was dating a guy once, and we were scuba diving, and I told him that I loved him underwater, and he shot up really fast and got the bends.” – Leslie

“No Oren, I don’t know how I’m gonna die… Wait! Are you asking me or telling me?” – Ben talking to Oren who you cannot reveal any personal details to.

“I guess I kind of hate most things, but I never really seem to hate you. So I wanna spend the rest of my life with you. Is that cool?” – April’s vows.

“I would start with a joke, joke, Vince Vaughan quote – obviously”
“Swingers or Crashers?”
“Fred Claus. Talk about Andy’s ex-girlfriends, quote from Love Actually, hold back your tears, pause, drop the microphone and get out of that bitch” – Jean-Ralphio showing Tom the template for his best man speech.

Another strong episode in Parks very strong third season. I swear to god if NBC delays this again, I’m gonna do something insane. Did you like the wedding or was it too random and cheesy for you?

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