When I wrote about why “Parks and Recreation” was my favorite show of 2011, I chose the clip from April and Andy’s wedding ceremony to represent the reasons why. That whole episode was, to my mind, maybe the best the show has ever done, and a time capsule-worthy sitcom episode (certainly moreso than “Time Capsule” itself was). Both the episode and April and Andy’s decision to get married on the spur of the moment were both incredibly silly and incredibly romantic, and the way the show turned April from a cynic sneering at everyone into someone who is reluctantly forced to acknowledge that she actually cares about a lot of people and things has been one of the best, most gratifying character evolutions the show has done. The April Ludgate of season 1 laughed at Leslie behind her back. The April Ludgate we know now thinks Leslie is awesome but doesn’t like to admit it. Her heart has grown three sizes, but she keeps it hidden behind a cold, deadpan exterior. Like Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza’s performance is all about minimalism, and because the acting is so small and quiet, any tiny deviation from the norm seems like a much bigger deal than when a louder, more emotional character like Leslie changes her mood.
The NBC digital people have done a good job of putting together highlight reels for the various “Parks and Rec” characters, and today – exclusively on HitFix for the next few hours – it’s April Roberta Ludgate’s turn. Where a lot of the previous clips have focused on other characters doing and saying wacky things, so much of what makes April funny is her reaction to other people, so there’s a lot of good stuff involving both Andy and Ron in here. My one complaint is the lack of Janet Snakehole, but perhaps they’re saving up for an all Macklin/Snakehole clip reel down the line.
No new “Parks and Rec” for a few more Thursdays, so enjoy this in the meantime.