Review: ‘Parks and Recreation’ – ‘Sex Education’

Senior Television Writer
10.18.12 47 Comments

A review of tonight’s “Parks and Recreation” coming up just as soon as I ask Alta Vista to take me to Yahoo…

Like the episode that aired two weeks ago(*), “Sex Education” is pretty basic in design – three stories focusing primarily on different pairs – and more evidence that sometimes keeping it simple is the easiest way to keep it funny.

(*) If “Parks and Rec” had to be pre-empted last week, at least it was pre-empted by the man who comprises the sum total of Leslie Knope’s celebrity sex list.

The Leslie/Ann story that provides the episode with its title deftly incorporates several running gags from the series: Leslie’s ongoing feud with Marcia Langman (here revealed to have a closeted gay husband), Ann’s tendency to get swallowed up in whatever relationship she’s in, and the mystery and majesty that is Perd Hapley, banned from Pier 1 and a man who can comfortably say, “100 percent of Pawneeans are Perd-verts That’s what I call fans of the show because my name is Perd.” It was also a reminder that occasional conflict between Leslie and sweet, beautiful Ann Perkins is always good for the show, and that as funny as any official gathering of Pawnee citizens is, it gets even funnier than they are senior Pawnee citizens. (“What if the banana is soft and mushy and dog legs sharpy to the left?”)

The Tom/Ron story hit very close to home, I must say. I’m not so addicted to screens that I can’t find my way around my town without a GPS, but as Tom started listing his morning internet routine, let’s just say he was ticking a lot of similar boxes. Ron’s reaction to hearing about Reddit, Pinterest, etc., was perfect, as was his solution:  handing Tom a thick paper book that teaches a practical physical skill.

As for Ben and April, this one was even lower-concept than their aborted road trip – just the two of them reacting to meeting their oddly robotic congressional candidate for the first time – and yet once again demonstrated that the chemistry between Adam Scott(**) and Aubrey Plaza is so good that you don’t really need a story at all.

(**) Hands up, anyone else who saw Ben and immediately started humming the theme to “Simon and Simon.”

Nothing fancy. Just funny.

What did everybody else think?

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