Parks and Recreation, Season Five, Episode 9 "Ron and Diane"
Every week I sit down to watch ‘The Office’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’ back-to-back and it is a little depressing. ‘The Office’ used to be my favorite show on TV by a wide margin. I dragged my heels on ‘Parks’ for the longest time, as Amy Poehler was not someone I thought I wanted to spend 30 minutes with each week. After the third season landed on Netflix, I finally dived in and watch them all, kicking myself afterwards for waiting so long and tolerating ‘The Office’ as it fell in quality. If this was not its last season, I would not be watching – Michael Scott departing took the heart and soul out of ‘The Office.’ With all that said, I think I enjoy ‘Parks’ more than I ever did with ‘The Office’.
Ron Swanson is my favorite character on the series and I have felt like this season has put him a little too much on the backburner. Some of that has really worked, as Andy is growing up and becoming an adult (well, as close as Andy is ever going to get) and Ben’s proposal to Leslie was out of the blue and a great TV moment – better than Jim proposing to Pam even (obviously the build-up to Pam and Jim beat Leslie and Ben – I think the build-up with them beats any other TV couple ever though). Tonight focused on Mr. Swanson a great deal and, to the shock of no one, it was a great episode.
Swanson is nominated for an award for his wood working after submitting the chair he created. Ron has two lovely dates to the awards – Diane (Lucy Lawless) and Leslie, after Leslie refuses not coming. Ron even smiles in the episode – more than once! He gets star struck by wood working legends and acts like a kid in a candy shop. Leslie beats down Diane with questions, wanting to make sure she is the right one for her beloved Ronny Bear. Leslie approves of Diane, giving her the double thumbs up. Of course, Tammy II shows up and everything goes to hell. Tammy threatens to ruin Ron’s happiness, but Leslie vows to protect the happy couple.
Ron and Diane head to a jazz bar and we see Duke Silver in action. If you don’t know what that means, you are really losing out.
The other cast (Donna, April, Andy and Tom) prepared for Jerry Dinner, their annual even where they go out to dinner with however much money they have put in the “Jerry Does Something Stupid” box – something stupid equals a dollar. This year they have more than $500. Finally they decide to pick up Jerry, and are shocked when he is having a huge Christmas party and they were not invited. Ann refuses to let them in and we learn that April is a weakling. Ann lets Donna in, but the others are stuck outside. We meet Jerry’s wife and it is a bit surprising (Christine Brinkley). Jerry’s daughters are also stunning – how is this possible?
Ron wins the award, for “chair,” and is thrilled, saying it is the only award he would ever “give a damn about.” Tammy tries to distract Tom by giving him an upskirt view during his acceptance speech, rattling him. Leslie tries to console Diane, but Diane tells her that she is not threatened by Tammy – she is threatened by Leslie. Uh oh. Ron and Diane leave, as Leslie takes Tammy out of the picture and a cat fight erupts – a cat fight which turns Tammy on.
It turns out that April and Tom have been filtering all Jerry’s emails for three years and have missed tons of great, nice messages from him – as well as their party invitations. They donate the Jerry party money to him and enter the party.
Great episode. An A-.