Parks and Recreation
Episode 11: Women in Garbage
By: Carlos Uribe
Parks and Recreation is a show about Pawnee's parks and recreation department and a town councilwoman named Leslie Knope.
Pawnee is a very sweet town that Leslie loves but it has a little anti-feminist streak. It just isn't in the history books as it's alive and kicking today. Leslie tries to correct this by trying to recruit more women into government jobs. She decides to do this by tackling the sanitation department as they only have one female employee, their second-best secretary. When the sanitation representatives claim that women can't do the same job as they can, Leslie and April set out to prove them wrong. They do meet some obstacles along the way but they manage to succeed by the end. They get three women hired at the department and there's a general victory for women everywhere. It's a good plot that deals with Pawnee's gender issue that happens to be timely as some conservatives have apparently declared war on women. This is an issue that's important to Leslie not because of her unique character but simply because she's a woman. It makes sense but it would have been nice if a show that's as rooted as character as this one would have found a way to make this about Leslie as a whole. This way the plot could have only worked with Leslie rather than just any female character.
Ron and Tom both share a similar story in this episode as the two have to deal with kids. Ron is stuck babysitting Diane's children when they're on a break and the babysitter is out of the country. He tries to tolerate them but they make it difficult. That he's willing to watch them for her is simply a visual sign of how much he cares for her. It should come as no surprise when he accidentally lets it slip that he loves her. His attempt to control the damage that proclamation does might be one of the best Ron Swanson moments in history. It also leads to a sweet conclusion where Diane and Ron proclaim their love for each other for the first time. Tom's conflict has more to do with how his customer base is really into basketball but he knows close-to-nothing about the sport. He tries to have Ben and Andy teach him but it doesn't really do him any good. Tom is able to take this disappointment into a victory when he uses a post-game show to promote his store. Is it a bit silly that the kids have a local post-game analysis show? Yes but it happens to fit Pawnee very well. This was just as funny as the Ron plot but it didn't have the same character depth.
Women in Garbage has some issues but it's just as funny as I have come to expect this show to be. Overall, another great entry from the producers.
Chris is confused on how to label his relationship with the reporter. That's a small plot that doesn't get resolved and is good for a few laughs.