Welp, that’s the first fictional proposal to have ever made me cry.
And if this were a movie he would kiss her again right there, grabbing her hands and pinning them above her head against the lockers behind her, and she’d groan something into his mouth and kiss him back, intense, hot and sweet and perfect just like the first time and some awesome song would play and the camera would back away at the speed of their hearts until it faded into black-and-white. And it would be perfect. But Ben Wyatt’s life is not a movie, and instead he just fiddles with the zipper on his sweatshirt and says nothing.
Hey, so, there’s a new chapter up for this thing. I call it “The Sad Montage Part.” It gets better next time, I swear.
But for now, go read! Sorry it’s taken me so long to update this thing, I have eighty million other projects I’m working on. But I know how I want to finish this one, so we’ll see how it goes.
Seriously. It’s cold as balls. Amy’s pretty sure that if she had balls, they would be frozen completely off by this point. She’s aware this is history, blah blah blah, no one expected the two-woman ticket to be elected once, let alone twice, but after spending the past four years pretty much doing nothing, no one in their party is exactly feeling exalted to be here. They’re sitting around on the Capitol steps, which are packed to the fucking gills with spectators in “Knope We Can” gear, waving around signs and banners and shit, and their lips are all turning blue as they smile through Scotty McCreery warbling “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” accompanied by a cellist from the National Symphony Orchestra.
assorted scenes from the second term of the knope-meyer administration. contents include barracuda barkley, jonah-snarking, clean jobs headaches, universal health care, bruce springsteen, dick cakes, dick pics, and a cameo from everyone’s favorite snl political dude. yes we can’t not knope!
Jokes and Recreation
Leslie offers him hot chocolate, and it’s freezing outside, so he accepts. She tosses him a can of Reddi-Whip and slides a bottle of chocolate syrup across the table. “Go nuts on the toppings,” she says. “Seriously. Hot chocolate is one of the five best beverages in the universe. Maybe the absolute best. Don’t be a stick in the mud. Indulge yourself!” So he does, and even though it’s cloyingly sweet, it’s not really that bad. She produces a package of gingerbread cookies that aren’t Sweetums brand, and they sit in her kitchen, chattering idly, the way people do when the curiosity is mutual and borders on something more. Something like – attraction, almost.
It’s November. A bunch of shit is about to hit the fan. There’s a reason why Thanksgiving is Ben Wyatt’s least favorite holiday.
Click here to start from the beginning if you haven’t read the rest yet.
One of them was “Smallest Park.”
Okay, so I never knew that Nicole Holofcener directed it. She’s one of my absolute favorite filmmakers — Friends with Money is one of the only times I’ve ever actually enjoyed Jennifer Aniston, and Please Give is just so damn perfect — and one of the reasons she’s one of my favorites is because she has this way of telling stories about women without reducing them to stereotypes of any kind. So naturally, she’s a perfect fit for Parks, which, at its core, is really about the ladies. She’d previously directed the episode “Eagleton,” which is another one of my favorites (because of REASONS and they’re all named Parker Posey), and that was a perfect episode for her because it was, once again, mostly about relationships between grown-ass women.
But “Smallest Park,” I think, is on my top five episodes list, because it is about a grown-ass woman dealing with actual issues in a grown-ass way.
Look, I know people tend to think that Leslie Knope is a little bit of an idealized character, and this past season she did get a little too perfect at times. It can get really irritating when you have a fictional character who just never seems to fail at anything. But what I love about this episode is that both Ben and Ann call Leslie on her flaws, and after she gets (understandably) defensive about it, she then realizes they’re right and is like, “Well, how do I fix this?” Because Leslie totally steamrolls people into going along with her plans, no matter how misguided, and even though they usually work out, this episode made it clear that everybody else is super annoyed by it nonetheless. Leslie made Ann watch all eight Harry Potter movies and eat an entire cheesecake at a party so she didn’t look bad! The catharsis of that scene, where Ann calls Leslie out with this kind of supportive and loving but pained frustration, was so good, because you rarely see sitcom characters interacting like grown-ups. And the fact that Leslie realized Ann was right and didn’t immediately set out to prove her wrong was so refreshing, because in any other show, that’s exactly what would’ve happened.
Oh, and the final scene between Ben and Leslie? You know, where Leslie admits that she’s been a domineering ass and that Ben should feel free to avoid her if it makes their breakup easier for him, and then offers a third option, that they should just say screw it and be together anyway? There is nothing about that scene that I don’t love. Nothing. Because once again, it’s two adults talking out their issues in a way that doesn’t seem boring and like you’re sitting in on couples’ therapy. There are still huge stakes at play in that scene! But it’s not cheaply done! It’s so smart and so well-written, and how awesome is it to see a woman be the one laying it all on the line for a (really good) guy? When they kiss, it’s cathartic again, and even better, it feels earned.
Look, I’m sorry, I know it’s silly to be sitting here gushing over an episode of TV that aired eight months ago. But when I was just watching it, it really struck me how rare a pairing like this is on TV — one where both parties are rational adults who can talk out their problems, but you’re still invested in them. You’re rooting for them to be happy together not just because they’re played by pretty actors or whatever, but because you feel like they’ve earned it. That alchemy is so hard to explain and it’s even harder to achieve, and it’s one of the main reason I love Parks. I loved Friday Night Lights for the same reason, and I really think Ben and Leslie are very similar to Eric and Tami Taylor. And more than anything, I wish there were more pairings like that and fewer couples where the man’s always rolling his eyes as his wife yammers on about nothing. It’s easy to say there’s nothing compelling about functional relationships, but I think they can be more interesting than anything else, when they’re written this well.
Leslie rolls her eyes. “Don’t even worry,” she says. “This whole night has just been one thing like that after another. Right before you got here, Jean-Ralphio’s date – her name’s Trixie or something, you know, that cheerleader? God knows where he found her. But anyway, she decided to start dancing on the ping-pong table because Jean-Ralphio was freestyling over a mix of ‘Turn My Swag On,’ and then the table broke and nobody wanted to help her up. Ann knows first aid, so she finally got her up and took her to the bathroom and I haven’t seen her since. I don’t think Donna is gonna let us ever have another party here.”
I know, it’s a silly use of my time, but hey, whatever keeps you productive, I say.
So this probably isn’t the worst thing his parents have ever done to him. But Ben’s lived in Indianapolis his entire life. He likes Indianapolis. He likes his school and he likes his house, and this year he thinks he might even have a shot at actually being kind of cool. But the summer before junior year, just a few weeks before school’s about to start, his dad finds out that he’s being transferred to the Pawnee outpost of the insurance company he works for.
Chapter One of my Parks and Rec high school AU, because high school AUs are my favorite things. Ben/Leslie and Leslie/Ann, and also general silliness. I’m actually kind of proud of how this first part turned out? So maybe let me know what you think? And I’m gonna definitely write more? Okay. That’s all.
I just want to say that I’m really gonna miss Kathryn Hahn. I love her a lot and I know, I know, she was always just meant to be a guest star and it wasn’t going to be a Chris/Rob/Adam situation where she turns into a series regular after a half-season of guest spots, but I loved her and she made what could’ve been a one-note character totally entertaining (“You know that guy, Chris Traeger? What’s his deal? Does he have a girlfriend? And, uh, is his penis normal?”). It wouldn’t make sense for her to stick around after the election, win or lose, but man, Jen Barkley is the best. I would so watch a spinoff about her life in Washington. Or maybe she could just join the cast of Veep and like pull a Richard Belzer where she takes the same character from series to series.
Ugh, anyway, I have a lot of Jen Feels and I need to express them and I really hope we haven’t seen the last of her. That’s all.
cosmo sex tip #849 right when you’re about to orgasm, scream “DA POPE-A’S A-‘COMIN’!!!!” and fling tomato sauce all over your partner
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they should bring pumpkin spice stuff out now. BAM you’d never see it coming and buy tons of it. where’s my honorary ad/pr degree.
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ahh I’m listening to Audra’s new album and, just, it doesn’t matter how many times I hear her Glamorous Life, it always makes my heart swell in a...