1. Every bit of physical comedy by Paul Rudd. We’re rooting against Bobby Newport, because this is Leslie’s show and he’s the privileged, unqualified front-runner. But Rudd has made Bobby kind of an endearing doofus — there’s no way we’d want him on the city council if we lived in Pawnee, but he’s not really a bad guy, just a clueless one. The way Bobby walked off the stage at the end of the debate, bobbing his head and shoulders, almost reminded us of a Muppet. Excellent, excellent stuff.
2. Buddy Garrity! “Friday Night Lights” alum Brad Leland played gun enthusiast Fester Trim (love that name) in the episode, and he made the most of his limited screen time. We’re not sure we’re in favor of concussion grenades in our movie theaters, but we respect Fester Trim’s conviction.
3. Andy and April acting fancy. April knows she’s goofing around. Andy? He’s following her lead, except in his own, Andy-like, not-quite-right way: “I dabble. Last week I invested in some shirts that I got at a garage sale … and left at Wendy’s.”
4. Brandi Maxxxx dressing exactly like Leslie and parroting several of Leslie’s positions. It’s a funny bit on its own, particularly in watching Leslie’s horrified reaction to Brandi glomming onto her, but it’s maybe a little funnier for long-time “Parks” fans, since Brandi kind of did the same thing last time we saw her, in “Jerry’s Painting” last season.
5. Spin team! Chris’ “Leslie Knope is lit’rally overflowing with ideas” line was all over the promos, but his and Ann’s enthusiastic spinning of Leslie’s debate performance — and Tom’s sullen reaction to what he thinks is Chris and Ann getting back together — worked pretty well. We also like that Ann was realistic enough about what she and Chris had, and that she didn’t completely shut out Tom. Their weird not-quite-relationship is growing on us.
6. Andy Dwyer’s movie re-enactments. Our friend Alan Sepinwall suggested a spinoff that’s just Andy telling us his favorite movies. We could endorse that, or at least a web series, of Andy giving us blow-by-blow accounts of “Road House,” the Rambo movies and “Babe.”
7. Ron Swanson climbing a telephone pole.
8. And singing “Wichita Lineman” while he’s up there. So the legend grows.
9. The montage of the candidates answering silly questions: “I agree that movies should be more faithful to the books they’re based on.” “Pierce Brosnan … no, Timothy Dalton.” Nice choice by Poehler to show just the answers and let us fill in what absurd query would have prompted them.
10. That random shot of Jerry watching the debate with a group of nuns.
11. Leslie’s closing statement. After all the genuinely hilarious moments, Poehler really nails Leslie’s heartfelt closing about why she wants to be elected. It’s almost a “West Wing” moment, and we’re inclined to agree with Bobby Newport’s assessment: “Holy s***, Leslie, that was awesome.”
What did you think of “Parks and Recreation” this week?