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July 27, 2011 / mandalaymai

A Hot Load of B.S.

That’s what the incomparable Amy Poehler thinks of the fact that Nick Offerman did NOT get an Emmy nod for his outstanding scene-stealing turn as Libertarian government employee Ron Swanson (see below for the link to her interview). While Ron Swanson would say (and has in fact said) is that, “Awards are stupid. But they would be less stupid if they went to the right people.” I gotta agree with both of them. Plus, my own personal opinion is that if you aren’t WATCHING “Parks and Recreation,” well, that too is a Hot Load of B.S.

As you may or may not know (from reading the above paragraph), the Emmy Nominations came out this past week and while I am thrilled at some of the nominations, I am disappointed that Parks and Rec did not get more love from the Emmy voters. Only Amy Poehler and the show itself received nominations. This IS an improvement on last season when only Amy Poehler was recognized. Last year’s winner, “Modern Family” is wildly hysterical and it’s not a surprise that EVERY SINGLE ONE of the adult actors got a nomination, as well as the show itself in the comedy category. But, while this season did not suffer a “Sophomore Slump.”, it did have some problems with keeping the quality as high as the first season.

By contrast, Parks and Rec just Keeps. Getting. BETTER. The writers seem to pack SO much into each half hour and the actors just make a freakin’ MEAL out of it. It’s funny the first time, but how many shows get better with each subsequent viewing? How many shows give you something NEW to laugh about the third and fourth time you run through them? And before you doubt me, I will say that I have watched each episode at least four times, thanks to Netflix streaming.

After the brilliance of Season Two and the delays with getting Season Three on the air at all, I was prepared for Parks and Rec to be shunted aside, and to have it exist in a perennial state of almost-cancelled, a.k.a. “on the bubble.” But, thank heaven! Because the Powers That Be seem to recognize that this is show worth keeping on the air. The addition of the characters of Chris and Ben, portrayed by Rob Lowe and Adam Scott, respectively, just ratcheted an already awesome show into the freakin’ stratosphere.

What I love is that each character is so quirky in his or her own way, and yet the ensemble works as a whole. You could put “LITRALLY” any two or three of them in a combo and the writers and actors can mine GOLD from the situations that arise. One particular example was a storyline I wasn’t sure I would be that into from the previews; Ben moving in with Andy and April. Ben subsequently having to teach them how to be adults was one of the funnier moments of Season Three, giving Adam Scott free reign to throw his “WTF?” yet deadpan expression around liberally. Another combo I never thought would work, especially after the Andy / April relationship evolved, was the hilarious hostility-filled interactions between Ann, the ex-girlfriend, and April. But their interactions in “The Flu” and the odd moment where April comes to Ann for relationship advice still brought something new and hilarious to the screen. Ron Swanson, of course, can make me laugh just standing there; his mustache probably deserves an Emmy nod of its own. But, when he really gets on a roll well I have to goggle at the screen and agree with, Amy Poehler. “What hot load of B.S” is this that keeps him from being recognized?

I also love the character of Tom Haverford, played by Asiz Ansari. An Indian by blood, American by birth and Southern by the Grace of God (that’s my line, thankyouverymuch!) fussy little opportunistic man-child…I am sorry to admit that he is the most like me! And not just because he is a Southern Indian American, but because he has an addiction to Sky mall and other catalog shopping, wants to market his own fragrance and liquor lines and routinely goes to another town to buy hair care products and eye cream.

Finally, the writers (under the direction of showrunner the AWESOME Mike Schur – a.k.a. “Mose Schrute of Schrute Farms”) have taken care to make the fictional town of Pawnee as full, and real and hilarious as Springfield, WHATEVER STATE, USA from the Simpsons. The recurring background and incidental characters are priceless, as are the typically ‘Pawnee’ situations and circumstances. The Sweetums factory, the town Mottos (“First in Friendship; Fourth in Obesity”) and the raccoon infestation make the town its own character.

The bottom line is that if you aren’t watching this show…there is just something SO completely wrong with you. Order the Netflix streaming before the prices peak and get on board! I am going to use the rest of this blog to put up some of my favorite quotes. I can’t put them all up. I don’t have the time to make complete transcripts. Also, it doesn’t really work as a quote, but just basically the WHOLE ‘Snake Juice’ ep. Watch it. Trust me.

Ron: Come on Leslie, you know I’m not sexist. I love powerful women.
Leslie: You do attend a shocking number of WNBA games.
Leslie: The IOW (Indiana Organization of Women) are a bunch of sexist jerks who should just get back in the kitchen and leave the work to real feminists, like Ron Swanson. Oh my God, what is happening?

Andy: Let me explain something to you, Tweep. When you’re in a situation, you don’t have time to think. So I thought to myself, “Don’t think, Andy. Act.”
Tom: So you weren’t thinking.
Andy: Not at all. I cannot emphasize enough how little I was thinking.

Leslie: Every year, Pawnee Cares teams up with the local cable access station to raise money for diabetes research. And it’s important because Pawnee is the fourth fattest town in the U.S. It goes us, Dallas, Tulsa and certain parts of the Mall of America.

Ron: I’m not big on charities. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish, and you feed yourself. He’s a grown man. Fishing’s not that hard.

Ron: I’ve been developing the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness for years. It’s a perfectly calibrated recipe for maximum personal achievement. Categories include Capitalism: God’s way of determining who is smart and who is poor. Crying: acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon. Rage. Poise. Property rights. Fish: for sport only, not for meat. Fish meat is practically a vegetable.

Leslie: [reciting every town slogan Pawnee has ever had] “Pawnee: The Paris of America.” “Pawnee: The Akron of Southwest Indiana.” “Pawnee: Welcome German soldiers.” After the Nazis took France, our mayor kind of panicked. “Pawnee: The Factory Fire Capital of America.” “Pawnee: Welcome Vietnamese Soldiers.” “Pawnee: Engage with Zorp.” For a brief time in the 70’s, our town was taken over by a cult. “Pawnee: Zorp is Dead. Long Live Zorp.” “Pawnee: It’s Safe To Be Here Now.” “Pawnee: Birthplace of Julia Roberts.” That was a lie, she sued, and so we had to change it. “Pawnee: Home of the World Famous Julia Roberts Lawsuit.” “Pawnee: Welcome Taliban Soldiers.” And finally, our current slogan, “Pawnee: First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity.”

Leslie: The Tucker Park Graffiti Removal Project was a great idea that just ran out of steam. We had removed five cartoon penises – not even 10% – when we were shut down due to lack of funding. To this day, I am haunted by those remaining penises. One penis in particular…

Ron: My idea of a perfect government is one guy who sits in a small room at a desk, and the only thing he’s allowed to decide is who to nuke. The man is chosen based on some kind of IQ test, and maybe also a physical tournament, like a decathlon. And women are brought to him, maybe…when he desires them.

Leslie: In a town as old as Pawnee, there’s a lot of history in every acre. This wooded area is the site of, um, the murder, actually, of Nathaniel Bixby Mark. He was a pioneer who was killed by a tribe of Wamapoke Indians after he traded them a baby for what is now Indianapolis. They cut his face off…and they made it into a dreamcatcher. And they made his legs into rainsticks. And that’s the great thing about Indians back then – they used every part of the pioneer.

Ann: When Andy and I used to go the movies, he would always try to guess the ending of the movie. And he would always guess that the main character had been dead the whole time. Even when we saw Ratatouille.

Leslie: What if he shows up with another woman? What if one of my sleeves catches on fire and it spreads rapidly? What if instead of Tic-Tacs I accidentally pop a couple of Ambien and I have to keep punching my leg to stay awake?
Ann: Those are all insane hypotheticals and I promise you they won’t happen.
Leslie: They have happened. All of these have happened to me.
[cut to Leslie being interviewed]
Leslie: Uh, no, there’s more. One time I accidentally drank an entire bottle of vinegar. I thought it was terrible wine. Once I went out with a guy who wore 3-D glasses the entire evening. Oh, one time I rode in a sidecar on a guy’s motorcycle, and the sidecar detached and went down a flight of stairs. Another time I went to a really boring movie with a guy and while I was asleep he tried to pull out one of my teeth. I literally woke up with his hand in my mouth. We went out a couple times after that but then he got weird.

Ron: Are you high?
Leslie: I’m high on Kaboom. “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.”
Ron: That’s right; you never did ask me for permission, did you? Well, I’m sorry to burst your ka-bubble, but I just had my ass ka-handed to me by the city manager, and now this entire department is ka-screwed.
Leslie: Ron, I am so, so, so sorry.
Ron: What the ka-[bleep] were you thinking?

April: I passed up a gay Halloween party to be here. Do you know how much fun gay Halloween parties are? Last year I saw three Jonas Brothers make out with three Robert Pattinsons. It was amazing.

Tom: On a scale from one to Chris Brown, how pissed off is he?

Ron: Got a call from some panicky morning joggers. Apparently sanitation didn’t empty this dumpster, to the raccoons delight.
April: I thought raccoons were supposed to be nocturnal.
Ron: Not in this town, sweetheart. In this town, they’re 24/7. We can’t have raccoons for the Christmas thing. They’ll hunt the kids for sport.

Tom: Justin is hip. Pawnee is the opposite of hip. People in this town are just now getting into Nirvana. I don’t have the heart to tell them what’s going to happen to Kurt Cobain in 1994.

Ron: Leslie needs to butt out. The whole point of this country is if you want to eat garbage, balloon up to 600 pounds, and die of a heart attack at 43, you can. You are free to do so. To me, that’s beautiful.

Ron: Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait, wait. I’m worried what you just heard was, “Give me a lot of bacon and eggs.” What I said was, “Give me all the bacon and eggs you have”. Do you understand?

April: Hey, I love you.
Andy: Dude, shut up! That is awesomesauce!

Ron: I just want to get the work over as soon as possible so I can do some fishing. Fishing relaxes me. It’s like yoga except I still get to kill something.

Tom: I gotta nail the speech, so I brought in an expert: Jean-Ralphio.
Jean-Ralphio: Can I throw something on you, see if it feels good?
Tom: Sure.
Jean-Ralphio: OK, this is what I would do: I would start with a joke. Joke. Vince Vaughn quote, obviously.
Tom: Swingers or Crashers?
Jean-Ralphio: Fred Claus. Talk about Andy’s ex-girlfriends, quote from Love Actually, hold back your tears, pause…drop the microphone, get out of that bitch.

Tom: ‘Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrees. I call sandwiches sammies, sandoozles, or Adam Sandlers. Air conditioners are cool blasterz, with a z. I don’t know where that came from. I call cakes big ol’ cookies. I call noodles long-ass rice. Fried chicken is fri-fri chicky-chick. Chicken parm is chicky chicky parm parm. Chicken cacciatore? Chicky catch. I call eggs pre-birds, or future birds. Root beer is super water. Tortillas are bean blankies. And I call forks…food rakes.

Ron: OK everyone, SHUT UP AND LOOK AT ME! Welcome to Visions of Nature. This room has several paintings in it. Some are big, some are small. People did them and they are here now. I believe that after this is over they’ll be hung in government buildings. Why the government is involved in an art show is beyond me. I also think it’s pointless for a human to paint scenes of nature when they can just go outside and stand in it. Anyway, please do not misinterpret the fact that I am talking right now as genuine interest in art and attempt to discuss it with me further. End of speech.

Ron: It’s never too early to learn that the government is a greedy piglet that suckles on the taxpayers’ teat until they have sore, chapped nipples. …I’m gonna need a different metaphor to give this nine year old.

Andy: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I read that one on a can of lemonade. I like to think it applies to life.


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