Parks and Recreation isn’t yet at the point where it can do wrong, but it’s awfully close. “Media Blitz” wasn’t a unique or groundbreaking episode by any means, but it was a solid half-hour of television that brought the laughs in a big way.

There were so many great jokes in “Media Blitz.” Tom flirting with Joan Callamezzo will never cease to be funny, and Crazy Ira and the Douche provided a lot of cheap, easy laughs. I enjoyed seeing Ron’s obsession with his wooden typewriter, and Adam Scott did a great job of playing Ben’s increasing frustration with the media. But if I had to pick a single most hilarious moment, it was the final line of the episode, where we find out that Ben called morning show host Perd Hapley, “Turd Crapley.” It was just so absurd that it worked, and I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

But the main reason Parks and Recreation works so well is that there are solid foundations for the jokes. The fun is in watching funny things happen around fundamentally good people. So while we can laugh at Andy getting mistaken for a pedophile or Ben mouthing off at a reporter, we also cheer when Ron sticks up for Andy or Leslie sticks up for Ben. (And it’s a good thing that Ron and Andy’s fledgling bromance hasn’t been forgotten.) Parks and Recreation is adept at not only showcasing interpersonal drama, but also showcasing interpersonal relationships that work.

The other thing that this episode showcased was how well Parks and Recreation takes advantage of its mockumentary format. (Grrr…I’m looking at you, Community.) The talking heads advanced the story instead of bringing it to a grinding halt. Conversations about the various local media personalities seemed natural for the characters, but had a limited amount of expository dialogue so that viewers could feel as if they were “in on the joke.”

I have a couple of minor concerns, but they’re not so much about this episode as they are about the season so far. Firstly, Ann and Chris’s storyline in this episode seemed disconnected from everything else. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but because the project to turn Lot 48 into a park has been put on hold, Ann has been kind of adrift this season. Since breaking her and Mark up, the writers haven’t quite yet figured out what to do with her. Secondly, I think that the April/Andy saga resolved itself a little too neatly. We essentially got five episodes of April acting childish (albeit hilariously so) before the two of them finally hooked up for real. Perhaps if April had acted a little less mean, the writers could have gotten a bit more mileage out of this storyline.

In any case, I don’t want to dwell on these nitpicks because “Media Blitz” was a truly fantastic episode. Parks and Recreation is at the top of its game right now. Let’s hope the quality keeps up for the rest of the season.

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