TV Recap: Parks & Rec, ‘Gryzzlbox’ & ‘Save JJ’s’

Written by Megan LaBruna

Parks and Recreation

Gryzzlbox and Save JJ’s Plot Summaries:

Plot: Leslie and her team go undercover inside Gryzzl to research the recent data mining of Pawnee’s citizens. JJ’s Diner prepares to close its doors after 41 years when they’re forced out of their lease. The town bans together to try to save their beloved waffles.

If you enjoy being cyber-stalked, then Pawnee, IN is where you want to be in 2017…plus they have flying robots! With Gryzzl owning primarily all of the technological aspects of the town, they’ve started data mining Pawnee residents. Donna (Retta) receives a box with honey bears and sugar plums which worries her; because they are the private nicknames she and her fiancée have for each other. Those names are never used in public, only in person, or over the phone in private conversations with one another. This, coupled with Leslie’s (Amy Poehler) box of ‘all things government and Leslie-related,’ causes Ben (Adam Scott) to start questioning Gryzzl’s business ethics.

Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC
Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC

Donna manages to set up a tour of Gryzzl for Ben and Leslie so they can see inside the belly of the beast. They also set up a town meeting to notify the residents of Pawnee. Shockingly, for once, everyone is on Leslie’s side. In all the seasons I’ve watched of this show, I’ve never ever seen this happen. Viewers were just as baffled by the blanket agreement of the residents as Leslie was.

Surprisingly, Ron (Nick Offerman) is the one who isn’t furious about Gryzzl’s obvious invasion of privacy. Ron’s anti-technology beliefs support his theory that these people choose to use these devices so they are willingly giving their information to Gryzzl. That is, until a flying robot shows up at Ron’s house with a box for his young son. That robot didn’t last long against Ron, his hatred for invasion of privacy and his shotgun.

So on to Perdple’s Court to publicly embarrass Gryzzl for lying to everyone! Oh yes, our favorite newscaster, Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) is now a television judge (not a real Judge). Unfortunately it’s discovered right before the show airs that Ben unknowingly signed off on the sneaky agreement to allow Gryzzl to have access to everyone’s personal lives via their phones and internet searches. Luckily. this doesn’t turn out like the “Ice Town” incident and Ben is able to save the day, somewhat, by using Gryzzl’s own slogan against them. He states that it isn’t “chill” to bury the fine print under 20 something rewrites of a contract. “Tap Tap Tap…We’re clear.”

Photo Credit: Ben Cohen/NBC
Photo Credit: Ben Cohen/NBC

Although I love having an hour’s worth of Parks and Rec this season, it just seems to be one issue after another. The next fire that needs attention: JJ’s Diner, aka ‘Leslie’s waffle heaven,’ is about to be shut down and bought out by Dennis Feinstein (Jason Mantzoukas). Pawnee is not a town that takes breakfast food lightly, so they decide to boycott Feinstein’s takeover. Even Jonathan Karate (Andy Dwyer aka Chris Pratt), the older, more serious brother of Johnny Karate comes out to fight the cause along with his little ninjas. For all their hard work and passion, the boycotters end up covered in wet dog smelling cologne, plus Gryzzl offers an accepted $123 million for the land, leaving Leslie without a national park.

Donna and Tom (Aziz Ansari) however, being as fabulous as they are, avoid being sprayed by terrible cologne because they’re out in Beverly Hills for the best day of the year. If you have to ask what the best day of the year is, then you clearly haven’t been watching Parks and Rec very long. The answer of course is “Treat yo’ self”!!! A day dedicated to all the materialistic and extravagant things you normally wouldn’t buy yourself. The best parts of Parks and Rec are the subtle jokes they make. Tom and Donna go to eat at a restaurant that serves “famous fish” as in the fish used in the meal were owned by famous people. Josh Groban makes an appearance and orders his own fish. It’s both terrible and hilarious.

Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC
Photo Credit: Colleen Hayes/NBC

Not one to accept her fate, Leslie believes good things can happen when she and Ron team up. They’re like Joey Fatone and Lance Bass because they’re so N*Sync…this might be my new favorite Leslie-ism. They’re clearly so not in sync since their handshake/pound it/ pat Ron’s belly is a mess, but that crack team of daydreams and naysayers manage to hatch a brilliant plan that solves all of Pawnee’s problems. Gryzzl agrees to move to Beachview Terrace (the abandoned run down town that April and Andy recently moved to) which will allow for JJ’s Diner to relocate and will restore quality to that part of Pawnee that was previously forgotten about. This move will save them more money than trying to build on the land they recently bought. Leslie points out that if they want to have their main facilities in Pawnee they need to start giving back to the community and convinces Gryzzl to donate the land to the Parks Department.

All of the prior seasons of Leslie’s insane belief in things working out for the best, finally pays off for her. But it leaves me wondering what the writers have in store for the final few episodes now that everything seems to be wrapped up in a pretty bow.

Parks & Rec airs Tuesdays on NBC.

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