TV Recap: Parks & Rec, ‘Johnny Karate…’ & ‘Two Funerals

Written by Megan LaBruna

Parks and Recreation

The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show Plot Summary:

Karate moves, lost spiders and John Cena?! The Johnny Karate Show tapes its final episode before Andy (Chris Pratt) and April (Aubrey Plaza) move to Washington.

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

Forget about the usual Parks and Rec. This week fans were treated to a full episode of The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show! And I have to say, it was quite entertaining. The show works as most standard kids shows — certain segments are run through and then they say goodbye to their viewers. This was no exception. The Johnny Karate show breaks down into five segments, each of which features someone from the original Parks department. The audience is treated to April’s animal corner, in which the Goliath bird-eating tarantula that is supposed to be on display for the children in the audience has gone missing, but no one panic, this clearly happens a lot.

Then there’s the Johnny Karate first Karate Move to Success is “Build Something” with Ron (Nick Offerman), which mostly means he asks ridiculous questions and does more damage to the end result than actually helping to create it. For the next segment, Ben (Adam Scott) comes on to help Johnny “Learn Something,” which he might if he didn’t always buzz Ben with the “boring” buzzer. Of course you can’t have a show based on a karate character without the next segment: “Karate Chop Something”. Unfortunately for Garry (Jim O’Heir), that “something” always seems to be him. The “Try Something New” segment with Leslie (Amy Poehler) is where it really starts to get emotional.

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/NBC
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/NBC

Since it’s Andy’s (Chris Pratt) last show before he and April (Aubrey Plaza) make the big move to D.C., Leslie decides to try hosting the show herself to provide a tribute to Andy and a look back at all that he has done. Aside from working his way up from his days at the shoeshine stand, Leslie credits part of the reason for building the Pawnee Commons was due to Andy breaking his legs from living in the pit after he and Ann broke up. Remember that? All the way back from that first season, before we were all so utterly in love with Pawnee. Seriously, the original ratings were not great. Luckily, the show picked up so we could have the opportunity to view this super awesome musical explosion show that is now coming to an end. The finale gets the best of April and she feels guilty for taking Andy away from something he loves. But, Andy tells April that he doesn’t care what they do next, that he loves her more and that they’ll figure out their next adventure, which effectively wraps up his final move to success “Do something nice for someone”.

But that’s not all; John Cena shows up having fake stolen Andy’s guitar and then Ben and Andy get knighted by Andy’s former employer Sir Edgar Covington (Peter Serafinowicz)…and they find the spider. This is clearly not a proper learning show for children, but it was definitely entertaining and Andy Dwyer was surprisingly good at it. But the best part of this episode had to have been the fake commercials. They had everything from Paunch Burger to Ron’s Very Good Building Company. There was also a commercial for the Cones of Dunshire game on Kickstarter, which turns out, after some investigating, is actually a real thing! I know what I’m requesting for the holidays next year.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Two Funerals Plot:

With the Mayor of Pawnee’s passing, Ben must find an interim mayor. Leslie helps Tom to plan the perfect proposal.

Turns out this whole time the Mayor of Pawnee was Bill Murray…who knew? With Mayor Gunderson’s passing, Ben must find someone to fill his shoes until a new mayor is elected. During the mayor’s funeral, several life altering moments occur. Tom (Aziz Ansari) decides to propose to Lucy (Natalie Morales) and agrees to let Leslie help him come up with something amazing and Ron finds out that his barber has also passed away. For Ron, this is one of the worst things that could have happened to him. He has gone to the same barber for over four decades, paid him the same amount and had the same discussion “absolutely nothing.” Luckily Donna (Retta) steps in and manages to pair Ron up with a new designer hair dresser. One might think Ron wouldn’t get along with the new hair dresser because he talks incessantly but Ron enjoys that his new barber appears to dislike Europe and bicycles.  Donna had a much easier time finding the right fit for Ron than Ben and April are having finding a new town Mayor.

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/NBC
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/NBC

They manage to interview everyone from Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) to Joan Callamezzo (Mo Collins) and even go so low as to interview the Douche (Nick Kroll); clearly they’re desperate. The entire time April is telling Ben that he should become Mayor. Her theory is that by becoming the Mayor of Pawnee, that he can finally put the whole Ice Town incident behind him. He considers this and is just about to sign the paperwork when he realizes that Ice Town is a part of him that he doesn’t want to forget. That because of that disaster he has worked harder and gotten to where is today, so he doesn’t want to erase it by trying to become a better mayor. Instead, he suggests that Garry (what?!) yes, Garry of all people should become the interim mayor. I’ll let you digest that for a moment.

In the meantime, Leslie helps Tom to film the most awesome proposal trailer and has organized a grand proposal celebration including a hot air balloon and live singers and a throne fit for a queen, Tom’s future queen, Lucy. All this sounds amazing until the moment Tom sees Lucy at the airport and abandons all their prior plans. Instead he asks Leslie to meet him at the Snakehole with waffles a single flower and a deck of cards.  He sits Lucy down and explains that these items are all from their first date when he presented her with a single flower, they ate late night waffles at JJ’s diner and he attempted a terrible card trick. This time the card trick turns out way better when Lucy picks a card that asks her to marry Tom. She says yes!! But, what are they to do with all the planned celebratory acts? They use it to congratulate Garry on becoming the new interim Mayor of Pawnee. It only took seven seasons, but Garry Gergich finally gets his day in the sun!

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

With this being the last week before the series finale, the writers managed to steadily continue finalizing storylines. A majority of our favorites are moving away from Pawnee and those that are staying are starting the next chapter of their lives. Although I am not ready for the show to end, I have some solace in knowing these final episodes don’t feel overly rushed and crammed with information trying to tie everything up in a pretty little bow. I have hope that the hour long episode next week will be reminiscent of why fans fell in love with Parks and Rec in the first place….who am I kidding, I’ll be crying like Ethel Beavers at Mayor Gunderson’s funeral, but at least I’ll have a few laughs too.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Parks & Recreation’s series finale airs next Tuesday on NBC.

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