On most Thursday nights, I keep the channel on NBC so I won’t miss ‘The Office’ at nine pm. While that’s the main attraction, I must mention with admiration a very cleverly written mockumentary that preceded my regular fav, called Parks and Recreation.
The show stars Amy Poehler as the clueless assistant recreation director of the town of Pawnee, Indiana. She babbles her way through with delightful absurdity and it’s as if everyone watching is in on the joke, other actors included, except her. Last night’s episode had four dignitaries visiting the small town from a sister city in Venezuela. From the start everyone but Poehler knows it’s a set up.
The men all wore army uniforms complete with Marxist-looking berets, and when they arrived in Pawnee, they began picking out which woman they wanted to sleep with during their stay and heaping scorn on the little town. “You call that a park?” they sniff, “our parks are way, way bigger,” and their leader begins ordering around her colleague to fetch him things. He resists, yet begins to enjoy the cash they stuff in his hand after each errand.
It slips out that Poehler is trying to raise $35,000 to turn a hole into a park. A check emerges, and all she has to do is pose in front of a video camera with the generals, who begin yelling “Viva Chavez! Viva Venezuela!” She won’t say it. ”Not even one viva?” they ask. “”How about a viva for Chavez?” they taunt and tempt her.
The on-target writing of this show and the perfect Spanish accents of the Chavezistas made this wonderfully funny. She tears up the check and we’re back on track….because without the challenge of the hole, well, there wouldn’t be any show.