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Parks and Rec “Operation Ann” 

Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

Even though it was Groundhog’s Day, the folks at NBC’s Parks and Recreation unloaded a Valentine’s Day episode on us. Actually, it was more of a Valentine’s Day and GALentine’s Day combo. As you may recall, on February 13, Leslie likes to celebrate her girlfriends and give them gifts. She’s thoughtful that way. And that’s why Galentine’s Day is almost up there with other TV holidays like Seinfeld’s Festivus and The O.C.’s Chrismakkah in my book. I haven’t decided about Hart of Dixie’s Planksgiving yet.We actually learned a lot about the various Pawnee players in “Operation Ann”:

  • Leslie’s mom was born on the same day Joseph Stalin died.
  • Ron Swanson is the first smartest guy Andy knows. Ben’s the second smartest guy.
  • April hates Valentine’s Day. And brunch. And outside. And smiling.
  • April and Andy are perfect for each other. April doesn’t mind when Andy doesn’t buy gas and instead buys novelty cookie cutters. Now everything they eat is shaped like dinosaurs.
  • Ron loves intricate scavenger hunts. Who knew? They make him downright giddy. In fact, he wants Leslie to arrange one for him on his upcoming birthday. And it looks like he turned a lot of heads at the local gay establishment. It’s official. Everyone thinks Ron Swanson is hot.
  • Donna has several men on rotation. And she seemed to be with at least three of them at the Valentine’s dance.
Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC
  • Do not let Chris Traeger DJ when he’s depressed. Although, what exactly made him bounce back? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • And how did Jerry not realize he hired a male escort? He’s so clueless. Love that about him.
  • Ben now loves and misses Lil’ Sebastian. Well, maybe not misses, but he did guess the whole end game of the scavenger hunt correctly. And for that he is awesome.
  • April is a nice person. It’s official.
  • Leslie likes passionate speakers and Italian men

Moment of Goodness: April Set up Ann and Tom at the Valentine’s dance

Much of the episode was designed to find Ann a date. So at the dance, she was forced to talk to various candidates. April, despite her supposed disdain for the nurse who used to go out with Andy, had the best luck. She saw that Tom was the only guy to make Ann smile that night and encouraged her to pursue that. So Tom and Ann went out on a secret date, where they seemed to get along. Well, they got along when Tom wasn’t trying to get all Rico Suave on her. I thought this was a nice sequence coupled with the fact Ben and Leslie were spying on them. You see, Leslie thought (boss) Chris and (employee) Ann were hooking up again — which would have been against the Parks and Rec bylaws or whatever. I thought it was weirdly sweet how quickly Ben was willing to abandon their Valentine’s dinner plans to help his girlfriend catch Ann and Chris in the act. Those two are just about the cutest couple on TV.

What They Said: Some Favorite Quotes from “Operation Ann” (writer: Aisha Muharrar)

Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC
  • “Joseph Stalin dies?” “That’s right mom and you replaced him. Not in terms of genocide just in terms of being on earth.”
  • “I have several men in rotation. One’s waiting for me out in the car. Don’t worry, I rolled down the window.”
  • “Man, you beautiful spinster. I will find you love.” “What? Did you say something?” “Love you!”
  • “Thank you all for being here. Let’s get started.” “Wow, great attitude, Ron.” “Sorry, I was talking to these ribs.”
  • “Also, you need to find someone educated and friendly and fun.” “Just tell us the damn word.” “Effervescent. You need to be effervescent.”
  • “Quick question about Ann. Does anyone know…if she has any Indian in her?” “No one respond. No one say anything.” “Why? Just curious if Ann has a little Indian in her.” “Silence.” “I don’t think she does.” “Would she like some?” “No!”
  • “Hey Chris Cross. Can we change up the music? It kind of sounds like the end of a movie about a monk who killed himself.” “It is.”
  • “Stop staring at Jerry like that.”
  • “I am 44 years old.” “You don’t look a day over 30.” “Most people say 25.” “Who says that?” “A lot of people.”
  • “You love Italian men?” “Not as much as…Irish…Scottish? White. Whatever you are.”

Parks and Rec airs Thursdays on NBC at 8:30/7:30c.

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