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Moment of Goodness

Moment of Goodness: Tom’s Oh-No-Nos List, Parks and Rec “Sweet Sixteen” 

Photo Credit: NBC

I still don’t know exactly how I feel about Tom and Ann’s bizarre relationship. I never would have thought of pairing those two up so I’m trying to open my mind to it. They have nothing in common. Forget Venus and Mars, they often seem like they’re not even in the same universe. To see them navigate whatever they have between them has been interesting. I seriously don’t know if they’ll ever have that moment where they just click perfectly leaving us wondering why they never got together before now. It doesn’t feel like that’s ever going to happen here. Maybe that’s not even the point with this couple. Maybe simply seeing these two very different people orbit around each other is what were supposed to enjoy.

Photo Credit: NBC

The Tann era or dynasty (Tann is an option for Tom and Ann’s supercouple name) continues in “Sweet Sixteen” when a majorly multitasking Leslie Knope throws a last minute surprise party for leap day birthday boy, Jerry. Everybody converges at the lake house Donna’s family owns, where it’s revealed Donna’s cousin is Ginuwine. Of course Tom worships the R&B singer while Ann has no clue who he is; a fact that causes a crisis for the smooth operator:

Tom: “Ginuwine? Ginuwine…is Ginuwine. He’s Ginuwine.”
Ann: “Saying his name over and over is not going to help me.”
Tom: “He’s an R&B singer. “Pony?” “Differences?” Do you really not know who Ginuwine is?”
Ann: “I know that he’s Donna’s cousin.”
Tom (to the camera): “When I’m dating someone, I have a list called ‘My Oh-No-Nos.’ When a woman commits an oh-no-no, it can end a relationship. Not loving 90s R&B music is number three on the Oh-No-Nos List. Girl doesn’t even know who Ginuwine is.”

Throughout the episode, we learn more of Tom’s Oh-No-Nos and how Ann violates all of them. For example, when he quizzes her on the minimum acceptable thread count for sheets, she admits to using the cotton t-shirt variety. That’s blasphemy to Tom. One of the best parts of this discovery period in Tom and Ann’s relationship is that every time he’s hit over the head with how different they are, he gives the camera this awesome look of shock. Aziz Ansari is so good at the quick look to the camera. The only other actors on the show to rival him in this department are Adam Scott and Nick Offerman. Other Oh-No-Nos/ways Tom and Ann are different:

-Ann’s never seen a Paul Walker movie
-She doesn’t care about Blu-Ray
-She doesn’t own as many pairs of Uggs as Tom does
-They consistently disagree on ‘Who Wore it Best’
-She still uses an IPad 1
-She reads books all the time

Tom quickly realizes he may have to break up with Ann over this. I think he’s trying to register in his brain how many differences he can tolerate and be okay with Ann as a girlfriend. After all, she’s his dream girl and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him. It’s almost a ‘be careful what you wish for’ type of scenario here. He has the beautiful girl but he doesn’t click with her on any kind of personal level. What’s Tom to do? As for Ann, she has her own oh-no-nos when it comes to Tom:

-he makes her see terrible movies and then talks through them
-he puts 20-inch rims on his Volkswagen Golf
-and he wants to be introduced to as “The Brown Gosling”

Photo Credit: Danny Feld/NBC

At some point in the action, April gets dragged into the mix since she helped hook them up. It couldn’t have happened to a better person since April hates people (other than Andy) and she couldn’t care about their feelings. Her coping mechanism for having to deal with all this relationship stuff is to drink heavily. However, she ends up having to break them up herself since they won’t do it. Unfortunately for April, she gets so drunk Tom and Ann have to help her to bed. This bit of bonding solidifies their relationship a little bit more. There’s no breaking up for them — at least not yet. Poor April.

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

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