Parks and Recreation Season 2, Episode 6: "Kaboom" - Review

Do Andy (Chris Pratt) and Ann (Rashida Jones) belong together? I'm still not sure. I used to have more of a definitive opinion about their pairing back in Season 1 when I didn't find Andy all that funny and was extremely puzzled as to why a smart capable woman would be shacked-up with a worthless dope. But those kinds of pairings are commonplace in TV comedies. The hot, capable female with the shlubby mandchild. Hell, even 30 Rock had Liz (Tina Fey) paired up with The Beeper King for a while. But Ann seems different in that she's one of the few tethered characters on Parks and seems to spend most of her time dealing with cartoonish buffoonery.

By the end of "Kaboom," we see that Ann's weakness might be grandiose gestures of affection. The fact that she's a nurse most likely gives her a complex where she feels like she needs to care for the weak - which then extends into her relationships. And I can see that in action with how she deals with Andy. But there's still an element where, on a maturity level, he's eight years old and she's a full-grown adult. At one point, when he shows up to her house naked, she even calls him a "big naked baby."

"Kaboom" was a funny episode of Parks, but some of the scenes fell flat and, in the end, the episode wound up being a character-explorer. I enjoyed Ann and Leslie (Amy Poehler) working together at a KaBoom charity event (which is a real organization), where Human Giant's Paul Scheer gets everyone jazzed up to build a playground in one day. But Scheer's character wasn't very funny and his "KaBoom"-isms didn't really make much sense - even in terms of him being a motivational-speaker parody.

The scene was useful though because it showed us Ann and Leslie working together and being friends in a non-goofy manner. It's important to have those two relate to each other in a quasi-realistic manner every so often, so that we can actually buy their friendship. Again, Leslie is so dopey that it takes a lot to believe Ann would hang around with her. But if Ann belongs with Andy, and hanging around and taking care of dopes is her deal, then maybe she's the perfect fit. Of course, it would be forever funnier if Ann and Andy remained apart. The break-up's been the funniest thing to happen to either of them.

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