PARKS AND RECREATION: Greg Pikitis - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote


October 30, 2009 by  

In the midst of a breakthrough second season, I have had very few complaints for the cast and crew of Parks and Recreation.  My biggest wish for P&R’s sophomore year was that the Pit debacle be replaced by a long term storyline that focused on the personal lives of Pawnee’s public servants.  Though stars Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones have onscreen romances to navigate, I have become fascinated by the unrequited love story between a man and his green card wife.

Aziz Ansari has shown considerable acting chops in Season Two.  Armed with a barrage of memorable one-liners and opportunities to show vulnerability, the young comedian adds more dimensions to Tom Haverford each week.  Tonight’s episode was Ansari’s best yet, particularly the revealing look at Tom’s true feelings for Wendy.  Hints of Tom’s affection may have been sprinkled into earlier episodes, but Ansari’s face said more than any indulgent monologue could have.  Tom Haverford is the life of the party, but we now understand who he is truly trying to impress.  Kudos to P&R’s creative guru Michael Schur for writing this scene and to director Dean Holland for letting the lens do the talking.

We may be entering new territory in TV fandom, as I cannot recall rooting for an onscreen husband and wife to consummate their marriage.  I am already looking forward to seeing more Tom/Wendy drama in the weeks ahead.  If they ever got married for the right reasons, imagine the size of the dance floor!

Leslie Knope may not be the world’s most graceful dancer, but she certainly went a few rounds with manipulative teenager Greg Pikitis.  As the episode’s title implied, young Mr. Pikitis was a memorable antagonist for the entire P&R department.  Actor Cody Klop gave no quarter to Leslie, Officer Dave, or Andy’s FBI alter ego Bert Maclin.  Rather than make Greg Pikitis a troubled kid with a heart of gold, Klop chose the path of true villain.  After a brilliant reveal, with Greg’s mother asking if she had been substituted for a Craig’s List stand-in, I wanted to water board the kid!

Greg Pikitis reminded Leslie Knope of some dark high school days, and I was tickled at the steadfastness that Amy Poehler brought to the task of bringing Pikitis down.  From the cold open confrontation in the halls of Pawnee High to the “serial killer” map of Greg’s routes to the threatened statue, Leslie was staunchly defending her world view.  Thou shalt not vandalize a city landmark, especially if it bears a strong resemblance to Ron Swanson!

Louis C.K. made a welcome return as Officer Dave, wasting no time in reminding the audience why he is a good fit as Leslie’s boyfriend.  Both Leslie and Dave work under bureaucratic rules that constrict their abilities to impact the world on a day-to-day basis. Officer Dave is a sweet man who appreciates the value of respect.  When Tom Haverford failed to deliver that respect in “The Stakeout,” Dave dealt with him swiftly.  Leslie Knope is a true believer in the power of public service.  When Greg Pikitis took it upon himself to embarrass the folks at City Hall, Leslie made it her mission to make him pay.  I assume that the creative team behind P&R have other suitors in mind for Leslie, I would be happy to see Louis C.K. throughout Season Two.  His “aw shucks” talking heads are adorable, and sitcom audiences tend to like their main characters to be happy.  At this point, Officer Dave makes Leslie feel loved and appreciated, and that is a story worth telling.

A few other items of note before I turn the conversation over to you:

Ron Swanson’s line about the side effects of almonds was hilarious, but did all of you catch him picking those little nuts out of the candy later on?  It was a well-edited callback for those paying extra attention.

Ann’s Halloween costume paid off my recurring joke from the Season One recaps, where I railed against the “raggedy” relationship between Ann & Andy.  Of course, with the cast hitting on all cylinders in Season Two, I would welcome another chance for Andy to capture Ann’s heart.

The return of April’s boyfriend Derek and Derek’s boyfriend Ben!  I am proud to haveI recognized Derek as Mark’s younger twin, just before Brendanawicz himself entered the frame.  April has used a variety of creative methods to champion her progressive views, and I do regret that she was not able to see the Jonas Brothers and Robert Pattinson (or three of each) continue their courtship at the alternative Halloween party.

Will Jerry get credit for inadvertently inviting Tom to Ann’s party?  Nah, he’ll probably find a way to ruin the Thanksgiving turkey and burn down someone’s Christmas tree.

Though this episode lacked the LOL moments of other Season Two installments, I am thrilled to see the cast members moving in new and exciting directions.  We are a long way from the finish line, but fortunate to be witnesses to the Pawnee journey.

What are your thoughts on this episode?  Did you enjoy the Pakitis storyline?  Were you surprised that Tom truly loves Wendy?  Was Wendy flirting with Ron?  Are you curious about the next step in Ann & Mark’s relationship?  So many questions, so much comment space to fill, so fire away!

Aside from writing about House and Parks & Recreation, Erik has become addicted to Top Chef, The Next Iron Chef, and most other shows with the word “Chef” in the title. Please forward any recipes for Chef Boyardee to his Twitter handle (@FreelanceErik).


3 Responses to “PARKS AND RECREATION: Greg Pikitis”

  1. Bonnie on October 30th, 2009 1:38 pm

    I really enjoyed the episode. I was watching more closely to this one (I’ve only seen 4 episodes now) than I have before. Great recap above! I’m enjoying the Ann/Mark storyline. Probably because I love the actors. Love that it’s super slow. The Greg Pikitis storyline was great – I had no idea where it was going and how it would be resolved. Love the way they ended it. Great actors – unrequited love on Tom’s part adds a layer of depth that is great to see in a 30 minute show. I’m hooked!

  2. sanen85 on October 30th, 2009 5:33 pm

    I don’t know why you didn’t feel there weren’t any LOL moments, I definitely did.

  3. Andrew on October 30th, 2009 8:03 pm

    Andy had two moments that made me laugh pretty hard.

    1. “I’m Bert Maclin, with the f**king FBI.”
    2. When Greg’s fake mom threatens to call everyone’s boss, and he says his boss is the President of the United States. I can’t remember the exact line, but oh man his delivery was great.