The campaign for City Council is heating up on ”Parks and Recreation“, and who better than Paul Rudd to guest star for a handful of episodes as Leslie’s dopey opponent. It was the audio/visual portion of Leslie’s campaign with the team showing off their TV production skills. Not a weak story or subplot to be found anywhere near the “Campaign Ad” episode – just great writing and acing start to finish. Rudd’s appearance only adds to the overall excellence of the show.

Check below for the complete review…

The Players:

  • Director: Dean Holland
  • Writers: Alan Yang
  • Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, and Chris Pratt

Episode: “Campaign Ad”

Faced with a tough new opponent, Leslie and Ben disagree on the content of her first campaign TV ad. Ron is very uncomfortable when Chris tries to befriend him…

The Good:

  • Bobby Newport: Paul Rudd is perfectly cast as the extremely entitled, mostly goofy Booby Newport, who is running against Leslie for City Council. He likes dogs and his dad is friends with John Cougar Mellencamp, so you know he’s cool! Actually, he is a sweetheart of a buffoon who is clueless about local politics or really what he is doing in a race for City Council. Rudd nailed it. He had some fantastic scenes – especially when he begs Leslie to drop out of the race. It’s nice to know he’ll be around for a few more episodes.
  • Leslie/Ben: How to defeat Bobby Newport, whose family is well-known around Pawnee? Go negative, baby! Ben is ready to drop the hammer, but Leslie would rather just be nice and rattle off an exhaustive list of things she is ‘pro.’ It’s a long-ass list. This was a great story line, made even better with the involvement of Jerry, Tom and Ann.
  • Andy/April: Andy hits his head and then we get some fine physical comedy as he and April visit just about every doctor in Pawnee. This goofy subplot supplied a lot of funny material, highlighting nicely how out-of-touch April and Andy are to the world.
  • Ron/Chris: Ron Swanson spending time with Chris Traeger is always a subplot I am down with. Ron playing bad cop felt just so – right. Their exchanges were funny, and it was surprise when we find out that Chris is interested in Ron replacing Ben as the assistant city manager. Now there’s a thought.
  • The Voice: The back and forth between Tom, Ben, and Jerry over who has the better voice for the negative campaign spot was awesome.
  • Hair Game: I need a favorite line of the night, and Tom’s ‘his hair game is on point’ is my winner. Andy’s “Too handsome for glasses” is a close second.

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Bobby Newport: Not a lot was bad for such a solid episode. As much as I loved Rudd’s goofy character, I did think he might have been too ‘dumb’. The writer’s could have gone with a ruthless political type to run against Leslie, but going with the entitled and ridiculously enthusiastic character of Bobby Newport was a win for sure. Still, it did seem almost like an extreme caricature, but that’s just nit-picking by me at this point.


Home run episode in my book. It’s my first 10 rating. I usually leave the better episodes at 9 because 10 just feels like there was not a single thing wrong. But “Campaign Ad” felt like 10 all the way.

I think “Parks” is one of the top 3 best comedies on TV. “Modern Family” is NOT in my top 3, that’s for sure. This season has been steamrolling so far, continuing to develop a superb cast of characters and deliver really great comedy. They keep topping themselves, and that cannot be easy considering how many great episodes we’ve seen.

The moment when Ron can’t get the office door clicker to work quick enough to keep Chris out is exactly why I love the show so much. The look on his face…

The Knope campaign rolls on, and having Paul Rudd around for a few more episodes is only going to keep things interesting and funny. I was wary of the show being  focused so much on the campaign, but so far it has been a big time success.

Rating: 10/10

“Parks and Recreation” airs on NBC at 8:30 pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of last night’s episode?