Following last week’s first-class episode, the hits just keep on coming for “Parks and Recreation“, delivering yet another solid half-hour of comedy with “Bowling for Votes.” There might have been a moment early on when it seemed as if the show would take a step back after last week’s big success, but things revved up quickly, providing one laugh after another.

Check below for the complete review…

The Players:

  • Director: Michael Trim
  • Writers: Katie Dippold
  • Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, and Chris Pratt

Episode: “Bowling for Votes”

Leslie holds a bowling event to gather support for her campaign, while the team has a contest to see who can raise the most money by cold calling.

The Good:

  • Sad Chris/Happy Chris: Dump Chris? Rob Lowe?! That awesome hair?!! So Millicent Gergich dumps Chris, which certainly had him reaching for a second helping of his pro-biotic tea. The set-up to the break-up, featuring Jerry, April, Andy and Donna was great. Chris’ time spent with the crew at the phone fundraiser, connected with April’s goal to end his happiness, was very funny; he chooses to support Team Knope! Because they’re the best! The entire phone bank fundraiser scored a 10 for me – just a lot to laugh about.
  • Bowling Ball: Tom sporting the Entertainment 720 bowling ball was such a sweet touch. His outfit was silly, and he bowled like an old woman, though very effectively. But let’s not forget…he is Tommy Strike. His sniveling to Ann about his finger injury was also funny as hell. He was pretty much hilarious every moment he was on screen.
  • Ron ‘F**kin’ Swanson: Some nice swearing made it into the episode via Ron. The ‘f**k’ bleep was nice, as was the ‘son of a bitch’ line. Ron was awesome all episode. The line about food being scared of him when he eats was hysterical. Just the facial expressions the man was producing as he watched Tom rule the bowling lanes with his less-than-manly bowling style was a-plus.
  • “No Hook, No Spin, No Fuss…“: I have watched Ron deliver this line at least 10 times so far tonight.
  • Jerry: Damn Jerry was funny tonight! I love that he knew his daughter was going to dump Chris. And you have to love his enthusiasm for the phone bank.
  • Ben Gets Beers: Ben punching the drunk d-bag was great, but the drunk d-bag repeatedly asking Ben to get him a beer was better.
  • April: Her “I might be a wizard” line was a favorite of the night, as was her work making cold calls.
  • The April Hug: The quick hug between April and Chris goes into my top five moments of this season – without a doubt! The entire scene was pitch perfect, just enough humor and tenderness to serve the characters and story just right.

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Leslie: She was funny in the episode, but she annoys me. Not always, but when she gets overly worked up and super hyper about something or someone – it gets annoying. Thank god we have the more sensible Ben around to offset some of her going bananas moments. They make a great duo, that’s for sure.


When the show opened I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be great. Nothing ever wrong with a ‘good’ episode of TV, but with Parks and Rec we are usually served up greatness week after week. But after the cold open things just took off, and “Bowling for Votes” turned out to be a terrific episode.

The cold calling/fundraiser story line was superb, highlighted with the sad break-up of Chris and Millicent Gergich. One minute he is on a pro-biotic tea break and talking to the team about looking at octagonal-shaped houses with his gal, and the next he is getting dumped on his ass. The moment between April and Chris at the close of the episode was great writing and acting. Kudos to Katie Dippold, who wrote the dynamite script this week, and Rob Lowe and Aubrey Plaza for good work start to finish.

The bowling alley event was great when Tom, Ron and Ann were featured, less so with Leslie. But not Ben. He was good.

So much good stuff happened in the bowling alley – including Ron returning to have a game in disguise to try out Tom’s method – they could have just spent the entire show there. But I wouldn’t give up the cold call sub-plot. It’s just too good.

‘Parks and Rec’ is on a tremendous roll right now. The writing, the acting and overall rhythm of the show is mixing together in perfect harmony.

Rating: 9/10

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

What did you think of last night’s episode?