Love is the drug as “Parks and Recreation” takes on Valentines Day, a perfect backdrop to deliver plenty of laughs to go along with all the romance. “Operation Ann” provides a nice break from the Leslie Knope campaign trail, yet another fine TV demonstration of great writing and superb work from the cast. No signs of weakness this week as the show’s stellar run this season continues.

Check below for the complete review…

The Players:

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

Episode: “Operation Ann”

It’s Valentine’s Day and Leslie decides she needs to find Ann a new man. Ben must enlist Ron’s help when he is stumped by Leslie’s elaborate Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt, and Chris is depressed about the status of his love life.

The Good:

  • Ron: It was much fun watching Andy, Ron and Ben racing across Pawnee in search of clues to help get Ben to his romantic evening with Leslie. This might have been a sub-plot to the Ann/dance story, but it was equally funny and satisfying. Ron’s enjoyment with the whole solving riddles, scavenger hunt and beat-the-clock race through town to help Ben thing was pretty terrific.
  • Sad Chris: “Millicent Gergrich has literally torn my heart from my body, and replaced it with a thick slab of sadness. I may never smile again.” Even a Chris with a broken heart is hilarious. Hi s DJ skills were on full display, expressing his sadness with a flurry of music one might hear at ‘the end of a movie where a monk kills himself.’ The opposite of dancing to the Bee Gees classic, basically. Chris is literally the most depressing DJ  ever. But as a dancer he is – amazing! More excellent work from Rob Lowe.
  • Tom: The end was good because who would have thought of Ann and Tom – potentially. But his screening of potential dates for Ann earlier in the night was vintage Tom.
  • Ann: I liked watching Ann sad – because she does it so damn funny. But I like that Ann was being a good sport and going along with the gang’s plan to find her a guy on Valentines Day. Her sorrow during the cold open (Gal-entine’s Day!) was great! Good work Ann!
  • Andy: He gets his own spot on the list because he was  a joy to watch during his scavenger hunt with Ben and Ron. Andy at the diner with the whipped cream was hilarious!

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Leslie: She is my go-to for this section. Nope, Leslie was not bad at all in “Operation Ann,” but I need to find a weak spot in a solid episode, so I go with Leslie, who has annoyed me – in a fun way! – plenty throughout the season. Her reaction at seeing Ann and Tom together was great, but if I give everyone an A this week, I decided to give Leslie a solid B.


Are we ready for a Tom/Ann romance? Maybe. Not sure where the writers are going to take this delightful twist, but it’s clear Ann needs something to do, so might as well be Tom. Hello! For a split second I was bummed with this potential pairing, but I am more than happy to let this possible love match play itself out.

The scavenger hunt was brilliant start to finish, followed closely by the Valentine’s Day dance/find Ann love story line. Here was an episode I watched again later in the evening. I just wanted to enjoy all the funny one-liners and those extra special ‘moments’ that highlight every episode.

Also, Chris dancing must be watched over and over again.

It was a nice change-up episode to get the team off the campaign trail and into some persoanl issues. “Operation Ann” arrived at just the right time in the Leslie Knope campaign story arc.

The script and the cast were once again matched perfectly, delivering a super solid episode of laughs. The “Parks and Recreation” comedy train rolls on, flattening all other TV comedies along the way.

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?