This week Parks and Recreation checks in on Leslie Knope’s new job as a city councilwoman. She’s proposing a (controversial!) tax on soda to help get Pawnee healthy. Meanwhile, Ben has intern trouble, and Andy is trying to get in shape to be a police officer. Ridiculously over-sized drinks filled with sugar also make an appearance.

Check below for the full review….

The Players:

  • Director: Kyle Newacheck
  • Writers: Norm Hiscock
  • Cast: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Adam Scott, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Retta, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, and Chris Pratt

Episode Title: “Soda Tax”

Leslie is caught in a difficult position when she has to vote on an unpopular new tax. Chris helps Andy get in shape to prepare for his police entrance exam. Meanwhile, Ben works hard to connect with the annoying interns in his campaign office.

The Good:

  • April, End: We start with the close of the show because it might have been the best part: April’s brutal and hilarious take-down of Ellis the Intern.
  • Chris T: Even in sadness and despair Chris Traeger is funny! And now we get to see him conquer the ‘Mount Everest of the mind.’
  • Fonts: “Times New Roman across the board!” says Ben. And 12pt. font size, please. 13pt. is just obnoxious! The entire Ben-April storyline was excellent.
  • Office Ben: Very enjoyable to see Ben try to kick-ass, then kiss-ass with a staff of helpless interns. His ‘yo, dude’ interaction with the young staff was fun.
  • Ron/Leslie: The two shared yet another strong moment in Leslie’s time of political crisis. Ron, ever the Obi-Wan to Leslie, set her straight.
  • Tom: He didn’t offer lots, but his quick reference to The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, as it relates to the workout pace car, was great. Also, the Mad Men Bar!
  • Water Zero: It has no water, hence the name!! The’ taxes on women’s vaginas’ line also turned out to be a very funny moment at the town hall meeting.
  • April, D.C.: Having April accompany Ben to D.C. has been a nice move, especially because she has been so damn funny. The 15%-12% back-and-forth with Ben was hilarious. Also, “consistent font usage, c’mon!”
  • Ron’s Automatic Door: Is alive and well and looking good!
  • Best Line: Ben’s “Kodak that moment” line during the outdoor Frisbee game.

The Bad:

  • Leslie/Ann: The soda tax battle was not a bad, or unfunny, storyline, but seemed to lose its way here and there. Maybe when Leslie barfed during the council meeting. That might have been the low-point. But having Ron around to bookend Leslie’s situation was a big, funny plus. And he had Paunch Burger, which is nice.


First Off: They can keep on giving the Emmy to the woefully overrated Modern Family, but it is not the best comedy on TV right now. As for “Soda Tax”, Leslie is back from D.C. and now hip-deep in local policy madness. The soda tax episode might not bump any previous episodes out of the top 5, but there was still so much damn good humor jumping out from one scene to the next. Even if the episode didn’t feel extra special, it still offered up fans more outstanding ensemble cast work, and three story lines that each provided plenty of solid material.


Rating: 8/10

Parks and Recreation airs on NBC at 9:30 pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of tonight’s episode?