• Parks and Recreation Recap: April and Andy’s Fancy Party

    Aubrey Plaza

    Spring is here and the time is right for making sweet, sweet love to the comeliest bridesmaid at a hastily thrown together and even more hastily thought out surprise wedding. Parks and Recreation was back in our faces last night after a 2-week hiatus, and you know what they say: the couple that awesomesauces together dances to House of Pain their friend’s living room together!

    This super-tricky (a.k.a., super-obvious, if you follow Aziz Ansari on Twitter, which if you’re not what is WRONG with you?!) episode begins with Ben holding a meeting about parking restrictions and recycling. Asleep yet? Well wake the hot hell up because Ron Swanson is pulling out a pair of needle-nose pliers and ripping his own tooth out of his skull right there at the conference room table. That’s one way to derail the most boring meeting ever! Tom swoons like Her Ladyship of the Manor, even though Ron admits to camera that he had actually had the tooth pulled by a dentist and just felt like seeing Tom faint. ‘Cause that’s always fun. And we’re off!

    Power couple April and Andy (AAA) bust in and officially invite everyone except Jerry to a dinner party at their home, which is actually Andy’s friend’s place because he does not have a home. It’s their Couple Debut, one that combines two of their favorite things: dinner and parties. It’ll be like an Xbox pancake. Your presence and cooked steak, silverware, Avatar, 50 pairs of 3D glasses and a 3D-capable television are requested.

    After the meeting, Ben approaches Leslie in the hallowed City Hall hallway. See, Ben here has a dilemma on his smooth, smooth hands: does he go back to his job in Indy or accept a sweet, sweet job offer from Chris to stay in Pawnee? Leslie swallows her excitement and awkwardly chirps a few meaningless tidbits in the general direction of his face (Pawnee is the best city possibly in the world, it’s a tough call; make a pros and cons list!) before she flees the interview. Can these two crazy repressed cats EVER get together awkwardly? Only time will tell.

    Sound the air-horn—it’s Singles Night at Pawnee’s own MEZZE club. And who is there hovering by the bar but darling Ann ☺ (as it appears on her hand-written Hellomynameis)? Problem is, girl don’t know how to flirt. Luckily, she spots fellow Single Lady Donna throwing back shots of Jameson. Surely she’s a treasure trove of dating advice for The New Ann Perkins. Surely. Ahem. May I present Donna’s first words: “We’re in the jungle. There are no friends here. It’s every woman for herself.” Then she shoos Ann away. Roar!

    Back at AAA’s fancy party, Jerry is showing off the fancy party shirt that his wife Gail bought him. He looks like a giant shiny magician/tiger combo circa 1981. Chris places the cake that AAA requested on the snack table: a scrumptious vegetable loaf sweetened with fruit reduction! Ron gets agitated at the prospect of acute cake deprivation—so much so that Leslie orders him to take a cool-down walk.

    Leslie heads to the kitchen to help Andy, who is preparing the Bagel Bites. April bursts in and rips open her gray hoodie to reveal that she is wearing a white dress (think a Forever 21 sundress circa 2002) and Andy covers his face with the tray of Bagel Bites and the Bagel Bites fall all over the place. “You’re not supposed to let me see you!” he implores and ta-dah! We have a surprise wedding on our hands. Leslie immediately asks if April is either pregnant or terminal, like A Walk to Remember. Nope, neither. Why, then? “Cause.

    Leslie is in Stage 10 agita. Because “relationships need planning” and she’s not jealous at all or anything. She runs to Ron and Tom to tattle and Ron sagely declares that it’s not their place to interfere with the surprise wedding. Leslie openly defies him by running off to attempt to and knock some sense into AAA.

    rob lowe

    Meanwhile, Ann tries to connect with a prospective mate by saying that she also works at a sporting goods store. He calls her on the lie, and she mumbles incoherently until Donna intervenes, asking her, “Are you Nell? From the movie Nell?” Ann’s reply: “I told you, I’m (R)rusty.” Donna realizes what she needs to do. Rip that cheerful, legible nametag off of Ann’s flirty shirt and scrawl something so that dudes have to ask her what her name is. Boom.

    Back at the fancy party/surprise wedding, Tom approaches Andy (who is now dressed for the big event in a Colts jersey) if he can be his best man. Sure! Tom explains that best man is the baller position in any wedding because the best man gets to make love to the prettiest bridesmaid. Obv.

    Leslie trying to mother April while she preps for her aisle-walk in the bathroom is like watching her try to wrangle an eel dipped in olive oil (wearing a gray hoodie). Andy is collecting best men, asking Ron and Chris and Derek and Ben. And telling Jerry that his shirt is hilarious. Sad trombone. Tom, aware of, but not daunted by, the competition, leaps onto an ottoman and calls out for any strippers, former strippers, or just drunk girls that happen to be there in an attempt to be the BEST best man by throwing Andy an impromptu bachelor party to occupy the 4 minutes that remain until the ceremony. No takers, unfortunately.

    Leslie calls Ann in desperation, tells her that AAA are getting married, and begs her to come and kiss Andy to stop the wedding. Ann agrees, a wee bit shocked. Ben, also shocked as Leslie tries to recruit him into her evil scheme, comments that AAA’s relationship is younger than his Brita filter.

    Our beloved Andy announces the start of the ceremony using the best string of words I’ve ever heard: “Madames and miss…wahs, if you would do me the obligation of having your honor heretofore in the room doth right over there hence.” This makes Leslie more determined than ever to stop wedding. In the name of making them stay together. Or something.

    OK fine, I did tear up just like Andy did (and just like Aziz Ansari said I would via Twitter) when to the strains of Simon and Garfunkel’s “April Comes She Will” the bride appeared and walked toward her intended. Then again, when AAA high-fived at the altar. Their vows are just something you should really just watch for yourself–they end with Andy declaring that he’s the luckiest guy in the galaxy. Tom is offended as Chris proffers the rings in an elegant BEST best man lunge. The invited park rangers chuck a dead pigeon into the center of the room, and the after-party commences with Chris doing a truly tasty, abandon-less dance to House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” (For your endless delight, an animated gif is already in existence.)

    April’s sister gives a laconic speech and asks for the return of her missing gray hoodie, and April is moved to tears. As Tom contemplates his best man speech (written with help from Jean-Ralphio and including the requisite quote from “Love Actually”), Andy’s grandma upstages everyone with her warm, yet fuzzy words.

    Then the groom takes to the makeshift stage and sings another April song, one that he wrote special for his brand-new unusually smiley wife. Everyone dances. Everyone’s in love. April tells Leslie she loves her. Leslie tells Ben he should stay in Pawnee, and he tells her he’s already decided to. Some park ranger’s trying to hit on the bride. Donna talks Ann out of going to AAA’s wedding and talks her in to talking to a handsome devil that’s been staring at her all night.

    Of course everyone’s in love: it’s spring. And, hey, as the ever-wise Ron quoth: “Who’s to say what works? You find somebody you like and you roll the dice.” Congrats AAA!

    Head to Awesomesaucewedding.com and sign the guestbook.

    Also, you can watch the entire episode below. Go ahead and do it.

    Megan Gilbert

    Megan Gilbert is a Brooklyn-based writer, making her a mystical unicorn. She has written for the New York Press, Paste Magazine blog, Blush Media, Underwater New York. She writes ad copy for Gawker Media, holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College, and is working on a novel starring a mystical unicorn (jk). Read her work at ithardlymatters.com and follow her on Twitter: @ithardlymatt3rs

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