Remember the comedic gold that was Brad Pitt on Friends in 2001’s Thanksgiving episode? Well, last night another real-life couple shared the small screen with hilarious results when Will Arnett played Leslie Knope’s blind date on Parks and Recreation.
Leslie, looking to get back into the dating world, asked Ann to set her up with a man. Despite having shared a spark with Ann’s lawyer friend Justin (guest star Justin Theroux), Leslie ends up getting paired with MRI technician Chris (Arnett). Their date was the best worst first date I’d seen on TV in a while, but more on that in a bit.
Meanwhile, Ron launched a search for an assistant to field the influx of angry citizens who were contacting him about city problems, the result of a new push to make Pawnee city officials more accessible to the public (”This is my hell,” he reflected). Tom led the search, but his interview material was better suited to be mini-game questions on a VH1 reality dating show (”I got a night club opening to go to, which tie should I wear?”). I can, however, say that if I ever have a job opening for a wingman, I’d put Tom as the helm of the hunt.
April continued her subtle schoolgirl pursuit for Andy’s affection by suggesting he start selling his CD at his shoeshine stand. This earned her brownie points with him.
Ann was not earning any points (brownie or otherwise) with Mark, who had a inkling that Ann didn’t set Leslie up with Justin because she had feelings for her longtime friend. Ann denied the charge, but Mark still felt otherwise. No matter what they do with these two, I can’t help but be bored. This show is 22 minutes long, make it count! Rant over.
Back in awkward turtle-ville, Leslie and Chris got off to a rocky start during their dinner date. The humorless Chris was disappointed to find out that Leslie was in charge of regular parks (not amusement parks). Moreover, he was shocked to find out that she’s never had an MRI before. So he did what any dedicated technician would do: He took her to get one. Leslie (God bless her can-do outlook) went along with the plan, but not without reservations (”I’m trying to think of this as an adventure, just getting right back on that horse, even if that horse is crazy and wants to peer inside my body,” she said.)
In the imaging room, the creep factor was upped to all new levels when Chris made comments about Leslie’s ”industrial-sized” baby ”oven” (”Honestly, if you wanted to, you could go triplets right off the bat, Leslie.”) and when he unsubtly hinted that their date would migrate from the MRI room to the bedroom. (Chris: ”You’re not on your period, are you?” Leslie: ”No. Does that matter?” Chris: ”Not for this.”).
In the end, Leslie got set up on a blind date with Justin, and Tom brought Ron a new assistant (a Tom clone named Jean-Ralphio), who was quickly replaced with April (who took the job to be closer to Andy on a more permanent basis).
So what say you, PopWatchers? Are you sad that Leslie and Chris have (almost definitely) had their last date? Do you want to see more Will Arnett? What about Mark and Anne? What will spice them up a little? Sound off below!
Best lines from ”The Set Up”:
”Talking about writing about what I’m doing. Now I’m singing about talking about writing about what I’m doing.” – Andy’s impromptu song
”You know I was only with Mark for one night and I was hung up on him for six years. I dated Dave for three months, so if I continue that pattern I won’t be over him for 500 years.” – Leslie
”He has the brains of George Clooney and the body of Joe Biden” – Leslie on her ideal man
”Just one rule, I don’t want to date a twin because I’ve been tricked before.” – Leslie to Ann on her dating criteria
”I’m offering you a free scan. It usually costs up to $2000. I’m kind of spoiling you here.” – Chris
”I’m back on the horse, and this horse is a lawyer so I’m looking forward to riding him.” – Leslie