Parks And Recreation Review: “Gryzzlbox/Save JJ’s” (Season 7, Episode 5&6)



Parks and Recreation continues on the up-and-up as we enter the middle of the season and see Leslie and company attempting to solve the Gryzzl debacle once and for all. But first: drones. Because, of course, since everything in 2017 knows your private data, “Gryzzlbox” mines some pretty topical issues in typical heightened Parks and Recreation fashion.

Leslie’s beaten by the fight with Gryzzl and is at the end of her rope (her last remaining argument is, “Please give me your land, it would be so nice”), so when a squadron of drones begin dropping the eponymous Gryzzlboxes on residential doorsteps – all full of thoughtful, intensely personal gifts – the Parks Department thinks they may finally have their smoking gun to beat Gryzzl.

Meanwhile, Tom is helping Andy with a tricky contract negotiation with the studio that airs his show – The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show, lest you forget – who have been nickel and diming him for years. It’s headed by Hank Muntak, aka Mrs. Kristen Bell himself, Dax Shepard.

As Leslie and Ben win over the town in a surprisingly easy fashion, April discovers Craig is hiring new interns for the Parks Department. Her recent quarter-life crisis spurns her into a rampage at attempting to sabotage each intern’s chance at the job. “The internship is the videotape from The Ring. It’s too late for me, I’ve seen too much, but maybe I can save them,” she urgently divulges. “You’re all gonna die in here!”

This particular character arc always felt like a dud, but Craig’s end-of-episode input on her crises gives it a much-needed nudge in the right direction. Sort of like Craig himself naming the things he loves to calm down – Martha Stewart’s apron line, exposed brick, Keri Russell’s hair – the show seemed to finally take a step back and figure out where it needed to go from here.

At the episode’s end, Leslie finds herself in court with Gryzzl. Well, less court and more of The Perdple’s Court, Perd Hapley’s daytime court reality show in which, must we remind you, Perd Hapley is not, actually, a judge. Turns out the illegal data mining the company’s been doing in Pawnee isn’t so illegal, thanks to an addendum they added to their contract with the town on December 18, 2015. The same day Star Wars: The Force Awakens released, subsequently distracting Ben from catching their ruse. Perd calls for a mistrial – “Again, not an actual judge” – and Ron ends up on Leslie’s side, showing up at her door with a shotgun blasted drone that spied on his son.

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