Saturday, February 28, 2015

S2 E3: Beauty Pageant

Score: 3 / 3
April: Heyyy!
Leslie: Heyyy…!
April: So I was just at the Grind and I thought you might want an iced mocha with extra extra whipped cream.
Leslie: Oh my, thank you so much, April, wow…!
April: Oh, by the way, completely unrelated, I just signed up for the Miss Pawnee Beauty Pageant.
Leslie: That’s wonderful! You know that is why I decided to become a judge, so that awesome girls like you who are not, you know, classically hot, can be rewarded for their intelligence and savvy.
[the conversation continues after April debriefs with the unseen documentarian]

More: Leslie asks Trish (one of the pageant contestants) about  “the great experiment”

Leslie and Jessica (one of the pageant judges) discuss what factors should determine the winner of the pageant

Friday, February 27, 2015

S2 E2: The Stakeout

Score: 0 / 1
FAILS. The closest this episode comes is Leslie talking about her “code” – but Ann only speaks once before the subject returns to being more directly about Mark and, even in abstract, the code is about men. Still, you've got to love an episode that introduces Louis CK into the mix.

Leslie: You know my code: hoes before bros. Uteruses before duderuses.
Ann: Got it.
Leslie: Ovaries before brovaries. Mmm. You make such good coffee.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

S2 E1: Pawnee Zoo

Score: 2* / 3
Marcia: You know what, I’m so terrible with directions – if I’m headed to the parking lot, do I make a left out of here? Or do I go right?
Leslie: A left, yeah
Marcia: Thank you.
Leslie: You’re welcome.
Marcia: Annul the wedding!
Joan interviews Leslie and Marcia about Leslie marrying Tux & Flipper, partying at The Bulge and the possible consequences.

* There's some question about whether or not debate about Tux & Flipper's wedding is more truly about two males or the prospect of gay marriage. Tux and Flipper are gay male penguins, so is this episode about two "men" then? No - they are penguins and, for our purposes, the gender of animals in question is irrelevant because they should be classified as "animal" (and adorable), not as "male" as far as the Bechdel question is concerned. If this were an animal-based series (The Penguins of Madagascar are a perfect example) then yes, the penguins' genders would be a factor. But in the human-driven universe of Parks & Recreation, we're strictly concerned with the objectives and values of humans. Now, yes, the gender of the penguins is inextricable from the plot point that Leslie, Marcia and Joan discuss, but its relevance raises questions regarding gay marriage in Pawnee, an issue that concerns gay men and women (and penguins, I guess). It is not a male-specific topic. Ruling: "Pawnee Zoo" passes with or without Marcia asking for directions.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

S1 E6: Rock Show // S1 Wrap

Score: 1* / 3
Leslie: So I would love to come to this thing! When is it!?
Ann: Tonight at 8.
Leslie: No, tonight? I can’t go.
Ann: Why not?
Leslie: My mom set up this meeting. This political tete-a-tete with a local bigwig.
[That’s actually it…!]

*Lauren and MJ debated a bit on this one given that the dialogue in question concerns Andy's concert. Technically since it's about an event and not about Andy and then men who comprise Scarecrowboat / Mouserat it passes, but it's a close call.

Season 1 Wrap

Lauren and I batted back and forth about whether or not we take issue with Ann's central motivation this season being filling in the pit because Andy got injured in it. One one hand it's not Bechdel-esque that it takes a Andy's safety and wellbeing to inspire her action. On the other, it's very telling that she continues to be invested in the success of the project well after she breaks up with Andy. Eventually, making a part of the pit (eventually lot) takes a back seat well before they "break ground" (Season 6: "Ann and Chris") - but that has more to do with Ann's evolving role with the Parks department, the shifting focus of the show, and arguably the fulfillment Ann gets from her friendship with Leslie. While Andy's injuries serve as Ann's initial call to action, it seems clear that she's interested in filling in the pit more out of principle.

Trends we notice include that the vast majority of the Bechdel-passing dialogue involves Leslie - I suspect we'll see that shift as Donna and April's roles become more active and the show becomes a truer ensemble piece.

Monday, February 23, 2015

S1 E5: The Banquet

Score: 3 / 3
Ann: How dressy is this exactly?
Leslie: To the max. It is the most exclusive local government event of the year.
Ann: Really.
Leslie: Yeah! The Tellensons is like the Oscars times the Grammys plus the Super Bowl.
Ann: Wow. Okay, um, I should probably change.
Leslie: I’m headed to the salon right now.
Marlene and Leslie discuss the potential for a Knope family dynasty
Ann and Leslie debate how appropriate dressed they are when they arrive at the banquet.
Marlene remarks on Leslie’s hair cut, mistakes Ann for her girlfriend, and braces her to meet Janine Restrepo
Leslie ambushes Janine, hoping to make an appointment to talk about zoning
Marlene helps Leslie strategize about accessing Janine Restrepo
Ann suggests to Leslie that Marlene’s advice is wrong

Sunday, February 22, 2015

S1 E4: Boys’ Club

Score: 2 / 3

(About halfway through the episode, at Leslie's computer)

Leslie: Oh my God, what am I looking at?
April: A video of me drinking some of that that wine you stole.
Leslie: What? Why did you do this?
April: Because I was waiting for my sister and I was bored and my hair looked really good.
Leslie: You put it on the pit’s web page?
April: …yeah?

Earlier, Leslie, Ann, April and Tom peruse the pit’s new website – this doesn’t pass because Tom contributes to the conversation but deserves mention. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

S1 E3: The Reporter

Score: 3 / 3

(Towards the beginning of the episode, in the P & R office)

Shauna: Hi, I’m looking for Leslie Knope?
April: Okay.
Leslie: My ears are ringing! Hi!
Shauna: Hi!
Leslie: I’m Leslie Knope.
Shauna: Hi.
Leslie: I’m the deputy director of Parks and Recreation.
Shauna: Shauna -
Leslie: -Mulwae Tweep. Yes, I am familiar with your work.
Shauna: Oh-!
Leslie: I’ve read everything you’ve ever written. You did an amazing in-depth article about the raccoon problem in Pawnee…

  • Leslie forces Shauna to take a tour of town hall
  • Leslie introduces Shauna to the subcommittee which includes Ann and April
  • Shauna interviews Leslie about the subcommittee at one point and about the pit at later
  • Leslie and Ann discuss the interview (though this ends up being about Mark and the nature of men)
  • Leslie tries to persuade Shauna to write a positive article

Friday, February 20, 2015

S1 E2: Canvassing

Score 3 / 3

Marlene: In or out, Leslie. Doorway is creepy.
Leslie: Right, sorry, choosing in.
Marlene: So, what do you want, Leslie?
Leslie: Just here to gossip. Gab. Chat. Stuff we do. But it looks like your super busy. And I am super busy, so I shall bid you “adieu”.
(Leslie begins out)
Leslie: Oh! That’s weird – I just remembered something! I have my own subcommittee now!

[The conversation goes on...]

  • Leslie braces Ann for canvassing after she rings a doorbell
  • Leslie gives Ann an envelope that describes a new tactic when she’s losing heart during their canvassing
  • Leslie assigns April to sit in the audience and influence the crowd
  • One of the more unruly citizens introduces herself as Kate Spivak at the forum – she and Leslie disagree about the merits of a park several times.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

S1 E1: Pilot

Score: 3 / 3

Fittingly the first Bechdel-passing convo is the first time we meet Ann:

Ann: “Hi. Hi- hi-hi-hi. I’m Ann Perkins and I’m a nurse and frankly I don’t really care for politics.
Ann: Uh – I’m here to talk about the abandoned lot on Sullivan Street.
Leslie: Excellent, that sounds like a good idea, tell us about that.
Ann: No, it’s a problem, it almost killed my boyfriend.
Leslie: Oh!
Ann: There’s a lot near my house and a developer dug out a basement for some condos and then they went bankrupt so there’s just this giant pit and it’s been there for almost a year.

Leslie: Twelve months. Yes, go on.

  • Leslie and Ann talk about the potential for a park
  • Ann assesses Leslie’s injuries
  • Leslie takes Ann around town hall and describes murals
  • Leslie and Ann speak to the unseen documentarian about America and democracy