Tuesday, March 24, 2015

S3 E3: Time Capsule

Score: 1 / 3

~2m30s, in Leslie's office

Leslie: Yes, Pawnee has had its set of problems, but this time capsule is our way of saying that, "Pawnee is gonna be around for a long time... capsule", and you can quote me on that!
Shauna: Oh, I'm actually going to quote you on all of this because it's going into a newspaper article.
Leslie: I've got a headline.
Shauna: Great.

[They go on]

That's mostly it, unfortunately. Few other conversations between women last very long, except one Leslie has with April that discusses Will Forte's character and Orin.

Monday, March 23, 2015

S3 E2: Flu Season

Score: 3 / 3

~0m15s in at the hospital.

April: I want another nurse.
Ann: Well, there are none. We're stretched pretty thin right now.
April: Then I want a janitor. They can do what you do, right?
Ann: Yep. Nurses and janitors are totally interchangeable.

(This goes on)

Ann admits Leslie into the hospital, then forces her to stay.
Ann oversees April's stay at the hospital ; April confesses that Leslie took her meds.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

S3 E1: Go Big or Go Home

Score: 2 / 3

~5m15s in City Hall

Ann: So you're happy to be back at work?
Leslie: Well, our budget's been slashed to zero, I tried to by fertilizer yesterday for the soccer field - request denied. We literally can't buy sh*t.
Ann: Ugh, I'm so sorry!
Leslie: No, I mean look! When we were kids, the Parks Department used to do these big projects. Winter Jamboree, the Harvest Festival. It's like they don't have faith in us anymore! I'm not a paper pusher, Ann. I need to be out in the streets, plantin' trees and crackin' skulls.

[Most of the other conversations in this episode happen in large groups and have interjections from men.]

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Season 2 Wrap

Season 2:

A lot of Ann's arc in this season is concerned with her relationship with Mark and Leslie plays the dating field, so a few episodes stray away from what we'll call "Bechdel territory". Donna and April emerge in their roles on the show, which helps diversify the types of conversations that pass the test. There's also a tendency for some of the great women guest stars (Tammy 2, Marcia Langman, Marlene, Jessica Wicks, etc.) to have conversations with Leslie about all sorts of subjects.

It's nice to see that Ann continues badgering Leslie about the park even after she and Andy have broken up; this indicates that Ann's hope of a park being built in the lot is not about a concern for Andy's wellbeing. Many of the earlier episodes in this season pass because of this park.

A notable question that came up unusually often in this season is whether or not a conversation about animals are about men if the animals are male. These include Tux & Flipper (the penguins) and Fairway Frank. Lauren's argument (and I agree) is that since this is a human-centric universe, animals as subjects of conversation do not disqualify it from passing the Bechdel test.

Overall: 6 episodes fail, 4 might pass, 10 pass and 4 pass several times.

S2 E24: Freddy Spaghetti

Score: 1 / 3

Leslie: Children's parties just aren't a priority anymore! You know what is? Sewage. Pawnee's kids are less important than... poop tubes. I don't know. I mean, what are you going to do? That's the way it is-
Ann: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... if all the parks are closed, why not just have the concert in the lot behind my house?
Leslie: Ann, you devious bastard.

Leslie and Ann talk about whether or not the Parks employees will come to help put on the concert.
Leslie asks Ann to make April pancakes.

This gets a 1 / 3, however, because all of these interactions only have three lines of dialogue.

Friday, March 20, 2015

S2 E23: The Master Plan

Score: 2 / 3

0m00s in @ the Parks Department. Leslie gives April a present for her birthday.

Leslie: Okay! Open this one! Here, I'll help you!
April: Cool... documents...!
Leslie: Yeahhh! This is your original intern application, your original parking pass, this is your original photo ID...
April: Did you get that out of my purse?
Leslie: Doesn't matter and this is a copy of your very first paycheck!

Leslie shows Ann the budget proposal, they talk again at the Snakehole Lounge about controlling its destiny.
Donna buys April a birthday shot.

This episode demonstrates the show's master plan in SO many ways. It's the episode that introduces Ben, Chris AND Lucy - and hints at their futures with Leslie, Ann and Tom respectively. WHOA.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

S2 E22: Telethon

Score: 2 / 3

~ 3m45s at Pawnee Community Access

Ann: As a nurse and as your friend, I highly suggest you don't try to stay up for the next 24 hours.
Leslie: I can definitely do it! I've already been up for 24 hours! But - I have a secret weapon!
Ann: Nutri-Yum bars, Leslie!
Leslie: I know, I know, they're terrible, but they give me an insane 15-minute burst. Plus, my nana used to tell me, "You'll sleep when you're dead".

Joan warns Leslie not to blow the telethon.
Leslie arrives at Ann's house sharing that she's ready to talk.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

S2 E21: 94 Meetings

Score: 2 / 3

~8m35s in @ Newport Mansion

Leslie: You painted this...?
Jessica: Uh-huh. Miami Teal is Nicky's favorite color. We also replaced some of the sconces, got rid of the furniture, painted these floors black.
Leslie: These were the original hardwood floors.
Jessica: Yeah! They were all scratched up. I did you a favor. Come on in here, I'll show you guys what we did in the sitting room.

Leslie and Jessica Wicks speak a few other times at the Newport mansion, though Tom interjects a few time.
Leslie tries to get Shauna to do an article about the Newport gazebo.

Oh, and...! :
Bill Hagerty from the Pawnee Historical Society appears in this episode. You may remember him more recently from season 7's "William Henry Harrison" episode. You've got to admire P&R's commitment to consistency!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

S2 E20: Summer Catalog

Score: 0 / 3

No two women ever speak to each other in this episode - Leslie spends the episode with Ron and the former past directors (all men); Ann with Mark; April with Andy.

Monday, March 16, 2015

S2 E19: Park Safety

Score: 0 / 3

Straight up fails the Bechdel test. Leslie spends most of the episode with Carl (Andy Samberg). While it doesn't fail, I will not complain for watching Andy Samberg do anything.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

S2 E18: The Possum

Score: 2 / 3

1m10s in at Ann's house

Ann: All right, that's basically it. Water the plants, get the mail.
April: Can I read your mail?
Ann: No, please don't.
April: Fine.
Ann: Oh, and here are the keys, and remember-
April: I know. Don't let Tom make a copy.
Ann: That's right, good.

Evelyn from the mayor's office asks Leslie to develop a task force to capture Fairway Frank, the possum that bit Rufus, Mayor Gunderson's dog.
Evelyn thanks Leslie for capturing the possum and gives her a business card.
Leslie asks April if killing the possum makes her a murderer, then coordinates with her to hide it.
Evelyn asks Leslie where the possum is.
Leslie and April try to catch the possum in Ann's house.
Leslie confesses to Ann that she and April let a possum in her house.

Notably this is another case in which a supposedly male animal plays heavily - I'd argue that, in this case, since we can't know whether or not the possum Andy catches for the task force is actually Fairway Frank, it's abundantly clear that the sex of that possum is arbitrary. That said, the motivation behind capturing it comes from the fact that Fairway Frank bit Rufus, the (male) dog of the (male) mayor (who we'll later see played by Bill Murray!!). I give it a 2 / 3.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

S2 E17: Woman of the Year


More like Dorothy NEVERton Smythe. Because never do two women hold a conversation about something other than a man. However, in the spirit of this episode, it is worth pointing out that awards and accolades can be misguided, and though this episode "fails" the Bechdel test, it actually deals directly with women's issues and feminism.

Friday, March 13, 2015

S2 E16: Galentine’s Day

Score: 1* / 3

The beginning of the episode introduces us to Galentine’s Day - but the only two-way dialogue is between Ann and Leslie:

Leslie: So to conclude our Galentine’s Day breakfast, it is time for the greatest story ever told.
Ann: What’s the story?
Leslie: It’s the most romantic story ever told. It makes The Notebook look like… Saw 5. Go Mom go!
Marlene: It was 1968, I was 18, and our family went on vacation to Bermuda. And on the first day I went for a swim in the ocean - and I got caught in a very strong current.
(Leslie gasps)
Ann: You’ve heard this story before, right?
Leslie: Yes, but the drama!

Marlene’s story is about Frank who saves her from drowning.
So… if you interpret this as Ann and Leslie are having a conversation that is simultaneous to Marlene’s story and if you construe that they are talking about a story and if you allow that talking about a story about a man is not the same as talking about a man then this exchange passes the Bechdel test. Admittedly it’s a stretch and the rest of the episode pairs off Leslie/Justin and April/her boyfriend(s); and April and Ann only talk about Andy to each other. We give the episode a 1*. Ironic and very much not in the spirit of Galentine’s Day!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

S2 E15: Sweetums

Score: 2 / 3
~7 minutes in in the P&R office

Ann: Holy God, no they’re not, they’re terrible for you!
Leslie: No, they’re not, there’s a picture of Lance Armstrong on there.
Ann: Yeah but look at the ingredients: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup-
Leslie: -but only eight grams of fat.
Ann: Yeah, per serving. A bar is four servings!
(they go on)

Leslie tries to take out movies at the library from a librarian named Marcy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

S2 E14: Leslie’s House

Score: 3 / 3
5m10s in, at Leslie’s house
Leslie: Hey, Ann!
Ann: Hey!
Leslie: Welcome to my house for the very first time!
Ann: I know, I can’t believe you’ve never had me over!
(Ann looks around at how messy the house is)
Ann: Now I can believe it.
Ann helps Leslie clean the house.
Maria (of the “Organize Your Life” class) agrees to help Leslie clean and winks at her a lot
Sue (of “Sue’s Salads”) discusses food with Leslie
Ann asks Leslie why she turned herself in

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

S2 E13: The Set-Up

Score: 2 / 3
Ann: And for you, Madame, the “Leslie Knope”!
Leslie: Thank you!
Ann: I cannot believe the cafeteria named a sandwich after you; that is so cool.
Leslie: Isn’t it? Salami on pumpernickel with olive juice and extra iceberg. It was the only sandwich on the board that wasn’t named. I just wished I liked it.

That’s actually it – Leslie and Ann spend the rest of the episode talking about Chris (Will Arnett, we haven’t met Traeger yet) and Justin (Justin Theroux), April speaks mostly to Andy and Ron.

Notably there is this bit of foreshadowing:

Monday, March 9, 2015

S2 E12: Christmas Scandal

Score: 0 / 3

FAILS because Ann, Leslie and Joan only talk about Councilman Dexhart

Sunday, March 8, 2015

S2 E11: Tom’s Divorce

Score: 1 / 3

Donna: Not me, I can’t go back there. But if you see Jasmine tell her she can keep Anferny but I want my microwave back.
Leslie: Okay, good. You’re gonna take April home.
April: No, I want to go to the Glitter Factory!
Leslie: Well, drop out of school and start doing meth! Let’s go, everybody.

Most of the episode is spent talking about Tom divorcing Wendy.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

S2 E10: Hunting Trip

Score: 3 / 3
Leslie: April, I need you to do something for me. I’m going hunting tomorrow, so call the State Parks office and get verbal confirmation that our budget documentation is in. Can I just tell you the 16-digit tracking number or do you want me to write it down? I’ll write it down. Can you handle this?
April: You want me to dial a number and then read another number out loud?
Leslie: Yes. Can you handle this?
April: No.
Leslie: Well try, okay? And if you do it, I’ll name the first turkey I shoot after you.
April: Cool.

Leslie and Ann talk about hunting
Ann checks on Donna who is screaming about her Benz being damaged
This means that all four lead women are included in Bechdel-passing dialogue in this episode…!
Ann asks Leslie why she takes the blame

Friday, March 6, 2015

S2 E9: The Camel

Score: 2 / 3
Donna: No offense Leslie, but I’m not an artist.
Leslie: Oh that’s not true, Donna. I’ve seen your fingernails!
Donna: Um, I pay someone to do this.
Leslie: Really? Oh, shoot.

Ann, April, Donna and Leslie all pitch murals (along with Tom and Jerry)– most of the dialogue is towards the group. 
Notably there is an exchange between Ann and April that passes the test, which is the first Bechdel-passing exchange I’ve found that doesn’t involve Leslie.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

S2 E8: Ron and Tammy

Score: 2 / 3

Leslie: Hello, hi, my name is Leslie Knope. I called a little while ago.
Tammy 2: You have a lot of nerve showing your face here.
Leslie: Excuse me?
Tammy 2: You have overdue book fees totaling three dollars, missy.
(this conversation goes on)

Leslie asks April to stop texting. This almost passes but doesn’t because April’s second contribution to the conversation is texted, not spoken.
Tammy makes fun of Leslie for the type of woman she is, but this is defined mostly by how they treat men

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

S2 E7: Greg Pikitis

Score: 0 / 3


Leslie talks to Ann but only about Greg Pikitis.
April talks to Ann but only about her boyfriends.
Leslie spends the majority of the episode with Dave and Andy; Ann with Mark; and Wendy with Tom and Ron

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

S2 E6: Kaboom

Score: 3 / 3

Leslie: Ah! I am so pumped! I feel like I could take on the world!
Ann: Me too! I could prep like a thousand diagnostic tests. In an hour!
Leslie: That’s the spirit!
Ann: There it is. The pit. There’s something I wish I could “kaboom”.
Leslie: Well, we are. It’s just a slow “boom”. Slower, more deliberate.
Ann: Yeah, totally. See you tomorrow.

Leslie asks Ann for help her with an unspecified task, they arrive at the pit to fill it in and talk some more – then at the end of the episode they talk about what’s left to do when they stand on the lot where the pit once was.
Leslie takes a call from a woman at her bank about suspicious charges but the caller is not named.

Monday, March 2, 2015

S2 E5: Sister City

 Score: 2 / 3

Ann: …or you could build a park with that money.
Leslie: Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Ann: Pro: we could fill in the pit and build a park.
Leslie: Con: we could be filling it in with dirty money.

There’s a few utterances between women that don’t last very long, including Leslie asking April if she speaks Spanish – but ultimately this episode is a lot of interplay between Leslie and Raul (Fred Armisen)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

S2 E4: Practice Date

Score: 1* / 3

*So this one's tricky. The conversations Leslie and Ann have (including their role plays), while great fun, all concern Leslie's date with Dave. It is a male driven conversation, so Lauren feels it shouldn't pass. I think it's at least worth a 1 with an asterisk for reasons like this:

Leslie: The Danish call it op og ned maskine which, literally translated, means “the up and down machine”.
Ann: Wow, that’s a thorough history of the teeter-totter…
Leslie: Now I’m going to talk about the local flora and fauna found in Pawnee.
Ann: You know what? Just ask me a question. Just try to get to know me.

Leslie asks Ann to help her dress and prepare for her date with Dave – most of these conversations are more about potential conversation topics than about Dave himself. Still, I’m not counting it.
Ann and Leslie talk about many other topics that are not men while role playing.