Gay Girl’s Goggles: “Parks and Recreation” SnapCap (4.04)


When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”

When you guys requested Parks and Recreation SnapCaps, my heart nearly exploded in a shower of circus-colored glitter, because not only is Parks and Recreation the funniest comedy on TV right now; and not only is Parks and Recreation the sweetest comedy on TV right now; and not only is Parks and Recreation the female-friendliest comedy on TV right now; but Parks and Recreation is also my very most number one top favorite half-hour of TV right now! (And also maybe ever.)


Fishing for lesbians with Leslie Knope is like shooting trout in a barrel. (So, you know, also like fishing with Ron Swanson.) She’s so very grrl power, so very gay-friendly, so very nearly perfect that there’s barely room in our collective queer heart to contain the sun-sized power of our love. And “Pawnee Rangers” is a perfect example of why. When the Pawnee Rangers refuse to let girls into their scout troop, Leslie starts the Pawnee Goddesses, where life-affirming lessons in feminism are as thick on the ground as candy outside a Sweetums factory.

While Ron’s Rangers (along with Brother Nature) try to “be men” and “not get killed” in the wilderness with a can of cold beans, a brown box, and a tarp, Leslie’s Goddeses — “I am a goddess, a glorious female warrior. Queen of all that I survey. Enemies of fairness and equality hear my womanly roar!” — thrive in a nearby cabin with puppy parties, pillow fights, perpetual awards ceremonies and loosely structured craft time. I mean, one of the girls makes a Gertrude Stein stein! What other show on TV is making Gertrude Motherf–king Stein jokes and letting teenage girls monologue about gender-equality? None of them, that’s who.


When I’m trying to explain the wonder that is Leslie Knope to nonbelievers, I often find myself at a loss for words. But not anymore. Henceforth and forevermore, Leslie Knope is a woman so flawless that she made Batman cry. But Ben breaking down in a full-on Batman costume in the middle of the mall in the middle of TREAT YO SELF DAY with Donna and Tom was only the second-best heart-tugging moment of the night. The real “awwww!”s were reserved for The Swansons, the new scout troop Leslie creates for people who are “tough as nails!” Who would rather “sleep on a bed of pine needles than an air mattress!” Who “find video games pointless and shopping malls stupid!” Who “march to the beat of their own drummer” with “a drum they made themselves!” Did I tear up when she saluted Ron? Um, does a mob of little Leslie Knope monsters love a public forum?


April Ludgate may only be a supporting character, but she’s one of the greatest things to ever happen to my TV. This week, her most glorious moment was the homemade tattoo she drew on her arm. “It’s a pioneer girl watching her grandmother get trampled by a buffalo.” (She should start painting some of those murals in Pawnee’s City Hall!) I love how April doesn’t even try and all the Goddesses love her, while poor Ann, on the other hand, is reduced to pillow fighting with herself.


Every week Amy Poehler does something that makes me wish I could carry an action-sized version of her around in my pocket and pull her out at will to watch her reenact her shenanigans. This week it was her Southern Belle:

Oh my stars! I’m just a little lady! My fragile constitution cannot handle the fearsome outdoors! Who’s Leslie? My name is Annabelle Van Der Graf. And, y’all, I just fall to pieces when the sun shines on my … heaaarrrd.

What were your favorite parts of “Pawnee Rangers”? Would you rather be a Pawnee Goddess or a Swanson?

Zergnet Code