What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, Leslie Knope and her lady friends leave their husbands and their boyfriends at home and just kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas!
It's the day before Valentine's Day in Pawnee, Indiana. Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), Pawnee's deputy director of Parks and Recreation, has gathered her women friends and colleagues for her annual celebration of Galentine's Day.
Leslie's friend Ann (Rashida Jones) and her boyfriend Mark (Paul Schneider) are celebrating their first Valentine's Day together.
Knope and her Parks and Rec staff are also busy planning and organizing a Valentine dance for Pawnee's senior center.
Justin locates Marlene's lifeguard in Illinois and decides to bring him back to Pawnee. His name is Frank Beckerson (John Larroquette), he's a bit eccentric, has led a nomadic life and is prone to panic attacks. When Leslie meets Frank, she changes her mind and tries to prevent the reunion. Unfortunately, Frank sneaks away from them and goes looking for Marlene at the seniors dance.
The music at the dance is provided by Mouse Rat, a local rock band fronted by Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt). They perform rock versions of standards like "The Way You Look Tonight" and "Under My Skin."
April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), another Parks and Rec employee, attends the dance with her "gay boyfriend" Derek (Blake Lee) and his boyfriend Ben (Josh Duvendeck). Derek and Ben spend most of the evening mocking the senior citizens.
April, who normally joins in with their mockery, gets tired of them and seems to be genuinely moved by the senior couples who are still very much in love. She also seems to be developing a bit of a crush on Andy.
Will the reunion of Marlene and Frank lead to a rekindling of their youthful passions? Or will it be a Valentine's Day disaster?
J.A. Morris says:
This is a good Valentine's Day episode. It's a tribute to "Galentine's Day" that fans of this series have been inspired to organize their own Galentine's Day celebrations.
Lots of romantic stories involve "the one that got away." This episode shows us that sometimes it's best to remember the good parts of the past and not revisit them.
|For Galentine's Day, Leslie gives everyone a mosaic portrait made from the crushed bottles of their favorite diet soda.|
For some people, Valentine's Day is treated like a big deal. For others, it's just a reminder that they're single. I appreciated that "Galentine's Day" features several different Valentine's Day experiences. Ann and Mark's relationship is in a good place and they have a good time. Leslie is beginning to have question her relationship with Justin. The normally cynical single April is moved by the older couples' love on display at the dance.
J.A. Morris' rating:
3 Valentine Hearts.
"Galentine's Day" is a great episode of a great series. I must part company with my esteemed co-blogger's objections to the faux-documentary format of the show. If it's well done -- as it consistently was on Parks and Rec -- it allows for some fun direct address moments.
Speaking of said lost love and his quirkiness, John Laroquette gives a great comedic performance in this episode. I also appreciated the meta-humor inherent in that Leslie asks Frank if he was ever a lawyer, since Laroquette has played lawyers in several other series over the years (including Night Court, The West Wing and Boston Legal). However, this character has to answer the lawyer question in the negative.
We see all kinds of different relationships playing out in the course of this episode. Ann and Mark and celebrating their first Valentine's Day together, senior citizens are still in love after decades of being together, Tom (Aziz Ansari) is unsuccessfully (and rather gauche-ly) trying to get back together with his ex, April is realizing her feelings for Andy, and Leslie is discovering that maybe she and Justin aren't going to work out in the long run. And of course, there's the main plot point of Leslie and Justin trying to reunite Leslie's mom and her long lost love. They pack a lot of character development into a 22 minute episode but it's so well written that it doesn't feel overstuffed.
"Galentine's Day" is recommended for anyone who enjoys smart and well written comedy with a holiday flair.
4 Valentine Hearts.