Parks and Recreation: "Campaign Ad"

    As Leslie Knope begins her official campaign launch, fans of Parks and Recreation got a nice surprise today with a guest appearance by none other than Paul Rudd. In this episode, and probably several more, Rudd plays Bobby Newport, a spoiled adult who has never really grown up and is running against Leslie for City Council. Although it’s pretty obvious that Bobby isn’t all that smart, he does have an edge over Leslie in one department: money. As heir to the Sweetums empire, Bobby has the resources to advertise his face all over Pawnee. After meeting Bobby at his campaign kick-off, Ben comes up with the idea to air a campaign ad for Leslie during a Pawnee-Eagleton basketball game.

    While Ben and Leslie talk politics, Andy and April pay a visit to the hospital for some physical ailments that Andy may have suffered. Although at first it seems Andy is worrying about every little thing, it turns out that he’s bruised up his thumb pretty badly. Andy’s eyesight, also, isn’t all that great, and he doesn’t have the greatest health habits, prompting the two to set up several more doctors’ appointments.

    Back at campaign headquarters, Leslie and Ben are having an argument about how Leslie should present herself in her campaign ad. Ben wants to rip Bobby in the ad, while Leslie says that she “hates negative ads” and “would never do one in a million years.” In the end, they decide to have a contest to see which ad would be better, with Ann and Donna being on Leslie’s team, and Tom and Jerry helping Ben. Cue one of the most hilarious ad strategizing moments as the three guys attempt to voiceover their Bobby-bashing video.

    Leslie’s Pro Pawnee ad is met with sufficient admiration, but it’s Ben’s negative portrayal of Bobby that gets all the claps. In fact, everyone except Leslie prefers it over her Pro Pawnee one. Leslie agrees to air Ben’s ad, even though she describes it as “mean,” “depressing, and “awful.” Yet, Leslie being Leslie, tackles Ben at the TV station right before he’s about to hand over the video to one of the station managers, effectively preventing the airing of the negative video.

    At the hospital, Andy and April have just realized that medical bills are pretty darn expensive, even with insurance. Unfortunately, they don’t have the money to pay the $500 cost of their many visits, causing Andy and April to make a run for it. It just goes to show that hospitals will probably get you if you don’t pay up, as Andy manages to run into an ambulance during his escape attempt.

    Ben and Leslie have managed to come up with a compromise, and air an extremely adorable, and awesome, campaign ad of Leslie when she was ten, while also mentioning the fact that Bobby Newport wouldn’t even be able to win against a 10-year-old Leslie Knope. This video prompts a meeting between the three, where Bobby accuses Leslie and Ben of being “mean.” Bobby then asks Leslie to drop out of the campaign, which, in his mind, is a reasonable request, as he’s always been handed everything he’s wanted his entire life. When Leslie tells him that isn’t going to happen, Bobby starts acting like the spoiled brat that he is. Probably the most hilarious thing during this encounter is the revelation as to just how dumb Bobby really is, as he asks Leslie if he could ask the girl in her video, which is Leslie when she was 10, to do a video for him. When Bobby realizes that it’s a younger Leslie he’s seen in the campaign ad, he’s just completely blown away.

    It’s really getting interesting to watch Leslie’s campaign unfold, as she actually has a rival now. Granted, Bobby Newport is a bit of an airhead, but it’s still hilarious to watch. Here’s to hoping that Paul Rudd’s face graces our screens for as many episodes as possible this season.


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