When the NBC comedy series first started, Parks and Recreation only seemed to be riding on the coattails of The Office with its mockumentary style and somewhat weak start in the first season. However, two season later the show has quickly found its footing, crafted some spectacular characters, fantastic comedy and a series that has actually surpassed the quality of the series it once seemed to simply copy. Aside from previous series regulars like Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman and Aziz Ansari consistently delivering some of the best comedic performances on television, the addition of Adam Scott and Rob Lowe as series regulars also bring some magic to Pawnee, Indiana. For a more in-depth analysis of the third season of Parks and Recreation, hit the jump.
Perhaps it’s growing up in Northwest Indiana that makes a series like Parks and Recreation feel that much more genuine and funny, but there’s no denying the chemistry this cast has, and the sheer brilliance in writing delivered in every single episode. From the tumultuous relationship between Ron Swanson (Offerman) and his ex-wife Tammy 2 (because his first marriage was to another devilish woman named Tammy), to the nerdy, cute romance between Leslie Knope (Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Scott), strange and immature marriage of April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), bromance turned business partnership between Tom Haverford (Ansari) and Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) or the on-and-off romance between Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) and Chris Traeger (Lowe), all the relationship in this series bring the right amount of funny and charm to the series.
Some of the finest moments in this season come from a reckless reunion between Ron and Tammy 2 resulting in some interesting facial hair changes and cornrows for our favorite mustached, manly man. Even more hilarious on multiple viewings is Tom Haverford’s list of slang words for food (“sandwiches are sammies or Adam Sandlers”) not to mention any of his exchanges with Jean-Ralphio, especially when a new business venture launches between them. Of course, the constant berating of Jerry (Jim O’Heir) never gets old along with Andy’s lovably idiotic antics and gestures. Also making this season even more hilarious are a great series of guest stars like Parker Posey hailing from the snooty, uppity town of Eagleton, Will Forte as a desperate father trying to impress his daughter by getting The Twilight Saga books into the Pawnee time capsule, an amazing turn by Megan Mullally as Tammy 2, and more.
Honestly, the only complaint from this season of Parks and Recreation is that it only lasts 16 episodes when it could easily have another eight episodes for a completely full season run. Thankfully a few extended episodes on this release make the season last a little longer for those fan who just need more of Pawnee, Indiana. And the conclusion of the third season leaves some big doors open to lead right into the fourth season and does what any good series should do: leave you wanting more.
This DVD release contains all 16 episodes from the third season and also three extended cuts (which deliver some fantastic moments from Ron Swanson, and the dynamic duo of Tom Haverford and Jean-Ralphio) of the following episodes:
- Harvest Festival
- The Fight
- Li’l Sebastian
Deleted Scenes: There are a whole slew of deleted scenes from nearly every single episode, and while it’s easy to see why most of them were left on the cutting room floor, there are some cute little moments between Ben and Leslie that help build their charming romance, and of course, a few hilarious bits and pieces from pretty much everyone in the entire cast.
Commentaries: Several episodes have commentaries from the cast and crew which include some insights into Ron’s facial hair mishaps and some airtime for lesser known crew members to talk about their role on the show, which is interesting for anyone who has an interest in going behind-the-scenes of their favorite shows. The following episodes have commentaries:
- Flu Season
- Ron & Tammy 2
- Harvest Festival
- The Fight
- Li’l Sebastian
Gag Reel: There’s a gag reel that lasts a little over 20 minutes and also features some colorful language you wouldn’t normally hear on NBC. In between the slew of bloopers there’s also some faux commercials for Entertainment 720 (the multimedia conglomerate started by Tom and Jean-Ralphio), a movie trailer style promo for the Ron and Tammy 2 episode, and a really short and not entirely funny commercial for the radio show featuring Ira and The Douche. All of those commercials can also be watched individually as well.
Li’l Sebastian Tribute: This “Tom-Ralphio Jam” is a short, retrospective tribute to everyone favorite tiny horse Li’l Sebastian.
Rob Lowe Goest Nutz: A hilarious Funny or Die promo with Rob Lowe freaking out about the fact that the series has been on hiatus for a couple months.
Aziz Ansari’s New Title Sequence: The man behind Tom Haverford presents a new title sequence for the show reminiscent of a hip-hop video and an action movie all in one. Where can I get this rap remix of the Parks & Recreation theme?
Parks and Recreation 3D: In anticipation of the third season, this promo touts that the new season was shot in IMAX 3D. Obviously it’s not, but things certainly come flying at the camera and get right in your face without actually venturing into the third dimension and that makes this promo all the more funny.