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Parks and Recreation

Episode 3.11 : Jerry's Painting

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TV Info


Episode Premiere

April 28, 2011

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Comedy

Show Period

2009 - now

Production Company

Deedle-Dee Productions, Universal Media Studios

Cast and Crew


Director

Dean Holland

Screenwriter

Norm Hiscock

Main Cast

Synopsis


Sexual tension between Leslie and Ben is at an all-time high. When Leslie mentions the government art show to Ben in hopes of turning the event into a date, Ben awkwardly brushes off the invitation. Apparently, Chris has set Ben up on a date with Cindy, who works in another department. Clearly, Ben is not the least bit excited about the idea, while Chris, unsurprisingly, is ecstatic about the opportunity to set up his friend.

Ben needs a place to live; he's been staying in a cheap motel for the past 7 months, and the bedbugs are the last straw. After rattling off a series of extremely strange (and false) rules, Andy and April agree to let Ben lease their extra room. Later, Ben arrives, only to discover that the place is an absolute pigsty. Ben quickly discovers that April and Andy are total slobs, eating off of Frisbees and sharing their one plastic fork. Ben declares that after they clean the place, he is going to teach them how to live like adults.

At the art show, Leslie isn't her usual chipper self; it's clear that the situation with Ben is taking an emotional toll. But that changes when Leslie comes across Jerry's painting, which prominently features her as a topless centaur shooting a bow and arrow. While at first she's horrified, Leslie soon begins to appreciate this reimagining of her as a powerful goddess. Jerry apologizes profusely and offers to take it down, but she tells him to leave it up; she actually loves being portrayed as a powerful woman. Tom, on the other hand, is not so happy; he's the fat, cherubic baby in the corner of the painting.

The next day at the office, Leslie appears to be a changed woman. Her hair is suspiciously styled like it was in the painting, and she has a newfound determination to get things done. However, a citizen tries to rain on her parade when she comes to the office to complain about the painting, claiming it's pornographic and has no place in a government office. Chris assures her that her complaints will be considered and the issue will be addressed.

With the house moderately clean, Ben makes his first attempt at teaching April and Andy how to be adults. But when Ben finds that Andy is keeping all of their unpaid bills in the freezer, Ben realizes that he's in deeper than he thought. When Ben proposes teaching them how to balance a checkbook, he finds that he first needs to teach them how to open a bank account.

In her passionate campaign to save the painting, Leslie goes on the local talk show, "Ya' Herd? With Perd." Although the interview gets off to a great start, Leslie's argument is sullied when a porn star comes on the show as well, claiming that "what they do" isn't porn, it's art. Leslie's in an awkward position; since when did she become analogous to a porn star?

Chris is upset with Leslie for going on the talk show without his permission and reveals that he's decided the public art commission will make the decision. Leslie is pleased with this news; the art commission is a bunch of hippies, so this should be a cakewalk. But apparently the commission isn't as open-minded as Leslie thought; it decides to play it safe and destroy the painting.

Before leaving for his date, Ben sends April and Andy to Bed, Bath and Beyond with a list of basic necessities to buy. But, as expected, they have trouble sticking to the list and immediately fill their cart with all of the "As Seen On TV" products they can find. In the checkout line, Andy suggests that they should stick to Ben's list. April objects, saying she doesn't want to grow up and shop like an adult. Andy finds a compromise by allowing her to still buy the marshmallow shooter.

Leslie refuses to accept the council's decision, and steals the painting in an attempt to save it from destruction. She takes it to April and Andy's to hide it, and is surprised to find Ben now living there. April and Andy return from Bed, Bath and Beyond and agree to harbor the fugitive painting. However, Leslie's plans are ruined when Chris calls and demands that she bring the painting back tomorrow and surrender it.

When Leslie brings in the painting, Jerry says he's surprised and disappointed in her; giving up is something that he would do. At this, Leslie is inspired and hatches a new plan. She has Jerry create a second painting in which Tom's image replaces hers; this will trick the angry citizens into believing that the same painting has been altered. Leslie's plan is a success, and she is able to save her painting from destruction.

Later, Andy asks Ben what's going on between him and Leslie, claiming that he got a weird vibe when he entered the room the other day. Ben confesses that he and Leslie like each other, but Chris' strict rules on office dating are preventing them from being together. Andy tells him to disregard the rules; if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen, just like it did with him and April.

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