Parks and Recreation (season 4)

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Parks and Recreation
(season 4)
Parks and Recreation S4 DVD.jpg
Region 1 DVD cover art
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) – May 8, 2012 (2012-05-08)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 September 4, 2012 (2012-09-04)[1]
Region 2 January 13, 2014 (2014-01-13)[2]
Region 4 February 13, 2013 (2013-02-13)[3]
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of Parks and Recreation episodes

The fourth season of Parks and Recreation originally aired in the United States on the NBC television network, and began on September 22, 2011, and ended on May 8, 2012. The season contained 22 episodes.

As with past seasons, it focused on Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her staff at the parks and recreation department of the fictional Indiana town of Pawnee. However, this season featured an overarching story arc, beginning in the first episode and culminating in the finale, where Leslie ran for the city council of Pawnee.

Cast[edit]

  • Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat with a strong love of her home town of Pawnee, who has not let politics dampen her sense of optimism; her ultimate goal is to become President of the United States.[4] Poehler departed from the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, where she was a cast member for nearly seven years, to star in Parks and Recreation.[5][6] It was only after she was cast that Daniels and Schur established the general concept of the show and the script for the pilot was written.[7]
  • Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins, a nurse and political outsider who gradually becomes more involved in Pawnee government through her friendship with Leslie.[8] Jones was among the first to be cast by Daniels and Schur in 2008, when the series was still being considered as a spin-off to The Office, where Jones had played Jim Halpert's girlfriend Karen Filippelli, who formerly worked at the Stamford Branch but was soon transferred to the Scranton Branch in the 3rd season.[7][9]
  • Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford, Leslie's sarcastic and underachieving subordinate,[10] who eventually begins to consider leaving his city hall job to pursue his own entrepreneurial interests.[11] As with Jones, Daniels and Schur had intended to cast Ansari from the earliest stages of the development of Parks and Recreation.[7][9]
  • Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, the parks and recreation director who, as a libertarian, believes in as small a government as possible. As such, Ron strives to make his department as ineffective as possible, and favors hiring employees who do not care about their jobs or are poor at them.[10] Nevertheless, Ron consistently demonstrates that he secretly cares deeply about his fellow co-workers.[12]
  • Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate, a cynical and uninterested parks department intern who eventually becomes the perfect assistant for Ron.[13] The role was written specifically for Plaza; after meeting her, casting director Allison Jones told Schur, "I just met the weirdest girl I've ever met in my life. You have to meet her and put her on your show."[14]
  • Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer, a goofy and dim-witted but lovable slacker. Pratt was originally intended to be a guest star and the character Andy was initially meant to appear only in the first season, but the producers liked Pratt so much that, almost immediately after casting him, they decided to make him a regular cast member starting with season two.[15]
  • Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt, a brilliant but socially awkward government official trying to redeem his past as a failed mayor in his youth.[16] Scott left his starring role on the Starz comedy series Party Down to join the show.[17]
  • Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger, an excessively positive and extremely health-conscious government official.[18] Unlike Scott, Lowe was originally expected to depart after a string of guest appearances,[19][20] but later signed a multi-year contract to become a regular cast member.[20][21]
  • Jim O'Heir as Jerry Gergich, the office scapegoat and overall klutz, with unbelievably attractive daughters and wife.
  • Retta as Donna Meagle, who's sassy and savvy and little patience for stupidity.

Episodes[edit]

† denotes an extended episode.

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
47 1 "I'm Leslie Knope" Troy Miller Dan Goor September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) 4.11[22]
Leslie is torn between Ben and her dreams of running for public office, while Ron braces himself for the arrival of his first wife, Tammy One.
48 2 "Ron and Tammys" Randall Einhorn Norm Hiscock September 29, 2011 (2011-09-29) 4.33[23]
Leslie is pulled into Ron's personal life as Tammy One (Patricia Clarkson) exerts malevolent influence on him, and seeks out help from Ron's mom Tammy Zero. Tom tasks Ben with helping out with his grossly mismanaged new company, while Ann and Chris team up for a public service announcement about diabetes.
49 3 "Born & Raised" Dean Holland Aisha Muharrar October 6, 2011 (2011-10-06) 4.15[24]
Promoting a book she has written about Pawnee, Leslie falls victim to Joan Callamezzo's "Gotcha!" journalism, but also learns a horrifying fact about her personal history. Tom's flirting with Joan takes a disturbing turn, while Ann strives fruitlessly to make Ron and April enjoy chatting with her.
50 4 "Pawnee Rangers" Charles McDougall Alan Yang October 13, 2011 (2011-10-13) 4.00[25]
Ron and Leslie get into a feud over their rival youth camp programs, with Ron's spartan Pawnee Rangers up against Leslie's supportive and indulgent Pawnee Goddesses. Tom and Donna invite Ben – still despondent over his breakup with Leslie – to their annual "Treat Yo' Self" spa and shopping excursion. Jerry takes his daughter and Chris to lunch together.
51 5 "Meet n Greet" Wendey Stanzler Katie Dippold October 27, 2011 (2011-10-27) 3.90[26]
Ben is mad when Andy and April decide to throw a Halloween party at their house without asking him. Tom emcees an event for Leslie’s campaign but manages to also promote his company. Meanwhile, Ron and Ann give Andy and April an unusual wedding present.
52 6 "End of the World" Dean Holland Michael Schur November 3, 2011 (2011-11-03) 4.00[27]
A local Pawnee group predicts that the end of the world is coming, causing Leslie and others to contemplate their lives. Tom decides to throw the best party ever before he loses his office space, while April helps Andy complete his "bucket list" before the world ends.
53 7 "The Treaty" Jorma Taccone Harris Wittels November 10, 2011 (2011-11-10) 3.66[28]
Leslie and Ben are excited about the opportunity to lead a Model United Nations conference, but their post-dating relationship becomes the major crisis of the event. Elsewhere, Andy and April uniquely lend a helping hand at the conference; Ron goes the extra mile to try and convince a reluctant Tom to return to his government post; and Chris enlists advice from Ann, Donna, and an uneasy Jerry to find out why Millie isn't returning his calls.
54 8 "Smallest Park" Nicole Holofcener Chelsea Peretti November 17, 2011 (2011-11-17) 3.68[29]
Leslie attempts to delay completion of Indiana's smallest park in order to spend more time with Ben before he transfers out of the parks department. Andy goes back to college with Ron and April's support, and Chris tasks Tom and Jerry with designing a new logo.
55 9 "The Trial of Leslie Knope" Dean Holland Dan Goor & Michael Schur December 1, 2011 (2011-12-01) 3.69[30]
Leslie and Ben finally tell Chris about their relationship, leading to Leslie's trial by the board to see whether she took advantage of him to get ahead. Ann, Ron, April, Andy, Donna, and Jerry sit in as witnesses to help prove her innocence, while Chris becomes their enemy.
56 10 "Citizen Knope" Randall Einhorn Dave King December 8, 2011 (2011-12-08) 3.64[31]
When Chris bans a suspended Leslie from trying to do her job in any way, Leslie becomes a super-organizer for citizen-based projects in Pawnee. The entire staff endeavors to create the most thoughtful present for Leslie they can think of, in order to pay her back for her many years of unprecedentedly thoughtful presents. Ben Wyatt goes on distressing private sector job interviews before getting good advice from a surprising source. Leslie's City Council campaign suffers crippling losses–until her friends and colleagues unite anew to help her out.
57 11 "The Comeback Kid" Tucker Gates Mike Scully January 12, 2012 (2012-01-12) 4.09[32]
Leslie must ask for help in order to stage a major event to re-establish her campaign. Ben uses his new-found freetime to explore new hobbies, alarming Chris with their uselessness and causing him to step in and help. April and Andy adopt a new pet dog, without telling Ben.
58 12 "Campaign Ad" Dean Holland Alan Yang January 19, 2012 (2012-01-19) 4.25[33]
The race for City Council is shaken up by the entry of Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd), the wealthy and good-natured son of the town's largest employer, as a candidate. Leslie and Ben have a fight over the tone of their campaign ads. Chris tries to befriend Ron, making him uncomfortable. Andy and April visit the doctor.
59 13 "Bowling for Votes" Michael Trim Katie Dippold January 26, 2012 (2012-01-26) 3.49[34]
Leslie and Ben host a bowling night after receiving feedback about Leslie's campaign. April, Chris, and Jerry hold a competition to see who can raise the most funds.
60 14 "Operation Ann" Morgan Sackett Aisha Muharrar February 2, 2012 (2012-02-02) 3.60[35]
Leslie works to find Ann a Valentine's date, finding only the run of the muck strange Pawneeans. Ron helps Ben with Leslie's difficult Valentine's scavenger hunt, and Chris becomes depressed over his love life.
61 15 "Dave Returns" Robert B. Weide Harris Wittels February 16, 2012 (2012-02-16) 3.45[36]
Leslie and Ben run into Dave (Louis C.K.) while meeting with the Chief of Police. Andy searches for a song to represent Leslie's campaign.
62 16 "Sweet Sixteen" Michael Schur Norm Hiscock February 23, 2012 (2012-02-23) 3.43[37]
After realizing everyone forgot Jerry's birthday, Leslie decides to throw him a party; Tom is shocked to learn Ann doesn't share his taste in music.
63 17 "Campaign Shake-Up" Dan Goor Dan Goor March 1, 2012 (2012-03-01) 3.77[38]
Bobby Newport hires a new campaign manager (Kathryn Hahn). Leslie courts the support of a powerful Pawnee senior citizen (Carl Reiner). Ron must search for a new deputy director.
64 18 "Lucky" Troy Miller Nick Offerman March 8, 2012 (2012-03-08) 3.66[39]
Indianapolis journalist Buddy Wood (Sean Hayes) selects Leslie as one of the local candidates whom he profiles in an annual special. Andy prepares for his final womens' studies exam, and both Ron and Chris take an interest in his professor.
65 19 "Live Ammo" Tristram Shapeero Dave King & Chelsea Peretti April 19, 2012 (2012-04-19) 3.46[40]
Leslie discovers that the Parks Department budget is about to be cut, and she later meets the City Council member (Bradley Whitford) she is running to replace. Chris and Ron visit a meditation center.
66 20 "The Debate" Amy Poehler Amy Poehler April 24, 2012 (2012-04-24)[a] 3.17[41]
Leslie and Bobby Newport hold a debate.
67 21 "Bus Tour" Dean Holland Aisha Muharrar & Alan Yang May 1, 2012 (2012-05-01)[b] 3.26[42]
The father of Bobby Newport dies suddenly while Leslie is on a critical campaign swing through the city.
68 22 "Win, Lose, or Draw" Michael Schur Michael Schur May 8, 2012 (2012-05-08)[c] 3.42[43]
The results of Pawnee's City Council election are announced.

a b c Episodes 20–22 premiered on Citytv before airing on NBC two days later. Dates listed are the original Citytv air dates.

Reception[edit]

The fourth season of Parks and Recreation received positive reviews. The show's fourth currently holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.[44] Alan Sepinwall of HitFix said the fourth season was "funny and touching in all the best Parks and Rec ways."[45] Some of the more critically acclaimed episodes of the season included "The Debate" and "Win, Lose, or Draw". Matt Fowler of IGN Movies said in regard to the finale that "Parks and Recreation continues its streak of leaving a season on a strong note with "Win, Lose or Draw" - an episode that hit the right spots comedically while also, you know, sneaking up on me emotionally."[46] The fourth season also received 3 Primetime Emmy Award nominations; Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Amy Poehler, and Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for the episodes "The Debate" (also for Poehler) and "Win, Lose, or Draw" for Michael Schur.

Production[edit]

At the March 2012 PaleyFest, series co-creator Michael Schur revealed that three different season endings were filmed because "we want to make sure that the one we are choosing is the right [one] and we reserve the right to change our minds and also partly just to confuse people," he said, adding that "there may be a last-minute switch".[47]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Parks & Recreation Season Four (UK release) [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Parks & Recreation: Season 4". Ezy DVD. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ Dawidziak, Mark (April 7, 2009). "'Parks and Recreation': New NBC comedy is uneven but promising". The Plain Dealer. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ Stasi, Linda (April 9, 2009). "Raiders of the Lost 'Park': Amy Poehler quit "SNL" for "Parks and Recreation"". New York Post. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved April 11, 2009. 
  6. ^ Grossberg, Josh (September 16, 2008). "Amy Poehler Moves Up SNL Exit". E! Online. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
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  9. ^ a b Sepinwall, Alan (July 21, 2008). "Sepinwall on TV: Leno undercover, 'Office' non-spin-off". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
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  12. ^ Snierson, Dan (January 27, 2011). "'Parks and Recreation' scoop: Amy Poehler and co-creator Mike Schur dish on Leslie's big gamble, romantic possibilities, and tonight's episode 'The Flu'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2011. 
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  19. ^ Dos Santos, Kristin (March 3, 2010). "Rob Lowe is Coming to Parks and Recreation, the Big Boss Confirms". E! Online. Archived from the original on January 22, 2011. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
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  21. ^ Rice, Lynette (July 30, 2011). "Rob Lowe joins 'Parks and Recreation' as a series regular". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 7, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011. 
  22. ^ Seidman, Robert (September 23, 2011). "Thursday Finals: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'The X Factor,' 'Parks & Recreation' and 'Whitney' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
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  25. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 14, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Office,' 'Person Of Interest,' 'X Factor' Adjusted Up, 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 15, 2011. 
  26. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 28, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: World Series Game 6 Finals + 'Big Bang,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Office,' 'Person,' Adjusted Up; 'Rules,' 'Secret Circle,' 'Whitney,' 'Prime Suspect' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved October 29, 2011. 
  27. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 4, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'The X Factor,' 'Parks & Recreation,' 'The Office,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 5, 2011. 
  28. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 11, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's,' 'Prime Suspect' Adjusted Up; 'Bones,' 'Rules,' 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  29. ^ Gorman, Bill (November 19, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'X Factor,' 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Private Practice' Adjusted Up; 'Bones' Adjusted Down; 'Beneath The Blue' Evaporates". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  30. ^ Seidman, Robert (December 2, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: No Adjustment for 'Community,' 'Bones' or Any Thursday Original". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 3, 2011. 
  31. ^ Gorman, Bill (December 9, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Parks & Rec' Adjusted Up; 'Big Bang,' 'Rules,' 'Person Of Interest,' 'Mentalist,' 'X Factor,' 'Bones' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved December 10, 2011. 
  32. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 13, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' Adjusted Up; 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
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  34. ^ Seidman, Robert (January 27, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' Adjusted Up to Thursday High; 'American Idol' Up; 'The Finder' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  35. ^ Gorman, Bill (February 3, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Office,' 'Mentalist' Adjusted Up; 'Rob' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 3, 2012. 
  36. ^ Gorman, Bill (February 17, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Big Bang Theory,' '30 Rock,' 'Office' Adjusted Up; 'Person Of Interest,' 'Mentalist,' 'Secret Circle' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 18, 2012. 
  37. ^ Bibel, Sara (February 24, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'American Idol,' 'The Mentalist' Adjusted Up; 'Rob,' 'Private Practice,' 'Up All Night' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  38. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 2, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Awake' & 'American Idol' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  39. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 9, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol' Adjusted Up; 'Parks & Recreation' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 
  40. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 20, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Awake' & 'Missing' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' & 'Parks and Recreation' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 20, 2012. 
  41. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 27, 2012). "-Thursday Final Ratings: 'Idol', 'Big Bang Theory', 'Grey's', 'The Vampire Diaries', 'Mentalist' & 'Missing' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 
  42. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 4, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'American Idol', 'Vampire Diaries', 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up; 'Secret Circle', 'The Mentalist', 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  43. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 11, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory', 'Idol', 'Vampire Diaries', 'Office', 'Secret Circle', 'Grey's' Adjusted Up; 'Touch', 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
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  46. ^ Matt Fowler (May 10, 2012). "Parks and Recreation: "Win, Lose or Draw" Review". IGN. Retrieved July 3, 2014. 
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External links[edit]