Rob Lowe

How Chris Traeger Brought a Jolt of Strangely Seminal Energy to ‘Parks and Recreation’

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Parks and Recreation ends its seven-season run Tuesday night on NBC. To celebrate the show’s unforgettable characters, Flavorwire is publishing a series of tributes to our favorite Pawnee residents. Click here to follow our coverage.

It seems that Rob Lowe’s Chris Traeger, along with Adam Scott’s Ben Wyatt, came to Parks and Recreation to fill the (diminutive) hole the show’s creative team knew would be left by Mark Brendanawicz once they finally gave him the boot. At this early stage in the show’s run — one of the last episodes of Season 2 — Chris was a vessel for the show’s epiphanic change in tone, a change that endeared it to, well, some people.
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Your Weekly TV News Roundup: ‘The X-Files’ Reboots, ‘Transparent’ Streams for Free

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The television world moves so fast that by the time you learn of a show’s premiere, it could already be canceled. It’s hard to keep track of the constant stream of TV news, so Flavorwire is here to provide a weekly roundup of the most exciting — and baffling — casting and development updates. This week: lots of pilot pickups, an X-Files reboot, and a chance to watch Transparent for free.
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Your Weekly TV News Roundup: Rob Lowe Remembers the ’90s, Andy Samberg Returns to ‘SNL’

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The television world moves so fast that by the time you learn of a show’s premiere, it could already be canceled. It’s hard to keep track of the constant stream of television news, so Flavorwire is here to provide a weekly roundup of the most exciting — and baffling — casting and development updates. This week, Meg Ryan joins How I Met Your Dad, Andy Samberg returns to Saturday Night Live, and Ellen DeGeneres gets a design show.
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12 Awkward, Bizarre Musical Moments at the Oscars

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The Academy Awards ceremony has, after many, many decades, become an event we both eagerly await and woefully dread. The latter emotions come from the overwrought parade of celebratory adulation for the Hollywood system, an annual ritual that regularly surpasses the three-hour mark. It doesn’t help that in between the awards and tributes to cinematic history are often awkwardly placed musical numbers that seem to make the night drag on even longer. Looking back at the last 25 years, there have been some awesomely atrocious performances in Oscar history. We’ve narrowed down these many missteps and present ten of the most memorable.
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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 6 Episode 4 Recap: “Gin It Up”

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We’re all so wild about Parks and Recreation’s ensemble of characters and the weird little Springfield-ian world they’ve created there in Pawnee that it’s easy to undersell the show’s value as a quiet yet smart political satire. They’ve gone through waves of heavy engagement (most memorably in the fourth season, with Leslie’s city council run including echoes of the “birther” movement and Obama’s lousy bowling), but last night’s “Gin It Up” episode gave us the best political gags of the young season, with a wicked send-up of scandal-mongering and “special hearing” showboating. As Councilman Jamm promised, “This will be blown way out of proportion. You have my word on it!”
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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 6 Episode 3 Recap: ‘Doppelgängers’

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There was a moment early in last night’s Parks and Recreation episode, “Doppelgängers,” that was utterly perfect, though it’s difficult to pinpoint precisely why. It came at the conclusion of the prologue, in which Leslie is explaining to the various Eagelton city employees how their departments will be joined with their Pawnee counterparts—save for the Department of Infinity Pool Design and Department of Dressage, of course, which have no match. And at the conclusion of this straightforward explanation, April announces loudly, via a makeshift paper megaphone, “ATTENTION! EAGLETON IS NOW UNDER MARTIAL LAW!” Most shows would treat that as the joke and hard cut to the credits. But this show throws in Leslie’s quick, insistent, “No…” Amy Poehler’s reading of that one-word line is exactly the right combination of assurance for the Eagletonians and loving but stern scolding of her subordinate, and the timing of her immediate cutaway just makes the moment sing. And it’s not a funny line in and of itself, but this show has long past the point of relying on “funny lines.”
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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 6 Episode 2 Recap: ‘The Pawnee-Eagleton Tip-Off Classic’

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Pawnee’s rivalry with Eagleton, the hoity-toity haves to their have-nots, has been fertile comic soil for Parks and Recreation for the past three seasons, one of those initially slight elements that’s grown, in time, into a reliable touchstone for the series. I’ve always found Eagleton-based plotlines particularly funny for intensely personal reasons; my hometown has an Eagleton of its own, an inner borough of rich assholes who incorporated as their own “city” and are best known for the 15 mile-per-hour speed limit, so all souls driving through have plenty of time to gawk at their gaudy abodes. Eat it, Eastborough! But I digress. The point is, I get Leslie’s hatred for Eagleton, and particularly appreciate her Rickles-style one-liners (“You’ll be too busy polishing your monocle at the caviar store. Knope out!”) in the prologue to last night’s Parks and Rec, “The Pawnee-Eagleton Tip-Off Classic.”
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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 6 Premiere Recap: ‘London’

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Hour-long episodes of traditionally half-hour sitcoms can be a dicey proposition — as later seasons of The Office proved, it’s easy for even a beloved ensemble comedy to wear out its welcome. Gimmick episodes that find a sitcom transplanted to international shores are similarly sketchy; too often, mere sightseeing is allowed to substitute for narrative, with the sight of our wacky favorites cavorting on foreign soil expected to carry the comic load. Last night’s sixth season premiere of Parks and Recreation is the show’s first double-length episode, and much of the action is in London, a city previously visited by the likes of Friends and Family Ties. But “London,” penned by co-creator Michael Schur and directed by Dean Holland (who helmed five previous episodes), seldom steps wrong.
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