The Wedding Singer

I’ve spoken before about how a lot of people in the film world seemed to lose sight of what their fans want from them, churning out shit that is a far cry from their former glory. I think no one in Hollywood currently exemplifies this phenomenon more than Adam Sandler. He rose to fame playing overgrown children with a heart of gold. This most recent string of movies still has him playing immature buffoons, but the charm is gone. His characters now tend to be rich and have a hot wife, it’s like he no longer knows how to be the lovable Robbie Hart anymore, but we’ll always have The Wedding Singer to remind us of how great he used to be.

Robbie Hart (Sandler) knows how to make others’ wedding magical as the hottest wedding singer in his New Jersey town, but when it comes time for his own nuptials, he’s left at the altar by his fiancé Linda. Robbie is devastated and is ready to quit performing weddings and never leave his sister’s basement again, but agrees to help his new friend Julia (Drew Barrymore in her most adorable role) plan her wedding. As Julia’s wedding approaches, the two fall in love.

While the movie is supposed to be set in 1985, the references are all over the place. There was clearly no research done to make sure the time was consistent. You can picture the writers asking each other “Hey, what else happened in the 80s?” There’s also a few moments where math doesn’t add up, as if they decided to put it in the past late in the writing process, but it gives the movie a very carefree feeling. The whole movie is just pure fun and the cast has great chemistry, especially Sandler and Barrymore.

What makes this movie different from every other one Sandler has starred in, is that he plays real person who could actually function in the real world. Robbie Hart is more intelligent than Billy Madison, his anger is more under control than Happy Madison, and he’s more mature than Sonny from Big Daddy. Sandler’s characters tend to have a hard edge somewhere and that’s missing here. Also, his love interests tend to be lesser names, while Barrymore is one of the queens of the romantic comedy genre. By having to strengthen the Julia character, you allow a deeper connection between her and Sandler’s Robbie and therefore a sweeter love story. This is also the first Sandler love interest to have an established life outside of him. We meet Julia’s mother, she has a best friend in her cousin Holly (Christine Taylor) who may be easy but is far from a villain. It sounds like a simple thing, but more often than not, the love interest is devoid of any characteristics other than be perfect for the lead.

While not an intellectual film, it’s among my favorite romantic comedies. The humor is laugh out loud without being crass or vulgar and while the love story is a bit predictable, it’s enjoyable throughout. When Sandler’s latest comes out next month, I would say skip it, stay home and watch The Wedding Singer again.

Favorite Quote

Robbie: Well, I have a microphone, and you don’t, SO YOU WILL LISTEN TO EVERY DAMN WORD I HAVE TO SAY!

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Serenity

Serenity brought the crew from the short-lived television series Firefly to the big screen. The show was mishandled by the power that be at Fox and later developed a strong cult following when released on DVD. Hoping to grown the fanbase further, creator Joss Whedon was allowed to write and direct a feature length adventure continuing the action six months after the last time fans saw the crew. It’s a world that marries sci-fi shininess with the twang of Western charm. The characters are strong because they all unique connections to one another. Many ensembles suffer from having certain characters that don’t know how to interact with each other because their relationships are unclear, not the case here.

Whedon does a great job of introducing the central characters, having them interact enough to establish the relationships for those unfamiliar with them but not dragging things down with exposition too much for those who watched the series. The film opens with a flashback to how River (Summer Glau) was rescued by her brother from the Alliance. Again, a great way to let the new people know that River had been tortured by the government  while still giving new information to the fans.

When a simple jobs goes wrong, Simon fears River isn’t safe on Serenity. Captain Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) is more than happy to see the two go, but when a subliminal message cases River to transform into a weapon of mass destruction, it becomes clear some deeper is going on. They travel to a planet called Miranda and learn that River knows a secret the alliance desperately wants to keep hidden. The crew makes it their mission to spread the word, with a few along the way making the ultimate sacrifice.

Joss Whedon is famous for killing off major characters, reminding the audience that no one is safe. I don’t think I’ll ever fully forgive him for one of this film’s casualties in particular, in Whedon’s defense, he originally intended for everyone to survive, but there was a push from the studio to lock everyone down for the (at the time) inevitable sequel and anyone who couldn’t commit to the next film, did not make it to the end of the first. This was obviously painful for Whedon, especially since that implied sequel never came to be. Whedon has said if he ever gets the chance to make another movie, he will do his best to find a logical way to bring everybody back.

It’s a shame that Nathan Fillion hasn’t become a bigger star. He certainly has the looks and the sense of humor to play anything Harrison Ford is too old to do. And the man has chemistry with everyone! While he currently has success with Castle, he will always be the Captain at heart. It’s a great character and it’s interesting to watch him struggle with good and evil in the role. He’s a good man who has to do bad things to survive, but he’ll always put his crew first.

While I’ll admit, Serenity and Firefly the series has its flaws, it’s just pure fun for me with a cast that is a blast to watch. Something really magical happened when these eight people got together. Plus- space cowboys, people! I’ve already discussed in past posts how I like my sci-fi to have a sense of humor to it and this crew always delivered for me.

Favorite Quote:

Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburn: I am a leaf on the wind – watch how I soar.

Moonrise Kingdom

It makes perfect sense that Wes Anderson’s latest Moonrise Kingdom tells the tale of two twelve year olds experiencing first love on the run. His distinct style has a hint of innocence to it, as if the sets and characters are his toys to arrange how he pleases. Newcomers Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman are Anderson’s latest dolls, as star-crossed lovers Suzy and Sam. The two are a delight together as trouble pre-teens who bond over their shared awkwardness. Anderson tells their story with complete honesty and really hits on that confusion one goes through when you first experience adult feelings while still trapped in a child’s body. Suzy and Sam, her with her exaggerated eye shadow, him with his pipe, are so eager for adulthood. In one scene Sam literally pours out a glass of milk to replace it with beer, pushing away the innocence of childhood. There is also a subtle but significant anti-bullying theme, when Sam’s fellow scouts question their hatred for him. Anderson clearly remembers what it is like to be a child.

Sam and Suzy meet and are instantly drawn to each other as the two are misunderstood by all around them. They become pen pal and plan to run away together over the course of letters. When they make their escape, they are pursued by his scouting troop, her family, and the local law enforcement. While the adults’ initial reaction is to keep to two apart, it becomes clear their connection will not be easily severed. When the adults learn orphaned Sam has run out of foster homes, they become determined to keep him from Social Services and give him the home he deserves, that is, if they ever find him.

While Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman appear in the film, much of the cast, including Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Harvey Keitel, are making their Wes Anderson debut.   The eclectic group of actors all mesh well together. Willis’ performance is tender and has a sadness to it that we don’t often get to see from the well-known actor. Norton is also great as Scout Master Ward. He is pure soul who just wants to help children, which is a rare character to see nowadays. Murray and McDormand are strong a married couple that works on paper but are obviously struggling. Schwartzman is also enjoyable in his brief cameo as the overgrown Boy Scout (excuse me, Khaki Scout) who is scamming kids out of their nickels.

The world of scouting is a good fit for Anderson. In many ways, he’s the boy scout of the film world, with all these impressive skills that are a bit out dated. It is clear that Anderson is heavily influenced by filmmakers from the past, so it is also fitting that this film takes place in 1965. Anderson’s films are chocked full of nostalgia and one look at Hayward’s Suzy tells you Anderson is a Fellini fan.

The script is tight with laughs coming naturally. There is a normalcy to this cast of characters that is refreshing. Often his protagonist reach almost cartoonist levels of dysfunction, but while Sam, Suzy, and those in their orbit each have a sadness and a restlessness to them, their quirkiness is kept in check. This is a return to form for Anderson, but this added restraint points to a maturity that gives you high hopes for the future of this filmmaker. While the film feels a tad longer than its 94 minute run time, each scene has an element of the magic one expects from Anderson.

 

 

 

Enchanted

Enchanted is one part tribute to the classic Disney fairytales, one part satire, gently poking fun at the familiar tropes that pepper those stories. In many ways, it is a very clever movie, taking standard stereotypical characters and giving them new life with unique personality traits. Ironically, the weaker characters are those from the real world.

When Disney-style maiden Giselle (Amy Adams) encounters Prince Edward, it is love at first sight and the two plan to marry immediately. However, Prince Edward (James Marsden) has a jealous step-mother, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), who knows the wedding will lead to her losing her crown. Through sorcery, she transports  Giselle to the real world, landing her in the middle of New York City. She meets a divorce lawyer, Robert (Patrick Dempsey), and his young daughter who agree to shelter her until she can find her way home. Robert is jaded about love after his wife left him and his daughter, but plans to propose to his long-time girlfriend (Idina Menzel). As Giselle and Robert get to know each other, they share their ideas on love, falling for each other in the process, only to have Prince Edward emerge, wanting to take Giselle home, followed by Queen Narissa who wants to make sure their wedding never happens.

This film was a star-maker for Amy Adams who shines as Giselle. She does the Disney princess voice better than anyone and has all the mannerisms down pat. It’s also fun to watch her learn about being angry and how to have meaningful conversations with people. The filmmakers have a lot of fun with Giselle and having this cartoon character encounter real life. A stand-out scene is when Giselle enlists the help from the animal kingdom, a la Snow White, to clean Robert’s apartment. Of course, she’s in New York, so she has to settle for cockroaches, rats, and pigeons.

Another actor who really knocks it out of the park with this one is James Marsden as Prince Edward. Everything he does in this film is hilarious and perfect. He walks that thin line of having 100% perfect self-esteem without being arrogant. He’s not a bad person, he’s just simple. It was a smart move to not make him obnoxious, because then it shows you how strong Giselle’s connection is with Robert for her to choose him over the prince. While Marsden is a very pretty man, he often plays the cuckold. This time, however, he get a happy ending too, marrying Robert’s girlfriend Nancy, who is content with being treated like a princess.

The weakest part for me is Patrick Dempsey as Robert. Dempsey is an odd case because he has leading man looks but isn’t charismatic enough to carry a film. Broadway darling Menzel is also miscast as the brash girlfriend who tries too hard to befriend Robert’s daughter. One of the insider jokes about the film is they put Idina Menzel in a film that involves singing and then makes sure she’s the only one who doesn’t sing.

Enchanted is a fun movie, definitely worth checking out. While it seems like it would be a complete chick flick, the fairytale humor is relatable to all.

Favorite Quote:

Prince Edward: Go ahead, Pip. What is it you want to say?
Pip in New York: [clears his throat, squeaks] You with me.
[rubs “hands” together and points to Nathaniel, trying to tell Edward that Nathaniel is a traitor]
Prince Edward: Nathaniel?
Pip in New York: [squeaking] Uh-huh. Nathaniel.
Prince Edward: Nathaniel’s glad to have me near.
Pip in New York: [squeaking] No-no-no-no-no!
[imitates Nathaniel and then scurries to a soda cup indicating that he saw Nathaniel talking to Narissa in a boiling pot and made three apples appear]
Pip in New York: Broop, broop, broop.
Pip in New York: [takes a piece of ice as if it were an apple. Imitates Nathaniel again] Giselle.
[imitates Giselle singing “True Love’s Kiss”]
Prince Edward: Oh, I know this one.
Pip in New York: [as Nathaniel] Apple?
[as Giselle]
Pip in New York: No, thank you.
[as Nathaniel]
Pip in New York: It’s good.
[as Giselle]
Pip in New York: Oh, okay.
[crunches on the ice and imitates death and then strikes a “tada” pose and waits for Edward’s interpretation]
Prince Edward: You feel you’d die without me here.

The People Vs George Lucas

Like anyone who grew up with the original Star Wars trilogy, I have opinions about George Lucas. Few public figures have such a complicated relationship with their fans. When I heard about this documentary, I knew I would have to check it out but didn’t get around to it until I saw it was streaming on Netflix. It’s definitely a conversation starter. While there are some arguments in this film, that I don’t agree with, it shows you how each fan has their own unique experience with Star Wars and the man who created it. And it touches on the idea that for great hate to exist there must also be great love.

One thing that becomes very clear in this documentary, your feelings about Lucas are very tied to when you first became familiar with his work. Basically, the version of Star Wars you grew up with is our Star Wars, and any changes are met with resistance, to say the least. Those who watched the original versions find the Special Edition to be a betrayal. Those in my generation were pulled in by the allure of seeing the Special Edition on the big screen but find the prequels to be an abomination. Kids who grew up with the prequels don’t understand all the hate regarding the films, and sometimes find the older films boring, preferring “their Star Wars”. It’s interesting because Star Wars rival sage, Star Trek doesn’t have any of this generational angst, despite series creator Gene Roddenberry having no involvement with some of the shows.

Those interviewed for the documentary tend to be in the first group of Star Wars fans, the group that grew up with the original, original films and find the “enhancements” of the special edition to be a travesty. They try to make the argument that Lucas should know better than to tamper with classic films after he fought Ted Turner colorizing older films, but this is hollow to me since Lucas created the art he’s “fixing”, while Ted Turner simply owned the rights. Lucas’ stance has been that it is his baby and he can do what he wants with it. However, one fan does make a great point but saying “fixing” the films and saying they were never quite what he wanted, is a slap in the face to the crew who worked so hard to make it what it was. The fan points out that the team did win an Oscar for best special effects and did groundbreaking work. And while I understand the anger of the “Han Shot First!” people, claiming that this “raped” their childhood is a bit of a stretch.

The film then focuses on the second act of betrayal by Lucas towards the fans, the prequels. The frustration seems to go deeper than disappointment that the new movies were not as good as the originals, but there really was a promise broken by Lucas. Fans had been told that Lucas had the first three planned out all along, but it seems clear when watching the movies, he was making it up as he went along. The pacing alone, with lots of wasted time early on, then plot crammed in towards the end to make sure it all made it in, shows you these were not part of his original vision. These were created by a very different man, with a very different outlook on the world. I’ve noticed with some artists, after they’ve made it and have been comfortable in their success, they start to appear unsure about what fans like about them, so they put out inferior work that is clearly them going “This is what you like, right?” I could do a whole post about this phenomenon, but the prequel had the feeling of Lucas trying to give fans what they wanted but not knowing what that was. This includes bringing back familiar characters that make no sense in this world (Why would a slave build his own protocol droid and why doesn’t Obi-Wan remember them when they clearly had prolong exposure to one another?),the gang themselves are very formulaic, etc. He wanted to please his fan, and when he didn’t he seemed to have a “screw you, then!” attitude about it, with fan pointing out a shot of Jar Jar Binks looking into the camera, as if he’s saying, “I’m still here, Bitches!”

There’s very little new information here, so don’t go in hoping to learn something about Lucas or his work. It’s really a bunch of angry fans bitching, which can be satisfying if you share some of their opinions. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who is unfamiliar with Lucas’ work, but it you’ve ever uttered the phrase “Fucking George Lucas”, definitely check this out, preferably with a fellow fan.

Dark Shadows

Wasn’t planning on seeing Dark Shadows at all, let alone in the theater, based on the somewhat painful looking trailer and the fact that I have grown tired of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s dependency on one another, but my mother requested we take her as a birthday gift and how can I say no to that? I went in filled with dread after reading the bad reviews the film received, but I left fairly satisfied. While it’s a far cry from the duo’s earlier collaborations Edward Scissorhands or Ed Wood, it was more enjoyable that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Alice in Wonderland.

Depp is clearly enjoying himself in this film and the scenes of his Barnabas Collins encountering modern technology are all pretty fun. However, Depp’s career has been plagued by his love of campy characters which don’t allow him to show is true gifts as an actor. While he certainly has banked enough cash over his career to ensure he never has to do anything he doesn’t want to do, it’s clear that his main concern at this point is having a good time, not making art. While Depp, Burton, and Helena Bonham Carter obviously enjoy working together, you get the impression that they are holding each other back.

I found Chloe Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard painful to watch and listen to. I’m not terribly familiar with her work (I think the only movie I saw her in was Hugo) but I find it a bit disturbing she has become the go to teen actress for more mature teen roles. It’s like she plays all the characters other teen actresses aren’t allowed by their parents to take on. I hope she has good handlers because she seems like a Hollywood tragedy waiting to happen. She slinks through every scene as a total sex kitten and hisses every line of dialogue. It’s a bit tiresome but did remind me how confusing your early teens can be when you first start wanting to be sexy and adult.

I’ve never been a big fan of Michelle Pfeiffer but I couldn’t take my eyes off of her in this film. Her hair, her costumes, she is very inch perfection in the role. But she isn’t just well-aged eye candy, she has great chemistry with Depp and she brings the right about of icy, dry wit to female head of the Collins family Elizabeth.

I couldn’t decide how I felt about Eva Green in this movie. There was something very alien to her in this film, which could have been the result of the extreme costuming and make-up. She reminded me of Lisa Maria, Tim Burton’s former love and frequent muse. Also, her voice didn’t match her body to me. She is a Brit playing an American, so it is literally isn’t her voice. Helena Bonham Carter looks great in the film but a lot of what’s supposed to be fun about her, doesn’t really work for me. Why would they trust this woman who is clearly unstable with the care of an all ready troubled young boy. Was the doctor at all like this in the show?

While this is far from the worst film Burton and Depp have worked on together but their frequent misses have grown tiresome and it might be best for everybody if they let some tire pass before they work together again.

Clue

Clue is one of those movies that you’ve either never heard of or you can quote at the drop of a hat. It features an ensemble cast of some of the best comedic character actors in film history and is a fairly well crafted murder mystery. While the game it’s based on has some semblance of a plot, they create distinct characters out what was just six colored pegs, twists and turns that can be solved in three separate endings, throw in some cold war paranoia for good measure, and didn’t even have to resort to sticking aliens In there like some other movies based on a board game.

Six strangers are invited to a mysterious mansion and quickly learn they all share one thing in common, they have been blackmailed by the same man for various transgressions. The blackmailer hands out weapons (the familiar pieces from the game) and challenges them to kill his loyal butler Wadsworth (Tim Curry) who gathered them together and is also a victim of his abuse of power. He promises that with Wadsworth dead, they can all go their separate ways, but he is the one that ends up shot. The guests all deny they were the shooter and as the night goes on, the mansion’s staff and random passerbys begin dropping like flies, with no clear killer. Even though they can’t completely trust each other, the group bands together to try to keep what’s going on a secret. When a cop stops by, questioning an abandoned car close to the property, the guests animate the dead bodies to avoid suspicion.  In the end, Wadsworth solves the mystery in three separate endings, which were used as a box office draw, with audiences having no clue which finale they would get. All three are included on the home video versions, but really, the final one not only has some of the film’s best lines, it makes the most sense as well, making it the true ending. There was a fourth ending where Wadsworth poisons the group and is killed by guard dogs but it was cut due to its dark tone.

The cast is perfection. Tim Curry is born to buttle as Wadsworth with Christopher Lloyd as the lecherous Professor Plum, Michael McKean as the nervous Mr. Green, Martin Mull as the military minded Colonel Mustard, Lesley Ann Warren as the sexy Miss Scarlett, Eileen Brennan as the hysterical Mrs. Peacock, and Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White – the cold widow with the hot temper. It’s an impressive line-up but Kahn steals the show. I’ve seen people fight over who gets to deliver her perfect melt down which was ad libbed by Kahn. She really is one of the most underrated comediennes of all-time and was rarely given material that lived up to her greatness.

This film is a little known treasure. It was a big part of my childhood but I’d encourage anyone who’s unfamiliar with it to check it out. While it has a somewhat slow beginning, by the end, it’s going a mile a minute. It has some of my favorite lines ever which I still quote whenever I’m given an opportunity.


The Avengers

With years of buildup, and a series of films leading it up to it, The Avengers is probably the one of most hyped films of the decade. I remember feeling last summer, that it had built of an unreachable level of expectation. Some of the lead-in films (Iron Man, Captain America) are among the best of the superhero genre. I didn’t think it would be possible for this film to please the masses, but I have been proven wrong. While I think Captain America is still the best of The Avengers movies, this one managed to balance six strong personalities without feeling overloaded.

The film succeeds at having six superheros, some played by A-list actors, share the screen and not letting anyone dominate or get lost in the shuffle. Each has their own personality and their own point of view. One thing I found interesting is that they are mostly evenly matched. When Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America fight early in the film, it ends in a draw. In the film’s climax, they all need each other, each bring their own strength to the battle. Even the members with less mystical power (Black Widow, Hawkeye) play their part. I found the climaxes in the other films a little too easy for the hero, but this was a very well executed battle scene where I was genuinely worried for a minute there.

I tend to not be big into seeing the film opening weekend. Too crazy and if a film turns out to be a complete disappointment, I can save my thirteen bucks (big city dweller). However, sometimes this leads to people who saw the movie already, foaming at the mouth about how great it was, and the inevitable disappoint that follows. The internet has been in a tizzy about Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of Hulk, and while he does a great job in the role, it wasn’t exactly what I was promised. I was expecting every line he spoke to be hilarious but I left the theater without a single quote sticking out in my head. I found his sadness and hopelessness about his situation very well done but I wouldn’t say he owned the film by any means. Maybe if I saw either of the other Hulk films, the performance would be more of a triumph for me, but I didn’t really see what all the gushing was about.

One thing that did surprise me is that I didn’t hate Scarlett Johansen in this movie. I usually can’t stand her! Black Widow was fairly bad ass by being smart enough to manipulate any interrogation while tough enough to hold her own in battle. Her introduction scene had some great fight choreography. Cobie Smulders also held her own, playing a character way out of her comfort zone, as she is best known as Robin on How I Met Your Mother. However, this shouldn’t be that much of a surprise as director Joss Whedon  is known for creating female characters who can be strong yet feminine.

Joss Whedon wrote and directed the film, but I didn’t see a ton of Whedon in there. The most Whedon moment is at the very end, in the pretty cute after credits scene. Maybe he chose to hold back seeing that he was working on something bigger than him. I think my biggest issue was that some of the major  plot stuff was glossed over either to make room for more character stuff or because they didn’t know the answers themselves. Regardless, I will be checking out future Avengers movies.

Parks and Recreation

There was a lot of to-do on the internet about major changes NBC plans to make to their Thursday line-up. While critical favorites like 30 Rock, Community, and Parks and Recreation were picked up for new seasons, each show is signed on for 13 episodes and there is a rumor that these will be abbreviated farewell seasons. If this is true, it’s an attempt to compromise with the shows’ loyal fans by giving the characters time to say good-bye but still getting these lower rated shows out of the way. While Tina Fey seems ready to wrap up 30 Rock, I think Parks and Rec still has a lot of stories to tell.

I was resistant to Parks and Rec at first. I am a big Amy Poehler fan, but I was confused by NBC’s attempt to package it as an Office spin-off and was tired of the fake reality show, talking head format. I tried to catch a few episodes when I was home on a Thursday night, cut I couldn’t get into the characters. I found Poehler’s Leslie Knope a bit tiresome. A female Michael Scott, who didn’t get how embarrassing she was. They started out having her be a little incompetent and gave her a hopeless crush on her co-worker Mark, who regretted the one time they hooked-up. Leslie wasn’t a real person when we first met her, but the show did something that is almost unheard of in sitcoms, they made their lead character less cartoonish with time. Many formerly brilliant shows fall apart over seasons, as the writers play up ridiculous cliched traits, making the familiar characters unrecognizable. Leslie has become a more complete person as the show progressed, and now is a stand out at her job and is part of a healthy relationship based mutual appreciation and respect. Other characters grew on me in time, most noticeably Chris Pratt’s Andy, who started off as a dumb oaf, but has come to show a huge heart and child’s ability to love unconditionally.

At the end of season two, the show added two new cast members, Rob Lowe and Adam Scott, as state auditor who came in to advise on budget cuts. Rob Lowe plays the enthusiastic and health conscious Chris Traeger and this may be the best role of his long career. Lowe has had a lot of embarrassments over his over 30 years in the public eye, but he has kept a terrific sense of humor and will really do anything the writers throw at him, no matter how silly it might make him look. Scott’s Ben Wyatt was an intimidating foe for Leslie at first, as she worried he would make devastating cuts to her department, but over time, they learned they had a shared love for community and local government, and a forbidden flirtation (there was a rule prohibiting co-workers’ dating) developed and they entered a relationship that they knew could cost both their careers. I really think Poehler and Scott have the best chemistry on television right now and I will continue to root for them.

Earlier this year, a blogger I follow accused Leslie of being less of a feminist by letting Ben step in to “solve her problems for her”. She cited the episode where Ben punches a potential voter who insults Leslie. Many argued that Leslie and Ben are the most feminist couple on tv, because when their relationship is found out by their bosses, Ben is the one who sacrifices his career so Leslie could continue her’s. It wasn’t Ben saving Leslie, it was a role reversal that showed his respect for her.

And don’t think I would forget to mention the breakfast loving, government hating Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman). Not only does he deliver every line with perfection, his friendship Leslie is a beautiful thing to watch.

Last week, in the season four finale, Leslie got to realize a lifelong dream by voting for herself in a election. I have to admitted, I teared up with pride. That’s what great television does, gives you people who’s joys and sorrows you can share, just like you do a friend.

Favorite Episode: The Fight