May 14th, 2010
11:16 AM ET

TV recap: Rob Lowe joins 'Parks and Recreation'

This time last year, "Parks and Recreation" appeared to be struggling, a show built around the brilliant Amy Poehler, unable to find its voice separate from "The Office." One year later, and it's become one of the funniest shows on TV - every one of these Pawnee residents is unique and hilarious in their own right.

So how would a new cast member (or two) add to the ensemble? Rob Lowe, fresh from leaving "Brothers and Sisters," started on Thursday night's episode, playing an overachieving state auditor who lets his assistant (played by "Party Down's" star-in-the-making Adam Scott) do all the work, while he works on his exercise regimen. His best moment was when he talked about the enormous vitamin he had to take later in the day ("It's a choking hazard.")

However, Scott and the rest of the cast had much more to do, and the ongoing "will-they-or-won't-they" between Andy and April continued. I can't believe how much I'm rooting for those two crazy kids to get together - loved Andy's realization that since Tom says it's OK, it's probably not.

Thankfully, April won't have Ann to worry about too much more, as it was revealed that she drunkenly made out with Lowe's character the night before (and not Andy or Ron "Good God, woman, no!" Swanson). It seems to me that they're putting Leslie together with Scott's character Ben as well. Best of all, I was pleased to see Tom Haverford get an actual love interest in "The Middleman" alum Natalie Morales.

Aside from the romantic goings-on, there's the little matter of the entire shutdown of the Pawnee government, following Ben's investigation. Leslie and Ron's polar opposite reactions to this were a nice punchline to the shocking news (Nick Offerman may have pulled off the best suppression of unbridled glee I have ever seen). Let's hope the cast won't have to go their separate ways (though it's no secret that Mark Brendanawicz's days are numbered, with Paul Schneider leaving the cast).

What did you think of Lowe's contribution to "Parks and Rec" so far? Do you look forward to this show each week as much as I do? Share your views on video, or in the comments below.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. TBMeow

    I'm a huge Rob Lowe fan so of course watched P&R last night – for the first time. I was not disappointed. He was great. Liked the show too.
    I liked the background stuff going on – doing chin-ups!
    Noticed the "Introducing Rob Lowe" in the credits. Hilarious.
    Rob played it with some super agent "Jeff" from Thank You For Smoking; a little Sam Seaborn – especially the pills; and just some original stuff even for this longtime fan.

    May 15, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. It's not like his departure was some big secret

    To Michael – Lowe's departure from B&S was publicized awhile back and since you're reading this Marquee Blog would've stood to reason that you too knew that he was history. I doubt though that it entirely ruined the season finale, as there are other surprises.

    May 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Allen

    to michael: how could you not have known he was leaving? this has been in ET news for over 2 months.

    I think, it will hurt the show. Not much of a Parks Fan, but I do like him on Bros and Sis. Oh well.

    May 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. maggie

    I agree with michael!!! have not seen the finale of brothers & sisters; seen we know who dies in the car crash!!!

    May 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Diane

    This show has progressively gotten soo much better. I get so involved when I'm watching it I'm a little sad when it comes to an end for the evening. I love, love, love the subtle jokes that come to me about 3 seconds after the scene ends. I think Rob Lowe will be a great addition!

    May 14, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. karen

    love Rob Lowe, never heard of the show, I'll have to check it out...I do watch "Brothers & Sisters"

    May 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Grinder

    I truly believe this is one of the funniest shows on TV and the ending last night had both my wife and I in tears !

    Man I wish more people would watch it .

    May 14, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lebowski

    Adam Scott will be full time starting next season. Rob Lowe will be in the first few episodes next season, but then he'll move on.

    May 14, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Todd Haines

    Seems each week the show is gathering momentum, getting sharper and sharper.
    Makes me laugh.

    Rob Lowe (always bright) and also Adam Scott were nice additions , are they full time or just one show.

    May 14, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tw

    michael – relax – Lowe leaving B&S has been public for months

    May 14, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. michael

    Some of us did not know he was leaving "Brothers and Sisters!" THANKS FOR RUINING THE SEASON FINALE!!!!

    May 14, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Meg

    Yes! I love love love this show! It's hilarious and different from anything else on TV. Kind of like an updated Andy Griffith show. It has a sweet little center. It's wonderful!

    May 14, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |

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