Carl Reiner proved that age isn't slowing him down any more than it is Betty White or Cloris Leachman with a guest turn on "Parks & Recreation" (Thursday, 8:30 p.m. EST on NBC). Why won't he simply agree to do a regular series like the ladies have?
When Leslie realized she needed to court the senior vote in order to win the election, she knew she needed to win over their de facto leader Ned Jones (Reiner). Reiner had an absolute blast keeping both Ben and Leslie on their toes, while the two of them tip-toed around the fact that he's old. But in the end, Ned was impressed with her "Ramp Up Pawnee" initiative.
They virtually had that senior vote in the bag until the unexpected arrival of second guest star Kathryn Hahn. As much fun as Reiner was clearly having, Hahn was delighting in playing Jennifer Barkley, a campaign genius from Washington. She didn't care about Leslie's dopey opponent Bobby Newport, but she did care about the $250,000 Papa Newport paid her to ensure his boy won the election. She even went as far as to admit she liked Leslie, but she clearly enjoyed the game of politics even more.
At the end of the episode, Leslie's campaign is still on the ropes thanks to Jennifer's brilliance. Hahn's character is the same kind of strong female personality as Leslie, but cast from such a different mold. Watching the two of them play chess -- even if Jennifer felt she had to play both sides -- was truly exciting television. If Leslie's going to win this campaign, she's going to really have to work at it, no matter that her opponent is basically an idiot.
Find out her next challenge as "Parks & Recreation" continues Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. EST on NBC.
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