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5 political episodes to watch to get you ready for Election Day

Posted November 8

TV LAND — The best political show on television is, bar none, "Parks and Recreation." It’s the best not only for its satirical comedy about our government’s systems, but for its incredible relationships between every character.

Watch the best episodes of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)'s campaign to get a seat on the city council of Pawnee — a city she truly believes in and wants to do the best for. She is positive and dedicated, transparent and open. She’s basically the dream politician and everyone wishes she were running for president right now.

At this point, there’s no way to avoid election fatigue - but here’s a solution that will help distract you from it, put a grin on your lips and possibly a few happy tears in your eyes. (All the episodes are available on Netflix on Season 4 of “Parks and Recreation.”)

"The Comeback Kid"

This episode will make you start singing “Get On Your Feet” while you remember the inability of the whole team to stand on the ice rink. Leslie’s re-launch of her campaign to run for city council is a bit of a nightmare. The carpet is too short, the stage is too small — but nothing can stop Leslie Knope! She makes the most of it and her friends follow her through all the nonsense.

The show isn’t usually this slapstick, but boy is it funny.

"Campaign Shake-Up"

Perd Hapley is here to let everyone know that Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) is falling behind in the polls — and Knope and her team are on it. That is, until Jen Barkley steps in to run Newport’s campaign, and calls attention to the fact that Knope is “untested” and an “entrenched bureaucrat” (versus the totally incompetent, unintelligent and frankly disinterested Bobby Newport.)

Then Jen offers them some advice and totally gets in Leslie and her campaign manager/boyfriend Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott)'s heads.

"The Debate"

This is the only Season 4 episode written by Poehler, and there is great romance and an even greater debate, where one candidate is obviously prepared and the other is obviously … trying to buy the town with his dad’s Sweetums Candy money.

This is Parks and Rec at it’s best — parodying the nonsense of the political climate (they take questions from Twitter?) and the people who are a part of it (Bobby Newport telling Leslie “this is fun!” and telling her that her closing statement is awesome.)

It’s an incredible ride especially when considering this episode aired in April 2012.

"Bus Tour"

Bert Macklin (Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt)’s alter ego) is back to solve the mystery of who got pie’d (and give the famous Eagle One, Eagle Two speech). But Leslie’s campaign takes a negative turn when her opponent’s father dies. So she has to decide if politics matter more than being a decent human being.

Of course, she can’t resist being sincere and helpful and ultimately sweet.

"Win, Lose or Draw"

There is absolutely no chance this article is going to spoil the ending of this one. Just go watch the episode. It is so worth it.

And go vote Tuesday if you haven't already!

Bonus: Watch Leslie and the Parks gang record Leslie’s inspirational campaign song “Catch Your Dream.” It's great.

Amanda is a writer and pop culture fanatic who studied journalism at BYU. She's written for Entertainment Weekly, Deseret News, KSL and many blogs, sites and papers. Currently writing at the U and running Apple Juice Productions. On Twitter @appleaju

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