So Ben likes a woman in roller skates. Everyone has a thing, right? For Ben Wyatt, it’s roller skates, political activism, and the music of the early nineties. If he’s not on your laminated list of fictional men, I’m judging you. Ben’s a nerd in the same way real people are nerds: he gets passionately obsessed about things. Leslie gets passionately obsessed about people, which is why they fit together so well. She pays attention to everything Ben loves and gives it back to him in the form of a theme party. He returns the favor by missing that entire party to watch Leslie stage a filibuster for the town she represents.
I love that Leslie Knope loves Pawnee even when it isn’t easy. She doesn’t take the town’s flaws as an excuse to stop caring; she takes them as a reason to care even harder. I love that this show portrays public service as hard work, but work worth doing, and I love that it insists that work worth doing should always be done, regardless of how many people appreciate you for it. I love that Leslie is up for that challenge. But sometimes I just want to take her to eat waffles in some other corner of the world and tell her that it’s ok to care for herself too. (more…)