Parks and Recreation (2009–2015)
8.4/10
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Practice Date 

Ann helps a nervous Leslie get ready for her first date with Dave by giving her a "practice date," while everybody else at the office tries to dig up the juiciest dirt on each other.

Director:

Alex Hardcastle

Writers:

Greg Daniels (created by), Michael Schur (created by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Poehler ... Leslie Knope
Rashida Jones ... Ann Perkins
Paul Schneider ... Mark Brendanawicz
Aziz Ansari ... Tom Haverford
Nick Offerman ... Ron Swanson
Aubrey Plaza ... April Ludgate
Chris Pratt ... Andy Dwyer (credit only)
Louis C.K. ... Dave Sanderson
Jim O'Heir ... Jerry Gergich
Retta ... Donna Meagle
Kevin Symons ... Bill Dexhart
Jay Jackson ... Perd Hapley
Jama Williamson ... Wendy Haverford
Danilo Di Julio ... Bartender
Duane R. Shepard Sr. ... Emcee (as Duane Shepard Sr.)
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Storyline

Ann helps a nervous Leslie get ready for her first date with Dave by giving her a "practice date," while everybody else at the office tries to dig up the juiciest dirt on each other.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first mention of the running joke where Leslie calls the bathroom the "whiz palace." See more »

Goofs

Toward the end of the series, Tom is established to have been born in 1985 and thus is in his mid-to-late 20s throughout the series. He and Wendy are also established to be close to the same age, as he tells Ron they "met in college." However, in Season 2, which takes place in 2009, Wendy is already practicing as a surgeon. If she is around the age of 24-25, it would be highly unlikely that she is fully practicing as a surgeon at that point. See more »

Quotes

Mark Brendanawicz: Why does anybody wanna run for public office? You're just asking to have your entire life exposed.
Tom Haverford: Well, if you're squeaky clean like I am, there's no problem.
Mark Brendanawicz: Tom, you're married and you hit on women constantly.
Tom Haverford: Yeah, but I've never sealed the deal. Just window shopping. You can fly to Brazil, just don't enter the cave, am I right?
[Tom raises his hand but nobody high-fives him]
See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

I Want to Know What Love Is
(uncredited)
Written by Mick Jones
(Attributed to Foreigner)
Performed by Nick Offerman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The first great episode of the series
29 July 2018 | by brenbellaSee all my reviews

Four episodes in to Season 2, and I think the show has more than made up of for the lackluster Season 1. These early Season 2 episodes are funnier, more clever, and characters are finally starting to develop. Now, the best thing that this extremely underrated Season 2 episode does is develop it's characters, and it's mostly all done in a minor B-story.

Before I get to the B-story of "Practice Date," let's talk about the main plot for which the episode is named after. Leslie and her new boyfriend, Dave, are about to go on their first date, and Leslie is freaking out, because her previous dates have gone, well, terribly. Ann agrees to go on a practice date with Leslie to help her prepare, but this only makes Leslie even more nervous. This storyline works so well, because it allows an avenue for Amy Poehler to flex all her comedic muscles. Leslie goes through a sea of emotions in just this episode alone. We see her happy, nervous, angry, drunk, and embarrassed. Poehler is comedically at her best here, which what makes the storyline so entertaining.

As great as the main plot is, it just does not compare to the stellar B-story for which this episode contains. Arguably the best in the entire series. Now, up to this point, very minor characters like Jerry and Donna have not gotten a lot of screen time. Heck, if you're watching this episode for the first time, you might not even know who these characters are. However, this all changes because of the brilliant premise; the gang competing against each other to see who can dig up more dirt on each other. It's genius! From this point on, Jerry will be the show's punching bag, Donna will become more lively, and Tom more pathetic. It's incredible writing, and really fleshes out these characters by adding exposition in a very amusing way. Also, quick side note, this episode has a great ending at a jazz club, which I won't spoil, but adds another layer to an already great character.

I consider "Practice Date" to the be the first truly great episode of the series. It not only is tightly written with so many great lines, but also fleshes out characters, showcases other characters at their best, and even introduces new characters (Perd Hapley, Councilman Dexhart). This episode is arguably the most important episode of the entire series, and allows the show to reach even newer heights comedically.


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