It may be Amy Poehler's birthday today, but it's Parks and Recreation fans who are getting a gift - specifically, three new clips from the Sept. 26 season premiere. The show is continuing its tradition of starting the season away from Pawnee, by having the Parks Department travel all the way to London. And nobody is happier than Leslie Knope (Poehler), who has a whole day of rom-com themed bus tours planned. Ron (Nick Offerman), however, is less impressed, and his behavior proves that you can take the man out of America, but you can't take America out of the man.
Meanwhile, Ben (Adam Scott) and Andy (Chris Pratt) are having a much better go of things when they meet with Lord Covington (Peter Serafinowicz) to discuss their music charity. The best part of the clip, however, isn't Andy's terrible British accent, but rather the casual acknowledgement of his dramatic weight loss at the very beginning. (Apparently, he just stopped drinking beer and dropped 50 pounds.) Pratt went through a major physical transformation to play Star Lord in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film, and creator Mike Shur said that although the show would mention the dramatic difference in the character's appearance, "I don't think beyond a little joke about it that we'll end up doing anything significant. We're not going to suddenly say that Andy became a fitness nut because that doesn't ring true."
Across the pond, however, things aren't looking so good for Tom (Aziz Ansari). After his mysterious investor - who is definitely not Diddy - decided to open his own clothing rental business across the street, Rent-A-Swag is in trouble. Luckily, Tom's best friend Jean Ralphio (Ben Schwartz) is there to offer some of his sagest wisdom: "When life gives you lemons, you sell your grandmother's jewlery and you go clubbin'." Oh, Jean Ralphio. How did we ever live before you were there to guide us?
More: 'Parks and Rec' Season 5 Gag Reel - The Best BitsHow to Write Off Ann Perkins and Chris TraegerRashida Jones and Rob Lowe are Leaving 'Parks and Rec'
From Our Partners
From Our Partners:A Complete History Of Twerking (1993-2013) (Vh1)20 Grisliest TV Deaths of 2012-2013 (Vulture)
Based on Ian McEwan’s equally stirring novel we begin the story in 1935 on the cusp of WWII. Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) a 13-year-old fledgling writer lives with her wealthy family in their enormous English country mansion and on one hot summer day she irrevocably changes the course of three lives including her own. It seems the housekeeper’s son Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) carries a torch for Briony’s older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley). And on this warm day it becomes clear she feels the same way; their love ignites. Little Briony who harbors her own secret crush on Robbie witnesses the beginnings of this love affair and not understanding its meaning feels compelled to interfere going so far as accusing Robbie of a crime he did not commit. He is arrested and whisked away eventually forced into the British army but thankfully the two lovers have a moment before he goes to war to reconnect. Cecilia promises to wait for him urging him to “come back” to her once the madness he is about to become immersed in is over. Meanwhile Briony (played in adult years by Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave) has grown up regretting every single moment of that fateful day and in desperately trying to seek forgiveness finally finds a path to understanding the power of enduring love. The performances in Atonement are nothing less than captivating beginning with the young Irish rose Saoirse Ronan (who is also set to play the lead in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones). Since it is primarily Briony’s story Ronan must make the first most indelible impression and set the tone for the rest of the movie--and she succeeds on every level. From the moment you see Ronan’s pale face clear-blue eyes and steadfast gait you immediately recognize Briony’s need and determination to make everything in her life just so. Indeed Briony is a strongly focused child and Ronan so embodies the character an Oscar nomination is almost a certainty. As the 18-year-old Briony Garai (Dirty Dancing 2) does the best she can following such a tough act as Ronan but can never quite match the same intensity. On the other hand Redgrave who comes in at the very end as the much older Briony nails it right away adding her own nuances to a character who has lived a full life. Of course Knightley and McAvoy are no slouches either vividly capturing the passion bubbling up between Cecilia and Robbie then turning around and showing the heartache as their love is ripped apart. McAvoy is particularly effecting as his Robbie must also witness some truly horrific wartime scenes. Actually Oscar nods should come fast and furious for everyone in Atonement. With Pride & Prejudice and now Atonement director Joe Wright may have just established himself as the new James Ivory (of Merchant/Ivory fame). Wright is a real visionary for the romantic period piece expertly delivering truly spectacular vistas. From set design to costumes to cinematography the look of Atonement is at once verdant welcoming and then startlingly grim. The first half of Atonement at the Tallis’ country home is certainly the film’s most defining peppered by an effective musical score which uses the sound of a typewriter like a metronome. Through a soft lens Wright displays the general idleness of summer day at a country home like a sunny floral motif that belies an undercurrent of sweating bodies wilting flowers stagnant pools--and an imminent tragic event. Then once Wright moves with Robbie into WWII he actually paints an even more grim view of war then maybe seen before. The one continuous shot of the historical Dunkirk--a French beach on which thousands of British soldiers were forced by the Germans and then waited to be evacuated--is absolutely stunning and surreal. Atonement does drag ever-so-slightly in the middle especially as Briony trains to be a nurse in London but overall this is a film Academy voters eat up with a silver spoon. Expect to be hearing about it in the months to come.