Hello Abby! I’m here to review the entries for The Ensemble Challenge.
I’ve got to say - I don’t read much non-HP fic at all, but you’ve really changed my mind on my ability to keep up with it. Of course, it helps that I’ve seen many seasons of this show, but also - you incorporate so many gags from the show of all kinds that it feels like there is no need for a refresher in the first place. It’s actually incredible just how many elements of the show you manage to fit into a one-shot - if someone asked me what Parks and Rec was like - I’d be well served to show them this fic in its entirety.
Tom and Jean Ralphio are the PERFECT hosts. I almost can’t imagine anyone else being in this role. Their quips toward each of the contestants are just so funny and in character. (if not occasionally uncomfortable - as they can be)
Can I just say that getting rid of Mark before the story even starts is some of the funniest meta humor, um, ever?
Beyond all of the simply perfect dialogue that I can’t even really quote because the entire piece is stuffed full of pitch perfect lines - the descriptions of the food are just gorgeous. I have no idea how you manage to find so many different ways to explain what the contestants are making--I think you’re going to do really well in the Great British Bake-Off challenge because oh my, did you nail that aspect.
Your ensemble is so well balanced, it’s like every single character had a moment to shine, a hilarious one-liner or five that somehow finds a way to shed light on their character in a way that feels entirely consistent with the source material as if you write for the show.. It’s just all too good.
Everything to do with Chris’ vegan meals is SO funny, especially because of Ron’s reactions. Ron is the MVP of this whole story, I’d say. “I expect breakfast food. End of speech” - I want this hung up on my wall or something.
The Snake Juice round got even funnier somehow - What an escalation of the comedy for the second stretch!
I really like our small visits with each cook in between the descriptions of what they’re making. It feels so much like I’m actually witnessing a cooking show.
April not being able to lose to Jerry, even as she tries her hardest, is the perfect ending. This was just amazing - I’m in awe of your ability to balance so many different elements here. This was the sort of thing I was looking for when I issued the challenge! Thank you so much for entering!
Hi Chemical_Pixie! It's me, Mallory, here to FINALLY review your entry for the Great British Bake Off AU Challenge!
Oh my gosh, what a comedic masterpiece you've created! Reading Parks and Rec fanfiction takes me back to my college years, when I first began watching P&R. Ah, nostalgia! Also, I legit laughed out loud no less than three (3) times in this law library, so you definitely captured the adork-able comedy of P&R itself!
Okay, YES AND AMEN to all of the character choices--Tom and Jean Ralphio make total sense as hosts because they're both totally obnoxious. It made me uncomfortable when they flirted with Ann and Leslie, but that was also how I felt watching them do that in the actual show, so A++ accurate characterization of those two goons!
RON IS TOTALLY A PAUL HOLLYWOOD-TYPE CHARACTER! Tbh, a true icon(tm). I love him. And Donna is as fabulous as ever. I think they made great judges!
Okay, so the contestant I feel the sorryest for is Jerry. He did so good, but they still let him go instead of kicking April out like she intended for them to do. :/ BUT HE'S SO PRECIOUS with his 1000% enthusiasm for just being there and participating. What a great guy.
And I love that you made a passing mention of Mark Brendanawicz, hahaha he's a loser xD
Getting down to the actual contest: I liked that you featured each challenge like they do in GBBO, and you gave yourself enough space in the story to write short (but incredibly sweet!) descriptions of each person's dish. You employed the GBBO voiceover format really well for this part! And, like the show does, you managed to put in essential elements of each character's personality without making a huge deal over it--small touches like April's creepy Orin platter, Andy's Mouse Rat plate, and Leslie making her waffles in the shape of Lil' Sebastian were so cute and really rang true to each character!
However, I hated all of Chris's dishes. Yuck, yuck, and yuck. He needs to learn that you can make healthy things without them being disgusting! But at the same time, his culinary choices really spoke to his character in the show. :D I'm just not really into the flavors he put together.
I think my favorite character in this story was Ron, hands down. He's so terse and just "give me the food" and "I hate big government and I can do whatever I want," which is 100% Ron Swanson from the show. I think you did a wonderful job of writing his character!
And of course, I'm proud of Leslie for doing all that (unnecessary, but informative) research and sweeping the competition with her Lil' Sebastian waffles. What a queen! And Ben's "breakfast calzone"--these two make the most amazing, silliest couple on television, and I love them. I hope they go home and make waffles and breakfast calzones on the weekends!
Lovely, lovely story! I enjoyed reading a non-Potter Bake Off entry, which is rare, and I admire you for writing in a fandom other than Harry Potter. You did a remarkable job for your first venture!
Hi Abby! Here for March RvG, our review swap, and some good ol’ Parks and Rec characters making breakfast food!
First of all, I just want to commend you on how perfectly you nailed each and every one of these characters. You really got their speech patterns and personalities down pat, and this honestly feels like it could’ve been an actual episode of Parks and Rec - I read all of this in their voices, which is really a testament to how much you really nailed all of them.
The suggestive comments from Tom, Jean Ralphio asking for Leslie’s number, accidentally forgetting about Jerry, and Ron refusing to add on commentary - all perfect little details for the introduction. And all of these scones sound incredible in their own ways, and are really kind of perfect for the characters themselves. Leslie’s are super sweet, Chris’s are totally healthy, Ben’s doing something sweet for Leslie, (Ron pretending to forget Ann’s name, which isn’t a scone per say but also worth noting as a great moment), and Gerry referencing his wife and no one actually caring about him to go talk to him. You have now made me very hungry (again).
And then we get to Pies-and-Thighs. Which is honestly the most Pawnee-sounding dish in the world. I mean, honestly. Fried chicken marinated in Snake Juice, wrapped in bacon, and in lard biscuits. Sounds about right. But also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you incorporated Snake Juice into this story, because that is without a doubt my favourite Parks and Rec scene of all time. Chris commenting that these will kill you and Ron somehow going off on a rant that ends with ‘This is America. I can do what I damn well please.’ are both just absolutely perfect character moments. Also April sabotaging Jerry by turning off his oven is just perfect, as is her Janet Snakehole moment.
And once again we’re onto the maple challenge, and we have returned to food descriptions that actually make me hungry. (Pies-and-Thighs, while hilarious, don’t exactly strike me as appetising - I’m hardcore with Chris on that one.) I love Ann’s ‘Try me’ in response to Tom, and the fact that Ben naturally managed to make a calzone happen in this baking challenge. And *of course* Leslie went for waffles - and the Lil Sebastian touch was perfect, and obviously the best way to get to Ron Swanson’s heart.
Also the fact that Jerry got sent home even though his food was obviously so much better than April’s is yet another perfectly on-brand moment. And April getting upset that she didn’t get kicked off too.
Anyways, this was such a fun read - you did an excellent job with both a brand new fandom and this ensemble cast!
Hey, Abby, I'm here for our review swap!
I'll admit, I've NEVER seen Parks and Recreation. BUT I love the Great British Bake Off Show, so I was hoping to muddle along. (Plus, I also wanted to read a fic to the two challenges I entered also. Yours is fabulous, dear!)
I love the beginning, reminded me of the two high energy real as life hosts to the show. Both sets of them, especially with the innuendos. Your story was totally humorous as well as well written. I loved the style in which you wrote each section, and gave a run down on each contestant's bake.
I'm glad you injected some well intentioned humor with the snake juice. Is that a real thing? Oh my, if it is! The after effects AKA the hangovers gave the next challenge - The Showstopper - even more of a bite.
But, poo April gets to tough it another week. Greedy puss, I take it? *pats her on the back* It'll be alright.
Your puny last line was perfect also! I give you many kudos (and a glass pie plate!) for your lovely story. I can't wait to see how both challanges pan out.
This one of the stories that I could just quote back to you because there was so many great lines.
I haven't really read much outside of Harry Potter fic but this was so much fun! I had such a blast reading this and honestly story really embodies what the show is about and I think you've really captured the fun that the show provide for the audience. I can't really imagine anyone doing a better job with these prompts.
I think the characterisation is so spot on and I love all the nods to the show in this piece. I don't know if I can pick out lines as there is so many but some of my favourite moments - The little shout out to Mark, Jerry arriving late, the first scene with Andy. I adore Tom in this piece, you've done an amazing job with Jean Ralphio because everything about these scenes just pops. I love the banter between all the characters and how you just showcase each of the different characters but it flows so well.
I've never seen the bake out off but I feel like I know the show quite well now through your portrayal of the show. I thought the descriptions of the food added an extra something about to the piece. OMG. it all sounds so yummy!!
So I have mention my favourite thing in the fic, I loved it so much. It was April being devsated by getting through to next week. I just loved that all scene and the characterisation. This piece is just a treat for any parks and rec/bake off fan! There is just so little details like the lil sebastian face in the waffle, april uses orin's face as part of hers. BIG SHOUT OUT TO ERNIE B. WRIGHT. It came out really well. You should be really proud of this piece!! I loved it!!
- Abbi xo
So I've never seen Parks and Recreation - but I am a big fan of the Great British Baking Show and, clearly, so are you because you nailed it! I'm sure if I understood the Parks and Recreation references I would have laughed even louder, but this was truly hilarious even without that background. What a fun story!