Director Dean Holland: Go Big or Go Home (S3E1)
Can you believe season 3 is here? Alan and Rob are back with director Dean Holland to talk through the season premiere! In “Go Big or Go Home,” Leslie plays matchmaker with Ann and Chris in hopes of securing a bigger budget for the parks department. On this episode you’ll hear about the labor that went into Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness, how Chris Traeger came to be a three-dimensional character, the ups and downs of the editing room, and how Alan’s hometown inspired Ice Town!
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After three months of closure due to the Pawnee budget crisis and government shutdown, the parks department has since been reopened, although on a shoestring budget. Meanwhile, the always optimistic Chris Traeger continues trying to ask out Ann, who finds him too intense. Nonetheless Leslie convinces her to accept in order to persuade Chris to increase the park's budget.
Ben restarts the youth basketball league with only two teams. They're coached by the contrasting duo of the uber-strict Ron and the laidback Andy. Tom, who referees the game, becomes jealous when his ex-wife Wendy arrives to support Ron.
Meanwhile, Ann finds out she actually enjoys her date with Chris, especially after learning about why he feels lucky to be alive every day. Leslie crashes the date to help and persuade Chris to increase the park's budget—but Ben also arrives, having correctly anticipated Leslie's plan. Leslie excitedly declares “Mission accomplished” after Chris talks about increasing the park's budget, accidentally giving away her scheme and prompting a hurt Chris to leave. Ann apologizes to Chris later and asks for another date, to which he happily agrees.
April turns up back at work after a three-month disappearance. Though Andy still nurses a crush on her, April says she met a new boyfriend in Venezuela. A discouraged Andy seeks advice from Leslie, who encourages him not to give up and to “go big or go home.” Leslie proposes restoring the parks department with a grand Harvest Festival. Impressed by the team's enthusiasm, Chris and Ben agree to the idea.