There’s no wrong time to find Parks and Rec, but I like to think I found it at the right time. I saw my first few episodes at the end of senior year of college. A month later, I left to volunteer for a year in Alaska, Parks and Rec DVDs tucked between my rain boots. I’d been told to pack lightly, but this show was already a necessity.
Within the first week, I’d introduced it to my roommates, so we knew Leslie Knope before we really even knew each other. The show was our language. We wrote Ron Swanson quotes on the bathroom mirror (“Never half ass two things. Whole ass one thing”) and Tom Haverford quotes on the fridge. We said yes with “I think I will, good lady” and yelled “MAKE YOUR FACE BETTER” before every photo. Whatever we knew for sure, we attributed to “school.” Any show could have done this. Any good TV series can bring people together. But Parks and Rec also happens to be about bringing people together, and that made it kind of perfect.
“Oh Ann Perkins, you beautiful sunflower. You totally changed me, you know that?”
I’d like to say that Leslie and Ann’s story ended where it began—with the pit and a promise—but we all know their story isn’t over. What began as a friendship of necessity between a nurse and “that parks lady” stopped being about parks a long time ago. This is the strongest relationship that Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins will ever have, and while Ann might be moving somewhere all bright and new, Leslie’s still the one she’ll call for the important things.
Last night, we said goodbye to Ann Perkins (Ann Perkins!) and Chris Traeger. Two of the most beautiful rule-breaking moths in Pawnee are off to start their new life in Michigan, and I’m still in mourning. When I first read that Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe were leaving Parks and Rec midway through the season, the woman standing next to me in the elevator probably thought I was having a heart attack, because I put my hand to my heart and gasped, and I saw her take a step back. (I saw you, lady.) What is it with comedies and people LEAVING lately?
It’s official: the wedding of the millennium has it all. Friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles,friends, work. Doesn’t matter. In any case, THERE WILL BE A WAFFLE TOWER AT BESLIE’S WEDDING, preferably layered with whipped cream. And obviously each table will have its own extra whipped cream, and obviously there will be prizes at the bottom of each can, which together will form a set of clues and riddles, each more elaborate than the last, and get excited, future husband, I just planned our whole wedding. (more…)