I don’t have a list of things I want from the final season of Parks and Rec. I think Mike Schur knows what I need better than I do, so I haven’t worried about this season beyond worrying what will happen to me when it’s over. But even if I had expectations, I never would have seen this coming. Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope have had a falling out.
It hurts. It’s wrong. The relationship between Ron and Leslie defines Parks and Rec as a show about people who like each other not only in spite of their differences, but because of them. It’s a friendship built on respect and a platonic love that shows itself in action, which is exactly the kind of love that Leslie extends to her town. Ron and Leslie’s ability to bridge the gap between them, and their desire to bridge it, makes this show what it is.
He came to Pawnee as a cute fascist hardass, but never let it be said that Ben Wyatt doesn’t absolutely LOVE stuff. He’s put together a website that lets you apply for your utility tax refund online. That’s the dream. Unfortunately, Ben lives in a town where practicality isn’t greeted with nearly as much excitement as an animated panda who plays ping pong with his tail. Times like these, he could really use Chris Traeger.
I love that Leslie Knope loves Pawnee even when it isn’t easy. She doesn’t take the town’s flaws as an excuse to stop caring; she takes them as a reason to care even harder. I love that this show portrays public service as hard work, but work worth doing, and I love that it insists that work worth doing should always be done, regardless of how many people appreciate you for it. I love that Leslie is up for that challenge. But sometimes I just want to take her to eat waffles in some other corner of the world and tell her that it’s ok to care for herself too. (more…)
Say goodbye to Eagleton, kids. Say goodbye to Segway tours and Swarovski crystal oranges, to crepes at town hall meetings and scones in jail and retorts lovingly crafted by GB Shaw. It was only a matter of time before Eagleton’s excesses (they had Michael Bublé on retainer) pushed the town to the brink of an epic financial disaster. (more…)
“I promised myself I was not going to cry tonight, and I’ve already broken that promise five times.”—Chris Traeger
Leslie and Ben got married last month, you guys. They did it. Those crazy kids finally did it. In the 26 days since Leslie Knope symbolically disappeared and became Leslie Wyatt, or Councilwoman Mrs. Ben Wyatt tied the knot, I’ve moved into a new apartment, job hunted, job interviewed, job found, and spent far too many hours on the phone with our cable provider (BECAUSE TV IS IMPORTANT). But I’ve also made time to flail my way around this episode with absolutely no composure whatsoever. It’s been my night light. I can’t try to talk about it like it’s normal, because Leslie and Ben are not normal. They’re extraordinary. And they had an extraordinary wedding.
“In order to save our park, we have to destroy the entire town.”
Leslie Knope loves Pawnee. She loves it more than hypothetical Pawnee, more than her own success rate, more than THINGS—and things are forever (Dalai Lama). So when the Pawnee Commons project comes up $50,000 short, Ben has the answer: instead of registering for things, they can register for the park. Mark that down as the first time this episode made me borderline weepy, because (a) this show and its big, selfless, service-loving heart, (b) Ben Wyatt is a sexy hummingbird who wants to build something, and he’s opened up so much that it’s not just a matter of making Leslie happy—giving back to Pawnee makes him happy too, because (c) Ben and Leslie are perfect together, perfect, perfect, perfect I tell you. (more…)
CALLING ALL PAWNEEANS, ARCHITECTS, JUNKIE WAR-CRIMINAL PIMPS: Leslie Knope needs your help. She’s designing Lot 48, and everyone’s input is welcome. She even solicits ideas on Wamapoke County Public Radio, which is fast becoming one of my favorite Pawnee subcultures. Derry Merbles is a machine (“The Batman: a strong gentleman who fights crime nocturnally”), and I’d totally watch a “Thoughts for Your Thoughts” spinoff. Everyone would always be filling in for each other, and we’d get plenty of spoken word operas about pear-shaped women. This is all I need in a sitcom. (more…)