Parks and Recreation: Say Hello to 2017

I am not ready for Parks and Recreation to end. It has been my favorite comedy on TV for many years now, and I can’t think of a single sitcom I watch right now that even comes close to making me laugh as much.

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I was really impressed with the creative decision to jump a couple years into the future for Parks and Recreaion‘s final season. Because this show has always existed on the brink of cancellation, I think it’s allowed them to make bolder choices in storylines. Parks and Rec always goes for it, they never hold a plot development back, because they know they might not get the chance later.

2017 Pawnee is great. The town is in the middle of an economic boom, all our favorite characters are successful and facing new challenges, and the tablets are way cooler than the ones we’re stuck with here in 2015.

Leslie, April and Gerry (now called Terry) all work for the national Parks department, while Ron, Donna and Tom are all succeeding in the private sector. Andy works part time and has his own children’s TV show. But the biggest difference is that Leslie and Ron have had a huge falling out.

I liked how the first two episodes slowly revealed exactly how bad things are between Leslie and Ron, and then forced them to temporarily put that aside for the greater good. We still don’t know exactly what caused the rift (what is morning star?!), but based on what we know about the characters it’s plausible anyway. Ron and Leslie hold very different, very passionate views. They’re both stubborn. And they’re no longer coworkers. I’m sure we’ll see them make up, and I’m happy with that as one of the story arcs for these final episodes.

I liked the other bigger storylines that were set up to, like April trying to find her passion in life and Tom possibly reconnecting with his ex-girlfriend Lucy. But besides the character development, these episodes were just downright funny. I missed that.

Highlights from the first two episodes:

  • Leslie’s already bored just thinking about cutting her work schedule down to only four days a week when she turns 100.
  • “I’ve never known what bangs are and I don’t intent to learn!”
  • That Jon Hamm appearance though! I hope we get at least a couple more flashbacks featuring him.
  • April and Andy’s attempt to avoid becoming boring adults was pretty great. I want to get one more appearance from Janet Snakehole before the show ends.
  • Kevin James was cast in the reboot of the Bourne movies and Leslie thinks he nailed it.
  • “Human equivalent of gas station sushi” is a sick burn that I plan to put into heavy rotation.
  • Amy Poehler’s impression of Tammy was truly incredible.

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