I’m not Perd Hapley but I am a Perd-vert so let’s begin this review by starting it.
The situation of the Parks and Recreation series finale is that there are no more episodes. The show, which has come to an end, is over.
Jumping in time between 2017—which is the future—and 2048—which is the future of the future—the NBC sitcom wrapped up its seven season stint last night by flashing forward with flash forwards into the lives of Pawnee’s beloved civil servants as they worked on one last project together.
Parks and Rec has always been a show about work because everyone had a job and worked in the same department. The series finale was no different because it was the same. A swing was broken in Pawnee and the interest level of Leslie, Ben, Donna, Tom, April, Andy, Ron and Ann was more than medium. Their computer accounts were deactivated and the only remaining parks and recreation equipment requisition form had to be taken from the “Thanks Form the Memories” scrapbook. But the work of Leslie Knope and company is never done because there’s always work to do when work needs to get done.
Here is the transition to the future of the characters and the introduction to the future of the characters is as follows: here are the futures of the characters.
In 2023, Donna and her husband start a non-profit organization called “Teach Yo Self” which is, apparently, a pun that I don’t understand. Andy and April have a baby on Halloween when April gives birth to a child. A once swaggerless Tom gets his swagger back by failing his way to a bestselling book and getting swagger. Leslie puts Ron in charge of Pawnee National Park, telling him that he can work outside and talk to bears even though, to my knowledge, bears do not talk.
In a shockingly unshocking twist of expected fate, Leslie becomes Governor of Indiana by 2025.
Some people would say that many people said Parks and Rec would never last past the first season. The ratings were low, few people watched and not a lot of viewers tuned in. But the loyal people who did saw a show that succeeded at making something small into something big and bigger is better because small things are small. The swing was ultimately fixed and, though the parks and recreation department wasn’t thanked for finishing the job, they all got together for one last photo taken in the same place at the same time and smiled because they were able to do work worth doing with people that they loved.
The story of Parks and Rec is: it was extremely personal.