This Tuesday we are going to have to say goodbye to one of the last places we are always happy to return in television: Pawnee, Indiana. Parks and Recreation, the only survivor left from the well-known NBC comedy block (The Office, 30 Rock, Community and the aforementioned), bids farewell after seven years with all without having given us one single episode where we didn’t wish to live in that town with the fourth highest rate of obesity: Goodbye Pawnee!
Despite a rough start quality-wise with a mediocre first season functioning as a spin-off of the well-loved The Office, Parks soon found its own pace (after getting rid of some liabilities aka Marks Brendanawicz) and delivered to the audience, episode after episode, the perfect formula for what a classic sitcom should be. Not every comedy needs to try to reinvent the genre and be as cutting edge as possible (although we also love that; pelase Arrested Development come back to our lives), Parks doesn’t try to be that, instead it perfections the cute white sitcom where there’s place for the laughs but, most importantly, for the happiness. It’s fairly easy to make your audience cry out of sadness, it’s an incredibly hard feat to make it out of happiness. With Parks I’ve cried in more episodes than I’m proud to tell.
And it’s mainly because of him, Ron, and the rest of the cast, a group in such a clear sync that you can sense they get along not only in front but also behind the cameras. I’m not gonna try to explain how easily is to connect with Leslie, Ron, Ben, Andy, April… because after seven years we all feel just as another public servant of this little town. Nevertheless, I’m just going to ask for one thing for the series finale: do what you do best, give us a bunch of those moments where characters look at each other and smile and words are no needed, not from them, not from us.
Memorable episodes, gags and people is the heritage this sitcoms leaves us: the doppelgängers from Eagletown (damn them!), Treat.Yo.Self (Treat yo self!!), the Saperstein family (I can’t believe I’m already missing those obnoxious brothers), Ron’s alter ego Duke Silver, Andy’s alter ego Burt Macklin (FBI), Andy’s alter ego Johnny Karate, pancake breakfast in JJ’s diner (breakfast food in general actually)… and, literally (will Chris and Ann comeback for this finale?), everything else from this show.
The seventh season has been a continuous homage to every character, primary and secondary (even Jerry/Larry/Terry/Barry/Garry had its big moment last week!), and every recurring gag we’ve grown to love. However, we are still waiting for our last special cameo of a little someone…