Parks and Recreation has brought laughs and entertainment to homes for more than six seasons, offering a satirical “behind-the-scenes” look at the bureaucratic hurdles found in the smallest of government offices at the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department. Even though the show is immensely popular (with lead actress Amy Poehler garnering five Emmy nominations for her role as Leslie Knope), TV viewers will soon bid farewell to Knope and cohorts.
Although fans are disappointed, the decision to call it quits makes sense. For sitcom writers, consistency doesn’t come easily, if it ever truly comes at all. While recent seasons of certain sitcoms (cough, the Big Bang Theory) have left much to be desired, the cast and crew of Parks and Rec have managed to keep things interesting. Perhaps they’re calling it quits so that they end on an admirable note, rather than dragging things on and on and reaching the point where the returns have all but diminished. Now, with the final season under way (although the previous seasons are available via Netflix, Hulu, and Direct TV, for those who need to catch up), we’ve decided to recap the 5 best moments from season 6:
- Ron Swanson Collides With The Digital Age
The man who believes in small government nearly loses his well-controlled mind when he receives a Penny Saver magazine in the mail. Ron believes this is a huge violation of his privacy and enlists Tom and Donna to get him “off the grid.” Being the dunce that he is, Tom takes this as a cue to boost Ron’s social media presence, and begins adding photos of Ron to Facebook. In his effort to remove the photos from Tom’s tablet, the intentionally computer illiterate Ron inadvertently makes his first, and you have to believe only, Vine video as he screams at Tom’s tablet to erase the pictures.
- Andy Returns
Andy surprises April by returning from London as she sits waiting to connect with him over Skype. Back for only 19 hours, they spend much of that time at a birthday party for Ben, but this time encapsulates why Andy and April are so perfect for each other. Talking about how proud she is of him as he heads off in a taxi, April turns to see Andy leaving the taxi and jumping in a dumpster. Andy reveals that he’s over his head in London, but April reassures him that everyone is basically faking it until they make it which gives him the courage he needs.
- The Game
The earnest Ben Wyatt doesn’t do well with down time. To keep himself occupied during his time between jobs, he creates an intricate game that he dubs “The Cones of Dunsire.” The ridiculously complicated game ends up being his parting gift to his fellow accountants when he leaves to become Pawnee City Manager. Incidentally: a Kickstarter campaign has been launched by an accounting firm and a game company who are hoping to develop “Cones” into a legitimate game.
- And Baby Makes Three
What looks like the flu turns out to be a pregnancy for Leslie. She and Ben want to keep the news secret, but this is complicated by the fact that Andy knows. Andy is finally let out of his misery when they reveal to everyone that they’re expecting triplets. This is both a funny and tender moment as everyone offers to help in any way they can.
- Duke Silver Revealed
Things are changing fast. Leslie takes the National Parks job, dreamer Tom has turned into a doer and is opening his restaurant in time for the Pawnee/Eagleton Unity Concert while Andy is able to pull together the musical acts. Leslie is the last to know that Ron has an alter-ego — the talented saxophonist, Duke Silver (and who knew he also has such an awesome website?). The look on her face as she sees Ron playing is priceless.
Before the season 6 ends, a fast-forward to three years later reveals a stressed Leslie as a working mom. Some things are turned upside down as season 7 begins. Most notably, Ron and Leslie are now enemies fighting over a piece of land that Leslie knows would be perfect for a National Park.
It will be sad to see our friend’s leave, but they’ve had a good run. Let’s just be thankful that, in the age of shows that endure decades past shelf life, that the Parks and Rec crew are smart enough to know when to call it quits.
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