“Parks and Rec” says goodbye

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By Tessa Weinberg

After the near decade that the beloved show “The Office” entertained viewers with its droll comedy, “Parks and Recreation” swooped in to fill the void that was left by “The Office’s” departure.  None of us want it to happen, but despite our protests and deep-rooted denial, the inevitable end has begun.

However, we knew that it couldn’t last forever, and soon we will have to get used to the idea of saying goodbye to the beloved halls of the Parks and Rec department of the fictional Pawnee, Indiana that we have escaped to for a laugh since 2009.

Documenting the antics and day-to-day struggles of a local government bureaucrat, “Parks and Rec” follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) from her humble beginnings as she works on turning a giant dirt lot with a gaping pit into a beautiful park for the town.

In the midst of its seventh and final season, which began on January 13, Parks and Rec now takes place in the future in the year 2017.  Despite the familiar faces, such as the optimistic and strong-willed Leslie, some things have changed since the first season.

Actually, a lot has happened that has shaken up our quaint town known for its high obesity rates and Lil’ Sebastian the miniature horse.

Now I will try my best not to reveal anything from season seven,  however if you are reading this and have not yet watched the show in its entirety up to season six, and you are a self-proclaimed number one fan, then I warn you that spoilers may lie ahead.

Season six left us with radical changes, such as, Leslie being married with triplets, and also expected essentials of the show like Jerry (Jim O’Heir) still put down constantly by his co-workers for being the office idiot.

However, more surprises are on the way for the farewell season, and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-creator of the show Michael Schur revealed that, “By the time the series finale is over, the characters will have gone through as much upheaval and change in one season as in the previous six seasons.  Everyone’s lives are up in the air.”

But will we be able to handle so much change?  When watching the season seven premiere it was difficult to follow not only because of the jump in time, but also the changing friendships.  One of Leslie’s closest companions is now her enemy, and we don’t know what event caused the rift either.

Although many of the characters’ situations have changed from the first season, they are still the same old characters that we know and love.

Seeing their faces you can’t help but smile as Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) continues to battle his ex-wife, Tammy Two, and April (Aubrey Plaza) persists in fighting normalcy with her unique blend of rebelliousness and melancholy.

Either way, after a long nine months since the season six finale, it’s satisfying to get a double dose of the old Parks and Rec crew with their elaborate antics and mirthful one-liners, as new episodes are aired back to back on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. on NBC.

And if you haven’t yet entered the idiosyncratic world of Pawnee, then now is your chance.  With the series coming to a close this month on February 24th, it is your last opportunity to watch live as history is made for Leslie and her supporters.

From Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Pawnee, Indiana, hopefully Schur and co-creator Greg Daniels have another town to make us fall in love with ready up their sleeves.  But until then, “Parks and Rec” will always be one of our generation’s favorites.

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