Good Night and Good Luck, Pawnee

Sorry for the lack of updates as of late. Real life has been preventing me from updating. Leave it to work being absolute chaos of sorts. I should hopefully have some good things to announce soon, at least.

First order of business: this will be updated in my bio, but the link to buy “Be My Clementine” has changed. Red Stylo Media just updated their website, including streamlining their store. It’s all fancy looking now! Check it out and give “Be My Clementine” a shot!

Okay, onto the big topic.

Lately, some of my favorite lady led media has been coming to conclusions. Agent Carter finished its first season with a bang, but with no promises of season 2 yet. Charles Soule’s fantastic run on She-Hulk came to an end last week after twelve issues, but thankfully not due to low numbers but Soule’s busy schedule. Seriously, I think he’s writing every third comic at Marvel right now with G. Willow Wilson starting to catch up. I’ll probably have a post about that series here or at Nerdophiles within the next week.

However, my true sadness is over the fact that after five years and seven seasons, Parks and Recreation finally reached its end on Tuesday. I made it worse by mainlining the entire final season in one night last night. I guess I couldn’t handle the long goodbye to Leslie and her team as well as the vibrant personality of Pawnee, Indiana.

This isn’t really a review so much of the final season, but rather a reflection on what the series meant to me. I started watching the series in 2011, over my Christmas break that lead into the final semester of college. It was a slow build of what convinced me to watch, but I remember the clip that sealed the deal. It was the cold open from ‘The Trial of Leslie Knope,’ where Ron found out about browser cookies and Google Earth.

Everything about that clip was perfect. The timing, the expressions, the writing… Without even really know who Ron Swanson was, I knew I needed this show in my life.

The first season is notoriously rough, but short. I think I watched it on my roommate’s Netflix account in a night. The second season was better from the start, but as soon as the show jettisoned Mark and brought in Ben, I knew this was one of those forever shows. That no matter how it ended, you knew it was going to be in your life forever. But it better have a long run because this near cancellation stuff is bullshit.

Luckily, after several near finales, hundreds of waffles topped with whipped cream, and countless nicknames for Ann, it got to end on it’s own terms with everyone getting the happy ending they wanted.

It’s been said a million times about this show, but I always loved the fact that Parks and Recreation at its core was about love, friendship, positivity, and trying your best. How many times did characters in this show fail? How many times did they not know what to do next? Then count how many times their friends had their back. You’ll find that it far outweighs all of those rough times our intrepid gang of public servants went through. Not only were these characters allowed to chase their happy, they had the best support system in the world that let them do it. Don’t even get me started on the significance of the phrase “I love you and I like you.”

This is where the gross sobbing began and didn't stop. [NBC]

This is where the gross sobbing began and didn’t stop. [NBC]

I think in some ways, Parks and Recreation was a part of my support network. I’m blessed with so many wonderful people in my life, but I like having certain things on retainer to remind me of good things when I’m sad. When I was unemployed and depressed, it was Parks and Rec and Gravity Falls that made me smile the most. And it certainly helped that I had access to Cable OnDemand, so I probably watched several episodes too many times to count. I still put ‘The Fight’ on for background noise when all else fails. I can recite all of the drunken rants in my sleep probably. Well, the ones in English.

But even when I’m not sad, Parks and Rec has been a constant source of joy in my life. From Galentine’s Day to my entire tag about Donna Meagle on Tumblr to just quoting Ron Swanson at my confused friends who don’t watch the show. It was never mean or cheap. It was just a damn good show. When I really think about it, Parks and Rec probably trumps all of my favorite shows. Yes, even the modern Battlestar Galactica. I think Ben would understand, though he’s more of a Trek and Game of Thrones guy.

Even the cast exemplified their Pawnee counterparts. From Retta and Jim O’Heir’s work spouse relationship to the cast and crew supporting Chris Pratt all the way through Guardians of the Galaxy and even to the very end when the finale paid tribute to producer and writer Harris Wittels not with a “Rest in Peace,” but a “We Love You.”

We love you and we like you. [NBC]

We love you and we like you. [NBC]

I’m sad that I live in a post-Parks and Rec world, but damn, I’m so happy that it existed. I’m glad it brought us a Paunch Burger size of happiness with its humor. I’m happy that it made me want to be the kind of person Leslie Knope knows I am.

Most of all, though? I’m glad it was a hit on streaming sites because you know I’m gonna watch it a lot.

Bye bye, Parks and Recreation. In the words of Andy Dwyer, you’re like 5,000 Candles in the Wind.

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One thought on “Good Night and Good Luck, Pawnee

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