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Treat yo'self … to nostalgia

A Eulogy for “Parks and Recreation”


February 25, 2015

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    If Leslie Knope were writing a eulogy for her own television show, she would make sure to include an over-the-top banner, a confetti cannon, and probably a few musical numbers for good measure.

    She would find a way to involve even the most inconsequential former government employees in the proceedings and the event would be catered, of course, by JJ’s Diner. You can rest assured that all of your Pawnee favorites would be in attendance — Joan Callamezzo, Perd Hapley, and possibly even the Saperstein children. But, as we said goodbye to Leslie and our Parks and Recreation family for the final time last night, this eulogy will have to manage without our favorite civil servant’s infinite bag of tricks.

    It’s hard to believe that we’ve grown so attached to a show that often comes with the review of “skip the first season,” but here we are. Though it was never on top of the ratings, this show gave birth to holidays that will long outlive its series finale: Galentine’s Day and Treat Yo Self, and we will all be setting aside a day to remember the passing our favorite mini-horse, L’il Sebastian.

    However, we don’t simply owe changes to our calendar to Parks and Recreation — our vocabularies have this show to thank as well. Without Tom Haverford, how would we know about apps, zerts and chicky-chicky parm-parm? Likewise, how would we discern the best way to admire our friends without Leslie Knope? Ann Perkins was only known to us as a beautiful tropical fish; a poetic, noble land mermaid; and even a beautiful, naïve, sophisticated newborn baby.

    We’ve watched countless characters develop over the years — even the fake ones. (Bert Macklin and Janet Snakehole, anyone?) Ron Swanson revealed that he has a more vulnerable, bluesier side to his character with the introduction of Duke Silver. Jerry Gergich took us on a wild ride, donning more first names than we can count over the course of the show. And with Ginuwine for a cousin and a Pearl Jam album penned about her, Donna Meagle proved that she is perhaps the most interesting character on the show.

    So thank you, Parks and Recreation, for all the laughs and for showing us that government work can be pretty exciting. And as difficult as it is knowing that we won’t be able to see what Leslie, Ben, Ron, Andy, April, Tom, Donna, Ann, Jerry, Chris and the rest of the gang are up to in Pawnee, Indiana (or wherever they live now) next year, we can sleep easier with the knowledge that Andy Dwyer will be off saving the world under his other code name, Star Lord, April Ludgate will be busy giving a voice to Grumpy Cat and Leslie Knope will forever make Amy Poehler a household name.

    So you can stop referring to her as "Tina Fey’s best friend," okay guys?


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