Nov 16, 2016

[TV] Parks and Recreation: Season 6

I miss Parks and Recreation. And given the current political climate both here at home and in countries like the US, I think a lot of us miss the honest and well-intentioned charm of Leslie Knope and the quirky crew of the Pawnee Parks Department.

But we don't have Leslie Knope as President nor do we have Parks and Recreation on television. Sad times. I've been sitting on writing this review for a while now but I guess it has become a bit more timely now. Life is funny that way.

The sixth season of Parks and Recreation really felt like it could have been the last one. A lot of character arcs get resolved and things seem to reach a bit of a peak overall. But then it's not the last season. There's a seventh season.

And I totally forgot this fact when we watched this season. And so when the final episode completed and there was a clear promimse of more to come, well, I was happily surprised.

And this is a time when we could all do with the feelings of happy surprise.

Synopsis: Parks and Recreation is an American mockumentary sitcom created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The show received about 89 awards nominations during its run and won 13 of them - or so says Wikipedia.

This season starts with a number of big changes for the team - or at least you'd think they'd be big but then they don't really react that way. Ron (Nick Offerman) finds out that Diane (Lucy Lawless) is pregnant and he almost immediately proposes marriage and then they get married shortly thereafter. Leslie (Amy Poehler) gets an international award and she flies to London to receive it with Ben (Adam Scott) and other folks.

And then Eagleton ends up getting reabsorbed into Pawnee. Yes, the town that has been the focus of a lot of Pawnee's hatred and rivalry turns out to be bankrupt and gets absorbed into Pawnee. This turned out to be an amazing thing in terms of comedy but of course leads to a lot of complicated moments in the team.

What I Liked: This season is just full of so many good things. The Ron-Diane wedding was a major surprise but also perfectly Ron. I totally didn't foresee the Eagleton twist nor could I have anticipated how things would be given the new unified town. But really the narrative arc that felt closest to heart is Leslie's efforts to get over the fact that she had been removed from office because of a recall vote last season. And Poehler was great in this regard as Leslie makes the most of her last days.

Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) actually become a thing again and their new relationship oddly works. April (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy (Chris Pratt) didn't seem quite as active but their moments were still adorable

But how the season ended really threw me for a loop.

What Could Have Been Better: The character arcs were clearly crafted to prepare for people leaving or were busy with other projects. Andy and April couldn't be as funny since Chris Pratt was obviously getting busy it other (Marvel) projects. April's arc was tied too much to Andy so in the beginning of the season her participation seemed diminished in that manner. And seeing Ann and Chris move out of Pawnee? SAD!

But these aren't legitimate complaints. I just didn't like being reminded that things were coming to an end.

TL;DR: For the most part, the sixth season of Parks and Recreation could act as the final season on its own despite the quirky ending. It's a solid piece of television and it just goes to show that when you get to map out how a show is going to go you get to wrap things up pretty well. And so the season gets an awesome 5 changes as character move on out of a possible 5.

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