The Parks and Recreation reunion that aired during the pandemic has raised fans’ hopes that a season 8 might happen
Every now and then, there are certain shows that unforgettably define a genre. Parks and Recreation aired its final season back in 2015, but left an impact that is still felt by fans. The comedy series was intended to be a spin-off of The Office, but its originality helped it carve a spot for itself. The show became a cultural phenomenon and one of the most-loved comedy series of its time, throughout its seven seasons.
- How did the Parks and Recreation reunion episode come to be?
- The reunion saw characters reacting to the pandemic
- Was the reunion a one-time special or is season 8 in the works?
Not surprisingly, fans had been waiting for reunion or reboot of sorts, that would bring the show’s stellar cast back together. Covid-19 fulfilled that wish. Earlier this year, a Parks and Recreation reunion episode united Amy Poehler and other cast members for a great cause. Fans were thrilled, and rumours of a new season 8 started making the rounds!
Let’s learn more about the Parks and Recreation reunion, and decode if a season 8 reboot is on the cards.
How did the Parks and Recreation reunion episode come to be?
Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur was thinking of ways, in which he could help salvage the devastation caused by the pandemic. He emailed the cast in the hope that a reunion episode would help them raise a sizeable donation. And of course, the cast agreed to help in a heartbeat.
Ecstatic about the reunion, the cast came together for the laborious task of filming. The half-hour special followed our favourite public servant Leslie, determined to stay connected with her friends and family during the pandemic. Schur explained that Leslie’s optimism and faith in friendship, community and the government were ideal to explore at the time.
Original cast members Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman joined Poehler in the Parks and Recreation reunion. The special had several guest stars like Ben Schwartz who reprised his role as Jean-Ralphio, Tom’s wild-haired friend.
The show’s memorable characters are the biggest reason why viewers continue to tune in year after year. Watching the same old characters come together in a storyline that was true to them was exciting.
The familiar jokes, references to old episodes, and seeing the team get together again, was wonderfully nostalgic. The writers even found creative ways to portray why no one was in the same room as each other.
The special helped raise money for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. NBCUniversal along with sponsors, the cast and producers of the show generated a sizeable donation of a little over $500,000. It was a delightful fan service, but also helped raise funds for the extended community when they needed it the most.
The reunion saw the characters reacting to the pandemic
Originally, a Parks and Recreation reunion was off the table. But then the pandemic struck the world and NBC decided to put something together for a good cause. The creators even briefly considered a table read of an episode where some characters would battle the flu. But they were fearful of being subject to ridicule and didn’t want to depict the pandemic in a light-hearted manner.
“We moved away from that quickly because I was terrified of seeming like we were making light of the most serious international crisis in 100 years,” Schur said, as reported by “Entertainment Weekly”. It’s why none of the characters in the reunion had Covid-19, and just focused on reacting to the pandemic instead.
Unfortunately, the reunion was meant to be a one-time thing with the sole purpose of raising donations. But our favourite residents of Pawnee could come together for a new season because co-creator Schur says “never say never”.
Was the reunion a one-time special or is season 8 in the works?
The cast of Parks and Recreation is diverse and full of colourful characters. Amy Poehler is illuminating as Leslie and lights up the screen with her presence. Rashida Jones’ chemistry with the cast is undeniable and Nick Offerman plays the perfect mustached boss as Ron Swanson. Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford has unmatchable levels of sarcasm and is unapologetically himself.
The writers made room for laughs even in heartfelt moments, and the character development is a joy to experience. The pandemic paved the way for a one-time reunion, but bringing back the cast for a new season is tough. The characters are huge stars today – Amy Poehler is a writer, host and director, Ansari has a successful standup career. Chris Pratt (Andy) is a part of the MCU films and Aubrey Plaza (April) too has a busy film career.
At least co-creator Michael Schur is positive. “I would never say never, because why bother to say never,” he replied to the question of a reboot. Schur communicated his wishes to continue championing Feeding America, but felt like the show was completed during its initial run.
“We made our point, so I don’t anticipate any long-term reboot or anything like that,” he said. Looks like us fans will have to continue watching the series’ reruns and the Parks and Recreation reunion until we hear from NBC officially.
What would you like to see in the Parks and Recreation season 8 reboot? Let us know in the comments!