The workplace comedy show used a 3-year long time jump in the final season to give its characters closure.
NBC‘s satire based office comedy show ‘Parks and Recreation’ came to a conclusion with its seventh season in 2015. The show had begun airing in 2009 and ran for a total of 125 episodes over 7 seasons. The show quickly rose to popularity owing to its characters‘ uniqueness, dry satirical jokes, and its freshness as the only other mockumentary show (aside from ‘The Office). The show was star-studded in its casting with major Hollywood icons such as Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza and others.
- What happened in the final season?
- Why did the show add the time jump?
- What did the show’s fans think of it?
The show was based on the trials and tribulations of a low-level bureaucrat, Leslie Knope, who strove to convince the local government to turn a construction pit into a public park. She faces stiff push back from Ron Swanson, the parks’ director, and Mark Brendanawicz, the city planner. New problems arrive each season for Leslie in forms of government red tapes, gridlocks, budget cuts, and community opposition for her proposed park project.
Among the few reasons that the show ended for good, was Amy Poehler’s newborn babies (she was shown pregnant in the show in season 6). She had already decided that she would not be willing to work once her kids were born.
What happened in the final season?
The seventh season saw the graceful end of ‘Parks and Recreations’ after 6 years and 125 episodes. The show was well summed up in Leslie’s final speech in which she described her career as “all about small, incremental changes every day“.
When the show initially came out, it was mocked as being a “knockoff-The Office” for its similar use of the mockumentary style of the screenplay but it gradually overcame that and people began to appreciate ‘Parks and Recreation’ for the well thought out satire comedy that it was. In the final season, Leslie Knope established herself as a true feminist model who brought back life to a rusty small town after years of trials and tribulations and a ton of hard work. By the end, all the characters left the fictional town of Pawnee and settled in big cities (quite contrary to the show’s themes) with new jobs and lives.
Why did the show add the time jump?
In an interview, show creator Michael Schur revealed that after season 6, he and Amy Poehler had a discussion about how long the show would go on and they decided that season 7 would be the right time to “land the plane”.
They decided to make the final season short and sweet and not drag it out more than it needs to.
As for the reason why they ended the show, Schur has said that the character progression for the show lead Leslie Knopes was almost at its final stage and they really did not know where they could take it from there. When asked about the time jump, he said that it was to allow the writing team to get a bit more flexible with the story and to place characters wherever the writers imagined them ending up in the future without.
What did the show’s fans think of it?
Even though show creator Michael Schur promised that the show’s “feel” would not change with the time jump in the final season, many fans and critics would say that he did a poor job of it. The final season was very unlike ‘Parks and Recreation’ in the themes that the show had stayed committed to throughout the previous six seasons.
While the focus of much of the show was how small towns are unique and worth loving, towards the end, all the characters get up and leave Pawnee for big cities. Some fans expressed their disappointment with the ending; calling it “forced” by the writers even. Head over to the comments section below to let us know what you think!