The Parks and Rec reunion aired last night and it gave us everything we could have wanted and more while bored at home in quarantine.
The entire cast of NBC’s hit show Parks and Rec aired their reunion episode last night and honestly I thought it was perfect. The whole thing was put together to help raise money for FeedingAmerica. They also gave us tips like always wash your hands, take care of your mental health and listen to the CDC. The idea for this reunion came about around three weeks ago. Amy Poehler brought the idea to the show runner and all the actors and they made it happen. They wrote the script in three days and it could not have been better. Talks of a reunion were shut down in the past with the notion that it just wouldn’t make sense to do it. To be fair, the show only went off the air five years ago. Everyone involved quickly figured out all the logistics and gave us all the perfect reunion.
The second the theme song began playing, a flood of nostalgia hit and suddenly I was in 2015 again. The main focus of the episode is how Leslie Knope is dealing with Coronavirus and being in quarantine. In order to make sure her friends are okay, she has created what she calls a phone tree. Each friend video chats with someone Leslie assigns them. It’s pretty typical neurotic Leslie. As the glue that held everyone together in Pawnee, it makes sense she’s still doing it now in a pandemic. Turns out, they all need her to check in on them. Well, at least Ben does.
They are all coping in different ways. Ben has written a horrible screenplay, while Ron is living life like he usually does. He’s been social distancing his entire life so he’s prepared and happier than ever. April made picking an outfit fun though by pulling clothing out of a garbage bag and wearing whatever comes out. Honestly might try that next time I have a zoom hang out. Andy is stuck in a shed. Not much else to say there. Tom and Donna are still BFF goals and continue to treat themselves during quarantine. We can all relate to them drinking wine together. Hey, what else are we supposed to do all day? You know who isn’t drinking wine, Ann. She’s busy working as a nurse again and quarantining from her ultra healthy husband. The CDC asked him to donate his blood and has been classified as a super healer. And then there is Jerry/Gary who cant’ figure out the Internet.
I loved seeing where everyone is and what they are doing during this pandemic. Not only did we hear from the main cast, we also got updates on all the recurring characters. We saw Joan Callmezo drunk at home and fully unable to conduct a proper interview with Ben and Leslie. I always loved her crazy antics and didn’t know how bad I needed another alcohol fueled interaction with her. What I could have done without was an appearance by Jon Ralphio. Not going to lie I fast forwarded during his part. I never liked his character but I guess he has to be included. I loved seeing Perd Hapley though. He was always one of my favorites.
In the end, Leslie once again calls Ron Swanson and after he notices she’s feeling a little off he gives her the best surprise. The surprise was a giant group call with the whole team! Seeing all their faces together on one screen warmed my heart. Also, Ron getting the band back together was a perfect tribute to his friendship with Leslie. He was always able to see when she needed help and always knew what to do to make it better. It drove home the central message of the show, that our friends mean more to us than we think and can become our family. To make her feel better they sang “Bye Bye Lil Sebastian and I’m not even ashamed to admit a tear rolled down my cheek while they sang.
Behind the Scenes
The two part reunion started off with a behind the scenes look into the show. We saw the actor’s initial auditions and past interviews. I learned that the show was supposed to be a spin off of The Office, but that idea was thrown out once Rashida Jones was cast. I’m kind of happy about that actually. I’m not the biggest fan of The Office. A good chunk of part one featured bloopers which made me very happy. My favorite thing to do is look at bloopers of shows that I love. They are always funnier than the actual show and I can watch them all day.
I’m also very interested in everything that goes into making a show so this special is right up my alley. I love seeing the table reads, the rehearsals and learning about all the behind the scenes stories. One of my favorite from this show is learning which lines are improve. Not a shock, but most of them come from Chris Pratt’s character. I also love learning what the creators were thinking when writing the characters and how the actors interpret that. This special has all that so I was a happy camper while watching. I just love this show and could not have asked for a better behind the scenes look.
Parks and Rec was a big part of my life and I was so upset when the season finale aired. I am so happy they did this and am now sad again that it’s over. Guess it’s time to go binge watch all seven seasons again. Wish me luck!