Parks and Recreation is back for its seventh and final season, and with four of the thirteen episodes having aired it’s almost time to say goodbye to government enthusiast Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and the entire Parks team.
The first episode picks up from the three year jump shown at the end of the season six finale ‘Moving Up’ and it’s immediately clear that a lot has changed in three years.
The season starts strongly; all of our beloved characters are with Leslie in her dream job of Regional Parks director and her husband, Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) working as City Manager of Pawnee.
All this is going on while they parent their triplets, so there’s plenty happening. Elsewhere, Andy has his own children’s TV show, Ron owns a construction company and Tom has reached the successful business heights that he always knew he would. In short, everyone’s doing well.
The three year jump has upset some who wanted to see how the characters realised their dreams but overall it seems to have been a smart move for the final season. After six years of seeing these characters trying to reach their goals in the small town of Pawnee, giving us thirteen episodes where they’re getting to experience their success feels like a good payoff.
Many might have expected that the show would end like the previous series, with each of the characters on the cusp of having everything they wanted.
Instead, we get to see new storylines opening up. In ‘2017’ , Leslie finds an adversary in Ron Swanson as they battle over the use of Newport land for a new national park.
Taking a central relationship that we know and love while showing us that we’ve missed something during these three years is an interesting way to grip the audience, and make us attempt to put the puzzle pieces together.
It appears that this is going to be the set-up for at least the first few episodes of the season and let’s be honest, it was always going to happen. While we can assume that they will eventually be back on good terms, getting Ron Swanson out of a government job can only mean that he would actively oppose government in some way.
After all, this is the man who has made it his mission to disrupt the government as much as possible with quips like, “I don't want this parks department to build any parks, because I don't believe in government. I think that all government is a waste of taxpayer money.” He’s not the biggest fan.
The standoff between him and government lover Leslie is one that we always needed to see and with the two most stubborn and strong-willed characters in the show gathering team members to oppose each other, it’s set to be an epic battle of small government versus the capitalist construction company. Exciting, no?
While we don’t yet know what the remaining ten episodes of Parks and Recreation is going to bring, we can bet that it’s going to be full of fairly off-the-wall humour, rarely seen levels of passion about parks business, and the warmth that very few shows can give us like Parks and Rec can.
If you’re one of the people who has managed to get by-passed over the years by this show, now would be the time to get onto Netflix in between assignments and binge watch.