THE SHOW WON’T GO ON


Photo by Alice Zhu


“One last ride for the ‘Parks and Recreation’ gang. Who’s in?” actress Amy Poehler asked in her last appearance as Leslie Knope, lead character on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” a comedy that ran on the network from 2009 to 2015. The series ended its seventh and final season on Feb. 24.

Set in the fictional Pawnee, the critically acclaimed comedy followed the lives of local government employees as the unbridled enthusiasm of Knope, deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department, clashed with the droll apathy of the bureaucracy. The show, with its unique supporting cast and satirical “mockumentary” style, often struggled in the ratings but developed a cult following among fans and critics alike.

One such fan is sophomore Abby Frank.

“I’m a crazy fan. I love that show. I tweet about it, I Facebook about it. It’s a great show,” she said.

Frank said she discovered “Parks and Recreation” by complete chance.

She said, “One night my parents were watching it and I was just lying in bed with them and I thought it was a great show so I just kept on watching it.”

Starting in the middle of the third season, Frank was so taken with the show that she went back and watched the first two seasons on Netflix. However, Frank said, it took her some time to become captivated by the show.

“It took some time (to become a fan of the show) because you really have to get to know the characters to really enjoy and understand them,” she said.

Like any other entertainment medium, a television series can often fit someone’s interests like a glove. Frank said she felt “Parks and Recreation” suited her perfectly.

“I thought it was cool that it was set in Indiana; I felt kind of a connection to it,” Frank said. “A lot of the characters were really funny, and I felt it was my kind of humor.”

This was a humor Frank described as “simple, basic but also very realistic.”


“I’m a crazy fan. I love that show. I tweet about it, I Facebook about it. It’s a great show.”Sophomore Abby Frank

Frank also said she found much of the show’s humor in the supporting cast of the show.

“I liked the supporting characters better, especially by the end of the series,” Frank said.

Many of the supporting characters that Frank enjoyed were often cited by fans and critics as the saving grace of the show. Often, Knope’s passion for local government was in conflict with the hugely popular character Ron Swanson (played by actor Nick Offerman) her direct superior as well as a staunch, detached loner who despised government. Swanson’s embodiment of freedom, including the freedom to be generally antisocial, struck a chord with audiences.

“I really loved Ron,” Frank said. “He did not have the typical humor, and he said very interesting things.”

Another character who particularly spoke to Frank was April Ludgate (played by Aubrey Plaza), the apathetic intern who had almost no interest in government work, quoted once as saying, “I don’t want to do things; I want to not do things.” Ludgate had her own unique voice on the show, speaking to apathetic teens everywhere.

“I really like April because she’s really salty and she’s kind of like me the most,” Frank said.

Frank said she was especially a fan of the final season of the show and, more specifically, the last episode.

“I like the last few seasons because a lot of the important characters become more important and a lot of the backup characters, like Donna and Ben, you kind of get to know them so that was nice,” she said. “I loved the last episode; it kind of showed the connections between all the characters and they don’t really need to have a reunion episode because it already was a reunion episode so that was cool to see.”

Although the show just concluded on television, Frank said she already misses it.

“I will miss it a lot. I’m going to miss watching it every Tuesday night. It was a great time-filler, and it was really funny and it usually made my day,” she said. “I will probably rewatch some episodes.”

Frank is planning a “Parks and Recreation” marathon with her friends already. However, she said she is ready to move on, preferably to a show with similar humor.

Frank said, “I need to fill the void of humor on TV.”


Share this Post

About the Author

Grant Smith