Just when we’re drying up our happy/sad tears from the Parenthood series finale, we’re reminded that we’ve entered the final few weeks of another one of our beloved programs, Parks and Recreation. Because of the “brilliance” that is NBC brass, we’ve been counting down the last episodes two by two, and as we enter February, we only have seven left. In honor of that, we’re dedicating each Tuesday to Parks and how much joy it has brought to our lives over the past six years.
We start with the citizens of Pawnee – the people who make this small town in Indiana feel like a real town we would actually want to visit. We’ve met dozens of folks from this city – most of them a little off their rockers – but it’s what makes the show so great. With the likes of Perd Hapley and Coucilman Jamm and Lil’ Sebastian (RIP), we as viewers get a glimpse into what life is like living with these literal characters in Pawnee, and can understand why Leslie Knope has such strong feelings for her hometown. Pawnee may be fourth in obesity, but it’s first in friendship, and these residents are the prime example.
Favorite Moment(s): After singing Let’s Hear It For the Boy in a drunken stupor, Ben and Tom take her home, where we see she has a bunch of oil paintings up – of herself. Naked.
Why we’ll miss them: She’s the trainwreck you can’t stop watching. It’s like all the Jersey Shore castmembers rolled into one.
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Joan is busy promoting her 10th memoir, dedicated specifically to all the men who have given her STDs over the years. She takes Pawnee Today on the road to Los Angeles, but ends up miles from Hollywood in Sun Valley, in a studio next to a factory that makes sex toys. She ends up falling in love and ditches her job with Pawnee Today in favor of her new show – Porn Valley Tomorrow.
Favorite Moment(s): His performance art piece, where he’s acting as an animal living on a Human Farm.
Why we’ll miss him: He’s just so weird.
Where he’ll be in another three year time jump: A curator from the Indianapolis Museum of Art accidentally went to Orin’s Human Farm exhibit and ran into him again in 2018 at a mutual friend’s gallery called “Laser Snakes”. He offered Orin a curator job at the Museum, and he now seeks out performance artists from around the world. He’s still super weird.
Favorite Moment(s): Breaking the news of Leslie’s (non) affair with Dexhart in Christmas Scandal; his role as (not a real) judge in Perdple’s Court
Why we’ll miss him: How will we know when a scandal is supposed to be brewing now?
Where he’ll be in another three year time jump: Starring in the locally produced Western show, Howdy, Perdner! Also, the locally produced quiz show, Revenge Of The Perds. And the locally produced birdwatching program, A Perd In The Hand. Plus the locally produced children’s cartoon, Harold And The Perdple Crayon. Everyone agrees that he’s gotten a little carried away.
Favorite Moment(s): When he unexpectedly turns out to be the boyfriend of Allison, the girl Leslie had been trying to recruit as a Parks intern.
Why we’ll miss them: He may be annoying, but he is never not interesting.
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: He realized he had a soft spot for the government and went to Notre Dame for Political Science. He went on to work for President Hillary Clinton’s administration and is currently in the process of campaigning for Joe Biden’s 2024 Presidential bid – against Leslie Knope.
Favorite Moment(s): Behaving like a petulant boy prince during the city council campaign, then shocking us all by endorsing Leslie.
Why we’ll miss them: He’s a total weenie, but he’s also a member of the First Family Of Pawnee Sugar. Sweetums has brought so much joy – and so much diabetes – to so many.
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Moved up from Nougat to the Caramel Division; conducting a Wonka-esque contest to tour the Sweetums factory – winner scores a totally unpaid, full-time internship.
Favorite Moment(s): When he threatened to put a curse on the Harvest Festival, then “lifted” said fake curse by saying fake chants in Native American.
Why we’ll miss them: He may have seemed like the no nonsense tribal elder of the Wamapoke Native American tribe, but he had a really great sense of dry humor that he only really shared for the camera.
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Thanks to the economic boom in Pawnee, he was able to open another Wamapoke Casino. He still deals with crazy white people on the daily.
Favorite Moment(s): Leslie drags Ethel out in the snowy cold to Ben’s house to read her statement. “Let the record state that I, Leslie Knope, love Ben Wyatt. I love him with all of my heart.”
Why we’ll miss them: She’s annoying old broad who tells it like it is.
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Ethel is still working as a stenographer for the town of Pawnee. After a string of lovers, it seems as if she’s finally settled down… with a cat. The men, yeah she’s still got them on rotation.
The creepy tattoo guy
Favorite Moment(s): He bids on Ann when Leslie puts a date with her up for auction, and he pitches a date which includes “taking her out to watch him do belly flops in the mud pit, then getting Thai food and a tank of Nitrous and seeing what happens”.
Why we’ll miss them: We don’t even know his name, but we don’t really need to to enjoy his creepiness (from afar).
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Still working at the pawn shop, but he added an extension to the store for guns and ammo.
Favorite Moment(s): Basically every shock jock-y line they’ve ever delivered, such as “I know it’s a winter’s morn but it feels like a Summer’s eve… cuz The Douche is in the building!”
Why we’ll miss them: The best use of radio sound effects since the 1930s.
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: After multiple FCC infractions and a boycott by Eagleton, they were dropped by their station. Like most people, they have a podcast.
Favorite Moment(s): Keeping Anna Nicole body spray alive, hoodwinking Henry Winler… honestly, these two never fail to turn our frizowns upside-dizzity.
Why we’ll miss them: They’re the best at being the wooorrrst.
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Designer meth (actually made out of designer-imposter perfume and baby powder). Prison sentence. Local home shopping show. Community service sentence (because of mismanaged funds for shopping show). Local reality show. Mona-Lisa has a baby. Wait. Mona-Lisa stole a baby. Then lost it at a rave.
Favorite Moment(s): Almost entering into relationships with Andy, Ben, Chris, and Leslie (as an Ann replacement in Galentines II)
Why we’ll miss them: Always comes up with the right headline.
Where they’ll be in another three year time jump: Editor in chief of the Pawnee Tribune; has hooked up with all active Pawnee council members.
Councilman Jeremy Jamm
Favorite Moment(s): As opposed to all the times we’ve previously seen Jamm be the one controlling others to get his way, he falls into the Tammy curse and Leslie and Ron have to work together to get him out of his crazed obsession.
Why we’ll miss him: We really won’t, but it’s those you hate that are the ones worth remembering.
Where he’ll be in another three year time jump: It took 2 years for Jamm to fully get out of his post-Tammy funk. He’s finally feeling like himself again, and his ‘You got Jamm-ed’ quota is up to 20 from 10 people the previous year.
Favorite Moment(s): Standing by Leslie after the bailout … because she was raking in the big bucks for her adult adaptation of the story, Too Big To Nail
Why we’ll miss her: Able to define pornography where Justice Stewart failed.
Where she’ll be in another three year time jump: Starring in an adult version of the National Park / Gryzzl deal, Jyzzlbox.
Favorite Moment(s): When he used to be alive. Particularly, Ron Swanson’s face when he realized Lil Sebastian would be at the harvest festival.
Why we’ll miss him: Dead.
Where she’ll be in another three year time jump: Still dead. Sebastian was li’l, but now he is 5,000 candles in the wind.