Parks and Recreation: Parks and Rec Reunion Special
April 30, 2020 6:47 PM - Season 8, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Parks and Recreation showrunner Mike Schur says he felt “like crying a little bit” when he e-mailed Amy Poehler and the show’s other nine lead actors three weeks ago about participating in a charity reunion episode of the NBC comedy, and they all responded within 45 minutes that they were interested. ~ Vulture Link to show on NBC: A Parks and Recreation Special to BENEFIT FEEDING AMERICA

NYTimes: ‘Parks and Recreation’ Is Back. Here’s Where We Left Off.
The beloved NBC sitcom is returning Thursday for a reunion special to benefit Feeding America. Here’s where things stood the last time we were in Pawnee.

AVCLUB: Parks And Recreation returns with a care package of much-needed warmth, laughs, and hope A lot has changed in the five years since Leslie Knope and the Parks And Recreation crew left us alone with our memories of Little Sebastian, swarming raccoons, Sewage Joe, and a time when post-Obama civic optimism hadn’t yet been squashed

NYMag The Parks and Recreation Reunion Special Is a Wonderful Gift
A Parks and Recreation Special, the socially-distanced, one-off reunion episode of the beloved NBC comedy, is an act of service. That’s true in the sense that it exists to raise money for Feeding America. But it’s also true because the whole episode was well-executed, heartfelt fan service.

NYMag Where the Parks and Rec Characters Are Now, According to the Reunion Special When Parks and Recreation aired its final season in 2015, we got a reassuring glimpse into the characters’ futures: Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt got jobs in DC, Donna moved to Seattle with Joe, and by the 2040s, Jerry Garry Gergich had served ten terms as the beloved mayor of Pawnee. At the time, showrunner Mike Schur and star Amy Poehler seemed to have definitively closed the book on Parks and Rec, even agreeing against a reunion. But tonight, NBC aired A Parks and Recreation Special, which reunited the writers and cast (minus poor Mark Brendanawicz) via the Gryzzl cloud to show fans how their big-hearted optimism is helping them manage the coronavirus pandemic.
posted by pjsky (24 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I can't believe how much I needed that ... I'll always miss my horsiest friend ... 😢
posted by pjsky at 6:51 PM on April 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Is this going to be streaming anywhere?
posted by travertina at 7:16 PM on April 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Usually NBC streams shows the following day on their app and the website.
posted by pjsky at 7:26 PM on April 30, 2020

Damn, I forgot to tune in.
posted by Monochrome at 7:38 PM on April 30, 2020

I loved it. I already loved Parks and Rec so that is not surprising.
I can’t think of any other show that’s been set in the Now Times, and I’m the opposite of upset that this was the first I’ve seen. Of course it would be based on Leslie wanting to take care of everyone!
posted by flaterik at 12:31 AM on May 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

It was delightful. Leslie's phone tree idea was brilliant and very on-character. I loved that we got updates from some of the more minor/oddball characters as well, like Jean Ralphio and Jeremy Jamm. All around well done
posted by basalganglia at 4:35 AM on May 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

The "Brene Brown is giving an emergency TED Talk" gag was effing hilarious and is exactly the carrot one would use to get Leslie to click a link.

This could have been so lame (the way a lot of reunion shows are), but it was so damned perfect instead. The little details and throwaways really made it ring true. April's "Satan's Niece" for instance.

I hope everyone saw the homage show before the reunion show. It worked really well as a warm-up for the special, to get you back into the groove for the characters and actors.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:55 AM on May 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

So Paul Rudd's new career arc is "Hi, I've been somewhere having adventures, OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED?"
posted by Etrigan at 6:03 AM on May 1, 2020 [5 favorites]

Also, I absolutely squealed with glee at the appearance of Tammy Two.
posted by Etrigan at 6:06 AM on May 1, 2020 [12 favorites]

Foxes are so fast!
posted by cooker girl at 8:25 AM on May 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

How did I forget that Tammy 2 would be at Nick Offerman's house?

I love that Chris's blood is just POSITIVE.

"Shut up, Jerry," has been replaced by "Shut off the filters, Gary!"

I'd hoped to see Jean Ralphio! And I'm surprised how much of a kick I got out of Bobby Newport.

Andy and April not being in the same room was the one suspension of disbelief that didn't work for me. You know they'd be playing Burt Macklin games, and April would have been on drums during the song.

So, speaking of nitpicking, I followed up by watching some S7 episodes, including the finale. As lack of continuity always bugs me, I was comparing if the characters' lives in 2020 jibed with the past eps.

(I've joked before that Parks and Rec's flash forwards had not prepared us for the real 2017.)

The only "error": I don't think Tom would have already written a book.

(Oh, and I'm still po'd that in the finale's far flashforward, the Secret Service guy talked to Ben first. In my canon, he just happens to have his head turned towards the First Gentleman. #Knope2044)
posted by NorthernLite at 8:57 AM on May 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I felt like the Li'l Sebastian song went on a tiny bit too long, but otherwise, this was just what I needed right now.

I have a comment about what a fun surprise it was to see Perd Hapley...which I'm posting on FanFare.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:48 AM on May 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

Andy and April not being in the same room was the one suspension of disbelief that didn't work for me.

April knows exactly how much of Andy she can take and has an alarm on her phone, set five minutes before that, called "ANDY: MAKE SURE SHED IS SECURE".
posted by Etrigan at 10:00 AM on May 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

The Paley special was nice, too. A solid hour of prime-time TV. Supercool seems like just yesterday.

Full special on YouTube
posted by rhizome at 10:10 AM on May 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

It was definitely good to see Perd Hapley, which happened on my TV while I was watching it.
posted by rhizome at 10:11 AM on May 1, 2020 [12 favorites]

I felt like the Li'l Sebastian song went on a tiny bit too long

Shut up, Ben!
posted by Gary at 10:39 AM on May 1, 2020 [13 favorites]

Just watched it on Hulu. Joy! I love this show so much.

So does that mean that Adam Scott had that Letters to Cleo shirt in his home? Is that shirt, in fact, an actual shirt he owned from the 90s that he kept and used on the show? I'm going to imagine the answer is yes. Also very happy to see claymation man from Requiem for a Tuesday.
posted by acidnova at 1:53 PM on May 1, 2020 [4 favorites]

A very enjoyable bit of fan service.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:04 PM on May 1, 2020

Oh, this was lovely. I even cried a little bit. Now, how about an Office reunion. But The Office characters from Season 2.
posted by essexjan at 4:08 PM on May 1, 2020

acidnova: The production team shipped a bunch of stuff out to the cast members homes (an iPhone filming rig with lights at a minimum) so I imagine they included a few carefully chosen props as well.
posted by simonw at 1:18 AM on May 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

The latest episode of The Good Place podcast is all about this show and answers every question I had about which props people actually had in their homes!
posted by web-goddess at 2:28 AM on May 2, 2020

I googled it and Michael Schur is/was the Letters to Cleo superfan.
posted by rhizome at 1:48 PM on May 2, 2020

I can't help but feel that the last few years in Washington would have changed Leslie more than that. I guess the Dennis Feinstein bit was as close as they wanted to get to actual commentary.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:44 PM on May 3, 2020

This was just remarkably well executed, and even when it was a little on-the-nose it was just a delight.

I like the modern convention of starting fictional phone numbers with 1 (because a phone number can’t start with that digit, since that indicates a call to a different area code). Also, the attention to typography throughout was so good — the deliberate use of Arial for Jamm’s commercial really sold the “cheaply made” feel.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:37 PM on May 5, 2020

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