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Old March 9 2014, 03:24 PM   #1
the G-man
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Parks and Recreation: winding down?

I still enjoy the show, but there seem to signs that it's either intentionally being would down, or the producers should consider doing so.

Lowe and Jones are out the door. Pratt is probably close behind.

April is turning into the new Ann. That she becomes less snarky and more mature makes sense but it means that the character's narrative arc has probably ended.

Ron is clearly the breakout character (in fact, on Hulu at least, Offerman, not Pohler, the person featured in the intros), but the writers seem to have started having trouble writing a consistent voice for a characters whose politics they most likely don't share. There's also the "gimmick" of giving him a wife and then never showing her (though Ron not telling anyone she'd given birth was a pretty good moment).

But most importantly, they're writing (written?) themselves into a narrative corner for Leslie. She's always dreamed of being a state or national political player and sometimes it looks like that's where they're heading, The current episode, where she was offered an EPA job, was a prime example of that. But since we can't have her leave Pawnee without the show being over, she had to demur on what was supposed to be her big dream.

So, either the producers establish an endpoint and start working on a storyline that gets her out of Pawnee, or they spin their wheels for however many seasons they can keep the show going.

Again, there is still a lot to enjoy on the show. And I like the idea of the characters evolving and growing (assuming they still remain funny and consistent). But is the show starting to evolve enough that the story is coming to an end?

Thoughts?
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Old March 9 2014, 04:40 PM   #2
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

Well, it is six seasons old... and yeah this does feel the end run of the series. It's actually kinda playing like the final year despite having been renewed for next year. But it gets horrible ratings despite everyone on it being famous and getting more popular. Kinda like 30 Rock. I can't see it going past Season Seven.
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Old March 9 2014, 04:57 PM   #3
1001001
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

I hope it's not ending soon, but given the ratings it gets it's pretty amazing it's still on at all.

I think this is a very smart, very clever show with a good heart and some very, very funny moments.

I was sorry to Chris and Anne leave. That was, literally, the saddest goodbye ever.



Ron Swanson should get his own spin-off if they do shut down. His character is just brilliant.

"Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to my son: John, Middle Name Redacted, Swanson. John was born sometime ago, weighing multiple pounds and several ounces."

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Old March 9 2014, 05:11 PM   #4
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

The trouble with giving Ron his own spinoff is you either have to ruin his marriage or bring on Lucy Lawless full time. I wouldn't want to give Ron another bad marriage just to justify the show. I suppose you can recast his wife, but I don't know how you could possibly replace Lucy Lawless.

I agree the show is winding down. When you lose your core actors and try to replace them you probably have one season or less left. Just like NewsRadio with Hartman. They're really trying with that guy who yells, but he's so one dimensional and grating it's not going to work.

Also, how long to these shows usually last anyway? Nine seems to be the absolute maximum limit for a sitcom. The Office lasted nine, even ratings monsters like Seinfeld, Roseanne, Friends didn't go past nine. Parks & Rec deserves to end on its own terms, so I hope it decides to pretty soon. It's still a good show but not nearly as good as seasons three and four with the harvest festival and election arcs.
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Old March 9 2014, 05:16 PM   #5
lurok
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

the G-man wrote: View Post
Thoughts?
Pretty much same as yours.
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Old March 9 2014, 05:21 PM   #6
1001001
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
The trouble with giving Ron his own spinoff is you either have to ruin his marriage or bring on Lucy Lawless full time. I wouldn't want to give Ron another bad marriage just to justify the show. I suppose you can recast his wife, but I don't know how you could possibly replace Lucy Lawless.
Yeah, a spin off is probably a bad idea. I just hate to see Ron go. He is the very definition of Greatness.



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Old March 9 2014, 05:45 PM   #7
the G-man
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
...how long to these shows usually last anyway? Nine seems to be the absolute maximum limit for a sitcom....
I can think of a few sitcoms that lasted more than nine years but as a general rule, they are the inexplicably popular crappy ones like "Two and a half men."

Even "the Simpsons" only really had nine good seasons out of the approximately 25 years its been on the air.

"MASH" ran 11 years but by the eighth or ninth season it was more a drama with some comedic moments (ala Hill St Blues or LA Law) than comedy.

In fact, I'd say that probably only "Cheers" did more than nine "good seasons" and even that show overstayed its welcome a bit.
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Old March 9 2014, 06:12 PM   #8
Harvey
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

I haven't seen all 11 seasons, but Frasier seems like a show that had a fairly good run.
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Old March 9 2014, 07:25 PM   #9
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

the G-man wrote: View Post
JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
...how long to these shows usually last anyway? Nine seems to be the absolute maximum limit for a sitcom....
I can think of a few sitcoms that lasted more than nine years but as a general rule, they are the inexplicably popular crappy ones like "Two and a half men."

Even "the Simpsons" only really had nine good seasons out of the approximately 25 years its been on the air.

"MASH" ran 11 years but by the eighth or ninth season it was more a drama with some comedic moments (ala Hill St Blues or LA Law) than comedy.

In fact, I'd say that probably only "Cheers" did more than nine "good seasons" and even that show overstayed its welcome a bit.
Two and a Half Men lasted longer than nine years? My god...even Everybody Loves Raymond stopped before then.

Animated shows are an exception, of course. King of the Hill lasted 11, South Park's running on 17 and Family Guy's in double digits. For rather obvious reasons, all but a handful of the personnel are replaceable and voice acting doesn't lead to more lucrative offers quite the way TV acting does.
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Old March 9 2014, 07:39 PM   #10
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

I've seen people upset that they continually dangle promising/good things in front of the characters (Leslie being on the city commission), only to drop them to "reset" the character. If they take the rest of this season and next season to set up happy futures for the characters, then I'd be happy with the show ending. Though, at least with Leslie, some sort of future coda (like, recently, with 30 Rock) would be appropriate to show her a few years in the future as a Senator or a larger jump to show her as President would be appropriate.

Parks and Recreation, with the exception of Jerry/Larry, has avoided making their characters into one-note jokes (I always use Ross Geller as an example, since I hated him in the last few seasons where it was one ridiculous situation after another designed to show how pitiful he was, such as the spray tan incident, dating an undergrad, etc. To a lesser extent, Andy Bernard, who started out as a joke, was given some development, and then made into a joke again). I'd hate to see that happen to the cast. Let them bow out gracefully at the end of next season, with the, typical "final season" arc of showing the characters move towards their post-finale lives.
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Old March 9 2014, 07:48 PM   #11
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

I disagree completely with the OP.

The show is as great now as it ever was. Each of the characters are fantastic and fully realized but hardly reaching the endpoint of their development or narrative. Earlier this season, Leslie faced a HUGE setback to her dream of becoming a high-ranking public servant when she was recalled from office. Andy's dream of becoming Burt Macklin was dampened similarly and Tom lost his successful business. Ron has taken steps into the 21st century (cellphone for family emergencies) and April has taken steps to becoming a vet (school, job at the animal shelter), but they are both just steps toward a larger goal.

Parks and Rec has always survived on the bubble and the show's creators have always sprinkled possible endgame scenarios throughout the series in case the present season should be its last. Leslie getting elected was one and this EPA job is just the latest. However, now that the show has been unofficially renewed for a seventh season, I'm sure that the job offer will evaporate and she'll once again pursue her dream of being an elected official (which is her actual goal).

As a fan, I hope the show wraps up next season because they've already stretched out NBC's charitable nature beyond expected reason and an 8th season seems highly unlikely. I hope they go out in a satisfying way with enough notice not to rush plans along.

I don't feel that the show is past it's expiration date, creatively or chronologically. Remember: the first P&R season was a pittance of episodes and the show didn't develop into the Parks and Rec that we know until Ben showed up and Mark Brandonowitz (sic) exited. That's when the show's overall theme became about positive change and the writers found their POV voice. That's only about four seasons -- maybe four and a half seasons -- worth of episodes ago. Not what I'd call long in the tooth, by any rate.

For my money, Parks and Rec is still the best current network sitcom and I look forward to every episode. They can wind down next season.
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Old March 9 2014, 09:12 PM   #12
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

I still enjoy the show and wouldn't mind it continuing, but I'd wish they'd write Andy off the show.

I love the character, and I love Chris Pratt, but ever since he's gotten his foot in the door of Hollywood, he just doesn't seem to bother much anymore. I suppose it also doesn't help that Andy is barely there in the show as it is right now. He just randomly pops up in a scene, says something humorous then disappears into the background again.
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Old April 8 2014, 03:34 AM   #13
the G-man
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

The Prom episode: so the school system doesn't have enough money to throw a prom due to the merger of the two towns but the parks department does?
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Old April 8 2014, 11:11 AM   #14
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

^
In a city where it seems everything is solved by the Parks Department, I'm surprised their whole budget strategy isn't "Give it to Parks and let them figure it out." Between Leslie's resourcefulness and Ron's hatred of government, they'll fix any problem from throwing a prom, to handling the town's animals, to coming up with a better way to collect garbage, to fixing your pot hole, etc.
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Old April 8 2014, 12:25 PM   #15
the G-man
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Re: Parks and Recreation: winding down?

Harvey wrote: View Post
I haven't seen all 11 seasons, but Frasier seems like a show that had a fairly good run.
It did but the last few seasons were much weaker than the peak years.
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