Parks and Recreation: winding down?

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by the G-man, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  2. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    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."

    :lol:
     
  4. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. lurok

    lurok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Pretty much same as yours.
     
  6. 1001001

    1001001 I Like the Beats and the Shouting Moderator

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    Yeah, a spin off is probably a bad idea. I just hate to see Ron go. He is the very definition of Greatness.

    [​IMG]

    :techman:
     
  7. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I haven't seen all 11 seasons, but Frasier seems like a show that had a fairly good run.
     
  9. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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. ;)
     
  10. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Sto-Vo-Kory

    Sto-Vo-Kory Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  12. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  14. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^
    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.
     
  15. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It did but the last few seasons were much weaker than the peak years.
     
  16. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I still like Pratt, and I still very much like Andy's relationship with April. However, outside of that, of all the characters on the show, he's become the most caricatured. He's starting to approach Peter Griffin levels of stupidity.
     
  17. Campe98

    Campe98 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It certainly seems that they're trying to wrap up the show with Leslie eyeing a larger job in Chicago(?) But with the show picked up for season seven, it won't happen this season. If I were a betting man, I'd say the show will probably end next year. I love the show but there's something to be said about ending on its own time, unlike, oh, I don't know, HIMYM.
     
  18. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    It's a fantasy world, to be sure. As you pointed out before, Leslie wouldn't have been allowed to remain at the Parks Dept. while serving on the council. And how big is Pawnee supposed to be, anyway? They talk about it like it's a small town, but it seems to have all kinds of local businesses and companies, a TV station and NPR affiliate.

    Anyway, going back to the OP, I definitely think the show should be wound up. The characters have gone from being funny real people to just bizarre people. Which was OK, but in the last couple of seasons the sharpness of the writing seems to be losing out to the just plain absurd, though we do know all the main characters have hearts of gold. The cuteness of the "Leslie + Ben" relationship (it must be cute, because they keep telling us it is) wore out for me a long time ago, to the point I almost want to skip forward whenever they are on screen together. Really, I don't find the Leslie character funny at all, her OCD organizing of everything is more annoying than anything else. They probably should have gone the Sheriff Tayor route and just had her play straight to all the oddballs around her.
     
  19. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Duly noted and that's what I kept telling myself. However, it just seemed more odd to me than some of the other "fantasy" scenarios that they conjure up simply because it seemed to contradict the internal logic of the show itself wherein the city was always a few steps away from another fiscal crisis.

    The "official" website for the City of Pawnee lists the population as being 79,218. That's higher than I would have guessed. Of course, to a TV writer in Los Angeles, anything under a million people is probably a small town.


    Until she lost the city council recall, I found Leslie's character completely charming and usually not overplayed. These days, it does seem as if they are writing the character more broadly. However, at least they are acknowledging it somewhat by having Ron comment on her "craziness level" going up to eight and her saying its because she's freaked out about possibly leaving Pawnee.

    However, now that they've put that idea in the mix (leaving Pawnee) they need to run with it and not drag it out. I say finish up with next season and go out while the show is still enjoyable (even if not at its peak).
     
  20. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    As much as I love Amy Poehler, I think my main problem with the show this season is Leslie. She's kind of treading water at this point, and the writers aren't giving her a sense of direction and she's becoming really annoying. Where do they go with her in a new full season? Leslie should take the job in Chicago after Season 5 and that's the end of the show.

    I still like the other characters and I'm glad Pratt was back full time because Andy might be the best character on the show.