Written by Megan LaBruna
Parks & Rec Premiere Plot Summary:
The year is 2017. The Pawnee parks department as we know it is no more. The town of Pawnee is up for bid as the Newport family has decided to sell the entire town to make a ton of money. Sides have been drawn and alliances have been made. The fight has begun with a face-full of cake; which side will you chose?
Your favorite parks department is back…in the year 2017? Yes, this season of NBC’s Parks and Rec takes place in the future and the future does not look pretty, except for Leslie (Amy Poehler), she now has bangs and they look great! It’s hard to believe, but the parks department is no more; everyone has gone their separate ways. The Dwyer’s have become boring responsible adults shockingly, a fact that appalls April (Aubrey Plaza). Andy (Chris Pratt) stars in his own TV show based on his Johnny Karate persona. He even has a special guest Barry (formerly Larry who was formerly Jerry, whose real name is Gary, who now goes by Terry (Jim O’Heir))! Ben (Adam Scott) and April are currently working in city hall, Ben as the City Manager and April as Executive Director of something she doesn’t care to learn the title for. Donna’s (Rhetta) engaged and running a website from what I gathered. Tom (Aziz Ansari) is currently running Tom’s Bistro and has even expanded to several eateries including one in a decommissioned helicopter, which is quintessential Tom. And Leslie is still running on all cylinders trying to win the Newport’s land for the National Parks department she now runs. Unfortunately, another opponent is outbidding her in the bidding war and that opponent is Ron (Nick Offerman). Gasp! Ron?! Yes, apparently Ron is dead to Leslie now. I warned you the future was bleak.
Ron now runs his own company, which entitled Very Good Building & Development Co., because he wanted the title to reflect the work…at least some things never change. He has partnered with Grizzly, a new company that seems to have skyrocketed Pawnee into the future of technology. They’ve provided all the members of Pawnee with free futuristic tablets and Wi-Fi and are now offering $90 million to buy the Newport land from the former Sweetums owners. Leslie, working with a government budget of $2 million, appears to stand no chance against Ron and his partners, but this is Leslie we’re talking about, and she doesn’t take “Knope” for an answer.
Yes, there have been some big changes, but the Pawnee crew is still in there somewhere. Little hints of them can be seen throughout the episode, such as when Leslie brings “war” cookies to those who have sided with Ron. She even spelled “war” with a heart, classic Leslie. I don’t particularly love that they’ve jumped into the future and everyone isn’t friends, but I also said that about One Tree Hill when they fast forwarded five years, and that ended up turning out better than expected. With only a half of a season to tie up a show that has been one of my favorites, I don’t know how they’ll finalize everything and make everyone friends again (probably with a lot of sugar). But where there’s a will there’s a way, and if there isn’t a will, Leslie will make a way. Viewers have seen promise of mended friendship ties towards the end of the second episode when Leslie and Ron team together to save Jeremy Jam from the broken shadow of a man Tammy (Megan Mullally) has turned him into. Yes, the return of Tammy “2”…again, I’ve told you 2017 is a dark time! Tammy does not disappoint, she is back and crazier than ever.
There are a few things I will be keeping my eye out for this season based on the first two episodes. I have a feeling something is going to go terribly wrong with this whole Grizzle company and their free tablets, because how could it not when they’re putting a ton of emphasis on it. Unless the writers are using impressive product placement for a new brand of futuristic tablets that we have yet to see until 2017. April will hopefully find her way to a fulfilling career, ideally not guided by Joan Calamezzo’s latest book release Game of Joans. A potential love connection or disaster could be brewing between Tom and Lucy (Natalie Morales). I’m hopeful audiences will receive a flashback or an explanation of what “Morningstar” is, which appears to be the event that turned Leslie and Ron against each other. I’m sure we’ll have another Tammy sighting, despite having seen more than enough of her in the library during this episode. While it would take a miracle for audiences to have one more Lil’ Sebastian appearance, I am keeping my fingers crossed that Pawnee gets a visit from Anne (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) before the end of the season, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Parks and Recreation’s farewell season airs Tuesdays on NBC.