By Anne Jorgenson
It’s been a year since the series finale of Parks and Recreation, so it seems like the ideal time to take a trip down memory lane and talk about the beauty that is this show (although, lets be honest, it’s always a good time to talk about Parks and Recreation). All the characters are gold in their own rights, and together, they make one of the best shows ever to run – bold claim, yes, but one I will stand by.`
First, we have Leslie Knope, our fearless, breakfast-obsessed leader and friend-we’ve-always-wanted-but-are-also-a-little-scared-of-actually-having. Her intensity is second to none, and her analogies are a constant source of confusion and endearment (you know what I mean).
And then there’s Ann Perkins, the real love of Leslie’s life, who is intelligent, successful, goal-oriented, and able to accept anything thrown her way (including the strangely descriptive compliments Leslie gives her).
But we can’t forget about Ben Wyatt, our calzone loving boy next door that has a dark past – yes, I am referring to Ice Town.
And yes, I have to mention Donna Meagle, the strong, decisive, no-shit-taking person we all want to be. Treat yo’ self 2017 is so close and yet so far.
Then we have April Ludgate, the girl that won’t actually kill you in your sleep (or will she?), but will have the time of her life making you think she will.
Don’t worry; we’re not stopping anytime soon. After all, we haven’t yet mentioned Andy Dwyer, the golden retriever placed in the body of a man – he’s enthusiastic, dumb enough to fall for stupid tricks yet surprisingly intelligent, great with kids, strong, good-natured, and of course adorable.
There’s also Tom Haverford, the innovative dreamer. Could you imagine the wonderfulness that would ensue if all clubs served Snake Juice and were played by DJ Roomba?
And let’s just take a moment to recognize Jerry/Larry/Terry/Gary Gergich, the sweet guy that doesn’t have an unkind bone in his body even though he’s everyone’s verbal punching bag.
We also have to mention Ron Swanson, the stubborn, cynical man who won’t yell at children to get off of his lawn but will calmly go up to them, explain why the current government is a horrible system, and tell them to go do something useful like learn to make their own fishing rods so that they know how to provide for themselves when they’re older.
Last but certainly not least is Chris Traeger, the overly health-conscious optimist who has more energy and motivation than the Energizer Bunny – you know, the definition of our New Years’ resolutions.
This show has everything you could ever want: sarcasm, breakfast, puns, Jean-Ralphio, archenemies, and strife. Of course there’s more to it than that, but you have to watch the show to truly understand its amazingness.
After all, Parks and Recreation gave us Galentine’s Day, the wonderful day before Valentine’s Day where we get to celebrate with our female friends and forget about the pesky Hallmark holiday a mere 24 hours away. All of these characters are people you should want to be like (sometimes). They respect everyone as human beings, aren’t prejudiced (except against librarians), and are just genuinely good people at heart. Watching the characters interact over the course of the series and deal with their issues is great because they’re just so damn sensible about everything.
They’re motivated too. We have Ann Perkins trying to start a family on her own, Leslie trying to better the parks and people of Pawnee, Tom trying to become a young entrepreneur, Ron trying to convince everyone to live within their means and be self-sustaining, Jerry trying to be kind no matter the circumstances, and April trying to defy the rules and create her own position.
So thank you Parks and Recreation for teaching me so much about life and providing me with some excellent role models. Happy anniversary!