'Parks and Recreation' Is Comforting On A Whole New Level Now
Possibly because someone somewhere wished for more classic TV and movie cast reunions on a monkey's paw, we've gotten a ton of virtual hang-outs with famous pop-culture ensembles during this pandemic. Usually, it's to benefit some sort of charity or to raise awareness of how attention-starved some celebrities are right now. While some of these reunions are full of the usual chit-chat and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, the Parks And Recreation gang actually performed a whole new episode over Zoom.
Which actually makes the show retroactively better. Why? Well, it inadvertently turns the series finale into a beacon of hope in this craptastic year. The finale routinely jumps ahead in time, showing us flash-forwards of where our beloved Pawneeians end up. For example, we see April and Andy handing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween ... in 2022.
If we're to accept that the recent special is canon, then in the world of Parks, COVID-19 is still a part of the larger story. This implies that, even though the characters have endured the same pandemic we have, we'll still get back to some sense of normalcy in the near future. Obviously, the show didn't intend any of this, but it's amazing how perfectly the events of 2020 fit into the universe of the show; in the finale, we see Tom planning to expand his restaurant business in 2019. Then, in the future, we learn that Tom's business has tanked due to an unforeseen economic collapse and a beef shortage -- two things that are actually happening right now.
Of course, the show hasn't nailed all of its comedic predictions of the future (lest Kevin James somehow lands the role of Jason Bourne), but the already comforting show has become extra comforting now that it retroactively sends the message that we're eventually going to make it through this terrible moment in time.
Then again, the finale also includes a scene in which Joe Biden plays himself in 2025, but he's seemingly not living in the White House, and not a single person refers to him as "President Biden."
... so there's that.
Top Image: NBC/Universal