“Parks and Recreation” was a brilliantly funny show; it was also somewhat of a surprise. It took a year or two to really get the ball rolling, but once it did, it quickly became one of the funniest shows on television. While it was crazy and at times off-beat, it did a wonderful job of representing local government in a way that few other shows out there. Even if it was fictional, we do like to think that there are many people out there who do on some level care about their jobs to the same degree that Leslie Knope did.
Now, is it possible that we could ever see it come back on the air to tell more stories from Pawnee and beyond? We’ve discussed this possibility often in our TV Revivals series, but there’s probably no better example of the challenges associated with bringing a show back like this one … and for so many reasons.
1. The cast – Aziz Ansari has “Master of None.” Aubrey Plaza is on “Legion,” and Adam Scott has a big part on “Big Little Lies.” Retta has an upcoming project, and we also know that both Chris Pratt and Amy Poehler are in the process of making several movies. Trying to get those schedules together would be a nightmare.
2. The flash-forwards – Thanks to the series finale, we know how many of these stories end already, including with Leslie eventually becoming President. Unless you were going to be aging up the actors significantly to play these parts, you have to set it somewhere along the way. Is there the same tension there if you know where the stories are all going to end?
Executive producer Mike Schur did tell Variety after the series finale ended that this could be something that he’s open to down the road — but it also wasn’t at the front of his mind:
“I honestly hadn’t thought about it at all. I don’t know why, I just hadn’t. When you’re writing an ending it’s probably not a good idea to have one foot out the door and think, “Well, maybe this isn’t the ending!” You need to appropriately, emotionally deal with the ending. But I don’t know. The cast is about to disperse and dominate Hollywood for the next 25 years. It’s unlikely they’ll ever have time at the same moment. But I’ll never say never. It’s the greatest job I’ve ever had, and maybe ever will have. I would never say no. If the opportunity presents itself and everybody’s interested, I’ll be right there with my old-timey typewriter ready to bang out another episode.”
Ironically, Schur is also busy now working on “The Good Place,” so he doesn’t have all that much room in his schedule at this point, either.
In the end, maybe someday we’ll get a cast reunion in some sort of viral video or on a late-night show, and it may be the best that we can hope for. While we feel like the reaction to this happening would be all sorts of amazing, the reality here is that there’s very few ways in which to envision it coming together. It’d be hard to construct the right story, let alone make everyone available.
Would you be interested in a “Parks and Recreation” revival if one ever came about? Be sure to share in the comments! (Photo: NBC.)