Here’s What All Your Fave ‘Parks and Recreation’ Characters are Doing During The Coronavirus Pandemic
“A Parks and Recreation Special” might be one of the best television moments to happen since quarantine began. It’s also the first time we’ve seen a show put the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis into a scripted episode of something. The special aired on NBC on April 30 in an effort to raise awareness about best practices during the pandemic, but most importantly to raise money for Feed America.
And, of course, it brought back everyone’s favorite Pawneeans. There were some special guests audiences didn’t know about beforehand, like Paul Rudd as Bobby Newport, along with familiar faces. And if you were wondering: yes, Bobby is in his own world, not knowing about the virus at all. Here’s how all the other characters are holding up.
Like the true force of nature she is, Leslie Knope is in charge of the phone tree that checks on everyone from the original show. She’s head of the Department of Interior, so on top of checking on her nearest and dearest, she’s also heading tons of meetings, calls, and interviews. Not to mention, she has triplets to raise. She’s looking great off of two hours of sleep, but nothing less is expected of Leslie.
Ben is a little off his rocker in this special. Remember when he went through a bit of an episode and created a claymation “film” that took all day but only lasted a few seconds? Well, he’s already at that stage, again, except he wants to combine that with his game, Cones of Dunshire. Yeah, there’s a lot going on in his head. But he’s a congressman and makes it his job to educate the people as well, along with Leslie. They’re (thankfully) still happily married.
April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer
You know who else are still together? April and Andy. And April, being who she is, is in a dark, mystical-looking den while Andy is also on brand and locked inside a shed. He, Bert Macklin FBI, refuses to get help from April. On top of that, Andy makes a special appearance as Johnny Karate on Perd’s morning show, and lets everyone know washing your hands is important. Which it is, but it’s been important. He apparently just got that memo.
In a recent interview with Seth Meyers, Nick Offerman said that Ron Swanson would be hiding out in his cabin. And he was right! Ron is out in his cabin with his family, living off the land for the most part, and killing animals so he doesn’t have to go to the grocery store. He also has a surprise intruder: Tammy II, his evil ex-wife (played by Offerman’s real-life wife, Megan Mullally). And behind his tough exterior, as usual, Ron finds a way to give back to Leslie for all she’s done.
Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger
Ann and Chris are still “Life Partners” living in Michigan, and Ann actually went back to nursing during the pandemic, to help any way she can. Because of this, she has to self-isolate from Chris and their two kids so that she doesn’t get them sick if she’s carrying it from the hospital. Chris’ intense health regimen has paid off in more ways than one, because he’s donating tons of blood to help those in need, along with Megan Rapinoe and a panther? Either way, it checks out all around.
Oh, poor Garry, once Larry and Jerry. No one wants to call the poor guy, even though he’s now the Mayor of Pawnee. Mayor or not, he’s still good ‘ole Garry. Thank goodness he canceled a lick-and-pass event in town, otherwise Pawnee might have seen a massive spike in cases.
Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle
Tom and Donna have a great reunion, with Tom in “Bali,” where he was supposed to be with his book tour, but it got canceled. Donna is living it up in her nice home with her cute husband Joe. She states how much teachers should be making because it’s a lot of hard work.
Overall, the Parks and Recreation special episode reunion was delightful for fans everywhere. It sort of contextualized the pandemic in a Pawnee way, and made the world a little happier for the 30 minutes it was on.