Parks and Recreation was a situational comedy that aired for seven seasons on NBC from 2009 to 2015. Amy Poehler starred as Leslie Knope, a bureaucrat that ran a Parks and Recreation Department in Pawnee, Indiana.
She planned to boost her career by building a community park and making improvements to her town. Problems and bizarre antics awaited her and the rest of the cast around every turn.
Before Guardians of the Galaxy fame, Chris Pratt played Andy Dwyer on the sitcom. His character was supposed to be temporary, but producers loved him so much he became a series regular. This show became the launching pad for his Marvel Universe fame.
The first episode of the final season, titled “2017,” aired on January 13, 2015. This gave viewers a clue that there was a time jump. But why?
The ‘Parks and Rec’ time jump
Somehow, time in Pawnee moved two years into the future. Loyal fans knew something was up when the final season trailer used the Back to the Future font in the show title.
The final episode, “One Last Ride: Part 2”, aired February 24, 2015. Leslie (Amy Poehler) has the opportunity to run for governor of Indiana in the year 2025. This final time jump occurred in the previous episode, “One Last Ride: Part 1”. It was an in-depth look at how each of the main characters was faring 10 years into the future.
Why Amy Poehler didn’t want to work with babies
The real reason behind the 2017 time jump was based on a special request from Amy Poehler. She is the mother of two boys, Archie born in 2008 and Abel born in 2010. She started working on Parks and Recreation four months after giving birth to Archie.
By the time the show ended, her boys were out of diapers and she was done with the baby stage. Her character, however, was just getting started with babies – three in fact.
At the end of Season 6, in the episode “One in 8,000,” it was revealed that Leslie and Ben (Adam Scott) were having triplets.
At that time, she told producers, “We’re doing a time jump so I don’t have to work with babies.” She stated, “I’ve had my share of babies for the last three years. I’m not doing another year of babies. Especially triplets.”
Producers listened, thus the time jump. The season opener reveals the much-anticipated triplets as three-year-olds. Looks like Poehler got her way and didn’t have to worry about crying babies on the set for her last season. How’s that for Baby Mama drama?
Fan reactions to the final season
Parks and Recreation had a loyal fan base that was sad to see the show end. This comedy-filled show kept viewers coming back week after week. For seven seasons, they welcomed all the crazy characters into their homes and they were going to miss them dearly.
The sitcom itself had a great effect on popular culture. As the show wrapped up all the loose ends, fans took to social media to discuss their feelings about the emotional season closer. The topic trended on Twitter on the day of the season finale (#ParksFarewell) as fans virtually joined together to console one another.
The consensus on Twitter was that fans held back tears while laughing uncontrollably throughout the final episode.
Despite their sadness, viewers seemed to be satisfied with how writers closed out the story of everyone that lived and thrived in Pawnee, Indiana. Viewers were happy that writers chose to take a look into the future to see what happened to each of the main characters. This gave them the closure they needed to say goodbye.
Chris Pratt seemed to sum up what the fans were feeling at the time of the final episode: “I hope that I could possibly have the good fortune of finding another group of people like this, but I don’t expect I ever will.”