ByRyann Whelan, writer at
Yes to life, yes to love, yes to staying in more!
Ryann Whelan

With the premiere of the final season of 'Parks and Recreation' slated for January 13th, now is the perfect time to catch up on the last six seasons of the stellar NBC comedy. The end of 'Parks and Rec' marks the end of an era for NBC comedies and unfortunately it seems it's getting a hasty send-off, with back-to-back episodes being burned out over the course of seven weeks. However, we should all take this time to revisit the show in all it's glory and here are a few reasons why:

1. Chris Pratt

We know him now as a dashing leading man, helming superhero franchises and looking fantastic in a vest, on a bike, surrounded by raptors. But before he was roguishly charming on the big screen, he was [Parks and Recreation](series:214218)’s doughy and endearing man-child Andy Dwyer. Enjoy six seasons of Pratt committing to some pretty impressive physical comedy, being relentlessly enthusiastic and adorable, improving killer adlibs, and passionately singing songs you need in your life, such as “5,000 Candles in the Wind” and “Catch Your Dreams.” And while for most of the show, he’s sloppier and pudgier than we’ve seen him as of late, his plad-clad Andy is like a puppy—cute, energetic, probably smelly, but loveable. Plus, his altar-ego Burt Macklin, FBI, is going to save the world.

2. It’s Positive and Happy

Sure, Ron is a little prickly, Donna can straddle the line between sassy and nasty, April hates everything, and Jerry/Larry is the butt of every joke (often butt-related jokes). And the people of Pawnee can be capable of some pretty powerful hate when it comes to the rival town of Eagleton or healthy food. However, at it’s heart, Parks and Rec is about a community that loves and supports each other and strives to make the world a better place. Even in the face of idiot townspeople and government bureaucracy, Leslie Knope is a steamroller of positive energy and optimism and her ferocious love for her town and her friends is infectious. I’m not saying Parks and Rec will make you a better person, but it’ll probably come closer than Tosh.O.

3. Leslie’s Relationships

On that note, perhaps the best thing about Leslie Knope is her love for her friends. She cares so passionately and genuinely for her staff and for Pawnee. In particular, her devotion to and admiration of Ann results in hundreds of creative and weirdly specific compliments, gifts so great they’re almost annoying, and ultimately, a fantastic portrayal of female friendship on television. And her relationship with Ben is pretty much the ideal. They love and support one another through all kinds of ups and downs and they're pretty much adorable and perfect every stage of their relationship. Plus there’s no better way to show love than to care about your partner’s obsessions, like Ben’s toleration of Leslie’s Biden infatuation and Leslie’s attempts to keep up with his nerdiness.

4. Treat ‘Yo Self

Tom and Donna’s annual Treat ‘Yo Self festivities are truly inspired. Next time you’re wavering on an indulgence, like a dessert, bunch of cashmere and velvet, or maybe a Batman costume, just remember Tom and Donna’s advice and: Treat. Yo. Self. It’s the best day of the year!

5. Ben Wyatt

If you’re here, you’re likely a geek, or at least geek-adjacent, which means you’ll appreciate Ben Wyatt. The Game-of-Thrones-watching-Star Wars-sequel-speculating-fan-fiction-writing nerd represents our community excellently. He’s a subtle and multi-faceted character, so he’s relatable rather than a caricature and the jokes aren’t just one-note nerd teasing. Treat Yo Self to a little Ben Wyatt.

6. Guest Stars

From Ben Schwartz's swag-happy disaster Jean-Ralphio, to Paul Rudd's terrifically childish and spoiled Bobby Newport, Parks is loaded with amazing guest stars. The crown jewels must be Ron's ex-wives, Patricia Clarkson as cold and controlling Tammy, and Megan Mullaly as sex-crazed, psychopath Tammy. That's right, they're both named Tammy, and that's just a taste.

Also worth noting is Pawnee's media, populated by excellent guest stars -- radio DJs Crazy Ira and the Douche, boozy and ridiculous talk show host Joan Callamezzo, and the indescribable Perd Hapley.

7. Swansonisms

Trust me on this one. There are so many reasons to love Ron Swanson, this list could all be Swanson-related. Just take my advice and watch. No, better, take Ron's advice, it's always sterling. Heed his mustachio wisdom.


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