Bad news for any Parks and Recreation fans out there. On Monday it was announced that the beloved sitcom will be entering its final season next month, with the series finale set to air in February. It was also announced that two episodes would be airing per week instead of just one, which has quite a few fans upset as the already shortened season will now feel even more diminished. Commencing on the 13th of January, a total of thirteen episodes will air over the course of six weeks, with the final episode airing on the 24th of February.
It’s baffling why NBC would want to give one of their most acclaimed shows a hurried send-off rather than a celebratory one, but it’s also unsurprising given how neglected the comedy has been since its premiere. Parks and Recreation has always been the underdog in terms of awards and ratings, which seems almost fitting given its focus on underdogs itself – set in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, it follows the staff of the eponymous government department and stars Amy Poehler as the perky and optimistic deputy director, Leslie Knope, who dreams of making a difference in the world of politics. Since its premiere in 2009 it has been lauded for its smart humour and stellar cast, the latter of which also includes the likes of Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, and Aubrey Plaza.
Little is currently known about what will happen in the final episodes, though it has been confirmed that cast members Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe will return after departing the show last season. Season six left on a shocking cliffhanger as the final scene showed a three year time-jump in which Leslie – now a mother of triplets – ultimately decided to take the new job as head of the Midwest Parks Service, but not before convincing her boss to let her continue to work in Pawnee. It’s most likely season seven will pick up from there, though what will become of the show’s other characters is mostly guesswork.
Words by Samantha King