Home » A+E » Opinion: Imminent ‘Parks and Recreation’ ending a move that puts ‘money over a masterpiece’

Opinion: Imminent ‘Parks and Recreation’ ending a move that puts ‘money over a masterpiece’

Amy Poehler arrives to the 'Parks and Recreation' panel during the 2014 PaleyFest in Hollywood, Calif. March 18. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Amy Poehler arrives to the ‘Parks and Recreation’ panel during the 2014 PaleyFest in Hollywood, Calif. March 18.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

That’s it, it’s over. NBC has given “Parks and Recreation” one more season to live.

The network announced on Sunday that the mockumentary-style comedy’s seventh season is set to be its last.

Shortly after the news broke, word got out that Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) had actually chained herself to her desk in protest —what a gem she is.

This must be what Derek Jeter felt like, calling it quits before the final season even began. If the show had to end, I would have rather “Parks and Rec” ended after Season 6. Instead, I have to sit through the last season’s episodes, knowing full and well that a little part of me will die when “Parks and Rec” is no longer.

Death always breeds time for introspection, and my brain has been racked with questions of just how hard it’s going to be for me to move on from the series.

Where am I going to learn ingenious slang words for all my favorite dishes and eating utensils? What am I going to do when I blow my chance with my future wife because I broke down on our first date right after I ordered the “chicky chicky parm parm”? Who can I turn to for support when I ask a waiter for “super water,” and he has no clue that all I want is a root beer?

If you shed a tear thinking about how these problems will affect you too, just go ahead and let it all out, kid. Surely you’re not alone. Mourning the death of your favorite show is a natural part of life, plus you know Leslie Knope is crying three times as hard.

The end of “Parks and Recreation,” along with other NBC shows “Community” and “Parenthood,” is coming at a time when the network is attempting to wipe their comedic slate clean, ending three shows and replacing them with seven new ones. Strictly from an NBC business standpoint, this makes a little bit of sense.

Some of the most popular primetime television shows of the past two decades haven’t made it past 10 seasons, including “Friends” (10) and “The Office” (nine). While some exceptions exist, like “Two and a Half Men” (11 and counting), the fact of the matter is clear: The shelf life for a great TV show is a decade at the most.

On top of this reality, I think NBC is looking to cater to a demographic who favors more traditional sitcoms over a high-brow comedy. Maybe the ratings justify NBC’s move, but does that mean NBC should dumb down their comedic content at the expense of loyal viewers?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably check out a few of the upcoming new comedies on NBC. I like Craig Robinson, known most notably as Darryl from “The Office,” and he’ll star in the new comedy “Mr. Robinson,” where he plays a struggling artist and musician who takes a substitute teaching job to make some extra cash.

But many of the new shows are just regurgitated scripts from previous network TV shows, mixed in with a present-day setting. “Marry Me” features a couple who have been together forever, but delay their engagement after an argument, spending the rest of the show trying to wait for the perfect moment to pop the question.

Seriously NBC, another romantic comedy?

You know what show “Marry Me” really is? It’s “How I Met Your Mother,” except we already know the mother and Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney Stinson doesn’t exist. I don’t even need to “wait for it” to know this show won’t be legendary.

As I mix in YouTube clips of Tom Haverford (played by Aziz Ansari) and Jean-Ralphio (played by Ben Schwartz) in between blasting Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” throughout my neighborhood, I want to take this time to say my goodbyes to “Parks and Recreation.”

First and foremost, Ron Swanson (played by Nick Offerman) — you’ve been the best TV dad I could ask for and I don’t think I’ll ever eat a piece of bacon without thinking of you again.

To Leslie Knope — please run for president in 2016, because I think Hilary might still be crazy. Either way, I’m writing you in on my ballot.

To April Ludgate (played by Aubrey Plaza) — when you finally decide to be my wife, the title is yours, so just call me. Seriously, even if I’m married at the time, call me. Divorces don’t even take that long anymore.

To Tommy Haverford — you taught me how to dream, and also taught me to never go out with a girl who doesn’t like apps and “zerts.”

And lastly, to Donna (played by Mariette Sirleaf) — just keep doing you, girl. You know you’ve got it goin’ on, and it can’t be long before you direct the next Leo DiCaprio film.

I always knew “Parks and Rec” couldn’t last forever, but to me, cutting the cord after Season 7 shows cowardice and a lack of spine from NBC. Great shows don’t come around often, but when a show seems so realistic that viewers can forget it’s just a TV show, then that show is worth saving.

Instead of putting faith in “Parks and Rec” for a couple more seasons, the network decided to take money over a masterpiece, and a little part of me hopes NBC pays the price for it.

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