It has now been two seasons since the glory days of Parks and Recreation’s run. The show that was once dismissed as just an Office-ripoff and vehicle for Amy Poehler ended up becoming one of the best programs on television. As one of the best programs on television, Parks and Recreation has also found a way to remain entertaining despite now being in the twilight era of its run as season six goes to show. While season six did at times lack focus, it still found a way to be funny and feature great character work all while under immense change.
The sixth season (I can’t believe this show has been on for six years) follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) as she tries to remain in office after the town has called a recall vote against her. Leslie decides that her best chance to remain in office is to convince the town that it would be good to incorporate arch-rivals Eagleton into the town now that they have gone bankrupt. Even with a last ditch attempt to remain in office, Leslie must still find a way to prepare for her future if the worst becomes reality and she is recalled. Michael Schur continued as showrunner.
I understand some of the complaints about this season of Parks and Recreation being somewhat of a mess. This season covered a lot of ground and it didn’t always seem neatly done. However, I think everything that this show did this season worked to some degree. The out-of-town premiere and finale (London in the case of the premiere and San Francisco in the case of the finale) were a lot of fun and featured some great character work. The recall storyline had a surprising ending that I didn’t know this show had in it and got some great work out of Leslie Knope. Plus it gave even more screen time to the incredibly funny performance of Jon Glaser as Councilman Jamm. The Eagleton plotline didn’t work as well but it gave us some solid guest performances from Kristen Bell and Sam Elliott. The departure of Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger also wasn’t all that effective but their characters have always been the least effective of the bunch so their departure actually strengthened the show (at least in the immediate aftermath). Finally, the storyline of Leslie trying to find something to do after her failed councilwoman gig did go on for a bit too long but it did reach a satisfying conclusion.
Parks and Recreation still found a way to keep its charm intact in its sixth season.