When the finale shows us Tom’s future, he’s a motivational speaker and he demonstrates the various types of personalities and their paths to success, all based on his friends. I love that, because it absolutely makes sense. The finale shows us everybody’s bright future, and it’s all earned. We’ve spent seven years with them, seeing what makes them special. All of these people made their lives and the world around them better by working hard and being true to themselves. Nobody won the lottery or profited at the expense of someone else There couldn’t be two more different people than Tom Haverford and Ron Swanson, but neither of them is wrong. They can both succeed, they can both be happy, and best of all, they can be friends. Parks and Rec had the biggest, warmest heart on television.
And with all that said, Parks was so good at being weird. The horrifying murals depicting Pawnee history, Ron Swanson’s hidden gold, every single thing Perd Hapley said. The “child size” drink at Paunch Burger that was large enough to hold a liquefied child. Burt Macklin and Janet Snakehole. Usually you can get weird or you can get sweet. Parks and Recreation mixed the two better than any show I can think of. It was network TV’s best comedy and it stayed that way right up until the end.