EJ: “Filibuster” – For me, his episode is what Parks and Recreation is about. Leslie has to leave Ben’s birthday party for an emergency late-night council session. She filibusters Jamm’s measure to deny the citizens of the newly-incorporated Eagleton the right to vote in municipal elections. It’s a great performance on Amy Poehler’s part as she just tries to keep talking despite the new obstacles Jamm keeps throwing her way. Eventually, she learns that the Eagletonians plan to vote against her in the recall election – pulling off this filibuster will only hurt her. But because she’s Leslie Knope, she keeps going because it’s the right thing to do. That’s the core of Leslie right there, and this episode expresses it so perfectly.
Since we both had the finale as our favorite episode of the season (how could you not?), we decided to write up some final thoughts on the finale and the series as a whole.
EJ: There’s a lot to say about Parks and Recreation, but the first thing that occurs to me is that it ended up being the Mad Men of comedy. Not in terms of overall thesis or approach. But the two shows share a creative quality and I think that’s part of the reason why Parks went out at a quality level that you rarely see in a long-running sitcom. Usually when a show has gone on long enough to earn a planned final season, we’re all readiy for it to be over. We watch those last episodes hoping to be reminded of the glory days. But Parks went out on a high, and it’s a relief that it didn’t stick around long enough to lose most of the main cast and get kind of crummy. I would have loved another season or five, but I’m so happy that there aren’t any bad seasons. When I catch an episode in syndication years from now, I won’t have that sense of disappointment when an installment from the lousy years comes up.