We say goodbye to a classic this evening. I’m pretty sad about it. Parks and Recreation picked up where The Office left off, and it might have even been consistently better if you put the two up against each other. I’m serious. I love The Office, but I think Parks was goofier and had a better cast. It also has never taken itself seriously, which is the mark of an awesome comedy.
What better way to send them off than with an arbitrary ranking of its seasons?
Goodnight, sweet prince.
7. Season One
It should come as no shock to anyone that season one is the worst. It was damn near unwatchable TV. Leslie came off as a psychopathic overachiever rather than a lovable do-gooder. Ron Swanson wore a suit. Andy was an unemployed douche loser. April was a weird goth chick. No Chris Traeger. No Jean-Ralphio. Mark Brendanawicz sucked. That guy was the worst. This season was awful. I’m shocked they made it to season two. I always tell people to start on season two when they start watching the show.
Best Episode: “Boys Club”
6. Season Two
Obviously, the writers realized that they had created unbearable characters and decided they needed refinement. In season two, we’re introduced to the “Swanson Pyramid of Greatness,” Sweetums, Tammy Swanson, Galentine’s Day, and the Snakehole Lounge. It still wasn’t enough to make up for the awfulness of Mark Brendanawicz. However, season two was a necessary bridge from the darkness of season one and the glorious arc into greatness that was the middle seasons.
Best Episode: “94 Meetings”
5. Season Seven
The final season of a show almost always ranks among the worst. Time travel is never a good idea. The rift between Leslie and Ron seems a bit unnecessary and silly. There’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll sew up the show perfectly tonight, though. Goodbyes suck. Getting to the goodbye sucks even harder.
Best Episode: Probably the finale
4. Season Six
The meat of Parks came from seasons three to six. Anyone who loves ridiculous white people as much as I do probably has a huge appreciation for the town and characters of Eagleton.
The Pawnee/Eagleton dynamic in the show is funny for anyone who grew up in the suburbs or had friends who lived in a gated community. Again, ridiculous, rich white people are my favorite stereotype and Eagleton parodied them fantastically. What I’m saying is that I want to live in a place like Eagleton. Leslie and Ben’s relationship unfolds like a beautiful flower and this season constantly hits you in the feels.
Best Episode: “Filibuster”
3. Season Three
We get introduced to Chris Traeger and Ben Wyatt, Andy and April get married, Ron Swanson becomes Ron Fucking Swanson, Li’l Sebastian dies, the Harvest Festival gets derailed by angry Native Americans, and Parks and Rec becomes one of the most watchable shows on TV.
Best Episode: “Li’l Sebastian”
2. Season Five
Two words. One character. JEREMY JAMM.
Best Episode: “Soda Tax”
1. Season Four
Much like The Office, Parks and Rec had heart. The moment you realize a show has heart just fills my soul with joy. It happened in The Office when Michael told Jim to never ever give up. Seeing Leslie’s friends rally around her to help her campaign for city council was when it happened in the series. Just a whole lotta heart. The moment when Ann tells her that she won the recount against Bobby Newport is just…man. I loved it.
Best Episode: “Win, Lose, or Draw”.