An Open Letter to PARKS AND RECREATION EPs Greg Daniels and Mike Schur: Thank You

parks and recreation finale

Mike Schur and Greg Daniels,

For over a decade you both have given us television that has made us laugh, cry, laugh some more, and sometimes make us feel extremely uncomfortable. Nonetheless, it’s always entertained us. Whether it’s Rainn Wilson ripping the mask off of a CPR training dummy or making Amy Poehler try to walk across an ice rink while “Catch Your Dream” blasts in the background.

Being the final episode of my favorite show on television is tonight I felt it would be appropriate to thank the both of you for a couple of things.

Although the jokes and quick bits always made me laugh (still not sure how Pratt came up with that “network connectivity” punch… it still gets me) the love and heart of the show is what kept me and millions of others watching week after week. Thank you for giving us beautifully written scenes. Ben (Adam Scott) and Leslie’s proposal is one of the sweetest scenes I’ve ever seen.

Thank you for Amy Poehler. I could go on and on as to why she embodies everything Leslie Knope is, and why NO ONE could play Leslie better than her but this note would never end. Thank you for putting her back on my screen after SNL and thank you for making her rap “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

Thank you for giving Leslie two great loves, adorable geek, Ben Wyatt and beautiful tropical fish, Ann. (Rashida Jones) They helped shape so much of who Leslie was as a person and they made her so strong.

I never thought the death of a miniature horse could make me sob- but it did. Thank you for Lil Sebastian.

Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Jim O’Heir, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Retta, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, Aubrey Plaza, and Amy Poehler. Thank you for this magical combination of brilliant people.

I have an embarrassing secret to admit. I’ve never watched a show from the premiere and stayed with it till the end. Somewhere in the middle I always leave and come back or I start late and play catch up. That was until April 9, 2009. I was fourteen and in my freshman year of high school when I sat down to watch a new comedy on NBC. I was mesmerized, and couldn’t wait for the next episode. Watching Leslie’s passion and love for her tiny little parks department was inspiring. I instantly knew if I ever found a career that I loved as much as Leslie loved that department- I would be okay. Thank you for giving me that feeling at an age where I still wasn’t so sure as to what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Finally, thank you for making us trust you. Over the years I’ve watched my favorite shows stray from their original tone, lose their hilarity, and plummet in content- PARKS never did. I always worry when a finale roles around. The creators hold so much power in their hands and have complete control over our last meeting with these people that we’ve grown to love. With you guys, I’ve never worried. I’ve never questioned any choice this show had made in the last seven seasons. You’ve never given me a reason to.

Thank you.

I love you and I like you,

Victoria Nelli

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  • Ashley

    You did a really great job with this post. 🙂

    I think there are a lot of us out there who feel exactly this way. “The Office” and “Parks & Recreation” are the only two shows that have been “my” shows, my “must-see” weekly dates. They make me laugh, yes, but they’re also full of warmth and truth and people I wish were my friends and colleagues instead of fictional characters portrayed by actors.

    I feel like a long, great chapter of my life is ending, but it’s okay because it was all really beautiful to watch.