One Last Ride
February 25, 2015 12:46 PM   Subscribe

How Parks and Recreation Took Aim at Silicon Valley​ (Laura Hudson at Wired): ​
"​Over the course of the season, Leslie remarks on how the character of the town has morphed since the arrival of Gryzzl, with juice bars, yoga studios, and pet hotels popping up across Pawnee. “Everything has changed. This town is going to be unrecognizable in 10 years,” she says wistfully. One episo​​de revolves entirely around trying to save their perennial waffle hangout J.J.’s Diner; thanks to the surging housing market, the property has been bought out by a perfume magnate who plans to flip it for profit.

​"​If that sounds reminiscent of the housing crisis that’s currently plaguing San Francisco—and displacing large numbers of long-time residents—it should. Rental prices in the tech hub city are currently in the highest the nation, with the median price of a one-bedroom apartment hovering at more than $3,400 a month. Meanwhile, local establishments like the Lexington Club (the J.J.’s Diner of lesbian bars) are getting ​​sold to new owners."

The A.V. Club, Alasdair Wilkins:
"Nothing in this finale hit me harder than Ron’s story. In a sense, it’s returning to the same emotional beats we saw in 'Leslie And Ron.' After years of playing Ron as a near superman limited only by his unswerving resistance to change, Nick Offerman again brings out the vulnerable side of Ron, to devastating effect. So much of​ ​'One Last Ride'​ ​is blatant, unapologetic wish fulfillment—and for the record, I am so not complaining when I say that—but Ron’s story is different in that it represents a genuine next step for the character. This isn’t just a Ron who finds himself facing the unfamiliar prospect of an existential crisis, because we already know Ron experienced that back when he left the parks department. Rather, this is a Ron who has legitimately grown, who has recognized that there are more important things than living by some code, and who has the guts to actually reach out to Leslie in his moment of need. It took all seven seasons to get Ron to that point, and the completion of that journey is enough to make 'One Last Ride' worthwhile all on its own. That Ron’s story ends with him paddling a canoe out onto a lake, accepting a job working for the federal government because he recognizes there’s nowhere he would rather be, is just the perfect capstone. Also, Ron looks damn good in that park ranger uniform, but then you already knew that."
​Further reading
​‘Parks and Recreation’ Finale Review: A Sappy End to a Perfect Series​ - Kevin Fallon at The Daily Beast

See also: FanFare
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (37 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
OTOH, The 2017 tablets do look neat. And the GoT spoiler does make sense if you read the books.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:58 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It seems like what is described is aimed more at the gentrification of certain urban neighborhoods that's taking place all over the country than anything that's specific to San Francisco.
posted by gyc at 1:01 PM on February 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


If anyone ever wants to make a show/movie where Leslie, Sue and Erlich take down a triple threat from Gryzzl, Clovis and Hooli, I would appreciate it.
posted by michaelh at 1:06 PM on February 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


There’s a blissful, willful ignorance that permeates this yearning for frictionless chill, a desire to remain untouched by the downer realities of the ungrateful or less fortunate.

Yes, I agree with this! I think "Wouldn't it be tight if everyone was chill to each other?" was a brilliant tech company slogan because it's just so glib. It makes it seem like anyone who's not being "chill" is the problem rather than potentially making legitimate complaints about problematic things being done by the other party. It's an immensely, immensely privileged statement that assumes that just being "chill" is what's important. I thought it was absolutely stunningly great in the way it encapsulated a lot of what is wrong with the way the tech industry treats consumers and marginalized groups.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:07 PM on February 25, 2015 [37 favorites]


Gah, not watching until Thursday night (with a friend) is going to kill me at this rate... Already been spoiled twice online today. (But it's comedy, so as long as the JOKES don't get spoiled, I'll live.)
posted by maryr at 1:12 PM on February 25, 2015


If anyone ever wants to make a show/movie where Leslie, Sue and Erlich take down a triple threat from Gryzzl, Clovis and Hooli, I would appreciate it.

So Ah-veee-ahhh-tow reigns supreme!
posted by tittergrrl at 1:15 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I went to Cupertino high school. I cut 'cots as a kid when there were still orchards. I'm sorry, but The City is not Silicon Valley.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:01 PM on February 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Anything I want to say about the Parks and Recreation series finale wouldn't do it justice, so I'll just let Jean-Ralphio sum it up.
posted by Fizz at 2:05 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would like to state finally that I hate Jean-Ralphio and Mona Lisa and wish they had gotten their goodbyes earlier in the season instead of tainting an otherwise almost totally charming finale.

(I was surprised by how indifferent I was to Ann and Chris, and I wasn't clear if Leslie actually said that everyone had kids, which was an annoying if not unexpected development.)

My cousin dumped the show in season 1, which was fair and what I did as well until a year or so ago -- I told her just to ignore it and start with season 2.
posted by jeather at 2:13 PM on February 25, 2015


The one aspect of the finale that bothered me most was April & Andy having children. It would have been nice if their happily ever after was a dog farm or buying a pony named 'Lil Sebastian'. But sadly that hetero-normative nuclear family ideal was forced upon her character.

I know it was written with Leslie's theme of 'having your own team' but it still felt tacked on for no real reason. Some may have liked it but, I could have done without it.

Still, a solid ending to a show that had me entertained for a fair number of seasons. Much better than The Office finale.
posted by Fizz at 2:18 PM on February 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


The one aspect of the finale that bothered me most was April & Andy having children. It would have been nice if their happily ever after was a dog farm or buying a pony named 'Lil Sebastian'. But sadly that hetero-normative nuclear family ideal was forced upon her character.

I know it was written with Leslie's theme of 'having your own team' but it still felt tacked on for no real reason. Some may have liked it but, I could have done without it.


It irked me, too, and there was absolutely no need for it considering how many other couples on the show already had storylines about having kids. I absolutely understand (and expected) that they would want to give every character a happy ending, but they all got the exact same happy ending: marriage, a fulfilling job in public service, and, for the relationships that existed before the final season, multiple happy, healthy children. That's great for many or even most of the characters, but I wish they'd acknowledged that not everyone's happy ending is exactly the same.

Someone either on FanFare or the AV Club suggested that the flash-forwards were actually Leslie imagining people's brilliant and wonderful futures instead of a glimpse into their actual futures, and I might prefer that interpretation overall. That way I can keep the parts I liked (which really was most of it) and chalk some of the stuff I didn't like up to Leslie's being over-eager to shower the people she loves with gifts.
posted by Copronymus at 2:45 PM on February 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


(Spoilers) Pretty sure Donna and Joe didn't have children (unless I missed it).
posted by drezdn at 2:50 PM on February 25, 2015


I work in the building they show as Gryzzl headquarters. It's in Indianapolis.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:53 PM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Spoilers) Pretty sure Donna and Joe didn't have children (unless I missed it).

Did Joe exist before this season? I thought he just popped up during the time-shift.
posted by Copronymus at 2:53 PM on February 25, 2015


He was in a couple of season six episodes.
posted by rewil at 2:57 PM on February 25, 2015


Here's the building. I guess someone at the building knows someone involved with Parks and Rec. because it is, as you can see, pretty nondescript.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:01 PM on February 25, 2015


OK, just one, but they mentioned he was one of Donna's former hookups.
posted by rewil at 3:01 PM on February 25, 2015


Did Tom have kids? I can't recall
posted by jeather at 3:05 PM on February 25, 2015


Also, it was mentioned in an earlier episode that one of Andy's life goals was to have a kid. Pretty sure Donna and Tom ended up childless with their respective partners.
posted by fermezporte at 3:09 PM on February 25, 2015


In the end, the Gryzzl problem gets solved when Leslie shifts the company’s interest away from the land in the Indiana foothills to a low-income neighborhood in Pawnee where “no respectable people live.” The only resident we see is a seemingly homeless man, and we’re left to assume that nothing of value will be displaced, only “revitalized.”

Why, that doesn't sound laudable at all!
posted by Apocryphon at 3:24 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was kind of ugh about April and Andy having kids and that decision being a big plot too, though in the context of the whole episode/show, it felt much more like another example of one person choosing to not take the path they were unsure about but instead trusting in their partner. It felt like a parallel between Ben and Leslie and the governor's race, Ben and Leslie many other times, April and Andy moving to D.C., etc. Certainly not perfect, but at least well executed.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:58 PM on February 25, 2015


Do people that can't afford to live in San Francisco have any business living there? Crazy stuff.
posted by phaedon at 4:15 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Someone either on FanFare or the AV Club suggested that the flash-forwards were actually Leslie imagining people's brilliant and wonderful futures instead of a glimpse into their actual futures, and I might prefer that interpretation overall.

Ooh, how about a grimdark Philip K. Dick interpretation where the whole thing is Leslie's deathbed hallucination wish fulfillment fantasy? It could even have started seasons ago when they all had the flu.

Or maybe a Black Mirror/Too Many Cooks version, where Grizzl has accidentally brought about the Singularity, and they're all actually in a relentlessly cheery simulation engineered to optimize everyone's chillness.

(This is actually the only way the fourth wall breaking Johnny Karate episode makes any sense.)
posted by speicus at 4:16 PM on February 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, it was mentioned in an earlier episode that one of Andy's life goals was to have a kid.

Yeah, that's why that plot didn't bother me too much; the conversation was driven by Andy's need to have kids. I don't think we ever saw April not like children, and I liked that she was ambivalent about having them. I tried to imagine a flash-forward where Andy and April were with other people after the kid issue separated them, and I couldn't think of a way that would work out where I was happier for them to be apart.

I thought I read somewhere that we were going to get an explanation for Orrin's character this season. Maybe it was one of the parts that got cut from the final episode.
posted by gladly at 4:32 PM on February 25, 2015


We discussed this, Orin is surely in the casket at Jean Ralphio's fake funeral.

Alive of course.
posted by The Whelk at 5:40 PM on February 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


I nth the "ugh, kids, really?" thing for A&A, mostly because to me it was the equivalent of Bones and Brennan having a kid: she had no interest, he wanted it, so he wins. Also, I seem to recall April possibly mentioning adoption as an acceptable option--I think her original objection was not to create new people--so why couldn't they adopt instead?
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:56 PM on February 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


The "everyone has a bunch of kids" thing bothered me, but I really didn't want to spoil the mood in the FanFare thread by complaining about it.

Garry's great (and I love how his wife's actress didn't get any aging makeup treatment and Leslie's evil eye) but his hyperextended family reminded me of the distasteful Quiverful movement a little too much.
posted by porpoise at 5:59 PM on February 25, 2015


I take issue with calling Parks and Rec a perfect series. It was not by a long shot. I stopped watching the middle of last season when all the characters turned into painfully boring caricatures of their former selves.

And those "Producers cut" episodes that did nothing but let you know they were regularly filming funny jokes and choosing not to air them.
posted by bleep at 6:24 PM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Quiverful for Garry's family? I didn't get that vibe at all. He had 3 daughters and I think they mentioned at least 2 further generations after his kids. Seemed like a normal amount to me.
posted by holybagel at 7:05 PM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


(For those who don't know, Garry's wife Gayle is played by Christie Brinkley, long-time supermodel and actress, whose early fame began ca. 1980.)
posted by BlackPebble at 6:01 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I feel really old. There are people who don't know Christie Brinkley? Say it ain't so.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:00 AM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


(People do know who Cindy Crawford is, right? / derail)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:01 AM on February 26, 2015


Christie Brinkley: You know, Billy Joel's ex-wife, uptown girl and all that.
posted by drezdn at 9:22 AM on February 26, 2015


Speaking of Christie Brinkley on Parks, I can't find which article it was but in one of the finale interviews with creators of the show, it came up that they were looking for a "Christie Brinkley-type" for his wife, and they asked Brinkley, who was unfamiliar with the show, if she was interested.

Brinkley was talking about the possibility with her daughter, who was familiar, and told her the part was for somebody's wife. Her daughter asked if it was Garry*and when she found it was, she told her mom she had to do it.

* She actually probably asked if it was Jerry, given the time frame.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:08 AM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think that's from Jim O'Heir's interview with HitFix. They really went all-out on the coverage up to the finale, which made my week a little less sad.
posted by rewil at 11:31 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


A&A having a kid felt to me like an inversion of A&A moving to DC: sometimes they follow Andy's path and sometimes they follow April's.

Also saying "everyone having a bunch of kids" seriously erases Donna and Tom.
posted by Sauce Trough at 12:43 PM on February 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


One week later....
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


« Older My basic beef with Kind of Blue   |   Baltimore Transit Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments