Could NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” be headed for a revival? That’s the question everyone was hoping to get the answer to, when the cast, along with co-creator/showrunner/executive producer Michael Schur, announced they’d be joining the 2019 PaleyFest LA lineup in honor of the show's 10th anniversary.
During the sold-out March 21 event at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Patton Oswalt, who moderated the star-studded panel, tossed around the idea of a possible “Parks and Rec” movie. “In the world that we live in now, nothing is ever gone,” Schur said. “I would only say that I think, we would just all… would have to feel like there was a story that needed to be told.”
Joining Oswalt and Schur in conversation, was Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, Jim O'Heir, Retta, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe. The cast, particularly Poehler, at times, became visibly emotional on stage. The “SNL” alumna was even moved to tears at one point, while the group recounted their fondest “Parks and Rec” memories.
“We talked about this, months and months ago,” O'Heir told AXS about making their return at this year’s PaleyFest. He says the decision to get everyone together again for a night was a no-brainer. While he admits there is some buzz about a revival, O'Heir says that the real challenge would be the compatibility of everyone’s schedules. “I don’t know,” the comedian mused when asked about what could be on the horizon. “I think I can say we would all certainly be interested.”
Offerman then echoed O'Heir’s sentiments. “When you make something with this much love and empathy, you hope that the medicine will be received and this is a massive signal that it worked,” he tells AXS. Offerman says that he has no idea what the future of “Parks and Rec” might look like, but added, “Anytime they call I will come running.”
So, what would the Pawnee political satire look like today, versus how things began in 2009? The possibilities of a potential reboot (and where they would go with it considering the 2015 finale flash-forward), has imaginations running wild.
Certainly, everyone agrees how much the world still needs Leslie Knope; how Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ann (Rashida Jones) embody a genuine friendship; and how by doing good deeds while surrounding yourself with good people, all the things you want to achieve are possible.
That was always what the series was all about. In that respect, Schur points out that when it ended, they didn’t really leave anything on the table. “I feel like the show sort of made its argument,” he stated.
“Parks and Recreation” is an incredibly rare gem that has just become more valuable over time. What the cast refers to as throwaway jokes, such as “Treat Yo’ Self,” and “Galentine’s Day,” have cemented their place into today’s vernacular. Even Rob Lowe’s usage of the term literally (or “lit-ruh-lee") might literally be attributed to the definition of the word being changed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary also to mean "figuratively."
While an entire generation knows of “Parks and Recreation” thanks to GIFs and memes, there is a whole other generation that remembers how it all started in the Parks Department of Pawnee, Indiana.
After the reunion at PaleyFest, it’s evident that all of us, including the cast, are ready to see what could come next.