Poetic, noble land-mermaids rejoice, because the Pawnee Parks and Recreation department has returned. The cast of Parks & Recreation reunited for a PaleyFest event on Thursday, March 21, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the show’s premiere. And, to fans’ delight, the Parks and Recreation cast reunion panel confirmed that a revival is still very much a possibility.
Along with creator Mike Schur, stars Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Retta (who wore a "Treat Yo’ Self"-themed dress), Jim O’Heir, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe all attended the 10-year anniversary PaleyFest panel in Los Angeles on March 21. The panel was moderated by Patton Oswalt (the history-loving Garth Blundin himself) and while there was plenty of time for looking back on the series, they also couldn’t help but to touch on the possibility of a Parks and Recreation revival.
Unfortunately, they didn’t announce that the show would be coming back for new episodes now, but Schur left the door the tiniest bit open for a TV reunion with Leslie, Ron, Ann, Tom, April, Andy, Donna, Jerry, Ben, and Chris to happen someday down the road. "We’d only do it if there was something compelling," Schur said of a TV reunion, per Deadline. "I would never say never." So … you’re telling us there’s a chance, Schur? Get Knope on this stat!
Yet, while that "never say never" may have Parks and Rec fans optimistic, there were some caveats. For instance, Schur noted that if "anyone onstage said no, we wouldn’t do it." That’s a totally fair and valid point since, despite the disappearance of Paul Schneider’s Mark Brendanawicz after Season 2, and Jones and Lowe leaving halfway through Season 6, Parks and Rec was always about a great ensemble.
Schur also added that, in addition to needing the entire cast ready and willing, he’d need a good story, and he’s not sure there’s much left to tell. "I don’t feel like we left anything on the table, the show made its argument," he said. Poehler agreed, telling Deadline before the panel, "I have no idea where I’d want it to go, we would do what we usually do: blow out the formula, do nothing that works — put us in space." She continued, joking, "This is why I’m not the one with the ideas."
While Parks and Recreation really did end the story pretty perfectly back when the finale aired in 2015, the show is arguably more needed now than ever. According to TV Guide, Poehler acknowledged that it would be good to see Leslie on TV while Donald Trump is president. "Someone asked me in the press line about, ‘Do we need Leslie Knope now?’ She’s kind of like the Spider-Man of public service. It does feel a little bit like we’re looking up at the sky like, ‘Leslie, where are you?!’" she said. "I kind of do wish that she was around, but I don’t think that she could go around and get access to the White House."
At the end of the day, looking back at the show’s successful, 125-episode run, Schur said that he’s just happy the show went on as long as it did. "The dream was to just build [the universe] out and see the same people cycle through. … The fact that the show actually stayed on long enough for us to get to that point is a crazy fever dream," Schur said, per TV Guide. "There’s nothing I loved more than working on this show. This felt like the most important thing that I would ever do. I would never, ever, ever say never … [but] I don’t want to do it just to do it."
Based on the Schur and the cast’s comments at PaleyFest and through the years, it’s clear that they love Parks and Recreation just as much as the fans. With their fond feelings, there is always a chance for a return. And while it doesn’t seem very likely right now, it’s good to know that the cast and crew would ensure any reunion would do justice to the original series — and make Leslie Knope extremely proud in the process.
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