Parks and Recreation: “2017” Season 7 Episode 1 Review

Photo Credit:http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/05/21/parks-and-recreation-season-7-final-michael-schur/

Well Parks fans, the beginning of the end is upon us. Season 7 is the last for our favorite folks in Pawnee. But as the Season 6 finale indicated, this season takes place in the future.

Considering how boring many of last season’s storylines were, 2017 is a welcome fresh start for Parks and Rec., and a lot has changed in the three years since we last saw Leslie and co. Leslie works for the National Park Service, while Ben took over for Chris as Pawnee’s City Manager. They also now have three children. April took over for Pawnee’s Parks and Rec. department, while Andy plays Johnny Karate on a children’s TV show (which co-stars Jerry, now called Terry). Tom became a business mogul after the success of his restaurant, Tom’s Bistro. Donna runs a real estate company. And then there’s Ron, who has now become Leslie’s bitter rival as the owner of a building development company.

2017 did a great job of quickly catching us up to what everyone’s been up to while shaking up the dynamics we’ve gotten used to over the past six years. It looks like the main plot of the season will see the Newport’s selling “some dumb old trees for a buttload of cash”. Leslie views this as an opportunity to build a national park, putting Pawnee firmly on the map of the country as a place to visit. Ron views it as a business opportunity.

But Leslie once again proves why we love her so much with a speech to the sellers promoting the good that the national park would do for Pawnee, a town that Leslie argues wouldn’t be the same without the Newport family, for better or worse. It’s no surprise when the Newports’ lawyer announces it’ll be Leslie vs. Ron for the land, but the idea of a civil war between the former members of the Parks Department sounds like a fun way to start this final season.

So while 2017 was predictable, it set up some interesting new dynamics and gave us the characters we love in their fullest form. There were no signs of the caricatures some of the characters (Andy) became over the more recent seasons. Parks and Rec. looks to be on the right track, and happily so, this being goodbye and all. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

– Gryzzl is the most prominent sign of the future in 2017, with their technology sporting some hilariously human-hating AI.

– But my favorite “future joke” was Leslie and Ben’s disagreement at how well Kevin James handled the reboot of the Bourne movies.

– Andy and April excited at the demon house was the cutest. The current tenant, played by guest star Werner Herzog, was not.

– “I have the best currency in America, a blind, stubborn belief that what I’m doing is right.”

– See you at Subway, Jon Hamm!

 

By Matt Dougherty

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