Parks and Recreation Season 6 Review: This Former Classic Still Has Potential

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Lots of comedies go through the late season quality dip. But so few comedies that get that far are still capable if hitting the creative highs of that outstanding finale.

Season 6 of Parks and Rec. was bookended by two classic episodes, London and Moving Up. But most of what came between was pretty forgettable, which is surprising considering how much actually happened this season.

Leslie got recalled. Pawnee and Eagleton merged. Ann and Chris left. Tom opened a restaurant. Season 6 was an eventful season, but a lot of these storylines, while strong in theory, didn’t quite come together when they needed to.

The beginning of the season had a bit of an extra charge with the Leslie’s recall coinciding with the merger. It made for some intricate tension that kept things interesting enough for a while. But once they were done that was it.

From there, the season became about saying goodbye to Ann and Chris, which was some of the worst material the show has ever produced. While their actual goodbye episode, Ann and Chris was pretty good, the build to it, including their rushed relationship, is really what killed Season 6 for me. Even Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe seemed checked out, with their scenes together lacking any real chemistry or humor.

And then this was followed by the overdone device of having someone unexpectedly tell Leslie “you are meant for better things” at the end of every episode. Then she got pregnant with triplets and I was sure the show would never be what it once was.

But how about that Unity Concert? How about the good-natured way this season plotlines were wrapped up? How about the flash forward indicating a brighter future for the series? This season may have been a waste without such a brilliant finale.

Series creator has said on multiple occasions that Season 7 should be the last. With the stunt pulled in the finale, and with NBC’s approval, that final season could be one of the best ever, leaving Season 6 as a mere bump in the road. 30 Rock did the same, so why not ParksGrade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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