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Has the time come for 'Parks?'

By Maurilio Amorim
On March 9, 2014

When NBC put "Parks and Recreation" on temporary hiatus, nobody was angrier than me. As a long-time fan of the show, I could not wait for it to come back. Throughout its run, "Parks and Recreation" has managed to remain one of the smartest and funniest comedies on television. While the show is still providing big laughs and plenty of entertainment from its now famous characters, it is all beginning to feel just a bit too familiar. I still find myself entertained, but I am questioning the future of Pawnee.
I was afraid that the show would go downhill after Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones left. I don't think the absence of their characters has affected the quality in any way, but the storyline is the real problem. It's not that the current plot line is necessarily uninteresting or a turn off, but it used to be so much more. In past seasons, we saw a lot of interesting character arcs and stories unfold in Pawnee, but this season we don't really have that much going on. In fact, it feels more like the writers are just throwing out ideas to keep the characters in daily shenanigans rather than pushing them anywhere like they used to. It may not drag like the current plot line of "How I Met Your Mother," but it isn't necessarily as gripping or exciting as it used to be. Perhaps there is more to come and the story will progress, but at the moment it is somewhat stale.
Since Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones left there haven't been any noteworthy episodes, but the show is still funny. The characters we love are still themselves and still manage to do enough to keep me more than happy. What always made "Parks and Recreation" stand out as a comedy apart from its satirical and allegorical storylines was its over the top characters. The performances feel so real and each character feels like a person we not only could actually meet in real life, but most of them are characters we want to meet. Rather than rely on its story or jokes to keep fans watching, the show has always relied on its strong characters and continue to do so. This in itself is enough to make up for the dry story line and keep me happy.
Every show reaches a certain point where the question must be raised whether there is more to do and the show should go on, or if the production should quit while they're ahead. It seems that this may unfortunately be the appropriate time to raise this question for 'Parks and Recreation.' I don't want to see the show go and I would very much miss it, but is there really more to see or do with this show apart from just making me laugh? If the answer is yes, I will gladly sit through more seasons. If not, perhaps it is time to end before the show is not funny anymore. In the meantime, there is still a lot of fun to have in Pawnee, but I can't shake the feeling that maybe we should all take a hint from Leslie's current dilemma in the show and begin to wonder when the right time to move on from Pawnee is.

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