It’s been five years since we got to hang out with the residents of Pawnee, Indiana, on Parks and Recreation—and boy, have I missed them.
But on April 30, Amy Poehler’s beloved character Leslie Knope and her crew of local civil servants will be back on NBC for a very special episode to benefit Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. The writers, producers, and cast will match donations up to $500,000 combined.
The entire original cast. including Rashida Jones (Ann Perkins), Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson), Aubrey Plaza (April Ludgate), Chris Pratt (Andy Dwyer), Adam Scott (Ben Wyatt), Rob Lowe (Chris Traeger), Aziz Ansari (Tom Haverford), Jim O’Heir (Garry/Larry Gergich), and Retta (Donna Meagle), will all reprise their roles for the episode, which will focus on Leslie trying to stay connected to her friends during social distancing. We bet she has a binder for that!
“Like a lot of other people, we were looking for ways to help and felt that bringing back these characters for a night could raise some money,” showrunner Michael Schur said in a press release. “I sent a hopeful email to the cast, and they all got back to me within 45 minutes. Our old Parks and Rec team has put together one more 30-minute slice of (quarantined) Pawnee life, and we hope everyone enjoys it. And donates!”
This is truly magnificent news, and it couldn’t come at a better time as most Americans are facing another week of self isolation, home school, and working from home. And many are now unemployed; this even could raise $1 million toward meals for them. One of the very best things about Parks and Rec its optimistic, kind tone—and the idea that doing small things in your community can have a positive impact on the people around you (much the way donating to this fundraiser would). We need that message now more than ever.
But we also need the clever jokes and running bits. Will we see the return of Treat Yo’Self, but make it quarantine? Might presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden return for another guest spot? Have Leslie and Ben played the longest game of Cones of Dunshire ever? Is Andy stressed about whether or not his beloved Indianapolis Colts will get to play their football season? How dark is April’s mood? Is Ron the happiest he’s ever been in his life—despite some concerns about government overreach—now that he and his family must isolate alone?
I, for one, can’t wait to find out.
Parks and Recreation’s virtual reunion will air on NBC on Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
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