Fans of Parks and Recreation are getting a gift this week in the form of a new episode. The upcoming reunion special, which will see the cast reunite to benefit Feeding America, will deal with social distancing and was filmed remotely. Now, series co-creator Mike Schur has shed some new details on how the reunion special came together in the first place, as well as what fans can expect.
In a new report, it's noted that Mike Schur never envisioned doing any sort of reboot or revival. However, once NBC approached him to see if he would try and organize a table read with the cast, things changed. Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O'Heir and Retta all agreed to take part, and it evolved into the new episode that will arrive this week. Schur had this to say about it.
"I didn't think Parks and Recreation would ever reunite; the show had a point to make and we made it and it ended and there was no compelling reason to do it, but this is as compelling a reason as there is."
Traditional TV production isn't possible right now, so they had to get creative to craft the new Parks and Recreation episode. The cast members were sent a tripod and iPhone, as well as lights and microphones and filmed themselves, with Schur and other crew members watching via Zoom. It's said that writing the script only took a few days, but Schur described the production as "slow and laborious" and doesn't see it as a process that could be viable in the long run.
The 30-minute Reunion special centers on Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope, who is determined to stay in touch with her friends during social distancing. The special will focus more on how people cope with their day-to-day lives at a time like this, as opposed to dealing with the crisis itself. Here's how Mike Schur explains it.
"It's about people coping with it and navigating their daily lives. The most important theme of the show is: Leslie Knope believes in friendship. She was loyal and friendly and put all her eggs in the power of friendship. It's about her connecting with people and holding that group of characters together at a time when they're unable to leave their homes. That's the running theme."
Parks and Recreation aired for seven seasons from 2009 to 2015. While the show was reasonably popular during its run, it has found new life on streaming services in the years since, which has left many to hope for a revival of sorts. This is likely to be the closest we will ever get, as Mike Schur doesn't seem to have any interest in revisiting the show beyond this new episode. The Parks and Recreation special airs this Thursday on NBC. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.