'Parks and Rec' Season 7 Will Likely Be Its Last & Trust Us, This Is Good News
This year's finale may have just aired on Thursday, but already, we're filled with anticipation for Parks & Recreation 's seventh season premiere next fall. After everything that went down in Thursday's episode, the idea of having to wait five months to find out what happens next is pretty terrible. Still, we don't want to rush the show's seventh season too much, seeing as this next year of Parks and Rec will probably be its last.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Mike Schur revealed that "it’s fairly likely that next year will be the last." He added that "the natural rhythm of the show and the big creative jump we take at the end of this season certainly suggests that we’re moving in that direction."
For those of us who've spent the last six years watching (most of) our beloved Pawnee-ins grow into dedicated, mature Parks employees, learning that the series only has one season left is deeply saddening. Parks is consistently one of the funniest, most original shows on air, and TV is a better place with it in the listings every week. Yet the more we think about it, Schur's decision actually makes some sense; as good as Parks is, maybe it's best that it's coming to an end.
For seasons now, Parks has been a show perpetually on the edge of cancellation, constantly fighting to stay alive and, year after year, preparing itself for the worst. This past season, in particular, felt like it was heading towards the end, with developments like Tom's Bistro and Ann and Chris' move setting the stage for successful off-screen futures for the characters. Even the biggest developments, like Leslie's pregnancy, felt like they were preparation for a Parks we wouldn't see, but could still believe in. The finale, save for those last few moments, could easily have been a series end; between the Unity concert, Leslie's job, and Duke Silver's public reveal, Thursday's Parks episode tied up more loose ends than most show's series finales.
Thankfully, the episode wasn't Parks' last, and we have an entire new season of the show to look forward to. Still, there's no question that Thursday's finale was leading up to an end, one that might be perfectly executed in the span of twenty-two episodes, give or take a few. Giving Parks just one more season would allow the show to wrap up its plotlines without dragging them out, which is more than a lot of shows (looking at you, The Office/How I Met Your Mother/Californication) can say. Right now, six seasons in, Parks is at its creative peak. Let the series' legacy be that it was the best quality comedy on TV, not that it was a once-good show that turned tiresome, or worse, bad, after it overstayed its welcome.
Assuming NBC gives the seventh season of Parks a full, twenty-something episode order, the show will have plenty of time to finish up its many stories. We'll get to know Leslie and Ben's triplets, watch Tom's Bistro take off, see a proud Ron raise his kids and perform not-so-secret Duke Silver concerts on weekends. Maybe Andy and April will get that divorce/re-marriage, or Ann and Chris will make a surprise visit back to Pawnee; whatever happens, Parks will have more than enough time to show it go down.
Besides, with seven seasons, Parks will be following the paths of other ended-just-at-the-right-time shows like The West Wing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, (presumably) Mad Men and Game of Thrones. Seven seems to be the magic number for TV shows, and for good reason; it's just enough time to let a show grow old, but not enough to let it grow stale. Parks and Rec will end right when it needs to, at a point when the plots are winding down, but the momentum is stronger than ever. And for a show about a small-town Parks department, that's about as impressive as it gets.