Chapter 8: Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation is the greatest television show of all time.


My main man Taka and I first watched Parks and Rec in the Summer of 2014.

Also know as ‘the best Christmas in living memory’.

You’d think this would be last year, the first Christmas with my son.

But you would be wrong.

That day included tears, my oven blowing up, and a power cut while we were meant to be cooking lunch.

It was a real chill, super fun time.

It’s a Knope from me.

The Summer of Sixty-Nine Seasons of Parks and Rec

But back to our summer of loving Andy Dwyer.

We essential did three activities over those Christmas holidays:

  1. “Home improvements” (note quotation marks. We no good at them. We try)
  2. Eating Cadbury Favourites (that, I am actually very good at)
  3. Watching Parks and Rec.

Because, ladies and gentlemen. We know how to par-tay.

Please brace yourself for a truly exorbitant number of Parks and Rec GIFs. They are incoming. I repeat. They are incoming.

As I’ve said before, Taka is an information gathering machine.

He loves Twitter, YouTube, The Ringer, and all manner of podcasts …

Frankly, if his finger was any more on the pulse, he’d be presenting the 6 o’clock news.

On his online travels, Taka noticed a lot of people talking e m o t i o n a l l y about the seventh – and final – season of Parks and Recreation that was due to come out that January.

We were intrigued.

We had also just seen Guardians of the Galaxy and both of us were pretty much in love with Chris Pratt.


There was nothing else for it.

It was TV series binging time.

We are the champions, my friends

I’m ashamed proud to say we got through all six seasons (God love a back catalogue) of Parks and Rec while the seventh was still airing.

It is perhaps our greatest accomplishment as a couple.

But. Can I just say. The Post-Binge Blues were real.

Seven seasons of joyous, Emmy Award-Winning TV gluttony, and then … nothing … 1/10, would not recommend.

We tried replacement therapy by watching a couple seasons of Community. Happy Endings. Selfie (this was actually really good. It’s on Neon, and I feel robbed it never got a second season. Karen Gillan and Harold from Harold and Kumar were damn majestic together)

In the end, New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine became the new go-tos. Gucci.

As a real side note, here are …

Kate’s favourite 10 TV shows of all time

For the laughs

  1. Parks and Recreation (as discussed. At length)
  2. New Girl (Schmidt is just. Everything)
  3. The Mindy Project
  4. Miranda
  5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

For the dramas

I’m ride or die BBC.

  1. The Crown (Bloody sen-sational. Give them all the Emmys! All. Of. Them!)
  2. Sherlock
  3. Dr Who (Yass, Jodie Whittaker. If anyone wants to discuss the Rosa Parks episode with me in the comments below I would be hella down for that. AhMay-Sing)
  4. This is Us (riiiight!?)
  5. Suits

Honorable mentions

  • The first season (it’s all I’ve watched so far) of Jane the Virgin. Rogelio is my spirit animal
  • Gilmore Girls (B.C-Rory going to college)
  • The Graham Norton Show (a Kiwi in the Big Red Chair makes me feel more patriotic than any All Blacks game)
  • Netflix Christmas specials. I. Am. Ready.

C l e a r l y I am not a Black Mirror or, what’s it called, the dystopian show where ladies have a crap time … The Handmaid’s Tale!

Google gets me.

I’m not about that poignant, sad time life. If I wanted that from my leisure time, I’d watch the news.

Give me the lols instead.

Give me all the lols you have.

So, what exactly is #8 of 30, Kate …?

It’s been four years. My Pawnee memory is hazy.

I can finally rewatch Parks and Rec!

Which, as I say it out loud, seems a bit sad. But rewatching and rereading my favourites genuinely makes me so happy.

And as a wise Pinterest post once told me:

  1. Write down a list of things that make you happy
  2. Write down a list of things you do each day
  3. Compare the lists
  4. Adjust accordingly.

So simple. So deceptively life changing.

Speaking of life changing. Here are …

Three life lessons from Parks and Rec

1. Things will get better

I love you, Ron Swanson.

If I’m honest, I didn’t really like Season 1 of Parks. Or the first half of Season 2.

Leslie’s was so awkward it made me squirmy. Pratt was a drop kick. And Mark Brendanawicz was just dumb.


Then Leslie softens.

And Pratt gets super sweet.

And Tom isn’t so creepy. Kinda.

And Brendanawicz leaves.

And literally the best duo in Chris and Ben turn up.

And Ron continues to hold it down as the best character on TV.

Point is. Everyone has patches in life that are a bit crap (although hopefully not as crap as the women in The Handmaid’s Tale. That crap is D A R K).

Keep your head up and your feet walking, and you’ll get through it.

The night only lasts so long.

2. It’s cool to try hard

Leslie Knope has got to be the most determined go-getter that ever got up and got going.

She really thinks if she works hard enough she’ll make a difference.

And you know what. She does.

May this be a lesson for all of us.

3. There’s someone out there for everyone

Andy and April. Leslie and Ben. Chris and Ann. Ron and Xena Warrior Princess.

They’re all a bunch of weirdos who found each other.

Don’t give up on love.

Your weirdo is out there.

I know I said three, but I’ve just thought of another one …

4. Breakfast food is the best food

It just is.

Bacon. Eggs. Coffee. Pancakes. Waffles. Smoothies. Coffee. Toast. Cereal. Yoghurt. Fruit. Coffee.

Brunch makes me happy to be alive.

What’s your favourite TV show? Or breakfast food? And OH MY GOSH DID YOU SEE THE ROSA PARKS EPISODE OF DR WHO!? Discuss!!

Kate xx

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