So, last week NBC televised, after messing with the intended delivery of the episodes (Having sad Korra flashbacks here), the series Finale of the somewhat beloved Parks and Recreation, a comedy series about a group of people who want to make their town a better place.
After many years of not watching it, about 6 months ago I finally decided to binge it, after being thoroughly entertained by Chris Pratt on the Indie darling Guardians of the Galaxy. I thought after a month marathon (and sometimes not really paying attention to the screen) that this was a really serviceable series, not something extremely amazing or mediocre, just good and serviceable.
That being written, the question presented is the following: How did they manage to get this 20 year old man-boy cry like an idiot during the season finale?
Season 6 finale
Let's backtrack a little and set the scene: November 2014; college dropout; studying German to get out of the country (Not the US); finishing the Parks and Rec binge, season 6 the finale; the next day I have my German test to finish my basic language studies.
There I am, watching the season 6 finale grinning and laughing like a jackass thanks to all the pay off jokes it manages to get out its system, all the while bringing all the emotional baggage (Not a bad thing in this case) it has accumulated through the seasons and so, the finale has this pleasant "It is Ending" vibe thanks to the whole set up of the episode (I.E.: Leslie supposedly leaving Pawnee for good, the concert, the way everybody acts…), and then whole ending sequence which gives a glimpse into their lives 3 years later. This ending isn't perfect, but what a damn fine finish to a season.
And even after that, I still considered the show serviceable at best, but I was really feeling the characters and setting of the whole thing. There was something refreshing about the promised time jump (Having Happy Korra flashbacks here) which had me really intrigued about how they would end the series.
So they got one viewer out of me. They get one viewer, who during the 7th and last season, grinned and laughed at their cleverness. And well, cried.
P&R Season 7.
This whole freaking season was mostly a big payoff to all that precedes it with jokes and references built and stacked on past experiences, jokes and gags the audience should at this point in the series be pretty familiar with. And then the Finale kicks the door down and spouts a hugely character driven finale using the last minute gimmick of the last finale, as the framing device through entire 1 hour (Really 44 minutes), giving the audience this bittersweet sense that all this characters we've managed to stick with for 6 years (Don't get pedantic) all had this pretty great, well, happy endings, as corny as that might be.
And so I was proud, proud enough of people I don't even know personally to cry while being alone in the darkness and try and talk myself into composure, failing miserably at it. Just as I was finishing my sad Korra act (Having sad Korra flashbacks here)I started to grin, for I remembered the last time this happened to me: The "Ping Pong: The Animation" finale.
Must be high as the Empire State there mate
Bear with me please. I know I might be the only point of intersection in the "People who have watched both P&R and Ping Pong" Venn Diagram, but I wanted to share with you how 2 series with completely different intents and intended audience managed to move with similar endings, or rather ending moral, which (To my sexy, sexy eyes) is "work as hard as you can for what you want". This is far from an original sentiment, and an innumerable of entertainment have wanted to impart on their audience this feeling of "of work hard" but this 2 shows managed to bring enough goofiness (P&R) and Surreal Realness (Ping Pong, and yes I intended for the vagueness in that last installment) into play as to not be overwhelmed, bored by it.
Scratch that, what really drives the whole point of this two series home is the extreme length this two series go to show there is something worth fighting for and being unabashedly positive about it all too.
That said I have a lot more to talk about this two series (and some other that might show their lovely mugs down the road) but not enough time to finish, so I end this with the promise that if asked for there will be more to talk about the positiveness of entertainment and its importance.
UPDATE: Link to part 2.