‘A Parks and Recreation Special’ recap: Welcome back to Pawnee!

Our favorite characters are back for one more episode!

A Parks and Recreation Special aired April 30, 2020.

Parks and Recreation is one of these shows we like to (re)watch to escape from whats currently going on in the world. And if it ended a few years ago, the cast decided to reunite to raise money and help people hurt by the virus. How? By shooting a brand new episode from their homes!

Did you ever wonder how Leslie, Ben, Ron and all of our favorite Pawnee characters would be handling quarantine? Well, we now know! So let’s see what happened in A Parks and Recreation Special:

The 7 pm Phone Tree

Even if we can’t be with our friends and family right now, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep in touch. On the opposite, now more than ever we should check on our loved ones.

Leslie understood this pretty well. This is why she created a system with the rest of our favorite Parks and Recreation characters. Every evening, they each have to call someone from their group of friends until everyone has been reached.

Leslie starts by calling Ben, who’s at home with their kids while she has to work. He tells her about his new project: a claymation movie based on his famous ‘Cones of Dunshire’ board game. She then calls Ron, who doesn’t seem to suffer much from quarantine life and social distancing.

He’s been doing it pretty much his whole life, after all.

Ron is then supposed to call Garry but, in true Parks and Recreation fashion, he doesn’t want to. So, he calls April instead. Andy isn’t here with her: he locked himself in their shed (a pretty clever way to explain why they aren’t together). We also get a glimpse of all of our favorite characters as they go on with Leslie’s system: Chris and Ann, who have to live in different parts of the house since Ann is working as a nurse again to help out with the pandemic; Tom, whose book tour got cancelled and who is in search of new entrepreneurial ideas; Donna, who talks about her husband’s struggles as a teacher.

Then, finally, they call Garry, who talks about what’s going on in Pawnee. It’s so nice to see them all again!

Some commercials… and a few familiar faces

Her friends aren’t the only people Leslie is keeping in touch with. Indeed, she and Ben do several interviews with some familiar faces: Perd Hapley and Joan Callamezzo, who seems a little… lonely, to say the least.

They talk about the virus and people’s health (both mental and physical) during these times. We all need to stay safe! Leslie and Ben even invite Andy to join their interview with Perd. He’s dressed as his famous Johnny Karate persona to talk to kids and reassure them.

I’m not sure his message was very reassuring… but it was entertaining.

In-between those phone calls, several commercials allow us to know more about what some of our favorite guest characters have been up to. Dennis Feinstein invented a new cologne that’s supposed to kill the virus, Jeremy Jamm does home dental delivery and Jean-Ralphio is now very rich after getting hit by a car.

He used his money to buy a huge house as well as some commercial time, giving out his phone number for people to call him. He’s just like the rest of us forced to stay at home: very bored. 

Bye-bye, Little Sebastian!

Back on the Phone Tree, Leslie is talking to Ron, who got an unwelcome visitor: his ex-wife, Tammy 2 (who’s also Nick Offerman’s wife in real life, which explains why they were able to film this scene together). Diane, his wife, tied her up and he’s about to leave her to firemen.

Leslie complains about how she can’t talk to all of her friends at once, which gives Ron an idea. He calls April for help, and together they surprise Leslie with a phone call… that includes all of their friends at the same time!

Can you believe we got to see all of our favorite characters together in 2020?! Maybe there are some good things coming out of this year…

But the surprise doesn’t stop here. Indeed, they all start singing “5,000 Candles in the Wind”, Andy’s famous musical tribute to Li’l Sebastian. What a nice little throwback!

The phone calls end with Ron reminding Leslie that if it’s great to look after her friends, she needs to look after herself too. A piece of advice we should all follow, especially during those trying times. Our own mental health is just as important as everyone else’s! 

Some more thoughts:

  • Is there a better ending than everyone singing “5,000 Candles in the Wind” together?
  • That picture of Ben and Leslie’s wedding day in the background of Leslie’s calls… THE FEELS.
  • Ron and Leslie’s friendship definitely is one of the best TV friendships ever. Although, to be fair, almost every relationship in this show was amazing.
  • It was so nice to see all these familiar faces and not just the main cast!
  • Now I need to do a full rewatch of the show.
  • Stay safe, everyone! We can get through this!

And you, what did you think of A Parks and Recreation Special? Were you happy to see the cast reuniting for this good cause? Hit the comments and let us know!


Adèle Soutrenon

Adele is a college student who’s about to graduate in writing and translation. If she’s not writing about the TV shows she loves, she’s probably daydreaming about the TV shows she would love to write. From Brooklyn Nine-Nine to The Office or The Good Place and Parks and Recreation, you can say she’s a real fan of the "Schuriverse" and sitcoms in general. You can find her on Twitter @adele_sou – with all the TV shows she watches, there’s probably at least one you have in common with her.

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