Parks and Rec Preview: “Gryzzlbox” and “Save JJ’s” [+ Cast and EP Interview]
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
I’m so happy Ron and Leslie are friends again. When this season started and it (quickly) became clear that Ron and Leslie were on the outs, I was confused and more than a little concerned. More than just work proximity associates, I was eager to see these two rekindle their friendship. I may have teared up or outright cried last week when I watched them work through their issues. The fact that Ron was about to ask for a job in the Federal Government — and that Leslie knew how devastating that would’ve been for him — just goes to show how much Leslie and the rest of the gang mean to Ron. Aww. But ten straight hours together of a little bit of talking and a lot of Leslie pulling out all the stops to get to the root of the problem ended well. Now theyâ€™re friends forever.
Before I preview tonight’s episodes, I wanted to share some intel from the Parks and Rec panel at this month’s NBC TCAs. They talked about why they chose to end the series now, how they had to change the long-term game plan for Leslie and Ben and some of the (amazing) recurring guest stars.
Why are you ending? Did you come to a decision with NBC and feel like you’d said as much as you wanted to say? Do you have too many other things that you want to do? Might you take a break and then do Congresswoman Knope?
Mike Schur: “Well, we started talking about it at the middle of season 6, I think, like how do we feel? How do we feel? We pretty quickly came to the same exact conclusions. I pitched AmyÂ â€‘â€‘ I usually started every year over the summer by pitching Amy the first half of the season. Then somewhere in the middle of the year, I would pitch her the second half in very rough outline.”
Â Amy Poehler: “One of the things I’m going to miss the most is like hearing what’s going to happen to Leslie next year. You know, like we would have a summer discussion about it and Mike would be like, ‘I think she’s going to run for office.’ You knew this was going to happen and I’m going to really miss that.”
Mike: ” Me too.”
Amy: “Maybe we should make it up.”
Mike: “So we just came to the same conclusion which, as we were heading toward the second half of season 6, it was ‘I feel like it’s one more year and I feel like it’s a short year.’ I remember saying that and I remember Amy going, ‘Yeah, I think that’s right.’ That’s just what we felt in our guts was the right move and just purely creatively.
Then we scheduled a big meeting [with] everyone at NBC. This was our dream scenario because we didn’t know whether NBC wanted us back for season 7. We met with our creative executives and took a deep breath and said here is what we would like in a dream world. ‘What we would like is to do season 7. but a 13â€‘episode season.’ And they went, ‘That sounds great.’ Then we were like, ‘Oh, that was easy.’ Then we talked about the Golden Globes for the next 25 minutes and then we left.
It was just a very natural dovetailing and it was a pure internally generated gut feeling of this feels like the way to go. Then that’s what we got to do. I think every day, especially these days as we’re now editing the last three episodes, it’s causing me again to consider how lucky we’ve been this whole journey and how few people get to be in our position where we get to do what we want and as long as we want and end it on our own terms. We feel very, very fortunate about that.”
Theoretically these people are all now available to make guest appearances on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Mike: “These people aren’t available for anything. This guy has got a million movies lined up. That guy just sold out of Madison Square Garden. This guy is shooting 50 movies.”
Jim O’Heir: “Call my agent. Maybe I can work something out.”
Mike: “That is truly one of the greatest things. This to me is like a crazy lottery ticket, from moment one. I have to say Adam Scott came into it an existing show with two episodes left in season 2 and now the idea of this show existing without him is mindâ€‘boggling to me. That’s a really hard thing to do, to walk into a cast.
He and Rob [Lowe] both, they walked into this cast that already at that point was pretty tightly knit and had a real like good momentum and a really good vibe and comic energy. We watched the first scene we shot and it was like, ‘Oh, they’ve just been here forever.’ That, I think, is one of the biggest reasons the show has lasted as long as it did. The first time that Ben looks at Leslie with something butting up against the idea of romance is in the end of the first episode. He’s been on screen for five total minutes and she walks off and he looks at her and it was like, ‘Yeah, they’re going to get married. That’s very clear.’ We had a much longer, slower game plan for the two of them and then it was like, ‘Oh, no. It’s over. Leslie dating life is over.’
Just everything about the main cast and then also all of the people who contributed so significantly, like Mo Collins. Everything Mo Collins ever did on the show made me laugh as Joan Callamezzo and Jay Jackson who plays Perd and John Blazer and Paul Rudd and Jon Hamm. Every single time we brought someone into the world of the show, it seemed to work.
Kathryn Hahn, who was in a few episodes this year, is a crazy machine gun of comedy, she busts on to the set. She tells 50 jokes in about 30Â seconds. There’s an episode this yearÂ â€‘â€‘ I won’t explain the circumstancesÂ â€‘â€‘ but she busts into Leslie and Ben’s house, and we countedÂ â€‘â€‘ I don’t know what the final edit resulted inÂ â€‘â€‘ but she insults them five times in 20Â seconds. ‘Damn their kids, their house,’ just boom. She’s just like throwing crazy haymakers and laughing at herself for how hilarious she’s being and she’s amazing. Just to have had this main cast as a core and then all of those people show up and pop in routinely. Like Rob flew in from Atlanta to shoot for one day this season just because he had a lot of fun.”
Edited for space and content.
Parks and Rec airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.
So, what are we in for tonight?
In “Gryzzlbox, ” Leslie and Ben suspect that Gryzzl is invading the privacy of Pawnee residents. April addresses the new Parks and Rec interns, while Tom helps Andy renegotiate a contract.
In “Save JJ’s,” Leslie holds a rally in an attempt to keep JJâ€™s Diner from closing. Tom surprises Donna with the ultimate pre-wedding gift.
During a community meeting, Leslie poses the question: Is Gryzzl as chill as they claim?
Leslie organizes a rally to save a Pawnee breakfast institution, J.J.’s Diner.
Andy films a Bert Macklin segment with Puppy Hating Dan for his Johnny Karate TV show.
On very special episodes of Andy’s show, Johnny Karate becomes the much more serious Jonathan Karate.
While Leslie and Ben plot to take down Gryzzl, their tech company foe has a surprise for them.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Kelly McCormack Talks Favorite Moments in A League of Their Own
[Warning: Mild spoilers for season 1.] Now that you’ve had a chance to watch A League of Their Own, here’s the rest of my chat with Kelly McCormack about her favorite moments of the season. Seeing the iconic Peaches uniforms for the first time wasn’t just a goosebump moment for…
John Griffin and Harold Perrineau Talk From on EPIX Season 1 Finale
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] How are we doing, #FROMily? In case you missed it this morning, the very good news is that that cliffhanger will be followed by a second season, which was gifted this morning ahead of the linear broadcast of the finale. I always legitimately appreciate when we…
Elizabeth Saunders Talks EPIX’s From
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the things that makes EPIX’s From such a fun ride is the abundance of Canadian cast members. Elizabeth Saunders, who plays Donna, is a favorite from her turn on the third season of Mary Kills People [streaming on Global TV in Canada and Roku…
Corteon Moore Talks From “Broken Windows, Open Doors”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight’s episode of From had us all in our feels as we learned through flashbacks about the Sophie’s Choice Boyd had to make to save his son, and back in the present as Boyd said his piece with Ellis before heading into the woods with…
Pegah Ghafoori Talks From “All Good Things…”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode] Tonight on From, Fatima’s anniversary celebration turned into a Colony House of horrors when a misguided Kevin let his monster bae in and she promptly killed him and left the window open for her crew. While the party devolved into terror and sent everyone running,…
Shaun Majumder Talks From “Book 74”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight on EPIX’s From, Father Khatri made a bold move, kidnapping Sara instead of turning her in, and then recognizing her as a vessel for some big messages. That startling realization speaks to him on multiple levels–as a man of faith, a man trapped in…
Avery Konrad Talks About Sara’s Struggle in From “Silhouettes”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results….
Hannah Cheramy Talks From “Choosing Day”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight, on EPIX’s From, the Matthews participate in the show’s version of the sorting hat, choosing where to call home–the town or Colony House. At the end of the episode, Julie makes the decision to split from her family and instead settle in with Fatima…
Ricky He Talks From “The Way Things Are Now”
[Warning: Spoilers for episode 102 of EPIX’s From.] Epix’s new series From is two episodes in and it’s already laying the groundwork for a seriously spooky season. Tonight’s episode demonstrated the careful balance of relief and horror that the show hits, with our characters’ worst fears realized, just not when…
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…