On April 30, 2020, NBC made many PV students and people all over the world smile by holding a Parks and Recreation, commonly referred to as Parks and Rec, special episode, featuring the main cast and some famous returning characters.
The special episode, according to NBC’s website, was created to raise funds for Feeding America, whose COVID-19 Response Fund enables “…food banks to secure the resources they need to serve the most vulnerable members of the community during this difficult time.”
Through May 21, State Farm and Subaru of America will make matching donations of $150,000 to Feeding America, as well. NBCUniversal and all of the people who make Parks and Rec possible will also be matching donations, creating a grand total of $500,000 in funds for Feeding America.
The special episode, which began at 8:30 p.m. eastern time, was preceded by The Paley Center for Media’s salute to the show, which included behind-the-scenes footage and a recap of some of the audience’s all-time favorite scenes.
The show began by stating that the time period was April, 2020 and the setting was a video-chatting service that allowed the characters to communicate, so all of the “scenes” were inside their video-chat bubbles.
All of the actual scenes were filmed in the homes of the characters, which humorously led to Megan Mullally, who plays Tammy two or Ron’s second ex-wife on the show, becoming a part of the episode since Mullally is married to Nick Offerman, who plays Ron Swanson in the series. Since they are obviously quarantined together, writers found a quirky way to incorporate her character.
Besides the main cast, there were special guest appearances from beloved recurring characters such as Joan Callamezzo (Mo Collins), Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson), Jean-Ralphio (Ben Schwartz), Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) and a few others.
The episode mainly consisted of Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, trying to stay connected to her friends during this tough time. The cast often mentioned keeping up with friends, focusing on mental health, and maintaining safe practices throughout the day.
The special tribute to the series will be remembered by many of its fans, who have been more than ready to see their favorite cast unite once again.
“It was great to see the cast back together, and the show gave me something to look forward to over quarantine,” said Andrew Donnelly, a senior at PV.