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The Parks And Recreation special aired Thursday night, five years after the finale, and fans were more than happy to tune in to see their favorite characters, while also raising money for a good cause.
Just as promised, the story focused on Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) trying to keep her friends connected by video chatting during this time of social distancing. Through the mock Zoom call we saw how all of the core cast of characters were dealing with staying at home.
Ben (Adam Scott) is at home with the kids, while Leslie is working in the Department of the Interior to close parks amid the pandemic. Ben, who’s still a congressman, says he’s been working on a claymation movie Cones of Dunshire.
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Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) is called, and he seems pretty calm about social distancing. Offerman’s real wife, Meghan Mullally, who guest starred as Ron’s ex-wife on the show, is seen later in the episode tied up behind him.
“I think her intention was to join us in our marital bed and wrap piano wire around my throat … apparently not my throat,” says Ron. He goes on to say that he’ll keep her tied up and put a note on her and leave her at the fire station.
Earlier in the episode, Ron video chats with April (Aubrey Plaza), who appears without her husband, Andy (Chris Pratt). Obviously, Pratt and Plaza can’t be together in real life during social distancing, so the show creates a hilarious plot line to explain why they’re apart: Andy has locked himself in the shed, and has been trapped for the last two days. The other married couple on the show, Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) have also separated themselves. Ann is a nurse, and she’s been isolating herself in a different area of her house, away from Chris and their kids.
Tom (Aziz Ansari) appears in front of a pre-made Zoom background that he calls his vacation in Bali, and he and Donna (Retta) drink wine in order to “treat yo’ self.” Jerry (Jim O’Heir) has less luck with filters, and the other characters help him figure out how to stop using a filter that makes his head a poop emoji.
The show also fits in a lot of guest stars into the 30-minute show, with Paul Rudd playing Leslie’s nemesis Bobby Newport to kick off the show. He intros the show and the fundraiser, but also hilariously calls the pandemic the “coronus.” Ben and Leslie call into At Home With Joan, which brings in guest star Mo Collins as Joan. And a lot of other guests appear on fake commercials. Ben Schwartz plays Jean-Ralphio, who asks people to call him on his personal phone number. John Glaser‘s Dr. Jeremy Jamm has a pretty funny commercial selling at-home dentist kits.
“Gimme your credit card, I’ll drop off a bunch of needles, drills, gauze pads and I’ll walk you through your roof canal. Is it legal? Probably? Is it safe? That’s up to you. You F this up, it’s your own fault,” said Dr. Jamm.
Overall, the show fits a lot of jokes, and a lot of stars, into a very small amount of time. In the end though, we see just Leslie and Ron having one of their heartfelt conversations.
“Don’t spend all your time looking after other people,” Ron tells Leslie. “Look after yourself once in a while.”
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