'Parks And Rec' Is Returning For One Coronavirus-Themed Reunion Episode

by Christina Marfice
Originally Published: 
Parks And Recreation Will Return For A One-Time Coronavirus-Themed Episode
Greg Gayne/NBC

The Parks and Rec gang is headed back to Pawnee for a one-off episode about the coronavirus

While the coronavirus pandemic is raging on and governments around the country are dealing with it in ways that range from just mostly bad to absolutely horribly, I can’t help but wonder sometimes how the fictional government of my all-time favorite TV show would be handling all this. But lucky for me (and anyone else out there who desperately needs a laugh right now), the cast of Parks and Rec is reuniting for a one-off episode about how Pawnee, Indiana’s little government would have handled the coronavirus crisis.

The reunion episode will be done virtually, of course, because you know Leslie Knope would not skimp on social distancing protocols. In fact, we have a feeling Pawnee would be practicing good social distancing long before any federal government directive to do so, as much as Ron would likely hate it.

The reunion is bringing back all the Parks and Rec characters we loved from the original show: Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman, Rob Lowe, Retta, and Adam Scott, just to name a few of them.

A press release also mentioned that “special guest stars from the Pawnee universe may pop in,” and please let that mean that Tom and Jon Ralphio are quarantining together, or that Perd Hapley is going to give us a special coronavirus news update.

Creator Mike Schur said in a statement, “Like a lot of other people, we were looking for ways to help and felt that bringing these characters back for a night could raise some money. I sent a hopeful email to the cast and they all got back to me within 45 minutes. Our old Parks and Rec team has put together one more 30-minute slice of (quarantined) Pawnee life and we hope everyone enjoys it.”

Beyond that, we don’t know too much. The episode will be set in present day, which means it takes place before the end of the series, when we saw a flash-forward to 2022, and then 2025. That means that Leslie is still everyone’s boss, and we can only imagine how much she’s worrying about all the employees in her little parks and rec department in the midst of a global pandemic. Honestly, if the whole episode is just her checking in on everyone with Zoom calls, it will warm my heart and make everything OK for half an hour of TV.

What’s even better is that the reunion episode will be for a good cause. The episode is dedicated to raising money for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which is providing additional assistance to food banks around the country during the pandemic.

Unfortunately, you have to wait until next week. The reunion airs Thursday, April 30, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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