parks and rec

3 Reasons Why Ann and Chris Leaving Parks and Recreation Is a Bad Idea

ann chris parks and rec You guys, it's finally starting to feel like fall, if only for a brief hour in the mornings. But you know what that means…our shows are coming back soon!

Oh, glorious day! Sweep those cobwebs out of your DVR because it's about to be full again, and you're going to have to choose between The Voice and the fifth episode of that new Andy Samberg show you're still not sure about but wanted to give a try (unless you have one of those fancy DVRs that records like 8 shows at once. On different TVs. What's it like to live in that kind of luxury?)

Anyway, with new seasons unfortunately come changes, and as much as I don't like change, I've had to embrace it a lot over the years: the loss of Michael Scott, Waverly and Santiago disappearing, Dan killing Keith…all of which left me sad and confused.

This one, while less dramatic, is still going to shake up one of my favorite shows: Rob Lowe (Chris Traeger) and Rashida Jones (Ann Perkins) are leaving Parks and Rec after 13 episodes this season.

I'm hoping this isn't a direct result of the post I wrote about the problem with Ann Perkins, but you never know. XB is the voice of the people (sorry, people).*

I'm not really sure how to feel, but my general sentiment is that I will miss Chris but not Ann.

Chris, when used in moderation, is fantastic. I have grown to really enjoy him, and I think they've fleshed his character out well without compromising it by going too deep with him.

Ann, however, is pretty much boring all the time always.** She has no quirks. She has no opinions of her own. She's just kind of a space-filler.

But here is why I think they should stay (partially for their own good):

1) It's only downhill from here for them. Does either one of them think they are going to find a steady gig as good as this one? According to one article I read, for some reason Parks and Rec decided Rashida was empirically not-boring enough that they wanted to hire her right away for the cast. I don't think she's going to get that kind of chance again. She was already kind of boring in The Office, but some of the characters in The Office are supposed to be boring so that they are normal in light of the others. I don't think this is the case with Parks & Rec. She was basically just a sounding board for Leslie when she talked about Ben. A side-kick, even. But now [spoiler alert] Leslie and Ben are married. No need for her anymore. Sooner or later people are going to realize Rashida is boring and not hire her for anything else.

And Rob Lowe? I'm kind of surprised he got a steady gig like this at all after having a lot of success in the 80's. It obviously does happen--let's call it Neil Patrick Harris-ing--but it's the exception, not the rule. (You hear me, Corey Feldman? Stay away.) I'm nervous that he won't be able to make it happen again. Plus I'll just miss him more than Ann, despite what he continued to perpetuate in society by hammering in the whole "literally" thing. (Don't get me started on the Google definition. However, I do think by doing so, Parks and Rec brought it to light and made fun of it, almost in a satirical way, which I loved.)

2) The whole baby thing coinciding with their departure is kind of a cop-out, right? Any characters that have babies on sitcoms inevitably have to deal with the consequences of trying to work a baby into the script to be realistic enough to seem like they are actually taking care of their kid without letting the baby be those characters' main storyline. I want to see Parks and Rec try to do that. Andy and April got married very early on in the series and are still high-functioning characters in the show without being lame. I think Parks and Rec could make the baby thing happen in a non-lame way. You don't get to just have a baby and leave. That's not how we raised you, Ann and Chris. And we won't allow it.

3) Meeting new characters is hard. I don't like change. I just don't. While I do trust the people casting Parks and Rec, because they have brought in some GEMS over the years (Jean Ralphio's sister? Just stop it. So perfect.), I'm nervous to see who (if anyone) they bring in. They've got to add at least one more. It will feel a little empty if they don't. But I'm really hoping they just bring in one and give Donna more of a role, because she is fantastic and underrated. Plus pretty much all the SNL actors have already had cameos, so we're running out of options here.

Who do you want to see in a recurring role on Parks & Rec? Do you support my more-Donna suggestion? How do you feel about Chris and Ann leaving?

*this is a direct plagiarism from Conan O'Brien's twitter bio. **this is a direct plagiarism from 30 Rock's "Everything Sunny All The Time Always" episode.



The Problem with Ann Perkins of Parks and Rec

So, Ann Perkins, right? You can't say her first name without her last name (thanks to Chris Traeger)...and...that's about all I've got in terms of Ann fun facts.

Do you know why that is?

Because Ann has become a complete non-character in Parks and Rec.

I'm sorry, Rashida Jones. I like you and all, but it's true.

She has no quirks. Zero. She dates around a lot I guess. Is that supposed to be her thing now? It's hardly unique. She's actually become kind of pathetic, in the way that I just feel sad for her.

Poor Ann.

Even her name is average.

Her relationship with Leslie is about 95% Leslie, so she's basically useless there. She's the odd man out at the Parks department because she only works there because Leslie pushed her into some B.S. public health PR job.

Let's just run down the list of people she has to interact with:

She's awkward around Ron because he doesn't care and she won't force herself on him like Leslie does. She's awkward around April because April hates her. She's awkward around Andy because she dated him. She's awkward around Donna because she's intimidated by her. She's awkward around Tom and Chris because she dated them, too.

I mean, come on, Ann. At least TRY to be social with people without dating them. She just stands around in scenes and acts...normal.

Normal is boring, Ann. This is Parks and Recreation. Get it together. She's kind of like a sponge. The other actors try to bounce stuff off her and she just absorbs it all sad-trombone-like and sucks the life force out of an otherwise entertaining scene.


It's hard for me to see a clear-cut answer to this problem.

Whereas The Winston Problem could be fixed in a number of ways, as Knox has already addressed, I'm at a loss for The Ann Problem. Maybe it's because she's been such a non-person sidekick for so long I just don't know what else she could be?

Here's my best pitch: Ann gets a legit, long-term boyfriend who is actually entertaining and their relationship itself would become a new character. Then a) she has someone else to interact with NON-awkwardly, and b) it makes her more interesting by association. She needs someone new.

Because let's be honest, sure you can still have a BFF when you are married, but it's not the same. It's never going to be Leslie and Ann again. It's Leslie and sometimes Ann, the perpetual 3rd wheel.

Do you recognize The Ann Problem? How do you think we should fix it?


*Is it just me or is it really fun to yell at Ann?