'Parks and Recreation': Inside the futuristic farewell season -- and final days on set

January 13, 2015 10:44 PM

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'Parks and Recreation': Inside the futuristic farewell season -- and final days on set

So this is what the end of Pawnee looks like. Hugs upon hugs, each longer than the last. Announcement after announcement that another actor—Henry Winkler as Dr. Saperstein! Helen Slayton-Hughes as Ethel Beavers! Jon Glaser as Jeremy Jamm!—has just finished his or her last day of shooting, resulting in more hugs. Amy Poehler sweetly coaching her young sons to say into the camera, “That’s a wrap on Parks and Recreation!” Nick Offerman’s parents sitting stoically in director’s chairs. (“One last chance to see our clumsy magic,” explains the good son.) Aubrey Plaza in zombie makeup. Jim O’Heir sobbing through his final lines as the cast reads the finale script aloud. (Dammit, Jerry! We’re trying to hold it together here!)

And this is what one of the last-ever group scenes of NBC’s Parks and Rec looks like. It’s a November morning on the Studio City, Calif., soundstage containing Tom’s Bistro—an actually successful business venture by once-flailing entrepreneur Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari)—and the actors are in upbeat ...

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