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DVD Review

DVD cover

Parks and Recreation
Season Six


Starring: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O'Heir and Retta
Distributor: Fabulous Films / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 10 November 2014

In this season, the citizens of Pawnee loathe their merger with the neighbouring town of Eagleton, and blame all their troubles - both real and imagined - on Councilwoman Knope. The personal lives of those in City Hall are equally tumultuous: Andy must temporarily say "cheerio" to his wife, April, when he takes a dream job in London: Ron adjusts to his new domestic roles; and Ann and Chris eagerly await the birth of their child... if they can survive the woes of pregnancy...

After the slight dip in quality that was Season Five, Season Six sees the series return to its usual form. Bearing in mind how, for me, Chris Pratt's Andy is one of the show's most interesting characters, I was expecting, due to his newfound movie career, to see a lot less of him. My worst fears were realised when in the first episode he stays on in London to see a government project through... but worry not, he's actually only gone for a few episodes before he returns for an episode, disappears again for a short while and then returns once again for good.

The biggest shakeup in this season sees two of the main cast leaving the show. They don't leave until fairly late on, but to be honest they're not used much this season and to be fair I think they'd squeezed just about everything out of them anyway. They were actually also the show's least funny characters (which is no reflection on the wonderful acting jobs given by both individuals concerned).

An added bonus of this shakeup is that both Jim O'Heir (Jerry - who becomes "Larry" this season) and Retta (Donna) get much more to do - they're also finally added to the opening titles too.

Highlights in this season include:

London: Ben and Andy go to London, to finalise one of Leslie's projects, which she can't oversee because she has been nominated for an award. Ron and Diane get married after Diane announces she's pregnant. Also Ann learns that she is pregnant and that Chris is to become a father. Guest stars include Henry Wrinker and Peter Serafinowicz.

Dopplegangers: After Eagleton and Pawnee merge there are a lot of duplicate members of staff. Leslie decides to get them all to work together before deciding who will stay and who will be made redundant.

Anniversaries: For their anniversary, Ben is determined to out do Leslie. However, Leslie is hard to get hold of and Ben ends up spending his romantic day with Jerry.

Moving Up: Leslie must finally decide whether to take a much better job, but this will mean she'll have to leave Pawnee. Tom's Bistro has a soft opening - even though it's nowhere near ready. This episode is interesting as it squeezes in so many old and regular guest stars.

Extras include Deleted Scenes (20 min, 22 sec); Parks and Recreation in Europe (9 min, 04 sec webisodes); The Hapley Group (5 min, 06 sec spoof Perd Hapley chat show and spoof ads); Winter Games Promo (1 min, 02 sec); A Second Chance - Producer's Extended Cut (26 min, 08 sec episode compared with the original broadcast length of 21 min, 35 sec); Deleted Scenes (28 min, 22 sec); 100th Episode Feature (20 min, 34 sec which interviews the cast on their favourite moments so far); Rashida and Rob Farewells (1 min, 52 sec short speeches given on each actor's last day of shooting); T-Dazzle Commercial (38 sec); Chip McCapp Music Video (1 min, 56 sec); Flu Season 2 - Producer's Extended Cut (27 min, 20 sec, compared with the broadcast episode length of 21 min, 41 sec); Moving Up - Producer's Extended Cut (53 min, 03 sec - original broadcast episode was 43 min, 03 sec. There's some hilarious scenes with Tammy 2 and Jeremy Jamm); Deleted Scenes (3 min, 47 sec); and Gag Reel (19 min, 30 sec).

The close of this season could easily have worked as the show's grand finale... However, there is a seventh season currently in development which will be the last one and will only contain 13 episodes rather than the usual 22.

Another fine season - probably the show's greatest to date.


Darren Rea

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