Now that the brief period of agony and disbelief has passed and we’ve all mostly accepted the impending departures of Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) after the 13th episode of the upcoming season of Parks and Recreation, it’s time to ask the all-important question of “Who will take Ann’s place as Leslie Knope’s best friend and most beautiful woman in all of Pawnee?” And thanks to the show’s creator, Michael Schur, we now know that the answer to that question is a little bit of everyone.
Schur revealed to TV Line that while Leslie’s “biggest personal story” of season 6 will be coping with the departure of her best friend, we’re going to see all of Leslie’s other friends take on an increased role to let her know just how loved she is. How more people aren’t addicted to this show’s amazing emotional depth just blows me away.
To wit, “There’s something that April does in the [London-set, Sept. 26] premiere that’s sort of a harbinger of things to come,” Schur reveals. “And we’re bringing Retta a lot more to the forefront this season. Donna and Leslie will have some good connections and some good screen time together.”
By the time Jones exits in February, Schur notes that Leslie and Ann will have spent “103 episodes interacting and becoming friends. We’re not just going to suddenly pretend that a new actor can come in and be, like, Leslie’s new best friend. It’s going to be people she already knows and relies on and cares about.”
If there’s one thing that I take away from that comment, it’s that this means that we’re going to get more Donna Meagle, and I’ve been praying to the gods of Pawnee for several seasons to make this happen. And I guess it’s good that we’ll get more of April, Andy, Ron and Gerry as well, but Donna deserves the push. Although, it would be nice to see Leslie strike up a new friendship with Orin, too.
But I’ll settle for more Donna for now.