Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Parks and Recreation" and "The Walking Dead."
Over the last few days, we've had to say our goodbyes to Pawnee as NBC's "Parks and Recreation" ended its run after seven seasons, homophobic "Walking Dead" fans had to deal with the stress of the show's first on-screen gay couple and one more funny person from "The Daily Show" will be leaving. Look on the bright side, at least a new show about the last man on earth will be premiering this Sunday.
1. The end of "Parks and Recreation"
On Tuesday night, television got a little less funny. NBC's "Parks and Recreation" has ended after seven seasons, forcing us to bid our farewells to Pawnee and the characters that we've grown to love. When it comes to series finales, last night's hour-long episode titled "One Last Ride" will be remembered as perfect.
Over the course of the entire hour, as Leslie reunites with her former co-workers for one last Parks Department task to fix a broken swing in town, we got snippets of each character’s future from Jean-Ralphio faking his death to collect insurance to build a casino with his sister Mona-Lisa, Tom's failure of Tom's Bistro turning into a successful self-help book (brilliantly titled "Failure: An American Success Story"), April and Andy's venture into parenthood, and Ron's future of being a proud father and in his element of nature after Leslie gives him the job to run the National Park right outside of Pawnee.
We got to see how every core character's life will turn out after 2017 going from 2019 all the way to 2048. All of it was amusing, even going as far as to showing Craig's future of marrying Typhoon and still being angry as an old man. Donna, as expected, lives a fabulous life as a realtor in Seattle, before turning her attention as well as her money to create non-profit, after-school programs for teachers like her husband Joe.
Of course, this all wouldn't have been complete without knowing that Leslie eventually becomes governor of Indiana and serves two terms – a goal which was written in her kindergarten dream journal – with Ben, who eventually does become a congressman in Washington D.C., happily standing by her side (in one of the future flash forwards, it's suggested that one of them became President).
Still, despite where their future takes them, Leslie confesses that all she really wants is to have her friends back in the same room at the same time. In 2025, Ben makes that happen on a trip back to Pawnee, which results in the reunion of the group, as well as Chris and Ann (Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones) – which was literally fantastic.
Everyone had their dreams come true. There were no sad endings, only happy ones, and it is what the show deserved. There was no real big humorous bits or jokes, as the finale simply and sweetly gave us a glimpse into the character's futures to let us know that for them, everything was going to be alright.
"Parks and Recreation" is a show that I'm going to greatly miss not only because of the laughs and the characters that often elicited the laughter, but also the more heartfelt, genuine moments that had something to say. Also, there'll never, ever be a character quite like Leslie Knope who went from being a Michael Scott-like character to becoming her own zany, ambitious and dedicated self.
One message in particular, repeated again in the finale, was made clear: No matter where you work or what you do, it's all worth it if you have good friends and good work that you're proud of. If you're anything like Ron Swanson, however, maybe throw in a steak or two and some breakfast food for good measure.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to listen to the tunes of Duke Silver while I binge eat syrupy waffles and drown my sorrows in scotch. At least we'll always have re-runs.
2. I guess there was controversy on "The Walking Dead"
In another (almost daily) edition of "How Is This A Controversy?", there was fan outrage on social media Sunday night during the latest episode of AMC's "The Walking Dead" when a male gay couple kissed. Gasp! Apparently, for a show that is known for raising the bar when it comes to TV gore and violence with depictions of cannibalism and rape, two men kissing is where some fans draw the line.
At the beginning of the episode, titled "The Distance," Rick Grimes and the rest of the group had just made it through a major storm. They're all exhausted, hungry and are itching for a place of sanctuary. They just have on problem: Aaron, a survivor who looks like he just stepped out of a model agency, has been brought to the barn by Maggie and Sasha. He's clean and well-dressed, but he still poses a lingering threat.
Aaron, who has been following the group for awhile to recruit, promises them to join him in a new community, a safe area for them to live. Rick, understandably, thinks that they'd just be lured to another Terminus-like area, one where they might be tied up again to only be slaughtered like cattle so he reacts in the best way he could: knocks out Aaron with a single punch to the face.
No matter what Aaron repeatedly tells the group about the community that he comes from, Rick doesn't trust him and Aaron knows this. He understands the world in which they now live in, one in which no one should be trusted. However, he tells them that he isn't set out to harm them and he desperately wants them to trust him because he thinks they'd be great for this community that he speaks heavily about, one that's barricaded by reinforced steel walls so no one or nothing can get in unless they have permission to.
As Aaron's tied up to a post inside the small barn and force-fed apple sauce, Rick and the others determine if they should trust him, grappling with uncertainty. Eventually, the rest of the group – especially Michonne, who seems to have a little bit of humanity left – grows to trust Aaron as they eventually realize that all of the things he has told them turned out to be true.
Aaron's been following and spying on the group, which is undoubtedly weird, and Rick knows that he might have others hiding outside the barn, waiting for their next move. Rick wants to forget they even met Aaron because it's too "dangerous," but Michonne brings him back down to Earth. "Passing up a place where we can live – where Judith can live – is dangerous."
Rick eventually obliges and stays with Aaron while Michonne, Abraham, Rosita, Glenn and Maggie go look for Aaron's cars. He doesn't let Aaron get too comfortable, even when he offers his applesauce for baby Judith who's crying because she's hungry. "Just because we're good people, doesn't mean we won't kill you," Rick says, promising to kill him if his crew isn't back in an hour.
Eventually, they're back with the truth, and after some argument about the right route to take to this new community that Rick is still isn't so sure about, the group splits between Aaron's car and camper. Rick, Michonne, Glenn and Aaron ride in the car while the others are in the camper. Down the road, Aaron is questioned by Michonne while Rick rummages through Aaron's quirky license plate collection. BAM! Walkers becomes road kill.
This road is occupied by a giant herd of rotting walkers. They mow down seemingly dozens – the windshield becomes covered in blood and walker guts. The car comes to a stop, and the camper is nowhere to be seen. They become nervous and understandably so – especially Aaron, who increasingly becomes paranoid. All of a sudden, a flare lights up in the sky and he, with his hands still bound, bails out of the car and runs into the woods.
With a panic-filled run through the woods, Glenn catches up to Aaron and Rick and Michonne eventually catch up to them after taking out a few walkers (Rick even shoots a walker with a flare gun, which was both cheesy and awesome all at the same time). As the group reunites with the others from the camper, we find out the reason why Aaron freaked out and ran into the woods. He was running towards Eric, his companion and his boyfriend, who is suffering from an ankle injury.
When they're reunited, this is when they kiss, angering homophobic fans and formally introducing us to the show's first on-screen gay couple.
At the end of the episode, Aaron and Eric lead Rick and the rest of the group to the community known as Alexandria (known in the comics as the Alexandria Safe-Zone). Unlike the eerie silence they heard when entering Terminus, the sounds coming from over the gate in Alexandria signify life and, for the first time in awhile, hope.
Longtime readers of the comics already knew about Aaron's sexual orientation for awhile now. For some viewers, I guess they came to realize that, much to their own dissatisfaction, homosexuality didn't die with most of the world's population.
I refuse to post the dozen or so tweets because of not only their bigotry, but their use of explicit language to show their disgust and lack of humanity. One thing is for sure: If there were to be an actual zombie apocalypse, I wouldn't want to be stuck in their group for survival.
3. Jason Jones leaving "The Daily Show"
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a list of potential names of funny folks who I'd like to see take over "The Daily Show" once Jon Stewart leaves later this year (Please don't leave, Jon. Please). While I'm still hoping that Stewart will say something along the lines of, "Just kidding! I just renewed my contract for another few years," I'm slowly accepting the fact that will never come true.
Anyways, one of the names I suggested was Jason Jones, a "Daily Show" correspondent who I'd argue would be right for the job. But now I have to slowly accept the fact that will never come true either. Just weeks after Stewart announced his resignation, Jones broke the news on Twitter that he’s leaving as well.
"For 9 & 1/2 years, I have worked at one of the greatest TV shows of all time," Jones wrote on Twitter. "But… It is time for me to go." He continued, "That said, I am ecstatic to announce that I’m about to make another great show over @tbsveryfunny."
This news comes shortly after TBS' announcement that they have set a 10-episode order for a Jason Jones and his wife, fellow "Daily Show" correspondent Samantha Bee. Both Jones and Bee are serving as executive producers on the project and wrote the pilot, which was directed by Steve Pink ("Hot Tub Time Machine 2," "About Last Night").
Jones will star in the series, which is inspired by his and Bee’s own experiences with family getaways. The series will center on a couple and their two young kids as they take a road trip to Florida, which is fraught with unforeseen disaster as they encounter problems along the way.
Production is slated to begin this summer, with the TBS set to launch the series later this year.
4. "Last Man On Earth" premieres this Sunday
This Sunday at 8 p.m. on Fox, you'll be able to meet Phil Miller (Will Forte, "Nebraska"): The Last Man on Earth. According to the teaser, he is "the world's greatest handyman, athlete, lover, driver, collector, bowler, shopper, mixologist, marksman, plumber, slugger, daredevil and survivor."
With all those attributes, Phil Miller may be the most zany character we have seen yet in this sort of end of the world, bleak scenario that's often associated with horror and sci-fi elements. So far in the previews, those elements are nowhere to be seen, promising a different take.
If you've been a little skeptical so far, here are two good reasons to watch the show: Phil Lord and Chris Miller – the men behind "21 Jump Street," "22 Jump Street" and "The Lego Movie" – are the creative forces behind this. As I've already noted in my mid-season TV preview, the concept for the show isn't entirely unique, but with Forte as the lead, it just might be a show worth watching.
Colton Dunham's passion for movies began back as far as he can remember. Before he reached double digits in age, he stayed up on Saturday nights and watched numerous classic horror movies with his grandfather. Eventually, he branched out to other genres and the passion grew to what it is today.
Only this time, he's writing about his response to each movie he sees, whether it's a review for a website, or a short, 140-character review on Twitter. When he's not inside of a movie theater, at home binge watching a television show, or bragging that he's a published author, he's pursuing to keep movies a huge part of his life, whether it's as a journalist/critic or, ahem, a screenwriter.