The pain of breaking up with your favourite TV show

After seven seasons, I'm about to finish Parks and Recreation and January has never felt so bleak, says Susanna Lazarus

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Christmas is over, the weather is bleak, discarded Christmas trees litter the streets and I am going through a painful break up. I’ve been here before – I’m well acquainted with the boxes of tissues, comfort food and that impending sense of gloom – but this time it’s a real doozy.

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You see, I’m in love with Parks and Recreation. (Why, what did you think I was talking about?) 

The love affair began last year when I stumbled across the staff of Pawnee’s governmental department during a browse of Amazon. Our introduction was a little awkward – those who’ve watched the first series of Parks and Rec will understand – but from season two onwards I had fallen hook, line and sinker.

We started spending all our time together. I’ve lost count of the number evenings in with pyjamas, a cup of tea and six episodes of Parks and Recreation. 

Leslie Knope became my life advisor, I adopted What Would Leslie Do as my personal motto and words LITERALLY took on a different meaning. I see calzone in a new light and sometimes I accidentally call my toilet the wizz palace – just one sign my social skills have gone out the window. Another is the fact that I bang on about Parks and Rec to my friends all the livelong day while they nod politely and pretend to listen.

But all good things have to end, right? 2015 brought Don Draper’s swansong and Christmas saw Maggie Smith fire her final one-liner as Downton’s Dowager Countess, although they were mere practice runs for what I will feel when I finish Parks and Rec.

It’s my ultimate “treat yo’self” on a lazy Sunday morning and a reliable pick-me-up at the end of a tough day but after nearly seven seasons, I’m down to my final three episodes and I’m dreading the moment the final credits roll – so much so that at the moment I’m just not watching it.

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It’s pathetic logic, really, because the only thing worse than finishing Parks and Rec is not finishing it, but for now I’m rationing. I’m just not ready to say goodbye to Bert Macklin, Jerry/Terry/Larry/Gary, Lil’ Sebastian (again), or even Jean-Ralphio. And when I do summon up the courage (first world problems, eh?) and watch the grand finale, I’ll commemorate Parks and Recreation the only way I know how: Galentine’s Day. The best day of the year – now if only I could spend it with Leslie Knope…