The AV Club is midway through a fantastic interview with showrunner Michael Schur, the man in charge of making Parks and Recreation one of the best shows on television. The lengthy interview covers all the episodes from season three, and Schur walks us through the difficulties of the season.
It turns out their schedule was changed around quite a bit, and Amy Poehler’s pregnancy complicated things as well, so they essentially went from having 24 episodes in the second season to taking a two week break and then rolling right into work on the 16 episode third season. He comments that this felt a bit like a 30 episode season, which seems absolutely exhausting.
Before the show began, Schur did quite a bit of reading into the nature of communities as well as the problems of government in order to convincingly build narratives for the show. Well educated showrunners such as Schur or David Simon (The Wire) who do their homework? Amazing.
Schur also mentions that while the show was originally intended to be a bit more snarky, in the end: “I think it’s more enjoyable to see positivity than negativity.” The endless optimism of Parks is a bold move in a world where a put-down or slur can often be a much easier comedic route.
The new season of Parks and Recreation is due to air on Sept. 22 on NBC.