The departure of aggressively healthy Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and tropical fish Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) from NBC’s Parks and Recreation Thursday was heartbreaking— kind of. Neither super critical to the plot, their exits won’t leave a gaping hole in the Emmy award-winning sitcom. What they will do: usher in the welcome demise of popular pastime, Ann Perkins-shaming.
Attacked with a plethora of hate pieces— and at least a few courageous defenses—Perkins became the Skylar White of Parks as early as season two. But much like the vitriol spewed at Anna Gun, the arguments against Perkins have had little more substance than “she's annoying.” (Which, to be fair, isn’t completely off base.)
Perhaps the show’s writers could have given the blasé nurse one of the zillion quirks Leslie possesses or the funky-fresh lines Tom regularly slings. But it’s too late to apologize, the beautiful spinster’s ship has officially sailed—on it, her freakishly happy baby daddy.
On Thursday’s episode “Chris and Ann," the rest of the group paid tribute to the Michigan bound couple the only way Leslie knows how: 103 scrapbooks and a Sarah McLachlan mix tape. But between Tom’s ceremonious deleting of Ann’s contact information and Chris’s gift of “buddy boxes,” there seemed words of wisdom left unsaid. In fear of impending nervous breakdowns or life-altering hangovers at their new home in Michigan, here’s an open letter of love and advice to the TV couple America loved to dismiss.
Dear Chris and Ann,
You’ve come a long way, babies. Remember when you dated? Neither do we, really. But don’t forget the things your sex-less-relationship turned baby-making-friendship taught you about each other.
Ann, when you find a pink razor in Chris’s shower next time, know that it is his and not a secret lover’s. (“I shave my legs to swim. Strangely, men’s razor technology hasn’t figured out how to contour the shin bone.”) If you’re searching for gift ideas, he’s always in need of concealer (“I’m a human being. Sometimes I get blemishes, I’m not perfect.”) or Post-It’s, but not orange ("I'd like green and yellow."). If you overhear a “stop pooping” in the bathroom, send help (and Imodium). For a birthday dinner, make him a turkey burger—vitamins on the side.
Chris, instead of Perkins’ing Ann every time you see her, why not take one of the endearing terms Tom dreamed up for a spin (“Booboo Bear, Cookie Tush, Winnie the Boo, Lady Presh Presh, Annberry Sauce, Annie Get Your Boo, Tommy’s Gurl, Annie Banannie.”) When Ann gets homesick, tell her she’s beautiful Leslie-style” (“Ann you clever, wonderful flying squirrel; spectacular golden-tongued sunflower; gorgeous purebred poodle, magnificent tree of life.” If you want to surprise her with Karaoke one night, play this first. And keep her away from magic markers unless you're ready for a mustache.
Don't do anything Jerry would do. Miss you already (Litrally),