It’s been more than two years since the last Parks and Recreation episode aired, but thanks to Netflix, the show is still as beloved as ever. If you believe hard enough, you can trick yourself into thinking the show is never over.
And thanks to Netflix, we were recently were engaging in our 40th watch-through of this great show (it’s kind of always just on loop) when we remembered something — the last season of the show was set in 2017.
For the entirety of Parks and Rec prior to the last season, the show took place concurrently with the present reality. However, in a bold twist, the very last episode of Season 6 ended with a fast-forward three years into not only Leslie and crew’s future, but our collective future as well.
Parks and Rec made a lot of bold predictions about what 2017 would be like. Some of them seemed decently reasonable, and others not so much. But now that it’s actually 2017, it’s time to reflect.
What did Parks and Rec get right and wrong about 2017?
WRONG: We would all be carrying around completely clear phones and tablets with holographic displays.
In the 2017 of Pawnee, Indiana, huge tech company Gryzzl rules our lives. While it’s true that there are many huge tech companies that have sway over our lives in reality, none of them make tablets and phones anywhere close to what we see in Parks and Rec.
Completely clear phones and tablets are probably still a couple years out, still currently someone’s experimental design. Holographic displays still belong in the realm of VR and science fiction.
What they’ve envisioned in Parks and Rec is undeniably cool, though. Someone please get us one of those Gryzzl pads.
RIGHT: Drones are delivering stuff to us.
While it’s not at Gryzzl’s creepy data-mining level, drones are being explored as a way to make deliveries.
In particular, Amazon has been looking into the technology for several years with its Prime Air drone. Amazon conducted their first Prime Air delivery via drone towards the end of 2016 in the U.K. And as recently as March of this year, Amazon made a demonstration of their drone’s delivery service as they used one to drop off a four-pound package of sunscreen to attendees at a robotics conference.
Robots haven’t come to kill us all, Leslie and Ben. They very well may just be coming to deliver our Amazon order in the near future.
WRONG: There are only eight massive conglomerate companies left in America.
We could not be more thrilled that this is not true, because honestly society would be terrible if this were a reality. On a more personal level, we are struggling to imagine a world where the same company that makes us a chicken burrito with pinto beans would also be the provider of our “6G” phone data.
If America ever reaches this point, please send help.
RIGHT: The Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
They totally did!
Yes, this is a very cheap and overdone prediction. But we can’t blame the Parks and Rec writers. When a team has a drought of 108 years, the day that drought is broken is going to be a popular prediction.
And yes, the Cubs technically won the 2016 World Series. But as long as a new champion hasn’t been crowned, they are still the reigning champs of 2017. So we’re going to give this one to Parks and Rec.
WRONG: Every single pop culture reference.
We gotta give it to them for trying, but all of the celebrity feuds and movie reboots that Parks and Rec predicted did not come to fruition.
Here is a list of things Parks and Rec characters alluded to in their version of 2017:
Shia LaBeouf designs both wedding dresses and wedding jewelry. (Sadly, this is not his true calling, as Tom Haverford would have us believe.)
Kevin James starred in a reboot of Jason Bourne.
Morgan Freeman and Shailene Woodley have a massive and dramatic feud.
Nicki Minaj threw shade at Jesse Eisenberg at the BAFTAs. (We would actually love to see this.)
Joe Biden releases a hefty book of poetry called Biden the Rails: 1001 Poems Inspired By My Travels Through Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. (There’s still time left in 2017 so we aren’t counting this one completely out.)
Bruce Willis and Christina Aguilera have a house together in Hollywood.
Will Smith’s son, Jaden, stars in Hitch 2: Son of a Hitch. (Stop giving Hollywood terrible movie ideas.)
Game of Thrones comes to an end. Leslie describes the final episode as the one where “Khaleesi is marrying Jack Sparrow. Oh god, that show has really gone off the rails.”
LeBron James goes back to the Miami Heat.
WRONG: Elbow bedazzling and fingernail lasering is a hot trend.
We have plenty of bizarre trends in 2017, like covering our butts in glitter and eating oranges in the shower. But not included are the two trends Parks and Rec mentioned when Tom and Donna go on their amazing, blowout treat yo’self day in Beverly Hills.
First is elbow bedazzling, which seems to be where you have selection of diamonds and rhinestones glued to your elbow in varying elaborate designs. The poolside lounge where Donna and Tom go charges $140 for a basic bedazzle, but Donna decides to go for something from the supreme collection at $600. Bedazzlin’ ain’t cheap.
That same lounge is where the second trend is discussed: fingernail lasering. For $275, Tom asked them to “laser my nails off, please.” We’re not exactly sure what the appeal to this particular trend is, as it sounds more horrifying than chic. We’re also glad it doesn’t actually exist.
So how did Parks and Recreation do with their predictions?
In summary, not great. But we can’t blame them. When you play the prediction game, you gotta go bold and with no real expectations of being right. We love the predictions Parks and Rec made even if they were wrong. They gave the last season of that great comedy even more life than it already had.
Now excuse us while we go outside to thoroughly enjoy some of our national parks.