“I don’t think anyone will be unsatisfied if you’re looking for a good wedding episode of a television show,” a tight-lipped Scott says of the matrimonial hour. And he’s not the only one singing its praises.
Here, Parks star Poehler, showrunner Mike Schur and Scott himself preview Leslie and Ben’s not-too-rocky road to wedded bliss and reveal what life is like for the duo beyond the knot-tying.
NO CALM BEFORE THE STORM | Before Ben and Leslie say “I do” this Thursday, the latter is going to need a teensy bit of convincing. “Leslie is a really fun combination of brains and guts,” Schur explains. “In this case, her brain is operating at [first] and thinking, ‘Well, we rented this space and your parents aren’t here and my mom isn’t here.’ And then Ben appeals to her gut a little bit and says, ‘Doesn’t this just kind feel right? We could get married any time, but doesn’t it feel right to do it tonight, right here right now?’ — and then her gut takes over.” The EP adds that “a nice scene about reading signs and looking for signs that something is right” also helps Leslie make the choice to move ahead with the speedy nuptials.
GANG’S ALL HERE | It wouldn’t be a Pawnee event without each and every Parks Department member having a task to complete — and the Knope/Wyatt wedding is no exception. “There are a lot of details about the wedding, [and] everybody has a job to fill,” Schur teases. “Part of the fun of the episode is that — since the wedding was originally planned for May, but at the black-tie gala they decided to do it that night — they basically have two hours to put it together. So, there’s a part for everybody to play.” The showrunner won’t give out details on each character’s role during the installment, but he does reveal: “Tom becomes the officiant and has to get ordained online in an hour. And Donna plays a role in that we’re, for the first time, going to feature her beautiful and professionally trained singing voice.”
PRECIOUS MOMENTS | While we have no idea what Poehler is referring to here, the following tease is just too fun not to include. “There’s a moment in the episode that’s a perfect example of — in a really beautiful and sweet moment — just hard laughs. Those sharp turns are so hard to do, and I think Mike does them so well.”
PUT A RING ON IT | Eagle-eyed Parks fans will likely be on the lookout for Ben and Leslie’s coveted gift box during this week’s installment — you know the one: Ben gave it to Leslie with the “Knope 2012” pin in it, then she gave it to him with a Washington Monument trinket and then he hid her engagement ring in it? But alas, it looks like the object won’t resurface at the wedding. Explains Schur, “At one point, [the writers] did think about that box — which is a very special prop for us — but we came up with a different delivery mechanism for the wedding rings which I think is extremely satisfying.” To that point, the showrunner advises viewers “to watch all the way through the episode — and through the tag that occurs at the very end — because that tells the story of the rings. It’s kind of a key moment.”
KEEPING IT FRESH | If you’re at all worried that marrying off Leslie and Ben will somehow ruin their dynamic — or their dynamic with others — don’t. “Part of the joy of these two characters and their relationship is that they have very three-dimensional lives,” Schur assures. “They’re both committed — not only to each other, but to their careers and their friends and to living a full life. Maybe there’s a trap you can fall into if you have to tell the story repeatedly about their relationship, but we don’t have that problem.”
In fact, the second installment airing Thursday night (9/8c) aims to ease these concerns altogether. “The cold open of that episode is Leslie and Ben coming back from their honeymoon and talking about how much fun they had,” he shares, “but the episode is just a regular episode of Parks and Rec — Leslie and Ben aren’t in the same story. Ben’s starting a new job and it’s his first day at work, and Leslie has an event she’s planning for a correspondents’ dinner… You’ll see right away that there’s a blueprint going forward where yeah, they’re married now, but they also have other aspects of their lives that are very important to them. So, I hope and very much feel like that will be the thing that keeps it from seeming like the ‘magic is gone.'”
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