It’s time to get excited, Parks and Recreation fans. After months of revisiting the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness and making Knope for Mayor T-shirts, it’s finally time to return to Pawnee. Whatever tonight’s season premiere brings, lots of laughs are surely in store — but what can we actually expect from our favorite Parks and Rec characters this year? Because we’ve truly grown to love Leslie, Ron, April, and their co-workers, we couldn’t resist mapping out our hopes and dreams for the entire crew in Season 4.
Leslie Knope: Oh boy. What don’t we want for Leslie this season? Sure, we’d love to see her run for office, an idea that was introduced in last year’s final episode. But is it selfish that we’d rather see her stay in the Parks and Recreation department, with the colleagues we love so much, and keep her super-hot romance with Ben going? We know that might not be what makes her happiest — but it will certainly give us the most satisfaction. Dammit.
Ann Perkins: To grow a personality. We know this sounds harsh, but Rashida Jones is a fantastic actress, and even she can’t save Ann from being a boring character. So she’s a sweet, hard-working nurse who’s been mysteriously unlucky in love. After three seasons, Ann should be more complex than that. On a show with few weak spots, she’s the most glaring.
Tom Haverford: Speaking of unlucky in love, Tom’s had his heart stomped on by a green-card wife who ended up dating Ron Swanson and then lost his next girlfriend because he couldn’t get over that betrayal. He needs to get his shit together and find a woman who appreciates his awkward charms. Also, more Tom Haverfoods, please. And more Jean-Ralphio.
Ron Swanson: What should Season 4 bring for the most wonderful character on TV? Well, we’ve already gotten a generous glimpse of what’s in store — namely, a showdown between Ron’s two exes and his mom (all of whom happen to be named Tammy). We heartily approve of this development, and we hope it’s a season-long story line, because we want as much Ron (and Patricia Clarkson!) as we can get.
April Ludgate: As much as we like April and Andy, last season’s Neutral Milk Hotel episode hinted that this marriage is not fated to end well. That’s fine with us, because we like April sarcastic and detached, and all the lovey-dovey stuff is starting to get in the way of that. Also, we bet a break-up would mean the welcome return of her weird friends.
Andy Dwyer: More Mouse Rat! If you’re still not convinced an April-Andy split is a good idea, consider how many awesomely bad songs he’ll get out of the ordeal.
Ben Wyatt: Last season, we saw Ben resolve a life-long problem: his continued embarrassment over his failed career as a teenage mayor. That’s great, and we love his romance with Leslie, but we’re worried that he’ll become boring now that he isn’t a ball of pathos and shame. Ben needs a great, perhaps political intrigue-focused, story line in Season 4.
Chris Traeger: Maybe this makes us sadists, but we really want something to happen that shakes Chris’ faith in his ultra-healthy lifestyle and super-positive attitude.
Donna Meagle: First of all, can we agree that Donna needs more screen time? She is wonderful. Can’t we get her into some kind of hot and heavy affair with a married man or something? Donna will be all about the drama, if the writers finally set her free.
Jerry Gergich: That sweet, sweet retirement he’s spent most of his career holding out for — but not before more pants-splitting, meeting-disrupting shenanigans. We’re pretty sure that when it’s really time for him to say his goodbyes, Leslie and co. will throw him a party that will finally prove they really did love Jerry all along.