Last night’s Halloween episode of Parks and Recreation had a big surprise in store for a couple of its major characters, and showrunner/co-creator Mike Schur held a conference call today to talk to reporters about the direction of the show in the wake of Leslie and Ben’s engagement. Schur said the original plan for the show was to have Leslie Knope date a string of very different men (Paul Schneider, Justin Theroux, and Louis C.K.) and learn more about who she is with each one, but when the writers paired her up with Adam Scott’s Ben Wyatt, they decided they couldn’t split them up.
“We realized their two characters were very good for each other and so we threw out that plan and followed what made sense, which was that they were soul mates,” Schur explained. “For that reason, I don’t think that them getting married or getting engaged changes that much about the way the show is. It’s just official now and we get to do stories about them planning a wedding and intertwining their lives officially and what that means for them and how it affects other people.”
When asked about the likelihood of a sixth season for the critically-acclaimed but low-rated show, Mike Schur said, “We learned a long time ago that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. For that reason, our motto has been just ‘go for broke.’ Just tell every story you wanna tell. Don’t worry about what comes next. Don’t worry about the future. Just tell the stories you wanna tell in the order you wanna tell them, and damn the torpedoes, basically.
“Every time we get a piece of good news in the past about the next season pickup or something like that, Amy sends a text to me that says, ‘Nice hustle.’ That’s the motto of the show, if there is one. Let’s just hustle. Let’s go all out. Run to first base, run to second base, run to third, come home. Go full bore the whole time, and let the chips fall where they may. We’re not gonna worry about next year or the year after or anything like that. We’re just gonna hustle and try to make the show as good and as interesting as it can possibly be.”