Dear Parks and Recreation

I just watched the Parks and Recreation finale, and it was both heartwarming and heartwrenching. This show has so much damn heart in it, and it is smart and kind in equal measure.

You have made Leslie Knope, April Ludgate, and Donna Meagle—strong, smart, realistic women who work and love and fail and succeed—into heroes for women aged 9 months to 90. (I have no idea who actually watches this show.)

You have spread the gospel of Ron Swanson so successfully that he is the most oft-quoted person on men’s Tinder profiles. He would be horrified.

It is a truth universally acknowledged (to borrow a phrase from Jane Austen) that it is harder to write a meaningful happy ending than a touching sad one.

And it is hilariously easy, if one goes by how often it happens, to completely destroy the finale to a good tv series.

So congratulations, cast of Parks and Rec. I’m going to miss each and every one of these characters. Congratulations, writers. I’ve never seen better.

With the exception of Dawson’s Creek.