“Parks and Rec” Co-Creator Mike Schur to Fan Flames of Culture War With Show About Interracial Couple Set in Missouri
Prepare to unfollow your uncle on Facebook. Again.
By now, it should be apparent that what happened to Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, was not an isolated incident. But Brown’s shooting and its aftermath have formed the flashpoint for our current national discussion—which is a polite way of saying “shouting match”—concerning the militarization of police, the relationship between law enforcement and the community, and the continued subjection of African-Americans in the United States. What happened in Ferguson isn’t unique to Missouri, but the town and state have become a kind of cultural shorthand that allow us to talk about our current moment.
So it’s not surprising that Mike Schur, the co-creator of Parks and Recreation (and accomplished beet farmer), chose Missouri as the setting for his as-yet untitled new show about an interracial couple. As Flavorwire notes, via Deadline, Schur’s show follows Andrew and Josie, a married couple who move to the Show-Me State to be closer to her family. Also on board is writer Matt Hubbard, who has written for Parks and Rec and 30 Rock.
While the notion of setting a politically charged comedy about race in the middle of the country is bound to upset plenty of people—and provide ample opportunities for extra-regional superiority—Schur is a smart, balanced writer, and for all of the jokes it made at the expense of the locals, Parks and Rec always felt like a product of its midwestern setting. For Schur’s new show to succeed—both comedically and socially—it will have to walk an incredibly fine line between pointed satire and good-natured comedy.
While the show’s title and air date aren’t yet known, it will be shown on NBC.