If Parks & Rec and The Good Place Are in the Same Universe, Is Pawnee the Medium Place?

Think about it. Image via NBC.
Think about it. Image via NBC.

The Good Place and Parks and Recreation are both created by Michael Schur, and fans of both know that you will see many of the same bit players again and again. It turns out it’s because they’re living in the same universe?

Viewers noticed that Good Place character Eleano Shellstrop’s favorite magazine Celebrity Baby Plastic Surgery Disasters featured an ad for a brand of champagne made by Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, a character from Parks and Rec, played with charming douchebaggery by Ben Schwartz. The same (unfortunately) fake mag features an ad for Glyde, “a fragrance for everyone,” by Dennis Feinstein in Season One of The Good Place.


Feinstein is also a character from Parks and Rec, played by Jason Mantzoukas. Mantzoukas is also on The Good Place, as Janet’s rebound creation, Derek, who has wind chimes for a dick.

So, when Eleanor was alive, she lived in the same world as Pawnee, Indiana, which also encompassed Adam Scott’s Ben Wyatt, who later appears in The Bad Place as Trevor the demon. You can go in circles trying to explain all this: Ben eventually went bad, and ended up working in hell post death. The mag does seem to be showing a future where Jean-Ralphio is successful, which certainly seemed far off in the Parks and Rec series finale. Derek eventually developed enough of his mind to become a sinister perfume mogul—but then he would have to travel back in time.

There are two feasible explanations here, I think: either everyone has a Doppelgänger, or that Pawnee is actually a medium place, the kind of refuge our six Good Place heroes are looking for. You can be with your friends; but the libraries are evil. The town’s mascot is a tiny pony; but the tiny pony is dead. Pawnee is aggressively medium, but it contains the true good place: love and loyalty amongst friends.

Did I guess it right, Mr. Schur?

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Surely this also connects to Brooklyn Nine Nine! UNITE THE SCHURVERSE!