When Amy Poehler says that "Parks and Recreation" "kind of ruined me for anything else," it's not hard to understand why. For seven seasons, she was the star, producer and emotional tone-setter (on screen and off) for one of TV's best comedies, in a job that allowed her to do ridiculous things but also play big dramatic moments, that let her work with a wonderful ensemble, that gave her opportunities to write, and direct and constantly exercise her muscles as a master improv comic. One day, Poehler may be able to find another character as rich and tailored to her skill-set as Leslie Knope, but to do that in a project with all the other benefits of this one seems like it would require an astonishing amount of luck.
The series finale airs Tuesday night at 10 on NBC. Early last week, Poehler and I spoke about the show's bumpy origin story, Leslie's relationships with Ann and Ron and Ben, her least favorite part of the job, and a lot more.