Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Top 10 Reasons I'll Miss Chris Traeger (As Told Through GIFs)

What makes Chris Traeger such a delightful character? Is it his optimism in the face of just about every obstacle you can imagine? Is it his tendency to occasionally become self-deprecating? Is it his relationship with Ben Wyatt? Is it his use of the word “literally”? Is it his love for his colleagues and endless care for them? Is it his obsession with healthy food and leafy greens? His devotion to exercise? Or is it the way that he simply exists, bouncing from person to person and job to job, interacting and somehow making Parks and Recreation a wittier, more entertaining series?

(Spoiler alert: It’s all of these things and more.) 

I’m going to miss Rob Lowe as the handsome, energetic, happy Chris Traeger and thought I’d count down ten of the reasons I’ll miss him most of all. So grab a healthy smoothie and maybe do some crunches while you read, because we’re counting them down… now!

10. His ability to admit that he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

I said it in my Ann Perkins post, and I’ll say it in this one: GPOY.

9. His enthusiasm for everything, no matter how menial. “Way to be, duck!”

I don’t even know why, but I laughed so hard at the “Way to be, duck!” line in this episode. I think it’s because I realized how committed Chris is to excelling at literally every single task he performs, no matter how menial. If he’s a caddy, he is a caddy to the absolute best of his ability. If he’s working in government, he does everything possible to ensure that he’s doing the best he can and serving his city to the best of his ability. I think the world might be a better place if we all had half of the motivation that Chris does.

8. Chris’ tendency to be… well, depressing sometimes. 

I can’t lie – when Chris goes to his dark place, it’s actually REALLY funny. I’m going to miss that.

7. His (fake) banjo-playing skills.

If it hadn't been for the Ben/Leslie kiss, THIS would have ranked as the absolute best part of the entire episode for me. Look at how devoted Chris is to playing a fake banjo with enthusiasm!

6. His desire to motivate people around him, especially Andy.

I think that Chris’ motivation and enthusiasm are often rooted in jokes in Parks and Rec. We, as typically unmotivated (or at least not as motivated about life as HE is) viewers see his extremist tendencies and we laugh. He’s absurd to us, a lot of the time. But the most beautiful thing that Parks and Recreation does as a series is take the qualities about its characters – the nerdiness of Ben Wyatt, the optimism and determination of Leslie Knope, the loyalty of Ann Perkins, the steadfastness of Ron Swanson, the naivete of Andy, the cynicism of April, the jovial and aloof aspects of Tom, the tough Donna, and the goofy Jerry (er, Larry) – and instead of always turning these absurdities into jokes, the show CELEBRATES the nuances that make these characters who they are. Moreover, they use these qualities and aspects and traits to deliver real emotional heart.

To the writers of Parks and Rec, Chris Traeger isn’t a joke. His excitability is often funny, but his go-get-‘em attitude is rooted in the fundamental belief that his friends have potential and CAN reach their potential if they just don’t stop trying. Chris’ speech to Andy is one of the reasons I’ll miss him most, because it was Chris at his most vulnerable, but Chris doing what he does best: speaking truth to someone who needed to hear it.

5. His relationship with Ben. (Accounting Bros!) 

I’m going to miss the relationship between Chris and Ben SO much. They entered Pawnee together, and now one is leaving without the other. But I love that they grew as characters during the time they spent together in Indiana. I love that Chris was always there to support Ben because often times, he was the only one who knew how his friend felt. I love that, together, they made the decision to stay (because of Ann and Leslie). I love that they’re nerds together, I love that they care about one another, and I love that they have their own handshake.

I’m going to miss you, accounting bros.

4. His dancing.

.... is there anything else I can really say about this?

3. Chris Traeger with the flu. 

I'm convinced that few things on this series were funnier than Chris' microchip of a body being compromised in "Flu Season." Oh, wait. There was also that time that the men got food poisoning, too. Really though, is anything funnier (and more pathetic to watch) than the man who prides himself on his health being sick with the flu?

(Bonus GIF: Chris Traeger with food poisoning.)



1. I'll miss every variation of LITERALLY he has literally ever said.

I will LITERALLY never use the word literally anymore without thinking of and/or mimicking the way that Chris Traeger says it on Parks and Recreation.

And there you have it, dear friends and readers. I've counted down ten reasons that I, personally, will miss the bright ray of sunshine and optimism that is Chris Traeger on Parks and Rec. Now it's your turn: what are some of your favorite Chris moments and/or episodes?

Hit the comments below and be sure to watch NBC Thursday night as Chris and Ann bid Pawnee farewell!

1 comment:

  1. I admit, after 3/4 of the first season, I stopped watching. Then mid-season 2 a friend insisted I start watching again and so glad I listened. It was greatly improved and the ensemble was quite strong...but then came Rob Lowe and Adam Scott and I figured "Rob Lowe? Well this show is done". WRONG. Lowe managed to not overshadow the cast as I had thought he would and melded perfectly. Such a great character, Chris Traeger, with his wide eyed positivity and over zealous health nut attitude made him unforgettable. How Lowe never was nom'd for a supporting Emmy is unforgivable.
    Parks has the best ensemble cast on TV and unfortunately, I think they will lose more than Lowe and Jones - Chris Pratt's career has sky rocketed and the I would guess his time to leave is coming soon.