Parks and Recreation


TV fans, let's do the time warp again!

Parks and Recreation's season six finale pulled off a huge shocker in its final three minutes: it jumped ahead three years, completely resetting the series for its seventh season. While the NBC sitcom's bold decision to fast-forward three years was surprising, especially considering it's a comedy, Parks and Rec isn't the first series to pull off a major move.

But not all time jumps are created equal. While some have been able to pull off big shifts in time with ease (Tip of the hat to BSG and Lost!), some series should've just realized the future isn't always better. (Sorry, but we're not sorry, Supernatural and Gossip Girl!)

We're looking back on some of TV's biggest time jumps in recent history and determining whether or not they were able to pull off the twist. (Warning, spoilers ahead!)

Battlestar Galactica
When It Happened: Season 2
Time Jump: 1 year
Verdict: Best. It was one of the coolest time-jumps ever (and Mike Schur's inspiration for Parks and Rec's jump!). A tired and defeated President Gaius Baltar puts his head down on his desk just for a moment, but when he picks his head up, we've moved to a year later, with the Cyclons ready to invade. Boom.

When It Happened: Lost loved to jump through time, we all know this, but Season 3 featured its biggest move
Time Jump: 2(ish)  years
Verdict: Best. After three seasons of flashbacks, which were starting to grow a bit tiresome (Never forget Jack's tattoos), Lost's masterminds hit the reset button and changed the game by introducing flash-forwards in the season three finale.

How I Met Your Mother

CBS © 2014 Fox Television

How I Met Your Mother
When It Happened: All the time, but most significantly in Season 9
Time Jump: 17 years
Verdict: Best AND Worst: Depends who you ask! We loved it. But the series finale's final moment, which found Ted and Robin ending up together after the Mother's death in 2024, is arguably one of the most polarizing ends in recent TV history.

One Tree Hill
When it Happened:  Season 5
Time Jump: 4 years
Verdict: Best. It helped OTH skip the dreaded high school-to-college transition, which has proved deadly to many a teen drama before it. (See: Gossip Girl, The O.C., etc.) Plus, the actors finally got to play their actual ages!



Gossip Girl
When It Happened: Season 6 series finale
Time Jump: 5 years
Verdict: Worst. Was anything really working on GG by the end of its run? Still, the flash-forward was pretty entertaining for a few reasons: Chuck and Blair's child, Henry, was ridiculously adorable (and bow-tied!), Dan and Serena got married….even after she learned he was Gossip Girl (LOL) and Rufus ended up with Lisa Loeb!

When It Happened: Season 5
Time Jump:  24 years
Verdict: Best. For its final season, Fox's cult hit moved the action to the year 2036, which was introduced in the stellar season four episode "Letters of Transit." With the time-jump, Peter and Olivia were able to spend time with their daughter, Etta, and, you know, save the world. Sure, we lost several decades of story, but you know, seeing the team in amber would've gotten old pretty quickly.


Robert Voets/Warner Bros.

The Mentalist
When It Happened: Season 6
Time Jump: 2 years
Verdict: Questionable. The CBS procedural needed to make a big move after finally wrapping up the series-long Red John mystery, with Bruno Heller explaining, "What this fresh version of this show is about is what happens afterwards." However, the show just isn't the same without the central mystery driving it and it seems likely CBS might cancel it (though it could be shopped around to other networks).

Breaking Bad
When It Happened: Season 5
Time Jump: 5-6 months
Verdict: Best. Come on, this is Breaking Bad, of course it worked. The second half of the fifth and final season kicked off with a flash-forward to Walter, sitting alone in a Denny's, watching the news while eating eggs and bacon, only to later reveal an M60 gun in his trunk. Why did he need the gun? Where was he heading? Why the hell was he using a fake name? The rest of the season led us back to that moment, answering all of those questions in the series finale.

True Blood - Season 6 Finale Photos

John P. Johnson/HBO

True Blood
When It Happened: Seasons  4 and 6
Time Jump: 1 year in Season 4 and six months in the Season 6 finale
Verdict: Best. The first one was a bit trippy, seeing as how only Sookie only spent a few minutes in Fairie Land, which equated to a year in Bon Temps, but it went down well enough. The second time jump revealed a slew of changes in order to set up the final season, including Sookie and Alcide's new relationship, Sam's new job (the Mayor!) and Eric might be dead.

When It Happened: Season 6
Time Jump: 1 year
Verdict: Worst. After the epic season five finale, which saw the death of Sam (only to reveal he was alive in the closing moment), it was hard to see Sam and Dean go from brothers to glorified strangers after a year apart. Dean had given up the hunter life, while Sam had basically been doing nothing but hunting…and not telling Dean he was alive…and without a soul. Yeah, season six, not one of our favorites.

When It Happened: It will happen after the current fifth season
Time-Jump: Creator Ryan Murphy recently revealed that the series will also move out of NYC for its sixth and final season
Verdict: TBD. But should be a fascinating re-set for the series!

Desperate Housewives
When It Happened: Season 5
Time Jump: 5 years
Verdict: Worst. After a fourth season filled with some plots that were ridiculous even by DH standards, the jump ahead helped to remodel Wisteria Lane. But using the time-jump as a way to once again split up Susan and Mike just felt cheap.

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