Apathetic April Finds Her Aspirations

When I watched Parks and Recreation over the summer, I expected to half pay attention and not see significant character development, like my initial impression of Scrubs. But like Scrubs, it definitely took me by surprise. One character who developed well without feeling forced was intern April Ludgate. “She is aloof and cynical with a sense of humour as dry as sandpaper and dark as peat,” said WordPress writer zbsimpsonwriter. With this sense of humor, it keeps people away and her from progressing at all because she’d rather do nothing than try and fail. Part of her development though is growing up and realizing that trying is better than not going anywhere at all.

In the first two seasons, April seems perfectly content dating a guy named Derek who has

tumblr_inline_nnu1ej0G011ss5k9s_500a boyfriend, until she meets Andy, the only person who she seems to be happy around. The two quickly develop a surprising friendship. Prior to starting the show, I knew the two would end up together, but seeing them associate with the other still felt so bizarre. They were the polar opposites of each other, yet they had this strong bond. He was energetic, full of ideas, open about feelings, passionate about everything, he has big dreams for his future.

The more April sees how open Andy is, the more she realizes that she likes it, and the more she notices how different Derek and Ben are. Before even knowing if she has a shot with Andy, she breaks up with them because she’s realized that she is happier on her own than with them. Despite this bond, at the time, Andy was dating Ann, which is likely where April’s unexplainable hatred for her began, especially after Ann broke up with Andy and then kissed him while he and April were becoming a thing. In turn, it upsets Andy that April won’t believe that he has no desire to date Ann anymore and he’d rather be in a relationship with her. With Ron’s motivation, they start dating and April is being herself in a way she wasn’t ever allowed to before.

While her development in areas of personal and professional relationships is important, it’s necessary to note her change in the workplace and her shift of motivation from start to finish. When she began, she had no desire to really go anywhere with her career. It didn’t seem like there was anything she’d want to do, except something likely morbid.

However, in season two, she volunteers as Ron’s assistant when her internship is up. While she may only offer to do it for the wrong reason, which is to get closer to Andy, it ends up working in her favor regardless. Ron doesn’t want to be bothered by the public, and she has no problem being rude to anyone who stands in the way of that, along with her apathy towards her job. April resigns on March 31st though because she scheduled all his meetings, 93 to be exact, on that day, thinking it didn’t exist since she felt so bad. Andy comes to her rescue and argues to Ron that he’ll never find another assistant like her, so Ron agrees to give her the job back.

Then at the end of season four, Leslie needs to focus on the election, so April takes on a few of her duties, as zbsimpsonwriter states. This includes running public forums, and while she’s not as positive as Leslie, her straight forward and blunt nature appeals to the townspeople. She later helps Ben run an election campaign in Washington, and is the only one able to whip the interns into shape.

Season five starts with April being chosen to work as Ben’s intern in D.C. which allows Ben and April to bond, especially since they have little in common and don’t like each other. During this trip, she spends some genuine moments of friendship with him and starts to actually put in the effort to make things work. She scares off an intern who wasn’t respecting Ben, she takes Ben on a road trip and managed to be kind to him for most of their time together.

But when she returns to Pawnee, she fights to get lot 48 turned into a dog park. She struggled to convince Leslie to do this because Leslie was personally attached to the lot since it was how she met Ann when she complained at the town meeting in the pilot. However, Leslie realizes how important it is that April is finally taking initiative and has genuine interest in a project, so she gives the space up to her.

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After these opportunities, April becomes more motivated to do work and decides to follow her passion for animal welfare by studying veterinary medicine and asks Ann for a recommendation letter. Meanwhile, April becomes the head of the Animal Control department after suggesting it be absorbed into Parks and Rec. In the final season, she decides she wants to work at a higher level in order to pursue her dream job.

untitledAs for Andy, she is a constant support to him encouraging each other to take chances, especially while he’s training to become a cop and subsequently fails to do so. yes, April stays at Parks and Rec for Andy, but when they get married Andy decides to join the police force so he can better provide for their future together. Both of them encourage the other to take on new job opportunities, even if it means traveling for a little while or moving out of the state temporarily. In season seven, April feels guilty about wanting to move to Washington to work at the American Service foundation because it would mean Andy giving up his dream job as a kids television entertainer, but he tells 0e66050395b14060d3fa4d0255b83cedher that she’s been supporting his career long enough, and that she deserves his support too. I love this about their relationship because they’re willing to sacrifice their own dreams for the other, which marks how much they have both developed and grown as characters and in their relationship.

With this in mind, the viewer can clearly see how they have changed from the start, given that April fights her way through adulthood out of fear of becoming “boring,” but in the end, learns that being a grown-up and being interesting are not exclusive. In the
season three episode Jerry’s Painting, Ben moves in with her and Andy as a roommate and explains to them that they can’t continue to eat food off Frisbees, he sends them to Bed Bath and Beyond to buy basic home stuff, where we see the scene to the left, zbsimpsonwriter points out.

We Wrote The Part For Aubrey. Allison Jones, Who Is One Of The People Who Cast The Show, Called Me And Said, “I Just Met The Weirdest Girl I’ve Ever Met In My Life. You Have To Meet Her And Put Her On Your Show.” Aubrey Came Over To My Office And Made Me Feel Really Uncomfortable For Like An Hour, And Immediately I Wanted To Put Her In The Show. We Didn’t Totally Know What We Were Going To Do With Her, We Just Thought It Would Be Funny If Leslie Had A College-Aged Intern Who She Wanted To Inspire, And That That Person Would Be Aubrey Plaza. Then After We Established That Relationship, We Realized She Had More Range And Is A More Interesting Performer Than Someone Who Just Rolls Her Eyes. − Michael Schur, A.V. Club Interview

Initially, her character was apathetic and bland with seemingly no more to her personality than snarky comments and a mean attitude, but then April acknowledged that she has feelings, that they matter and that she can trust them to inform decisions. Season 2 focuses more on April listening to herself and what she wants, rather than be indifferent, as she gets closer to Andy and viewers see new layers of emotions in her. She learns to trust people like Leslie and talks to her about her feelings for Andy, and then she shares secrets with Ron. Not only that, but she takes on tasks she enjoys doing and is more vocal about her interests, no matter how bizarre they may be.

During the first few seasons, April tries to create her own rules and definition of what it means to be an adult in her life. With this in mind, she receives advice from her older co-workers, but doesn’t let them decide what she does. Over the next few seasons, it becomes a major part of her character as she navigates her current career and whereandpril5 she plans to head in the future. In season 4, April starts to not only show that she has various interests and passions, but also puts them into action. In her own ways, April shows that not only she can handle responsibilities, but that she seeks them out.

In the continuity of the previous seasons where she learned to find her place in her romantic relationship, in her adult life, in the workplace, April’s narrative in season 6 is focused on her learning to be a good friend. The first friendships that April developed had a very strong taste of parental figures. Ron and Leslie have always been very father- and mother-like to April, filling her needs of loving guidance and freedom to be herself, according to thefandommentals.com. Their friendship is true and strong but it’s on a more intimate and personal level. They share many conversations where April shows that she’s very thankful for Leslie’s influence and understands how much Leslie has done for her and for everyone.


“When I started for you I was aimless and just thought everything was stupid and lame and you turned me into someone with goals and ambition, which is really the only reason why I’m even thinking about what I really want. And I just wanna say thank you and I love you very much.”

April has grown into a very smart young woman with strong values and a desire to help people in her own personal way. With the guidance of Ron and Leslie, she knows how to interact with people even though she doesn’t want to, established work ethics and dedicated herself to projects she cared about and meant something to her.

Overall, April’s character development flows perfectly from seasons to seasons. April could have remained the surly, ironic twenty year-old she was when the show started, but every step of the way was natural. It’s not until season seven that April finally learns that growing up doesn’t mean growing dull.


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