Andy Dwyer: Goofball to responsible adult

Andy Dwyer is Parks and Recreation‘s lovable goofball who I didn’t think would grow much as a character when I started watching. As previously stated in my last post, I thought this would be a more laid-back show that wouldn’t really focus on character development, so I expected Andy to remain pretty stagnant. But of course, he surprised me.

When he’s first introduced, it’s as Ann’s lazy, unmotivated, slob of a boyfriend who mooches off her after he falls in the ditch outside her house and breaks his legs. At this point, his character was used no more than to serve as the introduction of Leslie andanigif_enhanced-buzz-25188-1363364712-11.gif Ann and then for Ann to learn her relationship with Andy is dragging her down and that she needs to go off on her own. He’s selfish and manipulates her kindness, but after their break-up, Andy takes to living in the pit, so he can be nearer to Ann, while trying to prevent her romance with Mark Brendanawicz.

Ann breaking up with Andy is one of the first turning points in his life. Once she leaves, anigif_enhanced-buzz-29043-1360966458-9.gifthere isn’t someone who’s doing everything for him and he doesn’t know what to do when that’s not the case. He had been totally dependent on her and now he had to stop
milking his injury and go out and get a job, which happens to be at the Pawnee Parks and Recreation as Andy is injured in the pit a second time and he contemplates suing the city. Leslie convinces Andy not to sue by giving him a job as a shoeshiner in City Hall. Here, Andy spends a lot of time mistreating his regular customer Kyle by overcharging and insulting him. Ron Swanson appears as a regular customer and usually bestows Andy some advice. He and April develop a close friendship that eventually grows into something more as she continues to spend time there because she likes how energetic, full of ideas, open about feelings, and passionate about everything he is.

According to, April spends so much time with Andy that she develops a crush, but the two have complications in their relationship, which Andy thinks is because of their age difference, but it’s actually because April knows he still has feelings for Ann. When a rebounding Ann kisses Andy, April is devastated. Because of this, Andy spends large amounts of time trying to mend their relationship, which for him means doing all of the tasks April hates around the Parks Department Office in an effort to get back on her good side. It works, and then at a seemingly normal dinner party hosted by the new, young couple, they announce that they will be getting married that very evening.

April’s relationship had a positive impact on his life because she constantly supported and encouraged him to take chances, especially when he trained to become a cop and failed to do so. 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.

I admire that both of them encourage the other to take on new job opportunities, even if it means being apart for extended periods of time, which I touched upon in my last blog post. In season seven, April is offered the opportunity to work in Washington at the American Service foundation, but Andy would have to give up his dream job as a kids television entertainer. Instead of being angry with her for making him choose or telling her she can’t take the job, he tells her that she’s been supporting his career long enough, and that she deserves his support too. That moment was all I could’ve hoped for because it shows how much Andy has grown since he was in a relationship with Ann. Instead of using April for his own benefit, he selflessly offers to put his career on the back burner so she could go after something she’s passionate about. I was impressed at the maturity of his character because it showed how much he grew on his own, but also in his relationship with April.

After not being accepted into the police academy, Andy was depressed. He felt lost without a goal and even claims that he has trouble eating; none of his old hobbies interest him. To get him out of his funk, Ben invited Andy to help him pick out a charity for the Sweetums Foundation. Andy takes right to the work, choosing a worthy charity in the Redwood Valley Music program. Andy does so well that Ben made him his assistant, and took Andy with him to London for business, helping him learn to grow through his failure and that maybe he wasn’t meant to be a police officer, even if it was what he really wanted.


With this in mind, the viewer can clearly see how April and Andy 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 with the help of Andy. I found that to be surprising, given his child-like nature, but he was able to grow up for the sake of helping April learn how to fit into the adult world as well. While them eating food off Frisbees was fine at one point because they’re in the honeymoon phase and enjoying being silly, they ultimately accepted responsibility and managed to be a happy, healthy, married couple despite everyone thinking their spontaneous marriage couldn’t possibly last.


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 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.

Dr. Cox Barely Wants to be Like Dr. Cox

When Dr. Cox made his first appearance on-screen and I saw how his character acted, his character development seemed pretty predictable to me and I hoped it would work out that way. He’s one of those people who’s angry at the world and takes it out on other people.

Many people see Dr. Cox as a controversial character because he alienates everyone he meets and is so self-absorbed and self-destructive, which I think makes him a relatable character at least for me. On the other hand, despite his narcissistic tendencies, he cares for other people much more than he lets on and secretly loves the attention, even though he complains about it all the time, making his character all the more complex. His real sense of caring for his patients is what makes him such a good doctor, despite all his many character flaws. Throughout the series, he learned how to transfer his feelings towards his patients towards those in his life, although he still had room to improve.

Dr. Cox also is a good example of the repression defense mechanism, which is best shown when his sister Paige comes to visit for his son’s baptism. The entire time she is i town, he is visibly uncomfortable by her and doesn’t really give a definitive reason of why, but by the end of the episode, he admits that whenever he sees her it reminds him of their childhood where his dad would beat him and his mom would do nothing. Since he represses those memories, when he sees his sister, those memories come to the surface and remind him of his bad memories. He displaces his negative feelings for his father onto his sister, which is why they are not close and he is critical of her personal choices because it’s how he copes with the trauma he experienced.

What I found so admirable about his character was how much he struggled to reach the change in his life. He had to dig deep and move past difficult parts in his life that he’d have rather never relived, but in doing so, it helped him become a better person, husband, and father.

One thing Dr. Cox is known for during Scrubs’s run is go on rants, usually about J.D. For example, Dr. Cox likes to feel superior among his co-workers and one way he does that is by calling J.D. girls’s names. Some of the names include Lindsey, Jennifer, Angela, Beth, Britney, Debbie, Martha, and more. By doing this, he tries to block his traumatic memories from resurfacing and projects this onto others, which isn’t healthy for his character. Since he diminishes everyone, compliments are hard to come by when dealing with Dr. Cox and J.D. cherishes every moment of kindness from him.6x13_Sneak_hug.jpg

Two examples of rants he went on were, “He’s done it! he’s done it! Dorian’s the Most! Annoying! Man in the world!” and then, “Despite the fact that when you wake up tomorrow you will be a resident, you’ll still be the same excitable little girl that you are right now; the only difference will be that some sorry new intern will probably mistake you for someone who actually knows something.” He feels like he has to belittle those around him who are weaker than him to build himself up and make himself stronger.

While Dr. Cox may come off as a rude individual, he is also insightfuly and a good problem solver. He always knows what to do on the job and isn’t afraid to hand someone advice when they need it, even if the truth will hurt. He usually did this with J.D. and Elliot, who generally needed it the most, even if it was tough for them to bear. They struggled with the deaths of their first patients, their own personal issues, and more, but Dr. Cox was always there reluctantly to provide assistance. He also has used various techniques to guide students like J.D. to becoming a better doctor and interacting with their patients, all of which make the student arrive at the answers on their own, even if Cox is pulling the strings without them seeing.

Unlike all of his negative relationships with those he works with, Dr. Cox had a close relationship with his wife Jordan’s brother, Ben, who dies from leukemia in the show. He loses his brother in-law, the one relative he truly cares for in the series and is devastaded by the loss. He cannot process his death and when going to his funeral, he thinks he’s attending his son’s birthday party with Ben alive.

Dr. Cox has a huge ego and he loves himself so much that he looks at his reflection in everything that can reflect his image and gets lost in his own eyes. Once Dr. Turk had to pop a balloon to regain Cox’s attention because he was too busy staring at himself. Also when he wins an award for being the best doctor, he makes everyone in the hospital line up just to tell him how awesome he is. On the other hand, in the video below, we see the rare self-deprecating side of Dr. Cox who fails to understand why J.D. looks up to him the way he does. After observing his work ethic and callous personality, he can’t understand why J.D. is trying so hard to be like him when he doesn’t even want to be like himself.

By the end of the show he does find the ability to love Jordan and his children, but it is still an extremely dysfunctional relationship based as much on disdain and hate as love so even though he has the ability to love, he does not at the same time.5x24-Happy_Jordan_and_Perry.jpg

Dr. Cox was a relatively empathetic person towards most his patients early on, but he failed to apply those interpersonal skills towards his relationships. I think his son being born made him realize the value of family and support. By the end of the series, Dr. Cox developed into a person who was no longer afraid to show people that he cares about them and wants to see everyone lead relatively happy, successful lives.

Intern J.D. to M.D.

I feel like most people wouldn’t think about the character development in Scrubs because it’s a medical comedy show, but just because they don’t take things seriously doesn’t mean their characters remain stagnant for 9 seasons, although fans probably don’t like to think about that last season.

One character whose development stood out to me as I made my way through the series was of course the narrator, J.D.  The show depicts the problems and fears he has to face in the hospital, accompanied by his inner monologue. J.D.’s prominent habit of daydreaming always ends with a weird comment said out loud which nobody but himself understands. Despite being an enthusiastic, clumsy person with a lot of self-doubt, he is an intelligent good-by-heart doctor, who cares deeply about his patients, as stated by the Wiki page about his character. His friends give him hardly any respect and he’s always mocked for who he is, which I think didn’t help his character because he was insecure to begin with. In addition to that, the daily antics of the tormenting Janitor who goes out of his way to make J.D.’s life miserable, just because he can.

When the show began on their first day of interning at Sacred Heart Hospital, J.D. was extremely insecure and unsure of himself. His best friend, Turk, who was there with him, but as a surgical intern instead of medical like J.D., is much more sociable and charismatic and instantly makes friends. This worries J.D. because he fears he will find a new best friend among their co-workers and replace him. Not only was he insecure about his relationships, he also had low self-esteem when it came to his job performance as well. He looked for mentorship in both the Chief of Medicine and his superior, Dr. Cox, who wanted nothing to do with J.D. However, J.D. constantly tried to please Dr. Cox and would suck up any way possible, going as far to receive validation from him.

J.D was very unsure of himself and I don’t think he was comfortable with who he was. He seemed standoffish and like he was holding back parts of his personality. I know a lot of people do not like how J.D’s character ended up in the last few seasons, but I think he just finally allowed himself to be himself without caring what other people thought of him most of the time and I admired that about his character.

And if confronted, he will always back down as he wants nothing to do with any negative confrontation. This fact, along with his fanciful world of daydreaming, J.D. is a very solid. Despite the many moments of him being lost in his own thoughts, he thrives on the company of others and seeks harmonious relationships. And when it comes to the tough-minded Dr. Cox, J.D. dreams of having this idealistic student-mentor relationship with him and wants nothing more than to have his approval and praise. One of his most consistent traits is that J.D. simply cannot walk away when someone’s in trouble. Dr Cox admitted once that the reason why he first took an interest in J.D. was because he actually cares about his patients.

In Season 3, he pines after Elliot when she gets a stable boyfriend, and does everything tumblr_mi89h4chwV1rjf55wo1_500.png.jpeghe can to break them up so she can be with him. Once he actually gets Elliot, he realizes he doesn’t love her. Danni accurately points out that he has a tendency to idealize women who can’t possibly meet his impossible standards.

Dr. Cox describes him as this because despite all of his flaws, J.D. cares deeply about his patients and his friends and it shows in his work and it draws people in, Dr. Cox included. “The Reason You Suck” Speech: Delivers an epic one in Season 2, but is often on the receiving end of them, mostly from Dr. Cox or Carla.

He learns how to deal with his insecurities as he becomes a better doctor and more confident in his capabilities. As for his relationships, he learns to trust Turk more, but there are times where he still feels like he comes in second to his wife, Carla, which can be difficult for him. Turk tries his best to ensure that J.D. knows he’s his best friend and he wouldn’t want anyone else by his side, but it’s something he struggles with over the course of the show.

Not only that, he finally comes to terms with his feelings towards Elliot, which he couldn’t really figure out for the better part of the show. He wanted her when he couldn’t have her, and when he had her, he didn’t want her. He was essentially the master of wanting what he couldn’t have because he idealized everything to the point where when tumblr_mip29ywisI1rkz645o1_500.jpghe had the things he wanted, it turns out it wasn’t what he wanted after all because they didn’t act the way he’d expected. Despite this, he eventually decided he wanted her in his life after having a child with another woman and they got married and had a child of their own.

“My emotional journey began at 5 years old, when I walked in in my parents having sex in a position that later my father would playfully describe as ‘The Jackhammer’. I have a mentor that verbally abuses me every chance he gets and no matter how much I try, I cannot stop constantly narrating my own life. [At that very moment I feared I had divulged to much] Molly, I’m narcissistic, I’m pessimistic, I’m obsessive, I’m insecure and I’m so afraid of intimacy that every one of my relationships is a journey of self-sabotage that inevitably ends in a black vacuum of shattered expectations and despair.”

The Unkindness of Lucas Scott

Lucas Scott has what I believe to be a surprising character change over the course of the fan favorite series, One Tree Hill. He started out as someone I could relate to because he
was on the outside of what was considered the “popular crowd,” observing from a Unknown.jpegdistance and secretly wishing to be a part of it. Ironically, his half-brother is essentially his foil, as he is right in the center of it because he’s the star basketball player for their high school’s team, the Ravens, and is dating Peyton Sawyer, who Lucas has a huge crush on.

At the start of the show Lucas was quiet, reserved, and stuck to his own thing, at least until he joined the basketball team. Once he was on the team, he was thrust into the spotlight because he was the person of interest to both his brother, Nathan, and then Peyton’s best friend Brooke Davis. Although Lucas is willing to be friendly to those in the “in crowd,” Nathan is not and most of the team members initially follow his lead because they’re afraid to do otherwise. Lucas struggles to fit in and gradually develops a positive relationship with his brother after he develops a relationship with his best friend, HaleyUnknown-1.jpeg James. In addition, he undergoes romantic complications when he can’t decide between Peyton and her best friend, Brooke, which I find to be some of the most infuriating moments of the show and within the fan base.

Creater Mark Schwahn said that in designing the show, he created Lucas as “this underdog kid from the wrong side of the tracks” who crosses over to the pretty and popular. He wanted to show what the life of such a person would be like in a basketball atmosphere. I think this is a perfect explanation of who he is as a character because prior to the pilot, Lucas is this poor outcast, but as the series goes on, the viewers kind of forget that he struggled financially, especially after he receives some support from his estranged father, Dan Scott.

Lucas had been described as “caught between being charming and a nerd, a hermit and confident.” Chad Michael Murray, the actor who portrayed him, said of the character, “He’s very introverted.” He described Lucas as an observer, someone who likes to watch people and try to figure out who they really are, as opposed to who they think they are, which was an important part of his character when the show began. When he would narrate the episodes at the beginning or end, I found it to be profound and deep, an aspect of his character I thought the show lost as he developed.

The main reason I found his character so problematic as the series progressed was because he became self-absorbed and almost didn’t care about anyone else. Examples of this can be shown through how he strung along Peyton and Brooke multiple times, and later Lindsey, then the relationship with his mother seemed to change and not for the better. The problem for me was I think his character had a lot to figure out but didn’t go about any of it in the right way.

Another problem I had with his character is that he learns that he has a serious heart condition, but keeps playing basketball anyway. I understand basketball is his passion and he loves it more than anything, but he was so willing to put his life on the line to play high school basketball. After helping his team win the state championship, Lucas suffers a heart attack and retires from the sport with much resistance.

Lucas spends the next few seasons trying to figure out his feelings for the two girls. In the end, he finally chooses Peyton over Brooke, which wasn’t a total shock, since they seemed to be star-crossed lovers almost the entire time. However, I thought it was out of character for him to have him become this guy who strung two girls along for the better part of high school out of indecisiveness. Lucas never seemed to know what he wanted until he didn’t have it and he had something else.

Lucas loved Peyton Sawyer since childhood and got to know her after she breaks up with his half brother, Nathan Scott. However, after he declares his love for her, she asks “why couldn’t you just leave it alone?” meaning she’d rather have a fling than a relationship. Lucas is heartbroken and begins to get to know Brooke Davis, whom he eventually starts seeing and loses his virginity to.

He is still with Brooke when Peyton tells him she wants to be with him, causing him to have this inner conflict over what he should do. Lucas and Peyton passionately kiss at a motel while he’s still dating Brooke and they begin a secret affair, with Brooke eventuallyoth-107-one-tree-hill-s1e7.jpg finding out and Lucas breaking up with her. This first instance of cheating felt like a stab in the back to me in terms of Lucas’s character. Out of everyone, I didn’t expect Lucas to be the one to cheat. He seemed like this sensitive guy who understood the consequences of what would happen if he were to cheat, but he just didn’t seem to care until it blew up in his face and he was shocked.

After Brooke ending her friendship with Peyton, however, Peyton decides to end things with Lucas, putting her best friend before him. He wants to make amends with Brooke and Peyton, and once again becomes good friends with them. He does, however, kiss Brooke in the finale, and tells her he wants to be with her.

Though Lucas grows closer to Peyton, he becomes set on winning Brooke back, which I
never understood. He clearly has intense feelings for Peyton, yet here he is trying to convince himself he should be with Brooke. Brooke tells him she wants a non-exclusive relationship, so Lucas pretends to be satisfied with that and begins using Rachel Gatina Season_3_Brooke_and_Lucasto make her jealous. This petty act drives Brooke too far and she sleeps with Chris Keller, changing Lucas’ opinion of her because Chris nearly destroyed the marriage of his best friend and half-brother. He and Brooke break up for good during Haley and Nathan’s wedding, when she finds out about the kiss he shared with Peyton. Lucas intends to win Brooke back, but realizes soon that they aren’t meant to be after he’s jerked her around all this time.

Now he grows much closer to Peyton, who is in love with him, and eventually saves her from a guy who pretended to be her brother, Derek Sommers who attacks and nearly rapes her, but she is saved by Lucas and the real Derek. After Brooke tries and fails to win Lucas back, Lucas tells Peyton, “I realized tonight that it was over between me and Brooke,” to which Peyton responds, “I love you Lucas” and he replies “Oh.” Again, this seems in character for the new Lucas they made him out to be, but I still couldn’t believe they had him be so inconsiderate. After the state championship, however, Lucas realizes Peyton is the one he wants, and with Brooke’s blessing, kisses her. This part seemed more like the Lucas we were introduced to because it shows that he took Brooke’s feelings into consideration after repeatedly ignoring how his actions would affect her throughout the first couple of seasons.

It is revealed that while Peyton was in Los Angeles, Lucas came and proposed to her, but she said it was too soon, so he assumed it was over and went home. Shortly after he met Lindsey Strauss, his book editor, and started up a relationship with her. While it’s totally normal for Lucas to move on after being rejected, I couldn’t believe he broke up with her over saying no to a proposal because she wasn’t ready. She said she wanted to marry him someday, but not yet, and this infuriated him.

Fast forward three years, Peyton returns to Tree Hill, throwing Lucas and Lindsey’s relationship into disarray, after hints that Lucas still loves Peyton, such as kisses shared between the two. After they kiss though, Lucas proposes to Lindsey, much to Peyton’s heartbreak and Lindsey’s joy. These actions irked me because it solidified for me the person that Lucas had become in the later seasons. He couldn’t decide and he didn’t care who he hurt in the process and I found his lack of empathy appalling. I couldn’t believe someone who had father who treated his mother terribly and he had a close relationship with his mother would be so disrespectful to women.

At the wedding, Peyton prepares to sit through the love of her life getting married, and Lindsey realizes Lucas’ new book, The Comet, was about Peyton all along, which fans were fully aware of. This discovery ends their relationship, though the two still love each 605_the_comet_novel.jpgother. On a drunken rage, Lucas tells Peyton he hates her, driving her to lock herself up in her own misery. In the finale, he tells Peyton he in fact doesn’t hate her. In the last shot, we see Lucas phoning someone, either Peyton, Lindsey, or Brooke, and asking the receiving person to get married in Las Vegas. It is revealed to be Peyton, the one he phoned and proposed to. She rushes to the airport, where they are once again united for the final time.

The two reconcile and after stomach pains and a cancer scare, Peyton discovers she is pregnant with Lucas’ baby, and shares the joyous news with him. They clash over the fact that carrying the child is a danger to Peyton’s life, leading Lucas, in his fright of losing her, to tell her to give up the baby, but decide to work through the situation together. She refuses, causing a rift between the pair, ending with Lucas saying he’ll have this baby with her. Soon after their lakeside wedding, Peyton goes into labor and gives birth to a daughter named Sawyer Brooke Scott. The family then leaves town together.

This part was surprising to me because it almost confirmed how much Lucas had changed in my eyes. I feel like Lucas in season 1 never would’ve suggested Peyton have an abortion, because even when Brooke had a pregnancy “scare” in the earlier seasons, Lucas was willing to be there for her. However, this time he seemed so adamant against having their baby, although I understand his concern because it meant Peyton could die.

Don’t say Nathan Scott never gave you anything


If you ask any fan, when they watched the first episode of One Tree Hill, they would say they hate Nathan and Lucas is clearly the better of the two brothers. However, he quickly gained the love of fans as they watched him develop. He started off who he was based on how he was raised, but changed based on how he was influenced.

Nathan Scott began as an arrogant and rude teenager, but over the years, matured into a responsible and loving family man. The sport of basketball has always been important in Nathan’s life. Nathan has undergone a huge character evolution during his time on One Tree Hill. At first, as taught by his callous father, Dan, he was a self-centered boy who didn’t care if he hurt others. Then he began to realize that Dan’s lessons were wrong, and being cruel to classmates and relatives was the wrong thing to do. Nathan started to set up new priorities and become a better person. Although he still occasionally makes bad decisions, at least he recognizes them for what they are and regrets those choices. Nathan has become a man who greatly values his friendships and will place the needs of his family above his own.

When One Tree Hill premiered, Nathan was the star player on the Tree Hill High School Ravens basketball team. His controlling father, Dan put constant pressure on him to play his best. In addition to that, Dan was a horrible, rude person who rubbed off on Nathan in the worst way. Despite that, it seemed like Nathan had the high school dream, tumblr_mujav7ETR51qbkgm9o4_250.gifconsidering he also was dating cheerleader Peyton Sawyer, who became attracted to Lucas. Nathan and Lucas also became basketball teammates in the pilot, which increased the rivalry between them. Although Lucas was willing to be friendly, Nathan was not.

Nathan’s plan to get back at Lucas was to use Lucas’s best friend, Haley James. The plan failed when he developed genuine feelings for her, which I didn’t believe when I watched. I thought the entire thing would blow up in Haley’s face and she would be left miserable, but contrary to my prediction, they got married while still in high school. Their relationship suffered in season 2 due to Dan’s interference and the success of Haley’s music career.

Nathan experienced heartbreak in the worst way when Haley left. He never gave up when it came to Haley. He was someone who had to grow up fast, and he made the best of it. He is the perfect example of someone who knows exactly what they wanted and got it. His infamous quote,

“One day, you’re 17 and you’re planning for someday. And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”

reminds you never to take your life for granted because it goes by faster than you think. Scott-s-Nathan-Haley-and-Jamie-one-tree-hill-nathan-haley-jamie-5723673-624-352.jpgDespite their marital troubles, the two later reconciled and renewed their marriage vows. Haley also revealed that she was pregnant and gave birth to a son, James “Jamie” Lucas Scott.

The show then skipped ahead four years in time. During that gap, Nathan successfully attended college and became a top basketball prospect. He was on the verge of playing professionally before he became paralyzed from the waist down in an accident. Embittered, Nathan believed his basketball career was over and became distant from his family. When he realized the damage he was doing, he put his life back together. Nathan gradually regained the ability to walk and made a basketball comeback. A sex scandal nearly ruined his career with the Charlotte Bobcats, but Nathan was proven innocent. He supported Haley during her mother’s illness and death before finding out at the end of the seventh season that she was pregnant again.

While some people believe Nathan’s character development occurred early on in the show, it’s arguable that his character still had growing up to do before he became the man in season 9. When season 5 opens, viewers, or at least me, were baffled when they
were presented with a depressed, wheelchair-confined Nathan who seemed to have lost all character development previously built up. Thankfully, he got over this soon enough and started being a more suitable father when he learned that he had to own up to his mistake and deal with the consequences of his actions. He couldn’t let it affect his family any more.

There were many different events that led up to him becoming a likable and sympathetic character. Nathan was driven; he made it to the NBA despite various setbacks along the way, such as his temporary paralysis. After achieving this dream he worked his entire life for, he realizes that playing isn’t as important as his family.

The Nathan he used to be would have taken some pills like he did in an early episode, but by this point, basketball wasn’t Nathan’s only concern anymore. He cared too much about Haley and Jamie to put himself in jeopardy.

Nathan is a foil to his older half-brother Lucas, but I think that’s what makes his character development stronger. With Lucas to look up to as the person he could’ve grown up to be, he ends up becoming quite like the person Lucas was when the show first began. Out of all the characters on One Tree Hill, I find Nathan’s to be the most admirable because it wasn’t easy for him to change the way he did, but he fought the way he was raised and became a better man.

Who Brooke Davis is underneath the clothes

Character development played a big role throughout the run of classic One Tree Hill. The characters were constantly surprising you because one second they’re this villain who you think has no redemption, but in my opinion, Mark Schwann has handled developing characters better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

The characters on One Tree Hill affected how I felt about the show, since the reason it became one of my favorites so quickly is because there is so much weight and power in every episode, plot line, and character.

One of my favorite examples of character development in this iconic show was watching Brooke Davis evolve from a skanky, insecure cheerleader to a confident wife and mom of twins, as stated by an article in Hollywood Life.
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During the high school years, which encompasses the first few seasons of the show, Brooke made her way around Tree Hill, in terms of guys. There was one point towards the end of their high school career where she joined an abstinence group called Clean Teens to catch the attention of her latest crush, which I admired because she generally followed through with the rules and tried something she wasn’t used to.

Prior to that though, her relationship with Lucas created a lot of friction between the friendship between best friends Brooke and Peyton Sawyer. Throughout their high school years, Brooke and Peyton went back and forth in what felt like a never-ending love triangle with Lucas Scott. At the time, Brooke was desperate for love and companionship from a man and sought that out with Lucas, denying that Peyton had a strong emotional connection with Lucas, although she was dating his half-brother at the time.

After reading a post of Pixar Perfect’s about the importance of character development, he talked about how found “Brooke’s quest for both love and children to be the most endearing story lines for her character.” As he states, Brooke always dreamed of her wedding day. When Lucas cheated on her, she took a real hit and her hopes of being married seemed so far away, especially after more failed relationships with Chase and Owen.

However, Julian Baker, filmmaker from Los Angeles, who also happened to be Peyton’s ex-boyfriend, ended up being the one for her after patiently waiting for years. I think it shows so much about the purity and depth to their relationship when Julian says he fell in love with Brooke when he walked in on her dancing to “Don’t You Forget About Me.” He wasn’t interested in her for her looks, wealth, or social standing, like everyone else saw her for. He got to know the real Brooke Davis, not the high school Brooke she was ashamed of, but the one she wanted to be, and loved her for it.

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In their adult years, Owen asked Brooke, “What’s underneath all the clothes, Brooke Davis?” trying to find out who she was underneath the facade she put up. While at first glance, people may see her as this shallow bitch, but there’s so more than just her looks and how she may first come off. To quote her ex-boyfriend Lucas Scott, “Brooke Davis is going to change the world someday,” and that couldn’t have been more true.

635975655350779689-638415759_Brooke Davis Gif 3.gifThere are many characters that often go under the radar in terms of character development, and while I don’t think that’s the case for Brooke because she had a drastic change, it’s always worth acknowledging. I believe she had some of the best development ever because from seasons 1 to 9, she went from being shallow, popular party girl, to the smart, hard-working, determined girl on the Wall of Honor. 635975655602544155667242639_Brooke Davis Gif 4.gifHer development genuinely surprised me because I figured she was going to represent the girls who peak in high school and show how they’ll never change their petty, insecure ways. But One Tree Hill proved me wrong.

She refused to let high school define her, and proved that no matter what your past is, you are in charge of your future and who you will become. I found this concept for her character to be inspiring because while I wasn’t the cheerleader who could’ve coasted by on her looks, I like that she didn’t let her reputation define her and she made it into what she wanted to be known for.

If you told me at the start of season 1 that Brooke would become this empathetic, caring friend who focused more on being the best cheerleader and masking her insecurities by getting drunk at a party or naked in a guy’s car to impress him, I would not have believed how much she accomplished. I think that’s part of her character development too because most people wouldn’t think she’s capable of change, but she proves everyone wrong.

With her incredible determination and talent, she created her own fashion line and ultimately became a successful business woman. She made it to the top and found she was unhappy, so she took control of her situation and moved back home to where she was truly happy, while still running her business.


No day but today to talk about Roger Davis

Like his best friend and roommate, Roger Davis goes through quite the character change as well. His character is introduced as cold and distant, struggling to cope with the death of his girlfriend, April, who killed herself after she found out she was HIV positive. Roger is a struggling musician whose only desire is to write one good, meaningful song before he too dies from HIV, cueing the dramatic “One Song Glory,” and the infamous “I Want” song for a musical.

Over the course of the film, Roger has to learn how to shed this layer of protection he’s built around himself and realize he only has a short amount of time left, so he can’t waste it living in fear. Because of this, I find his development powerful because it’s difficult for him and he has to practically crawl his way out of this destructive mindset he’s forced himself into.

This progression is generally shown through his solos throughout the film because he has a strong voice that captures his true personality when his actions can’t always do so. “One Song Glory” is prior to his character development, granted it’s one of the first songs in the film, where we see him in his current state. He acknowledges he doesn’t have much time left, so all he wants is to write one song before he goes “to redeem this empty life.” Time has flied for him, and time will soon die, as the song concludes. He also reflects on his late girlfriend April and his golden times when he was in a band before he started using drugs.

As we approach “Light My Candle,” the viewers see Mimi as the character who is going to spark both Roger’s internal and external conflict. From their first interaction, Mimi is romantically interested in Roger and actively attempts to pursue him. However, Roger does not want a romantic relationship because he doesn’t want to commit and be hurt again.

Not only does he want to avoid a relationship with her because of how his last one ended, he’s HIV positive, and up until this point, he didn’t know Mimi was too. With this in mind, he’s trying to protect Mimi because he doesn’t want to infect her or have her become attached to him because he’s going to die soon. Yet another reason is that Mimi uses heroin, and Roger had just gone through “half a year of withdrawal,” so hanging out with a drug user wouldn’t be good for him because it could potentially get him back on that path again.

“Another Day” is my favorite song in the timeline of Roger’s character development for a variety of reasons. Mimi is trying to persuade Roger to give her a chance because she thinks you shouldn’t not do something because you’re afraid or you might regret it later because you should live in the moment and that there’s “no day but today,” a theme in the film. Despite her brave grand gesture to get his attention, Roger retaliates angrily and yells about how she shouldn’t be storming into his apartment and insisting they have a relationship. He tells her “another time, another place” and to “come back another day” because “the fire’s dead and it’s never ever gonna start,” meaning the fire representing his desire to have a relationship with someone is dead and she shouldn’t be bothering because nothing’s going to happen. He doesn’t want her to die on him too, but what he doesn’t realize is like him, Mimi is HIV positive.

The problem is Mimi and Roger are in love, but Roger is afraid to love Mimi because of his last girlfriend, April. Roger is afraid to love her, but Mimi reminds to “Give in to love or live in fear.” By the end of the song, Mimi, along with Collins, Mark, and Angel, all try to encourage Roger to start living again, but he keeps lashing out at them because he doesn’t know how to process his emotions and ends up hurting Mimi’s feelings in the process.

There is a defined shift by the time we reach “I Should Tell You.” Roger had agreed to spend time with Mimi, but when the time came, he was gravitating towards other people and ignoring her, frustrating Mimi. She then confronts him and her beeper goes off, reminding her of her “AZT break” and Roger learns she has HIV like him. The purpose of “I Should Tell You” is where Roger and Mimi finally confess how they feel about the other, after holding it in all this time, while also expressing concerns about the baggage both of them carry and how it could affect them starting a relationship. Mimi tells Roger she blew her own candle out in “Light My Candle” just so she could go back to Roger and see him to ask him to light it again. Roger then tells her he forgot how to smile until her candle “burned his skin.” The line in the song where I think things really start to change is “Trusting desire, starting to learn, walking through fire without a burn” because it has that theme of fire back from “Another Day” while also showing that they’re both beginning to trust themselves to be in a relationship.

Lastly, the song that solidifies the relationship between Roger and Mimi, completing his character development, is “Your Eyes.” It took a trip to Santa Fe for Roger to realize he does love Mimi and he needs to stop sabotaging himself because his time is limited and now that he has his one song, all he needs is Mimi, because Mimi was his song. Isn’t that romantic? By the end of this song, it took Mimi almost dying for him to give into love and accept a relationship with her because there’s no day but today and you have to forget regret, or life is yours to miss.  Roger was able to move past his emotional issues following the death of his ex-girlfriend and also fulfill his dream of writing one last good song before he dies.

It’s the end…and Mark’s alone

The character I think has the most character development, one who is often overlooked, is pseudo-narrator Mark Cohen. While he is essentially the protagonist because he’s documenting everything that takes place, I feel like many people lose sight of that because throughout the film, he is a spectator to what’s happening around him. Not much happens to him since he’s always caught up trying to mend the problems of his friends, but we more-so see how his lack of action affects him.

Mark has a strong voice, which will make him such a great filmmaker, but he tends to get overshadowed by the problems of his friends. The story begins with him still trying to motivate his roommate, Roger, to go out and be a productive member of society. Despite his attempts, Roger is reluctant as he’s still mourning the loss of his girlfriend, who killed herself when she was diagnosed with HIV.

The biggest example of this is found in his solo, Halloween, where he laments his loneliness and how all of his friends will soon be dead, leaving him alone. However, in the movie version of this production, they chose to omit the two songs that gave Mark the most character development and fully explain his character.

Roger doesn’t like hearing what Mark has to say, thus retaliating by insulting him, informing him that he has no right to judge him or his decisions. He goes on to say, “Mark’s in love with his work; Mark hides in his work.”

He calls him out on hiding behind his camera and how he vicariously lives through his friends to avoid facing the loneliness he experiences. Roger goes on to say he lives a lie when he argues, “You’re always preaching not to be numb, but that’s how you thrive” and how he detaches from feeling alive. Mark counters by pointing out that he uses detaching from life as a coping mechanism when he says, “perhaps it’s because I’m the one of us to survive.” In his mind, it’s easier than becoming attached, since half of his friends are going to be dead from AIDs soon.

The theme presented in this scene and within this song is how Mark’s loneliness is masked by hiding behind his camera. As the narrator of the movie, Mark is filming his friends as they go about their daily lives and Mark himself is rarely seen on his film. His ex-girlfriend, Maureen, has to actually pry his camera from his hands at one point so she can get him in his own movie. This scene is meant to exemplify how lonely Mark truly feels amongst his friends who are all experiencing romance and have a connection to someone, whereas, his girlfriend dumped him for a lawyer named Joanne.

This helps to understand the extent of Mark’s loneliness and how it kills him inside to think that soon he’ll be the only remaining survivor among his friends and no matter how much he documents, eventually they’ll be forgotten.

I’ll never be over leaving ‘Goodbye Love’ movie because it takes away from an important director’s detail in ‘What You Own’. Here, we finally find out what Mark’s problem is. Everyone else’s issues are on the table, all on their sleeves, but Mark is the only seemingly ‘normal’ one. He doesn’t have AIDS, doesn’t have a love interest, doesn’t do drugs, or anything. He’s the main support for a lot of the characters, constantly tries to ease the tension with Collins.

After researching information about how other fans of the Broadway show and film interpreted Mark’s character through his solos, someone talked about how we truly see  his disconnect with the rest of the group, how left out he feels, how he tries to resolve the fact that all of his friends are dying by dissociating through film.

I seconded this opinion because Mark clearly detaches himself through his film, given he rarely appears in it, as stated previously. They also noted how in ‘What You Own,’while Roger is shown discontent with New Mexico, Mark gets more and more visibly upset, which is rare for his character. Then, the part he usually says into the phone, quitting his job to finish his own work, was instead shouted from the rooftop.

The Edge of Character Development

Another movie I saw recently is The Edge of Seventeen. I had to wait until after it came out on DVD because it wasn’t in any theaters near me, but I think it was worth it.

The Edge of Seventeen follows Nadine Franklin, a junior in high school, who is socially awkward, ostracized by her peers, and is nothing like her charismatic, popular brother who is obviously loved more by her mother.

The film begins with her storming into her teacher who she trusts’s classroom, saying she’s going to kill herself and she thought an adult should know. We then quickly jump into the moments leading up to her saying this to her teacher, where we learn how she ended up in this situation.tumblr_oaf4moAKNg1tamedoo1_250.gif

Her father, with whom she had a close relationship, died unexpectedly in front of her a few years prior and then her only friend starts dating her brother, ditching her for the “cool” kids.

Throughout the course of the movie, I think that Nadine has an epiphany and goes through a complete character change and the perspective it’s told in makes that transformation even stronger. By having the entire film from her point of view, like being first person if it were a book, the viewers see things the exact same way Nadine does, making it why it’s as relatable as it is.

Her character has a unique, but familiar voice that I know resonate with.

tumblr_okuzl6xezk1v4a8wfo1_500At the end, we see the situation of other characters from more of a third person kind of perspective. Viewers may not have previously thought about the situations of other characters because they were so wrapped up in Nadine’s drama. By the end, we learn that sarcastic, rude teacher Mr. Bruner is actually married, has a young son, and is a loving husband and father. Not something I would’ve expected by the way we see him through Nadine’s eyes.

Similarly, her brother Darian. We only really have this view of him as an arrogant, perfect, larger-than-life kind of guy who has everything going for him, but then we’re forced to see him in a new life when he finally confronts Nadine. We then realize he actually isn’t perfect, the weight his mother puts on him to be the father figure is killing him, as much as he can’t apply to out-of-state colleges because he fears something bad will happen while he’s gone. In addition to that, we see how much it hurts him to know he can’t be with Krista, Nadine’s former best friend, who he loves, without destroying Nadine in the process.

Prior to this, we never would’ve known this information until we, along with Nadine, stepped out of that self-absorbed bubble. Like many teens, we focus on ourselves because we are the priority. Atumblr_okx31nvxju1qfnjdfo1_500s Nadine said, a lot of us think that our problems are the most important and I think that’s what makes her a relatable character for a high school and teen audience. Through the help of her mentor and a newfound friend, Erwin, Nadine learns to see things from the perspectives of others, and that’s when she realized how narrow-minded she was being. She was so wrapped up in her own issues, she didn’t know anything about Erwin, like that he was making a short film or that his parents are rich and aren’t around a lot. From the beginning, she only saw situations how they affected her, like the death of her father, and not her mother and brother.

By the end of the film, Nadine is forced out of this mindset and sees the world without just herself. The main characters, particularly Nadine, undergo considerable change. I think something important to take away from watching this film is that the characters you see at the end are very different from their surface personality. By overcoming their personal challenges and issues, they grow into stronger characters.