Road to Avonlea aka ROAD TO MY HEART

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May 25, 2012 by Heidi

Road to Avonlea

I know most of us grew up watching Anne of Avonlea, but I fear too many of you likely missed out on the wonderful television series, Road to Avonlea.  I used to watch this show every week with my mom, it was our thing, and I have since rewatched it as an adult.  I swear if I had $200 to spare, I would buy the entire box set.  Luckily for you, you can get the disks from NetFlix if you have the service, and I do so recommend it.  The show is set in our beloved Avonlea, and lasts for seven seasons and a movie, and you will certainly recognize a few names and faces:

Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla Cuthbert in Road to AvonleaPatricia Hamilton as Rachel Lynde in Road to Avonlea
Kyle Labine as Davy Keith and Lindsay Murrel as Dora Keith in Road to AvonleaMarilyn Lightstone as Muriel Stacey in Road to Avonlea

That’s right!  Marilla Cuthbert, Rachel Lynde, and Muriel Stacy are each in Road to Avonlea, played by the same actresses as in the Anne movies!  Also, Davy and Dora Keith, who are in the Anne books, are in Road to Avonlea as well.  Some other familiar faces with different names would be:

Mag Ruffman as Alice Lawson in Anne of Green GablesMag Ruffman as Olivia King/Olivia Dale in Road to Avonlea
Mag Ruffman, who you may recognize as Alice Lawson, from Lawsons’ General Store, is transformed into the ever cheery and optimistic baby of the family, Olivia King.

Jacki Borroughs as Amelia Evans in Anne of Green GablesJacki Burroughs as Hettie King in Road to Avonlea
Jacki Burroughs, who played the professional dramatist in Anne of Green Gables is a strict school mistress and head of the King family in Road to Avonlea.

Cedric Smith as Reverend Allan in Anne of Green GablesCedric Smith as Alec King in Road to Avonlea
Cedric Smith, who plays Reverend Allan in Anne of Green Gables takes on the role of the middle child, only son, and head of the King farm in Road to Avonlea.

There are in fact many more doubles in Road to Avonlea that you may spot, and you can find a complete list at Avonelea Vignettes, here.  I have chosen these three because, as you may have surmised, Road to Avonlea largely surrounds the lives and times of the King family.  Now, there was once a fourth King sibling, another girl, but alas, she has perished most tragically.  When her husband is thrown in jail for something scandalous, their only daughter, the spoiled and haughty Sarah Stanley is sent to live with her Aunt Hettie in Avonlea.  There, she must deal with her most tragical of circumstances, particularly—cousins.

Sarah Stanley and the King Clan from Road to Avonlea

Of course they all hate each other, and there’s tons of drama to be had.  There’s even a scene that was considered too racey for television at the time, which had to be cut out (it involves cracking an egg on someone’s head and is rather laughable by today’s standards—don’t worry, it’s on the DVD).  Felicity King is just the worst when you first meet her, but you know what?  I end up adoring this girl—the eldest of the King children.  Why?  Well, in no small part, because of Gus Pike.

Felicity King and Gus Pike in Road to AvonleaFelicity King and Gus Pike in Road to AvonleaFelicity King and Gus Pike in Road to Avonlea

Oh friends, let me tell you.  You think that Anne and Gilbert have one of the all time greatest slow burn romances?  They’ve got nothing on Felicity and Gus.  Okay, okay, so it’s very nearly the same type of story, but in Road to Avonlea you get 6 seasons and a movie to bite your nails over this pair!  Of course, they’re totally in love, and totally hate each other for years.  It’s fantastic!

Here’s some things you ought to know about Gus Pike:Gus Pike playing the fiddle from Road to Avonlea

  • Mysterious past involving pirates and buried treasure.
  • Lives in the lighthouse—very spooky and intriguing!
  • A true seaman and wandering spirit.
  • Unwavering devotion to Felicity.  Even when she’s outright cruel to him.
  • Plays the fiddle…hot?
  • Fantastic accent.

In short, Gus Pike has held a piece of my heart for the past 20 years, and probably always will.  I adore Road to Avonlea, the town, the drama, the people…it’s all so wonderful.  Okay, okay, at the beginning they put ridiculous make-up on Sarah Stanley because it’s 1990, and the picture is often terrible, but please look past that.  This show has a heart of gold, and I’m not even kidding when I say I love it so much just the credit sequence can bring tears to my eyes:

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If you call yourself a lover of Avonlea, you must find a way to watch this show.  And when you do, please oh please let me know what you think.  You can find out more information about Road to Avonlea at the official website, here.

In addition to the blogs and posts already linked, character images may be credited to Share TV’s Road to Avonlea and Yet Another Period Drama Blog, both of which have lovely posts and information about the show!

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16 comments »

  1. danya says:

    Ahhhhh, I just had to comment on this post!!! I grew up watching Road to Avonlea — in fact, I think at one point for a while my whole family would tune in to watch it in the evening. It is such a heartwarming, family-friendly show. And oh, Gus Pike… *sighs*

  2. Melanie says:

    How neat! I watched the Road to Avonlea movie, but I didn't know there was a tv series. I'm intrigued by this Gus character. Fiddling is definitely hot. :D*sigh* Mag Ruffman is so pretty. I have a girl crush.

  3. Considering how many times I've seen the Anne movies, I really have no excuse as to why I haven't seen this. My friend and I were just talking about how I get addicted to ridiculous things and I am pretty sure I could/would spend an entire weekend or two watching all of this in one go. SIX SEASONS of a slow burn?! Heidi, that is like rubbing two sticks together for 2 years–I don't know if I could handle it for that long!

  4. And better than Gil and Anne? Dems be fightin' words.

  5. OK, I feel like I have missed out since I haven't watched any Anne movies, nor the shows. Perhaps I need to rectify this.

  6. Angiegirl says:

    Oh, man. Watched this series with my mom, too! And I am currently sitting here with a dopey, dreamy expression on my face at the thought of Gus and Felicity. Wow, was I in love with him.Must Netflix these soon. It's time for a rewatch for sure.

  7. Heidi says:

    It IS a fantastic family friendly show. I love that you watched this with your own family as a kid. I hope that I can afford to buy this eventually and rewatch it when I have kids. There aren't a ton of shows out there that are great for several generations but I think this is one! And Gus Pike indeed…

  8. Heidi says:

    Yeah, the movie actually took place after the series had ended, and kind of worked to tie up some loose endings. Gus is my favorite. And also? YES. Mag Ruffman IS so pretty. She's sickeningly sweet too, and her own love story throughout the show made me happy.

  9. Heidi says:

    *Ducks*. He's not as cute as Gil, I'll admit it! I think I just loved the slow burn of Felicity and Gus so much because it got stretched out sooooooo long for me. With Gil and Anne, I could read all of the books and know where things were going. I really didn't know until the very end what would happen with Felicity and Gus, and it tortured me!

  10. Heidi says:

    You really could devour this in a couple of weekends, and I really think you'd like it if you liked the Anne movies. Oh! And Gil (yes, the same Gil from the Anne movies) is even in one episode.

  11. Heidi says:

    You should! Have you read any of the Avonlea books? I just reread Anne of Green Gables by listening to the audio not too long ago, which got me back on a whole Avonlea kick.

  12. Heidi says:

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who was totally in love with Gus! He and Felicity make me so happy. You really should rewatch this, I loved it just as much as an adult, and hadn't remembered at all the way a lot of things turn out.

  13. I used to watch this show all the time, but I haven't seen it in forever. I don't even know if I finished the entire series or just saw random bits and pieces. Now I want to watch these SO bad! I'm so glad you reminded me of this series, Heidi :)

  14. Catie says:

    OMG, this sounds amaaaaazing Heidi! Why have I never watched this? What age would you say this is appropriate for? Could my 6 1/2 year old daughter watch it? I'M SO EXCITED. I'm putting the first disc at the top of my queue immediately!And of course fiddle playing is hot! Come on.

  15. Heidi says:

    Of course! And yeah, when I went to rewatch it, I honestly wasn't sure how it ended so I'm not sure that I ever actually watched the last few seasons on TV. Was great to go back!

  16. Heidi says:

    YES! Your daughter could totally watch this, it's one of the most family friendly shows I can think of. I was 6 when it premiered on TV, and like I said, I have very fond memories of watching this one with my mom. I hope you both love it.

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