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:
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:
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.
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.
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!
- 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:
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!