April Ludgate

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April Ludgate-Dwyer
Parks and Recreation character
First appearance "Pilot"
Last appearance "One Last Ride"
Portrayed by Aubrey Plaza
Information
Gender Female
Occupation Ron Swanson's Assistant
Deputy Director of Pawnee Animal Control
Family Larry (father)
Rita (mother)
Natalie (sister)
Spouse(s) Andy Dwyer
Significant other(s) Derek (ex-boyfriend)
Eduardo (ex-boyfriend)
Children Burt Snakehole Ludgate Karate Dracula Macklin Demon Jack-o-Lantern "Jack" Dwyer (b. 2023)
Nationality American
(English and Puerto Rican descent)

April Roberta Ludgate-Dwyer[1][2] (portrayed by Aubrey Plaza) is a fictional character in the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. She is first seen as an apathetic college student working as an intern in the Pawnee Department of Parks and Recreation, before being hired as Ron Swanson's assistant. She later becomes the Deputy Director of Animal Control. The character has gained popularity for her deadpan-style comedy and witty one-liners.

Background[edit]

April Ludgate is a college student who starts out working as an intern in the Pawnee parks and recreation department. April is extremely uninterested in the job, regularly napping at her desk and texting constantly, and acts very dry and sarcastic around her co-workers. She was assigned the internship because she overslept on intern sign-up date, which she blamed on her sister Natalie for not waking her up.[3][4] April is of English and Puerto Rican descent (she claims that this explains her 'lively and colorful' personality), and she speaks and understands Spanish fairly well as a result.[5] Her family refers to her as Zuzu.

April was responsible for uploading the staff bios onto the Pawnee parks and recreation site,[6] and she jokingly made a fictional bio for herself that reads as follows:

April Ludgate-Dwyer was born in Björk’s house in Iceland and grew up on Easter Island, where her parents were giant stone heads. She has the ability to fire beams of tacos out of her hands and she can turn her legs into tigers. On Sundays, April enjoys reading Family Circus and traveling through time. Her favorite color is greenish-transparent and her favorite movie is the one you just watched. April is in charge of uploading the staff bios to the website, and no one has checked over her work.[6]

In Season Six Donna, while picking Spirit dogs, described her:

"You're beautiful yet cold and aloof. You pride yourself on being a loner. You do not obey, you choose to cooperate. And when you stop baring your fangs to pick a mate, it's for life. And you're fiercely loyal to your pack. Which makes you a rare black Siberian husky."

Storyline[edit]

Season 1[edit]

April starts as a 19-year-old intern at the parks department who is somewhat rebellious and is often annoyed by her fellow parks department workers. For the first two seasons, her boyfriend was Derek, who is openly gay and who simultaneously dates a fellow openly gay college student named Ben, whom April dislikes. (Aubrey Plaza herself came up with the idea of her character's boyfriend being gay and her boyfriend himself dating another gay guy.)[7]

Season 2[edit]

Although still dating her openly gay boyfriend, Derek, who is still dating his gay boyfriend, Ben, April begins to develop a crush on Andy Dwyer (who works at city hall), the ex-boyfriend of Ann Perkins.[8] Andy is able to make April smile, which is something she rarely does.[9] April flirts with Andy and even convinces Andy to let her give him hickeys on his neck in order to make Ann jealous, but Andy nevertheless remains unaware of her feelings toward him.[10] In order to remain close to Andy, April volunteers to work as Ron's assistant, ending her time as an intern and establishing a full-time position at the Pawnee town hall.[11] April finally breaks up with Derek after he makes fun of Andy and gives her a hard time about spending too much time with him.[12] Toward the end of the season Andy and April's relationship begins to grow to the point that he begins to reciprocate her feelings but their age difference continues to be a wedge between them. They admit their mutual attraction to each other in the season finale, but she tells him she does not want to get involved with him due to what she perceives as his lasting feelings for Ann. She changes her mind after he gets into a car accident and the two kiss for the first time, but she leaves abruptly after he reveals Ann kissed him just two minutes earlier.

Season 3[edit]

April traveled to Venezuela between seasons but has returned to Pawnee to continue her job at the Parks Dept. and has a new Spanish-speaking Venezuelan boyfriend, Eduardo. April eventually breaks up with Eduardo after he becomes friends with Andy because Eduardo was used only to make Andy jealous. April tells Andy to do all of the things she hates doing for her for a month. After about a week of him doing this, April kisses Andy. Andy and April decide to get married in "Fancy Party" after only one month of dating. Andy had proposed to April the day before the party asking, "What if we got married tomorrow?" to which April replied, "Fine." They were married at their dinner party (which was actually a surprise ceremony) in front of their friends and family.[1][13] With a great deal of help from new housemate Ben Wyatt they have learned, to a limited extent, how to live and act like working adults.

Season 4[edit]

April and Andy throw a Halloween party at which Ron and Ann go around fixing all of the problems in her and Andy's house. She becomes a member of Leslie's campaign as the "youth outreach". April takes over a large portion of Leslie's duties in the Parks and Rec department towards the end of the season to allow Leslie to concentrate on the election. April is shown to somewhat enjoy and excel in this position. In "Bus Tour", April becomes legally known as April Ludgate-Dwyer.

Season 5[edit]

April is working as Ben's assistant at Washington D.C. as he successfully runs a congressional re-election campaign. She actively supports Andy while he tries to get into the Pawnee Police Department. Following her passion for animals, she develops plans to have Lot 48 become a dog park. She reveals that she wants to become a veterinarian and asks Ann to write her a recommendation letter. April becomes Deputy Director of the Animal Control by suggesting it be absorbed into the Parks Department due to its inefficiency.

Season 6[edit]

At the beginning of Season 6, April is planning on attending Veterinary School, however upon going to the orientation with Ann she realises it is not what she wants to do. While she supports Andy for having a job away in London, she is very upset while he is away and misses him. She develops a closer relationship with Donna, and they both try to stop Tom leaving the Parks Department by being unhelpful as he searches for a property for his restaurant. However, they later feel guilty, and help him find the perfect place. When Andy returns, she actively supports him on playing music for children, deciding to become his manager. While she makes out she is excited that Ann is leaving Pawnee, the pair share a nostalgic farewell at the Pawnee Commons site in "Ann and Chris". Along with Andy, Tom and some other Pawnee youths, she comes up with idea to hold a Unity concert celebrating the merger. in the season finale, it is revealed that April and Andy are still happily married in 2017, with April working for Leslie.

Season 7[edit]

It's 2017 and April laments, as time has passed and she has remained in her government career, she fears she and Andy are becoming ordinary and boring. While driving through the warehouse district, they spot a creepy old house with an equally creepy owner. He tells them it was a place for old factory workers who ended up going mad. They decide to purchase it. When Joan Callamezzo is honored by the mayor, April starts to feel that her life hasn't been fulfilled yet, and realises working in the Parks Department really isn't her dream job. In "Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington", April is trying to find a way to tell Leslie that she wants to leave the Parks Department. When she finally tells Leslie, after a bit of reluctance, Leslie decides to help her. Leslie takes April to the American Service Foundation, which helps determine potential occupations for job-seekers. After April's meeting, April tells Leslie that she would like to work at the Foundation itself. April and Andy decide to relocate to Washington D.C when April gets an offer to work for the Foundation. However, she feels guilty for making Andy give up 'the best job he's ever had' working as Johnny Karate on his own TV show. Andy assures her that she is the best thing that ever happened to him and after all the support she has given him, helping him to become a children's entertainment phenomenon, she deserves his support in her search for happiness.

In a series of flash-forwards in the final episode, April and Andy ask Leslie and Ben for advice regarding the prospect of having children, which Andy very much wants but April does not. They decide to try for it and their son Jack (short for Jack-o-Lantern) is born on Halloween 2023. By 2025 the couple is expecting their second child.

Development[edit]

The role of April Ludgate was written specifically for Aubrey Plaza. Upon meeting the actress, Parks and Recreation casting director Allison Jones contacted series co-creator Michael Schur 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."[14] Schur said he met with her and was taken so off-guard by her quiet and deadpan personality that he felt incredibly awkward and uncomfortable, spending the whole meeting trying to keep her entertained. Schur said that from that meeting on, he and fellow co-creator Greg Daniels knew they wanted to cast her on the show.[14][15] When the scripts for Parks and Recreation were first written, the character was referred to simply as "Aubrey".[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sepinwall, Alan (April 14, 2011). "Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Andy and April's Fancy Party': Impulse power". HitFix. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved April 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ Kandell, Steve (April 15, 2011). "Parks and Recreation Recap: A Wedding". New York. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ Parks & Recreation: Season One (Film (DVD)). Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Event occurs at Deleted Scenes: Pilot. 
  4. ^ "Parks and Recreation - Pilot: April the Intern". NBC. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  5. ^ Fowler, Matt (2009-10-16). "Parks and Recreation: "Sister City" Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  6. ^ a b "City of Pawnee - Parks and Recreation". Pawneeindiana.com. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  7. ^ Schur, Michael (2009). Parks and Recreation: Season One: "Rock Show" (DVD). Universal Studios Home Entertainment. 
  8. ^ Abrams, Natalie (2009-11-18). "Parks and Recreation: Leslie and Co. Have Love Woes". TV Guide. 
  9. ^ Fowler, Matt (2009-11-20). "Parks and Recreation: "Hunting Trip" Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  10. ^ Heisler, Steve (2009-11-19). "Parks and Recreation: "Hunting Trip"". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 22 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  11. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (January 15, 2010). ""Parks and Recreation" recap: Will Arnett can see your insides". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  12. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (February 12, 2010). ""Parks and Recreation" recap: Breaking up is hard to do". Entertainment Weekly. 
  13. ^ Busis, Hillary (April 15, 2011). "'Parks and Recreation': I now pronounce you man and... wait, seriously?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 17, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Heisler, Steve (March 24, 2011). "Interview: Michael Schur". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Parks & Recreation - Paul Schneider & Aubrey Plaza (Paley Center, 2009)". Paley Center for Media. October 15, 2010. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2011.