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April Carver

Portrayed by: Italia Ricci

April is an aspiring journalist looking for a way to make her mark at The Boston Post, until her life gets turned upside down with the news that she has leukemia. She refuses to let that stop her however, and is determined to beat her illness with the support of her friends and family.

  • Adorkable
  • Black Humor: She uses it as a coping mechanism. Oddly enough, she gets uncomfortable when other people do the same thing.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Brenna.
  • Girl Next Door: Gives off this vibe.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Beth.
  • Ill Girl: Obviously.
  • Important Haircut: She has Beth start gradually cutting it shorter when it begins falling out, going through several different hairstyles before finally asking Leo to shave it off for her. He shaves his off too, to make it less traumatic for her.
  • Love Triangle: With Dominic and Leo.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Despite her illness, she's gotten several scenes in lingerie or Toplessness from the Back.
  • Not So Above It All: Leo steals a sports car for a joy ride in 'Clear Minds, Full Lives, Can't Eat!', and after initially yelling at him for breaking the law, she finally caves in and takes it for a spin.
  • Official Couple: With Leo.
  • The Protagonist
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
  • Secret Keeper: She initially tries to keep her cancer a secret from her friends and family.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Her life has just been one horrible thing after another since she found out she had cancer fifteen minutes into the first episode.
  • Workaholic: She's extremely dedicated to her job, and is upset when she realizes that her treatments will necessitate a medical break just as her career is starting to take off. After she finishes chemotherapy and is in remission, she jumps right back into work as soon as her doctor clears her.
    • She later quits her job at The Post in the season one finale (in order to save Danny's job), and season two sees her ultimately Deconstructing this trope by taking a step back from her career to focus on her health and her personal life.

Brenna Carver

Portrayed by: Haley Ramm

April's sixteen year old sister, Brenna's reputation as a rebellious teen who likes to party has gotten her into some serious trouble in the past, but season one sees her trying to move past that. She enjoys testing the patience of her well-meaning mother, Sara, and envies the perfect image that April seems to effortlessly uphold.

Sara Carver

Portrayed by: Mary Page Keller

April and Brenna's mother. As a therapist, her natural inclination to over-analyze relationships and behavior can sometimes cause friction with her two independent young daughters and her own romantic relationships, but she usually has good intentions.

  • Accidental Adultery: She accidentally dates not one, but two men who are cheating on their wives (which is ironic, considering that her late husband cheated on her with another woman). She breaks up with both of them when she finds out.
  • Adult Fear: Her oldest daughter gets diagnosed with a deadly disease at age twenty-four.
  • Friends with Benefits: Briefly has a FWB relationship with Owen, a man she shares office space with (until she finds out that he's married).
  • Meddling Parents / My Beloved Smother: Becomes one after learning that April has cancer.
  • New Old Flame: With her brother-in-law, George; they dated briefly when they were younger, and get back together for a while in season one.
  • Parent with New Paramour: She begins dating again for the first time since her husband's death in season one.
  • The Shrink

Grandma Emma

Portrayed by: Rebecca Schull

  • Cool Old Lady: In spades. There's too many examples to name, so just remember that she once made April pot brownies.
    April: "Sometimes I think Grandma's cooler than me."
    Brenna: "She is."
  • Lethal Chef: She's the first to admit that she cannot cook worth a damn and the best day of her life was the day that the microwave was invented.
  • Parent with New Paramour: She begins dating a man named Sam in season one.

George Carver

Portrayed by: Steven Weber

April estranged uncle, George is a pediatric oncologist who unexpectedly finds himself back in her life after diagnosing her with cancer.

  • Drunk Driver: Allegedly, George was driving drunk the night of Thomas' death. Whether or not that's what actually happened has yet to be revealed.
  • New Old Flame: For his sister-in-law, Sara; they dated briefly when they were younger, and get back together for a while in season one.
  • Put on a Bus: He leaves Boston in 'Cancer Friends with Benefits'.
  • Secret Keeper: For April, after she's diagnosed with cancer.
    • He was aware of his brother's second family in Florida but kept it a secret, and as of season two he's still keeping secrets for Thomas even after his death.

Thomas Carver

Portrayed by: Tom Irwin

The late husband of Sara, brother of George, and father of April, Brenna, and Natalie.

  • Broken Pedestal: The reveal that he had an affair and fathered an illegitimate child crushes April's opinion of him.
  • Disappeared Dad: He died in a car accident a few years prior to the start of the show.
  • Posthumous Character: He only ever appears in flashbacks or hallucinations. What little we actually know about him comes from April's search for the truth about his life.
  • Living a Double Life: He had a second family living in Florida, and at the time of his death was working on a manuscript that implies that his death might not have been an accident after all.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He had an affair with a woman who lived near his writing retreat, which resulted in an illegitimate daughter. Allegedly, he wanted to tell his wife but he wasn't sure when or how.

Natalie Ortiz

Portrayed by: Jessica Meraz

The illegitimate daughter of Thomas Carver.

  • Big Sister Instinct: To Brenna.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Was introduced as a way for April to find out about her father's affair, and ends up being the bone-marrow match that April needs later on.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She's initially very hostile towards her father's 'other family', but eventually decides to stay in Boston so she can get to know them better.
  • Pair the Spares: She and Dominic date for a while, but she breaks up with him after realizing that he's still hung up on April.
  • Secret Keeper: For Brenna's secret, although she accidentally tells April a few episodes later.
  • The Un-Favourite: She is well aware of the fact that she was the secret love child who came in second to her dad's 'real' family. Much of her early hostility stems from this.

     April's Friends 

Beth Kingston

Portrayed by: Aisha Dee

April's vibrant, Australian-Born best friend. She provides a sense of fun and normalcy that April desperately needs after her diagnosis, as well as a shoulder to lean on when things get rough.

  • Ambiguously Bi: A few of her comments indicate that she might lean towards this, and during the game of 'Never Have I Ever' in 'Unplanned Parenthood', she can be seen taking a drink along with Mallory and Brenna (both of whom are bisexual) when asked if they've ever been attracted to someone of the same sex.
  • Beta Couple: With Graham, oddly enough.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With April.
  • Plucky Girl
  • Secret Keeper: She's the first person that April tells about her cancer.

Leo Hendrie

Portrayed by: Scott Michael Foster

Please note that this profile contains major spoilers for the character and the show.

The son of wealthy gubernatorial candidate Bruce Hendrie, Leo first crosses April's path as she's pursuing a story about his father, and she later runs into him again at her cancer support group, where she learns that he has a brain tumor. After a rocky start, he becomes an unlikely friend, confidant, and eventual Love Interest.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Not sure how affectionate it is, but he refers to his brain tumor as Leo Jr.
  • Black Humor: Just about every other line that comes out of his mouth.
    "Hey guys, I'm the sick kid with the brain tumor. I'm available for weddings and parties."
  • The Charmer
  • Cool Bike: His first appearance on the show features him almost running April over with his very expensive motorcycle. He gets an even nicer one a few episodes later in exchange for giving a speech at his father's fundraiser.
  • Deadpan Snarker: If he's not busy making inappropriate jokes, then he's usually indulging in this instead.
    "No April, I will not father your child. I'm really flattered, thanks."
  • Important Haircut: He shaves his head in 'Locks of Love', to make it less traumatic for April when she shaves hers.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: April's first impression is that he's blunt, reckless, and doesn't appear to care how his behavior affects other people. She pretty quickly learns otherwise, realizing that he genuinely cares about his friends at the support group and goes out of his way to help them have a good time, even going so far as to use his father's money to make their last wishes become a reality. note  He also anonymously funded April's fertility treatments (which cost a whopping $5,000), and blows it off as nothing when she figures out it was him.
    April: "You know, you're not as much of an ass as you pretend to be."
  • Killed Off for Real: He dies in his sleep with almost no warning only one episode after he and April get married.
    • Dropped a Bridge on Him: His death came barely one month after their wedding, and he'd recently accepted a philanthropic job doing what he loved at his father's company.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: He suffers from this after waking up from his coma, leaving him unable to remember much about the days leading up to his surgery. Most importantly, he's unable to remember why he agreed to the surgery in the first place, which puts a strain on his relationship with April, since as far as he can remember his plan was to die with his dignity intact.
  • Love Triangle: With April and Dominic.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He has several Shirtless Scenes.
  • Official Couple: With April.
  • Secret Keeper: He learns about April's cancer fairly early on, but doesn't tell anyone.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He would claim it's actually 'Screw the Rules, I Have Cancer', but there's no denying that his father's money has played a part in helping him avoid any serious consequences from his reckless behavior.
  • Second Episode Introduction
  • Upper-Class Twit: Zig-zagged. He never took a dime of his parent's money before he got sick, and actually lived on his own in Paris for a year, living in a crappy apartment and working in a crappy bakery to support himself. After being diagnosed with cancer, he had to move back home and accept their help to pay for his treatments. His lifestyle has less to do with the amount of money in his trust fund and more to do with the fact that he has a terminal brain tumor and without surgery he only has a few months to live.
  • Urban Legend Love Life: He claims in 'Unplanned Parenthood' that he's tried to kiss 'like ten other girls' since he kissed April in the previous episode. While not impossible (and let's be real, not that improbable either given that this is Leo), he's never shown displaying interest in anyone other than April.

     The Boston Post 

Dominic Russo

Portrayed by: Richard Brancatisano

The Arts and Entertainment columnist, as well as April's Love Interest at the office.


Portrayed by: Vondie Curtis-Hall

April's boss for the first few episodes.

  • Backhanded Compliment: Every compliment from him qualifies as this.
    "You're not totally illiterate."
  • The Comically Serious: He's always one hundred percent serious, but the way Curtis-Hall delivers his lines will leave you laughing your head off.
    "Nora, can you write me a piece about the economy that won't make me want to kill myself?"
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He's blunt and brutally honest, but he's a good boss when it comes right down to it.
  • Put on a Bus: He retires off-screen sometimes after 'Unplanned Parenthood'. It's implied that he retired while April was on medical leave.


Portrayed by: Shi Ne Nielson

  • Ambiguously Brown: Beth describes her as 'exotic, in an ambiguous way'.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: As revealed in her first episode.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: April tells Danny that she has a professional crush on her.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: To both Lawrence and Aaron. She eventually gets promoted to editor.
  • Married to the Job: She is in a long-distance relationship with someone, but has no interest in seeking a more serious or close relationship as it would distract her from her job.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She's tough and demanding, but she's good at her job and never asks her employees to do something she's not willing to do herself.
  • Second Episode Introduction
  • Took a Level in Kindness: She saves April's butt when she screws up her first big interview back at work by pointing out that the article never should have been pitched in the first place since it was too cliche. Of course, being Raquel, she claims she was just doing what was best for the paper.


Portrayed by: Abhi Sinha

April's next-cubicle co-worker.


  • Pointy-Haired Boss: He's not totally incompetent, but he has no prior experience in newspaper journalism and Raquel groans that he's going to run the newspaper into the ground. He eventually gets fired during the fallout over April's story about Richie Miranda.

     Brenna's Friends 


Portrayed by: Dylan Gelula

  • Gender-Blender Name
  • Hidden Depths
  • Jerkass: She's shallow, rude to people she doesn't like, and becomes jealous of the time Brenna is spending with Greer after they start dating, going so far as to make some rude comments about Brenna's sexual orientation. She's also the one who told the school authorities about them skipping the eco-club lecture in Florida. She eventually gets better, but still remains very shallow.
  • Multicolored Hair: She has red stripes in her hair.
  • Ship Tease: She and Brenna kiss in season two.
  • Teens Are Monsters: See Jerkass for details.

Greer Danville

Portrayed by: Gracie Dzienny

  • Abusive Parents: Her parents, especially her mom, are extremely controlling and neglectful. She finally calls them out on it.
  • Gender-Blender Name
  • Lipstick Lesbian
  • Love Interest: For Brenna.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: She begins skipping class, dyes her hair, and tries to talk Kieran into giving her a tattoo. She finally admits that the reason she's acting strange is because she quit taking her medications as a 'screw you' to her parents.
  • The Pollyanna: She's almost eternally cheerful, and Brenna even comments in one of their early scenes together that she never stops smiling. Later subverted when she reveals that her parents have had her on medication for anxiety and depression since she was seven.
  • Put on a Bus: In the penultimate episode of season one.


Portrayed by: Augusto Aguilera

Finn Madill

Portrayed by: Parker Mack

  • Artificial Limbs: He has a prosthetic leg, having lost his left leg to cancer.
  • Determinator: His goal is to beat his cancer and start running track again.
  • The Not-Love Interest: For Brenna, so far. She tells him in 'As Long as We Both Shall Live' that she wouldn't be opposed to it, but that she can't think about him like that while he's still sick; he's disappointed, but understanding.

     Cancer Friends 


  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's only in one episode, but he's one of the first people that April opens up to about her cancer and he convinces her to start attending a support group, which changes her life dramatically.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He dies at the end of his one and only episode.





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