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Series / Road to Avonlea

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A Canadian television series that aired for seven seasons (1990–96) on CBC, created by the director of the Anne of Green Gables movies. The series can be considered as a sequel to the movies.note  Set in Avonlea after Anne's departure, it tells the stories of Sara Stanley, daughter of a disgraced industrialist sent to live with her relatives in order to escape the public humiliation; the King family, the aforementioned relatives; and the rest of the colourful population of Avonlea. The show carried over many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, including Marilla Cuthbert and Rachael Lynde.

The stories are loosely based on L. M. Montgomery's novels The Story Girl and The Golden Road (Sara is the eponymous Story Girl), with side-plots culled from Montgomery's many short story collections, most of which had nothing to do with the Anne of Green Gables series.

The later seasons focused more on Sara's cousins Felicity and Felix.

It was aired on the Disney Channel as Avonlea.

Road to Avalonia provides examples of:

  • Back for the Finale: Sara returns for Felicity's wedding in the series Finale to Gus.
  • Broken Treasure: Janet receives an heirloom hair comb from one of her husband's relatives. It's hideous, but she doesn't want to say so, so her husband and in-laws are insulted when she won't wear it. Her kids lose it somehow, and when she finally agrees to wear it, she can't find it. She ends up spending a lot of money to have a replica made, and after taking a good look at it, her in-laws realize how ugly it is and don't blame her for not wanting to wear it.
  • Butt-Monkey: Although it's not as extreme as other examples, Cecily King probably qualifies. The shy and sweet girl is often ignored in favour of her more demanding siblings and cousins. She's not often allowed to go on adventures with them, constantly being told to stay behind (to the point that "I know, stay here" has sometimes been said to be her catchphrase). She eventually catches Tuberculosis and is sent to a sanatorium but most of the episode's drama revolves around how her family deals with it. There she gets her one love interest of the series but he dies at the end of the episode. She then returns home where she's ignored for the rest of the series.
  • The Character Died With Her: After actress Colleen Dewhurst passed away, Marilla Cuthbert's sudden death was written into the show, and her housemate Rachel and their wards move out of Green Gables soon after.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Felix and Izzy eventually develop one of these but it's unsure if it continues after the series ends. Alec and Janet are presumably an example as well since they both grew up in Avonlea and are about the same age.
  • Christmas Special: Following in the example of British Christmas episodes, the plot can be summed up as: World War I happened, then things got worse.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: And yes, Felicity, in case you were wondering…
    Gus: “If that was a proposal, the answer is yes.”
  • Cool Old Lady: Great Aunt Eliza.
  • Demoted to Extra: The main character Sara Stanley began as an artistic sweet girl with a strict aunt (Hetty) that stifled her creativity. When said aunt started writing romance novels there wasn't much to do with Sara. She was eventually Put on a Bus to study in Paris and the main character officially became Felicity.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After Gus is blinded, he lets Felicity think he is dead rather than to have her pity him.
  • Dunce Cap: While drilling her class for a spelling bee, Aunt Hetty makes Felix wear this for underperforming. Felix was stressed out rather than really a poor speller and this makes him even more intimidated. At home, his father tells him he wore the dunce cap in school more than Felix.
  • The Edwardian Era: The rural Canadian version.
  • Evil Twin: Sara Stanley and Jasper Dale both have them. Jasper's is his cousin.
  • Expy: Aunts Olivia and Hetty are somewhat softened versions of Aunts Laura and Elizabeth from the author's Emily of New Moon series. Sara's backstory, too, has as much in common with Emily, as with the Sara in The Story Girl.
  • First Kiss: Felicity spends an entire episode trying to get hers from a handsome cricket player. Gus Pike (her future husband) ends up stealing it.
    • Sara and Felix both get theirs over the course of the show as well (though not with each other).
  • From New York to Nowhere: Sara is sent from Montreal to live with family in rural Prince Edward Island when her father suffers a business scandal.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Felicity makes a scathing remark about Sara's father to her face, instigating a fight between them. The boys tickle them to break it up.
  • Funny Foreigner: Chef Pierre La Pierre.
  • Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Felix has a tendency to try these.
  • The Ghost: Although other characters from the Anne of Green Gables films appear, Anne herself is conspicuous in her absence. This was because of a long-standing dispute between actress Megan Follows and producer Kevin Sullivan which wouldn't be ironed out until Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (but not before the whole thing was satirized in Made in Canada, in which Megan Follows does appear as her In-Universe counterpart Mandy "Adele of Beaver Creek" Forward, who is lured back - at quintuple-scale - for the Return to Beaver Creek movie).
  • Girliness Upgrade: When she's introduced, Izzy is a tomboy who has short hair (for the time), hates wearing dresses and is friends with boys like Felix. By the final season, her hair has grown long, she usually wears dresses and is romantically interested in Felix.
  • Ye Goode Olde Days: A mild example. Negative aspects of life at the time, such as child labor, disenfranchisement of women, TB, or death in childbirth are shown, but more emphasis is put on the good times that the characters have.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Bordered on Costume Porn, with all the clothes that were made in the show's run.
  • Happily Married: Though they have their rough moments like any couple, Alec and Janet are this.
  • Hey, Let's Put on a Show
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Felicity's fiancé, Stuart, leaves when Felicity returns with Gus because he knows she truly loves Gus.
  • Imaginary Friend: Marilla invents a boyfriend (by Line-of-Sight Name method) to stop her friends from teasing has for being a spinster, unfortunately, a man with exactly the same name and physical description just happen to arrive in town the next day.
  • Impoverished Patrician
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Hetty King and Gus Pike get along very well.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Again Gus Pike, he managed to be a naive optimist with a Dark and Troubled Past. His accent (what accent was it anyway? —possibly an obscure Newfoundland brogue), good looks and ability to play the fiddle helped a great deal as well.
  • No Social Skills: Poor Jasper Dale.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: If there was a fancy event, some fancy dresses would be worn.
  • Pretty in Mink: In winter, people would wear some furs, mostly collars, hats, and muffs.
  • Put on a Bus: Andrew King, the other member of the King family to move to Avonlea in the first episode. Sara, too, although in her case The Bus Came Back.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot (the storyline about death of Marilla Cuthbert was triggered by the death of the portraying actress)
    • One of the reason's Sara Stanley left was because her actor, Sarah Polley, hated the show and desperately wanted out of her contract. She now sees it as Old Shame and even called it "horrible" in an interview.
  • Ruptured Appendix: Hetty is stricken with appendicitis on her 50th birthday in the episode "Memento Mori."
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Stuart Mc Rae. Felicity planned to marry him, and then dumped him after discovering that Gus was still alive.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Davy Keith. Also, any guest star is guaranteed to hijack the plot of any episode.
  • Switched at Birth: Felicity and her friend Sally were born on the same day with the same flighty doctor present. When they harass her about not having a mother, Sarah forges a letter from the doctor confessing to switching the babies by accident. Aunt Hetty catches on, but first suggests that they switch the girls back, since the mothers had earlier made a big point of her not being able to understand motherhood, having never given birth.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Last we saw of Gus's mother was that she left on a ship; we find out later that the ship sank with three survivors. Two are accounted for, so was she the third? If so where is she? And is Captain Crane Gus's father?