When I was around 12 and 13 years old, I was addicted to Road to Avonlea. My family did not have cable tv but my best friend had it and that included the Disney channel. Every Sunday night a new episode of Road to Avonlea would be shown and she would faithfully record the show so that I could watch it. Years later, I still had the collection of old VHS tapes which housed my Avonlea series and provided me with countless hours of entertainment. (COUNTless hours, I tell you!) My friend and I wrote up our own ideas of how we thought the series should play out and what we thought should happen with the various characters. In between seasons we would talk endlessly about the various romances and developments between the various family members on the show. Obsessed? Just a little.
Now you can find the whole series on DVD and over the course of the past two years (?) or so I have rewatched the entire series with my sisters-in-law who have never seen it. For Christmas my SIL bought me the last remaining season so that we could all watch it together. It is bittersweet for me to come to the conclusion of the series again, even though I know what's going to happen. It's been tons of fun (and is especially fun this season) to hear the girls guess at what is going to happen next. I won't tell you in this blog post least they sneak a peek to find out! I'm reminiscing my past as well as the past of the King family to some degree.
The Road to Avonlea series, if you are unfamiliar with them, are based on Lucy Maud Montgomery's books The Story Girl and The Golden Road. (You can read my review of The Story Girl here.) This series was produced by Kevin Sullivan who also produced the Anne of Green Gables triology. (Although if we're giving true confessions, I absolutely DESPISE Anne Of Green Gables - The Continuing Story and refer to it only as "Anne heresy." I watched it on PBS when it first came out in 2000 and was mortified and livid. Montgomery is probably rolling over in her grave over the liberties Sullivan took with that third movie thatshouldneverhavebeenmade.)
Despite that, I do think Sullivan did a great job adapting Montgomery's works to create the Road to Avonlea series and I heartily recommend them. They not only capture the spirit of Montgomery but I think adadequately represent the King family. Yes, they changed some of the characters around, keeping some alive and removing others from the picture. It's an adaptation of Montgomery's works for sure but in this case I do think it is tastefully done.
The characters on screen are charming, lovable and easy to identify with. Best yet you really get to grow up with the family, beginning when the King cousins are young and moving along with them as they navigate their own life adventures. The stories that are brought to life for the modern day audience are frequently hilarious, often make me cry, and are just relaxing. I think the series represents the Island well and takes into account myths and legends in much the same way that Montgomery did. You do find the "witch" character in Peg Bowen that can create some suspiciously creepy episdoes but the character is truly benign and I don't find myself bothered by her. She's just an old woman who roams the Island and has a habit of freaking the children out in humerous ways. She's a character - and those are episodes - that I am happy to overlook in light of being able to enjoy things as a whole.
I love escaping to the Island to be with the King family. If you haven't had a chance to watch this series, I heartily recommend doing so. It is an expensive DVD set and I've spent a few years collecting them all (birthdays and Christmases helped). You might check your local library if you want to give this show a test run. Our local library does, I believe, carry it. For my part though I know I love it enough to own as I will happily rewatch them over and over again.
For a quick synopsis or for purchase of any given season, Amazon has some pretty good deals:
Road to Avonlea Season 1
Road to Avonlea Season 2
Road to Avonlea Season 3
Road to Avonlea Season 4
Road to Avonlea Season 5
Road to Avonlea Season 6
Road to Avonlea - Season 7
Cast Interviews from the last season (season 7):