How You Know Her:
As comedienne Daisy in Funny People, bitchy, irratic Julie Powers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and showing up randomly on Portlandia. But predominantly as the dry witted, mostly deadpan, intern turned assistant, April Ludgate in Parks and Recreation.
Why She’s Crushworthy:
I would have never started watching Parks and Recreation if it hadn’t been for a friend, who’s taste I trust, telling me it was the most endearing show on television. It wasn’t anything conscious. I wasn’t trying to purposefully snub the show, it was just another show that I would need to watch in a sea of about a million shows that I already watch. And even though I certainly like Amy Poehler she was never something that would bring my viewership alone. Plus I wasn’t really into the small Midwest government setting. But once I gave it a fair chance I couldn’t stop watching until there were no more episodes to watch, and of course that’s down to the pretty amazing cast of characters.
Now, I’m pretty sure I would lay down my soul at Ron Swanson’s feet but I still have to say that one of my favorite characters is that of April Ludgate, Swanson’s dry, apathetic assistant. And why is that? Well, honestly, it probably comes down to that fact that I, when I’m not giggling incessantly over something no one else finds funny, consider myself rather witty and deadpan. I also hate a lot of things. Like eating outside in the summer. Yes, it’s nice to be able to do something you’re only able to do three months out of every year, but… it’s usually hot outside, and there are bugs, and inside there’s an air conditioner and glasses that aren’t sweating more than T.E. Lawrence probably did. And yes, April takes it to an extreme (may I present the following quote as evidence: “Camping sucks. It’s super boring. And you can see the stars, which I hate. They’re creepy.”) but it’s such a hilarious extreme. Plus there’s her adorable romance with Andy which I was rooting for since about the second episode of season two.
But don’t get me wrong, it’s not just from Parks and Recreation that I became Aubrey Plaza’s fan. The show was probably the first time I picked her out of a crowd and realized I’d seen her before, but once I realized I had seen her before I realized I thought she was pretty awesome. Take Scott Pilgrim vs. the World for example; I’ve read the… graphic novel installment things, whatever you’d like to call them, and when I saw Plaza as Julie Powers I thought they’d nailed it on the head. Julie could easily be considered an antagonist to the titular character in that series, but she’s also sort of the social glue and important as an ancillary character. She needs to be bitchy, but still liked, and that’s sort of hard. I thought Plaza was perfect. Same for in Funny People, where she played the neighbor to the main cast and served as crush to Seth Rogan’s Ira. I thought Funny People was pretty good, certainly not funny, but I’m not really sure it was supposed to be. Still, I liked Daisy.
Maybe it’s because I enjoy sardonic wit, or people who make a business out of hating things. Or maybe it just comes down to the fact that I see myself in her but wish I was as funny.