Characters that almost single-handedly ruined a television show

April Nardini — Gilmore Girls

There was great celebration when Gilmore Girls was revived by Netflix, until fans learned that April Nardini would also be returning. Coined the “Jar Jar Binks” of the series, April debuted in Season 6 as the previously unknown teenage daughter of Luke. When she steals and tests Luke’s DNA as part of her nerdy science project and learns that he is her father, it’s the beginning of the end for Luke and Lorelai’s long-building love.

At first, this new information is so incomprehensible to Luke he can no longer commit to marriage. To make matters worse, he hides the reason for his decision — when Lorelai finds out, he then asks her to keep her distance from April. Things come to a head and, when he’s finally ready to commit, it’s too late. The star-crossed lovers of Stars Hollow find themselves done for good.

For fans of the series, this breakup was the equivalent of having their hearts ripped out, and there was only one person to blame — April. Adding to the dislike was that this gawky 12-year-old girl, whose idea of a good time was counting salt shakers in the diner, was now the focus of Luke’s attention as he fought to gain custody. Viewers rejected her with a passion.

Years later, regarding that negative response to her character, actress Vanessa Marano would admit, “No, it was not great, but at the same time in a weird way, I feel like it was actually kind of great that that happened.” Still, Marano admits she understood the rejection, because she herself was conflicted over the character. In fact, she admits she “sort of hated” April herself. When you hate the character you play, there is no greater proof that they were no good, for the show or the viewers. April had better hope karma doesn’t come her way in Gilmores apparently continuing revival.