Yes I know it isn’t a book.
However, it has been requested to state my thoughts and overall
opinion regarding the new Anne Shirley remake.
So here it is.
Alright, I have had a few request from friends and family to tell you my thoughts on Anne with an E, the new series on Netflix. I binged watched it on May 13. My little mother’s day gift to me. Hehe. I have been waiting in anticipation for the show to air since they announced it. I am a BIG fan of the original Anne of Green Gables with Megan Follows as (MY) original Anne Shirley. (You can look at the image below if you are not familiar with which version I am referring too). I watched and re-watched all 3 of those TV mini-series films. Loved, Loved, LOVED them. So let me just tell you, I went into watch Anne with an E with moderate expectations. I saw the trailer and watched some clips on youtube before the release. I knew what I was getting into and I watched it with my eyes wide open. So here goes my thoughts.
First off, I enjoyed it. I honestly did. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have binged it so fast in one day. It is only 7 episodes. The first one being an hour and half, the rest falling less than an hour. Let me tell you, not many people would pull off a homely looking Anne Shirley, well this young Canadian actress Amybeth NcNulty did a fantastic job. Her monologues were well spaced, the fluctuation in her tones and dramatic deliveries were everything I would expect from an Anne Shirley. So first off an-all-round applause to that young women. Bravo. I cannot wait to see her in the future.
For your information if you have read the book Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery or any in the series you will be disappointed if you think Netflix is following those exactly. That is not the case. There are many differences. So DO NOT expect to have it similar to the books. You will be as upset about it as the Harry Potter fans with their movies. Furthermore, this version of Anne Shirley is “dark.” Do I think it was bad? No. I believe that it showed many truths of that time era for a young orphan. Without getting too detailed. There are flash backs of Anne being abused physically by the family she was with prior to Green Gables. There are flashes of her being bullied and tormented by other girls in the orphanage. Even though these are added scenes that are not in any of the original works of Anne Shirley, I believe it added an extra depth to Anne’s character and life situations. Her desire to be optimistic and seek to be in a state of daydreams makes things more understandable as to why. Her life was not a pretty one and we see pieces of that, which makes us want to see her succeed with Green Gables.
I felt at times so dumb watching the show because they had Anne use vocabulary I wasn’t even familiar with, (which honestly isn’t that hard). Regardless if you can’t keep up with her SAT words don’t worry, most of the characters in the show look at her as if she is speaking a different language.
Some supporting characters were interesting. One being our kindred spirit Diana Barry. When the two girls meet and come to befriend one another it is just as it should be; however, the moment they get to school, Diana is more reclusive and takes a back seat to their relationship. Diana follows the other girls more closely and allows them to determine what and who she should be associating with. One part the perturbed me was when the four girls where all looking out the window of the school room, watching Anne, who was sitting alone outside. Diana was looking out the window with them and didn’t even have a solemn expression on her face. She was just as enamored with spying on Anne and Gilbert as the rest of the girls. A few episodes later Anne and Diana become close again to only be torn apart by the infamous Raspberry Cordial / Currant Wine fiasco that many diehards are quiet familiar with. Then to be reunited with Mini-May’s croup illness. So yes, the big stuff is still there. We still have them, just with a different type of environment.
To our love/torment interest Gilbert Blyth. The young man who plays Gilbert, Lucas Jade Zumann. He has been in a few pieces in the last few years, but I think this role may make him. He was cocky and smug, but cute and dream. Any young preteen/teenage girls total heart-throb. His interest in Anne was undeniable. They had this chemistry that was obvious on the screen. Lucas played Gilbert’s desires for Anne right on point. You can see the longing he had to know her regardless of the struggles at home with his father’s illness. I am concerned by how the writers took Gilbert’s story line. They changed many aspects of Gilbert. It is even a wonder whether or not he will be making an appearance next season (if they make a season 2).
Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Our favorite two people. They were spectacular. The actors did very well with those two characters. Now for the writers, they took their love interest stories from years past and brought them to the lime light. We see a flash back of Marilla with John Blyth. We also see Matthew and a young women who he had strong feelings for. Both of their love stories were unable to progress because of their family’s needs at the time. I don’t think everyone will like the added flashback for Marilla and Matthew, but I did. I think it was great. There were always those questions we would ask, as the reader/audience member, regarding why Marilla and Matthew never moved on with their individual lives. I believe this helped me have some closure with their own stories.
I will say one thing I was very upset by, and do not believe was needed. SPOILER ALERT ——- There was a scene were Matthew attempts to take his own life because of the financial burned that came upon the family due to unfortunate circumstances. I do NOT believe that was needed. I understand that scene was to show the desperation the man was having to save his family and those he loves. Matthew we know for a fact is a giver. His love language is services. He gives everything of himself to help those he cares about. This was a desperate man seeking to do right by his family, but in the wrong way. That was one part I do not believe helped the overall story. It just tarnishes the view of the beloved character Matthew.—– End of Spoiler
So there were other parts that were interesting and characters that had larger roles than we may be familiar with such as, Jerry Baynard (the hired help for Green Gables). Billy Andrews, who actually becomes Anne’s largest tormentor; and, our beloved Rachel Lynde. Mrs. Lynde still maintains her sharp tongue and unfiltered mouth, which Green Gables fans love to hate and hate to love. Rachel and Marilla’s relationship has deeper strength I believe in this version then the other ones.
Overall, if you want to know more about my thoughts on these other characters or any others, just message me or leave me a question below.
I will say it again. I enjoyed it a great deal.
I will probably watch parts of it again in the near future, and I am crossing my fingers for a 2nd season. They left us on a little cliff hanger, so if Netflix doesn’t renew I will be not a happy camper.
Hope this satisfied all the curious people. Love you guys.
• Anne of Green Gables
• Anne of Avonlea
• Anne of the Island
• Anne’s House of Dreams
• Rainbow Valley
• Rilla of Ingleside
• Chronicles of Avonlea
• Further Chronicles of Avonlea