Saturday, July 14, 2018

Anne with an "E"

Our family just loved the original Anne of Green Gables series. I think it was PBS produced, and we watched it faithfully when it was on. Sherry, in particular, was captivated by it; she was a little younger than Anne at the time.

We went on a camping vacation in the Maritime Provinces, and ended up in PEI. We visited "Anne's House," and wanted very much to go and see the local production of the Anne story, but we couldn't afford five tickets. I think most of us have maintained a fondness for Anne over the years.

So when Netflix announced a new production, i.e., "Anne with an 'E,'" last year, Joe and I were delighted. We were hoping it was something we could share with Caroline, who was 8 or 9 at the time. This was not to be: In one episode Anne explains human reproduction to her peers. In another episode Anne gets her first menstrual period and is horrified. Not what we'd choose to expose an 8-year-old to.

But Joe and I watched the whole series and liked it in spite of the issues I just mentioned. And I was tickled when I learned that there was a second season on Netflix this summer! We've been watching; it's a very nice antidote to the ugliness in the world just now.

The story lines are interesting, the acting is excellent, the scenery is lovely, and there are messages within the content. The thing that bothers me is an odd thing: The show deals with social issues that are relevant today and there is some overkill. Racial prejudice, suppression of women, discrimination against homosexual persons, and bullying are all addressed in this series. And there is just a little too much emphasis on them; they seem to be forced into the story line. And that's disappointing.

We have one episode left and, of course, we'll watch it. We'll find out (a) if the black guy is able to purchase property in a nice part of town, (b) whether the gay fellow leaves town for a safer environment, (c) if the bully experiences remorse, and (d) whether the lady school teacher who wears trousers is able to keep her job. It's a good show. Except . . . .


Janet O. said...

I appreciate your insight into this series. We also loved the PBS Anne series, and I have wondered about this new version.
I get it. Sometimes you just need a period piece to stay true to its period and not have to approach the issues that we have today. (Not that they weren't issues then--they just didn't know it yet.)

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Thanks for the review. I have been considering whether to watch this series. I generally don't like remakes, but this doesn't really sound like a remake. I LOVED Anne of Green Gables. I didn't discover it until about 1972 when I was 21. I have watched it several times and don't think I will ever tire of the original version.
xx, Carol

Janet said...

I also gave watched this "new" rendition of Anne. I am a Maritime girl and while I agree the acting , staging etc is very good...this really is not the story that LM Montgomery wrote. They have made up completely different story lines . I understand the writers and producers seem to think they need to "modernize" a classic story to appeal to the audience of today...I think it should be titled "very loosely based" on Anne of Green Gables ...just my opinion

Anne Simonot said...

Hmmm... I loved the Anne books growing up & enjoyed our Canadian TV version years ago. I had read a little about this updated version, but your snippets of it... wow! There’s giving a classic an update & a modern feel, but this sounds like far too many movies I’ve seen of favourite books. You know, the ones where they threw out half the original story, & turned it into something unrecognizable (The Revenant, Ready Player One, and too many to name). I think I’ll pass.

Nann said...

Coming in October: "Marilla of Green Gables," a novel by Sarah McCoy. It's about Marilla's growing up. McCoy spoke at the ALA conference in June (alas, I could only snag one advance reader copy). I haven't read it yet but it's coming to the top of the pile.

We've been to Green Gables twice (two Road Scholar trips that included P.E.I.). We learned that 40+ years ago the town leaders in Cavendish (where GG is located) wanted to do something to promote tourism. Thus the farmhouse was renovated, the visitor center was built, and they opened for business.