Friday, May 19, 2017

My Weekend Real Anne

My love for Anne of Green Gables is eternal. The magic of those books found me even before the mid-80s miniseries. But it was through that series and endlessly irresistible charms of Megan Follows I feel in love for good. And, I say this every time, but I really did make my family vacation on Prince Edward Island one summer. I even have a little vial of P.E.I.’s famed red sand somewhere in a keepsake box.

But now with the released of this new Netflix “Anne With An E” series on Netflix (also, uh, what’s with the late name change wasn’t it just “Anne” before that), I just feel perplexed and very sad. I was willing to give this “grittier” reboot of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved heroine a chance. I really was. But then I read negative review after negative review. Though, to be honest, if Heather Anne Hogan says to skip it, I will always skip it. (In my world, the abomination known as “Skins Fire” does not exist).

Because, and I ask this quite sincerely, why? Why make a dark, gothic, gritty Anne of Green Gables? Why? Sure, realism is important and the world is admittedly awful. But we all know that already. To be honest, we have all the darkness we can deal with right now, thank you very much. What made Anne Shirley special wasn’t just how she overcame her life’s tragedies. It wasn’t because of her being beaten mercilessly. Or her dealing with PTSD. Or her being rescued from a would-be rapist in the woods. Sure, in the real world maybe she would have had to deal with these things. Sure, in the real world too many people have to deal with these things.

But Anne Shirley made us always believe in a better world. Some would call it innocent or naïve or fanciful. But it was her unrelenting optimism and determination and, yes, spirit that made us all think things could be better. We could be better. And people who make us feel like that, well, you love forever. So no thank you, Anne With An E, I already have a bosom friend. I’ll keep my Anne of Green Gables just as is. Happy weekend, all.

p.s. I know the new Anne is apparently canonically gay (or at least professes her love for Diane in a gay way), but you know what, we all knew that already.


Shasta said...

I guess I'm in the minority that really enjoyed this new series. I love the production values and casting and it's filmed so beautifully. Yes, it's dark, but I don't mind it because Anne is so Anne.

And any show that has girls discussing their periods.... whaaaaat! Amazing. Really.

Anonymous said...

what Shasta said :)

Jessica said...

Whaaat? I read no reviews before watching and ended up loving it! It's sad, for sure, but there are a ton of beautiful moments too. Such great acting as well. You're missing out!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you DS. Definitely don't bother watching this new hot garbage fire.

TotallyNatS said...

Given that there is an estimated 90% overlap what my pop-culture/media opinions and those of the different Autostraddle reviewers are concerned, I was quite surprised when I read Heather's review after having already watched the series.
Sure, the first two episodes made me cringe a little because Anne's characterization seemed so over the top - almost caricature-like. But by the end of episode 4 the series had really grown on me. All the other episodes, especially the season finale, were really good. I know the source material by heart and was afraid I'd hate the new adaptation. But turns out I'm looking forward to season 2.

JJ said...

I also am a complete lover of the original series, and admittedly kind of feel like I'm cheating on Megan Follows when I watch this new one... it is good. Really. It's not so much "gritty" as it is realistic. I do recommend it, it's not a replacement for the original, but I do think it is worth a watch.

Plus there's a gay aunt (at least, I'm pretty sure they were hinting that Aunt Josephine is gay).