Hello, this is your Captain speaking. Our destination for today is the PEI (Prince Edward Island) of the 1890’s. That’s right ladies and gentlemen we’re going back in time to review Netflix and CBC’s new series Anne (with an E).
Anne is a period drama based on the well known (and well loved) Canadian novel Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery about an imaginative redheaded orphan who finds a home on a farm called Green Gables when two siblings mistakenly adopt her.
The series premiered on March 19th, 2017 on CBC in Canada and will be available for streaming on Netflix on May 12th, 2017.
- Amybeth McNulty as Anne Shirley
- Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert
- H. Thomson as Matthew Cuthbert
- Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert Blythe
- Dalila Bela as Diana Barry
- Corinne Koslo as Rachel Lynde
- Aymeric Jett Montaz as Jerry Baynard
Marilla and Mathew Cuthbert, two siblings who are getting on in their years, make arrangements to adopt a boy from Halifax to help Mathew with tending to the farm. When Mathew arrives at the train station to pick up their ward however, instead of the boy that he was expecting he finds a young girl with red hair and a gift for the gab—a gift that doesn’t seem to bother Mathew in the slightest. He takes her to Green Gables where Marilla, being the more practical—and verbal—of the two tells Anne that she may spend the night and nothing more because they will be sending her back to the Halifax in order to receive the boy that they need. Anne is reasonably distraught– okay, she is “in the depths of despair”—and cries herself to sleep. The next day, things take a turn for the better as Marilla has agreed to let Anne stay on a probationary basis upon finding out what the alternative to her staying with them would be (Anne would basically be an under aged Nanny to a slew of Mrs. Blewett’s children).
This Anne was both familiar and new, much like the Green Juice that I sipped on while watching the first episode. As a proud Canadian, I’m well versed in the world of Anne of Green Gables, however, this Anne Shirley, though charmingly enthusiastic and bright also has a bit of a bitter edge to her. Her time prior to the Cuthbert’s’ is anything but rosy. She’s been beaten and mistreated which is probably the reason for her exceedingly active imagination; it was her means of escape.
The actress who portrays Anne, Amybeth McNulty, does a good job of being ever hopeful and innocent yet wise beyond her years while the Cuthbert’s are quiet, hardworking and not particularly social. Although if I am being honest, the portal of Anne’s caregivers was more enjoyable in the 1985 CBC mini-series with Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla and Richard Farnswerth as Mathew (IMO). In the words of Anne Shirley, “I like people who make me love them. It saves me so much trouble making myself love them.” And those two made me love them.
This new take on a classic is definitely worth giving a shot. When May 12th rolls around, I know I will be watching all eight episodes to see what other ways they’ve freshened up this old story.
Until next time, thank you for joining me on my couch.