A few weeks ago, fans of a popular children’s novel were extremely excited about the release of “Anne With An E” on Netflix. The show being an adaptation of the original book series titled “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery received tons of praise after it only having been available worldwide for a couple of days. As someone who both read the books and has watched this brand new adaptation, I definitely have my own fairly balanced opinion on the show.
Overall, I think it’s safe to say this was a very good book to television adaptation. While staying true to the novel, it added in new ideas and perspectives that only deepened the storyline and made it more interesting. Some people would disagree saying that the show was made too dramatic in comparison to the novels, but I honestly didn’t mind the drama that much. I understand people who dislike it, but I quite enjoyed seeing a more dramatic interpretation of these characters and this story. It brought a new perspective to a story we were familiar with.
I am not familiar with the details of the casting process for the show, but I can confidently say that I was very happy with the portrayal I saw on screen. For starters, Amybeth McNulty who plays Anne does an impeccable job of conveying the character’s bubbly personality and extremely advanced vocabulary. The only thing I didn’t love (which is not the fault of the actress but probably that of the writers) was how the show made it seem like Anne was a little mentally unstable. They almost portrayed her as if she had PTSD, since she keeps having these flashbacks where she zones out. The show seems to portray a sort of “damaged” version of Anne herself.
In terms of all the other characters, I think they were presented quite well. Geraldine James does an impeccable job of playing Marilla and showing everyone her kind nature behind her stern eyes. R. H Thompson does the same for the character of Matthew, along with the rest of the members of the cast. I particularly enjoyed seeing the interactions between Anne and Diana and closer to the end of the series, the interactions between Anne and Gilbert. Fans of the book were very happy to see their budding friendship and are hoping to see more of it in a possible season 2.
Another extremely positive factor about the show is the set and costumes. While some of it was filmed using a green screen, you almost couldn’t tell and the scenes still stay true to the 1908 setting. From the houses and barns to the dresses Marilla makes for Anne; everything is represented flawlessly. The show itself is also very visually pleasing in other aspects. This is in terms of specific shots of different landscapes, my favourite being one of Gilbert running across a field that is covered with snow. The producers definitely made sure to keep the show engaging and accurate when it came to its setting.
Whether you’re looking for a short show to binge watch, or want to reminisce about this iconic childhood story you may have read, the 7 episodes of “Anne With An E” are out on Netflix, and I highly recommend watching them as soon as you can.