I am utterly in love with Netflix's new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.
I realize that's quite a controversial statement. A lot of people seem to hate Anne with an E, and they hate it with almost as much passion as I love it. But I really, really love it. I love it so much that it took me a while to finish it, because I got halfway through the penultimate episode and didn't want it to end. I adore everything about it.
I am admittedly an easy audience to please. I only read the book for the first time a couple of years ago. I've never seen the classic TV adaptation with Megan Follows. I don't really have much to compare the Netflix series to, and it's the comparison that seems to be upsetting some people -- that the Netflix version is too bleak, that it made the plot unnecessarily dark.
But I didn't find the story unnecessarily dark. I found it perfectly dark. Anne with an E has moments of great joy and beauty, but it doesn't shy away from the abuse and loneliness that Anne has faced in her past, or how her romantic notions and runaway imagination are in part a response to that. She's a strong, resilient, imaginative and eloquent girl, but she's also a traumatized one, and I think it's good for the show to explore that. It's a different take, and it's a compelling one.
And I absolutely adore this portrayal of Anne. I love how the actress isn't a traditional beauty, but as the series continues, you see how beautiful she really is. I love the rapture with which she experiences the world, but also her great emotional fragility. I love the show's portrayal of Marilla, that gruff and practical woman who cares so deeply, with a super dry sense of humor and endless kindness underneath her good sense. I love Anne's friendship with Diana.
I love the wild landscape of the setting. I love the family connections at the heart of it all. I love how every episode made me cry multiple times, hitting me straight in the heart. I love how the show is so freaking feminist, and so nuanced and emotional and sympathetic. It might not be the adaptation of Anne of Green Gables that people who've loved the series from childhood may have wanted, but it's certainly the adaptation I wanted and needed to see. It is absolutely beautiful in every way, and it moved me so much that I don't even really want to analyze it beyond that. It's heartbreaking. It's inspiring. It's gorgeous. And sure, that might turn out to be a minority opinion, but I think you should give it a try.
Now please, please confirm its second season, Netflix. Please!