I've been reading (and re-and-re-reading) the books since the early 1980s when I was in my early twenties. When what was to be the final TOTC book came out (Sure of You) I went to a reading Armistead was giving (and got my copy autographed) and in a Q&A he said that he would like to see Colleen Dewhurst as Anna (this was years before the series was made and, by then Miss Dewhurst had died).
I loved the first series and remember what a big thing it was on PBS at the time. I also thought it was almost perfectly cast (especially Mary Ann, Mouse and Mona). I wish so much I could say the same for this version of what seems like a 'bizzaro' Barbary Lane. AND: there a far, far too many just plain awful changes/differences from the books that it get so irritating to watch ... and to sit next to loudly bitching about it on the couch, it would seem.
My favourite episode was, oddly enough, the one that told of Anna's past that took place in '66. The acting (Jen Richards, Luke Kirby and the divine Daniela Vega) was superb as were the writing and directing.
I liked Ellen Page as Shawna and I could still talk with Anna Madrigal all night long.