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S01.E01: Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny

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When a miscommunication brings a girl to Green Gables instead of a boy, Marilla and Matthew are faced with a life-changing decision.

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The series using “Ahead by a Century” by the Tragically Hip as the credits music takes a bit of getting used to, but the credits themselves are quite beautifully designed.

Much has been made in interviews about the series going for a darker tone than previous adaptations.  In the premiere this mainly takes the form of giving Anne a series of PTSD-esque flashbacks to her shitty time as an indentured servant with other families.  The basics of that are all in keeping with canon, but this has seldom been dramatized or mined for anything beyond the introduction, and I wouldn’t say it has particularly informed how she’s been characterized in most versions.  This version of Anne retains all the imagination and good naturedness of the character, to be sure, but there’s more sadness to this version than in other versions I’ve seen. Amy McNulty is quite good, thus far.

Plotwise, for most of the running time there wasn't anything terribly unexpected here, until the really sharp turn in how they adapt Chapter 14.  It doesn’t strike me as improbable, per se, and is pretty clearly meant to be a more extended dramatization of prejudice against orphans. 

The bulk of this was filmed in Ontario, with the landscape shots done on Prince Edward Island.  The mix works fine, for the most part, but any Islander (such as myself) would immediately be able to pick out that most of it wasn’t filmed on the Island when visits to the Lynde and Barry residences show that the houses are made of brick.  You could roam the countryside of 19th century Prince Edward Island from East Point to Tignish and not find a single house made out of brick.  Not even the houses of the richest men in Charlottetown were built that way.

Edited by SeanC
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This version of Anne retains all the imagination and good naturedness of the character, to be sure, but there’s more sadness to this version than in other versions I’ve seen.

PTSD definitely makes it hard to find the humour in some of the more light-hearted episodes. It was hard to believe that no one had ever hurt this Anne's feelings more than Mrs Lynde when we had seen the flashbacks to life at the Hammonds, and impossible after subsequently seeing the flashback of the gang of orphan girls sneering at Anne's stories.

In the book of course Anne was fully dressed when she met Mrs Lynde and certainly didn't go running off to the shore (is Avonlea even near the coast?) in her underclothes afterward. If she had done I think Marilla would have been shocked rather than merely concerned.

Weird that Mr and Mrs Barry are so British. I don't recall Mr Barry having any character at all in the books, just the occasions where Mrs Barry's approval or disapproval could make or break Anne and Diana's friendship.

This is definitely better than the YTV version overall so far, but the darkness seems like it's going to spoil some of the funnier pieces. And of course they raised the stakes of the amethyst brooch incident ridiculously high, from attending the church social to actually being sent back to the orphanage. Looks like recovering Anne from the orphanage is going to take a lot of time in the next episode.

In the book it takes longer from the time the brooch goes missing to the time Anne is willing to make her false confession -- I wish we had seen that because it sets up Anne's stubbornness. It also felt wrong that Anne was apparently still on probation when Marilla took her over to meet Diana. When Anne swears the oath to her bosom friend she shouldn't be at risk of being sent away.

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Ahead by a Century was a weird choice of opening music. I like the flashbacks to Anne's life before. It informs us of her state of mind without dampening the joie de vive of the character. I was really enjoying the story (including the addition of the French boy) until the deviation from the book at the end.

Matthew's mad dash to the train station was way over the top. And looking at the previews, it looks like next episode is all drama outside the book. Quite frankly, I don't care to see Anne in more difficult straights or watch Matthew search the town for her.

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6 minutes ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

(is Avonlea even near the coast?)

Typically Avonlea is identified as being based on Cavendish, which is on the North Shore.

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2 minutes ago, SeanC said:

Typically Avonlea is identified as being based on Cavendish, which is on the North Shore.

Thanks; I had no memory of it, but I found this in Chapter V, "Anne's History":

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The shore road was “woodsy and wild and lonesome.” On the right hand, scrub firs, their spirits quite unbroken by long years of tussle with the gulf winds, grew thickly. On the left were the steep red sandstone cliffs, so near the track in places that a mare of less steadiness than the sorrel might have tried the nerves of the people behind her. Down at the base of the cliffs were heaps of surf-worn rocks or little sandy coves inlaid with pebbles as with ocean jewels; beyond lay the sea, shimmering and blue, and over it soared the gulls, their pinions flashing silvery in the sunlight.

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6 minutes ago, marina to said:

I was really enjoying the story (including the addition of the French boy) 

Jerry isn't quite an addition; he exists in the books but doesn't tend to appear directly. They do appear to have changed his name for the purposes of the Charlemagne digression, and also turned him from a sign that the Cuthberts are going to keep Anne (since he can help Matthew with the farm work) to a threat in Anne's mind that they won't need her if they take a hired boy.

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Matthew hitched the sorrel into the buggy in due time and Marilla and Anne set off. Matthew opened the yard gate for them and as they drove slowly through, he said, to nobody in particular as it seemed: “Little Jerry Buote from the Creek was here this morning, and I told him I guessed I’d hire him for the summer.”

 

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Jerry Buote, the hired boy at Green Gables, said she talked all the time to herself or to the trees and flowers like a crazy girl.

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10 hours ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

is Avonlea even near the coast?

Echoing Sean C. real-life Avonlea is Cavendish, PEI and the re-creation of Green Gables is about a ten minute drive from Cavendish Beach, one of the most popular on the Island. 

I'm cautiously pleased with the show so far. I was surprised to hear "Ahead by a Century" in the opening credits but I really like the animation. I liked R.H. Thompson (Jasper Dale! Can Mag Ruffman have a cameo, pretty please?)'s Matthew as well as the young actress who played Diana. Anne herself was fantastic. She doesn't quite replace Meagan Follows, but she's been my mental Anne since I was 3 so that's a tall order anyway. 

I was really worried about it being dark and gritty before I tuned in, but I actually felt that the PTSD flashbacks didn't take anything away from the story. One of my challenges with Anne as an adult is that she is way too well-adjusted for someone who no-one loved from the time she was a few months old until she met Matthew Cuthbert at age 11. (Not to mention way too literate and well-spoken for someone with very limited education). In this version, Anne is still sweet and smart and earnest and fun, but she has been affected by the things she lived through. I think the actress did a really good job during the trip home from the station of showing that some of the talking is a coping mechanism rather than a quirk. 

That being said, I'm a little nervous for the next instalment. It isn't ridiculous in terms of history that Marilla would ditch a stealing servant/orphan but it does seem like manufactured drama, which is not a good trend. Ah well, I'll try to keep open mind.

Edited by satrunrose · Reason: Un-smooshing some points.
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1 hour ago, SomeTameGazelle said:

Jerry isn't quite an addition; he exists in the books but doesn't tend to appear directly. They do appear to have changed his name for the purposes of the Charlemagne digression, and also turned him from a sign that the Cuthberts are going to keep Anne (since he can help Matthew with the farm work) to a threat in Anne's mind that they won't need her if they take a hired boy.

 

I did not make the connection between this character and Jerry Buote. Thanks.

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8 hours ago, satrunrose said:

One of my challenges with Anne as an adult is that she is way too well-adjusted (and literate) for someone who no-one loved from the time she was a few months old until she met Matthew Cuthbert at age 11. In this version, Anne is still sweet and smart and earnest and fun, but she has been affected by the things she lived through.

I think that's a very modern viewpoint, to think it's strange that a child could be literate without having been loved. Anne is certainly surprisingly literate given that she hasn't really attended school and has been essentially working for the families she lived with, I'll grant that. In the books Matthew and Marilla both recognise that Anne "hasn't had any bringing-up", and we see that when she loses her temper, doesn't know how to pray, etc. But it's canon that Anne is literate, and when Marilla asks her whether the people were kind to her she says she is sure that they meant to be kind. That's hard to square with the scenes of outright abuse and hostility we get in the PTSD flashbacks, which aren't even balanced for us with the canon descriptions of loneliness and imaginary friends.

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Oops! My post wasn't as clear as it should have been (I hope the edit cleared it up). Anne's high-level of literacy and lack of adjustment issues given her childhood are both things that strike me as unrealistic in the novel, but they aren't necessarily connected. It's certainly possible (especially in the 1890s) to be loved but never have received a lot of formal eduction or to have a lot of education but not have been loved.  That being said, considering that the late Victorians were big believers in "spare the rod, spoil the child" and that using orphans as unpaid labor was so normal that they brought them in from England during the Home Child program, I don't feel that abuse and hostility goes against cannon, even if Anne doesn't explicitly say so. I guess part of it is that I don't read the line "I think they meant to be kind" as meaning that they weren't abusive, just that Anne is putting her own kind spin on some very difficult situations (ie. alcohol, poverty and way more kids than you can take care of). 

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Overall, I would have to say that I really enjoyed this re-interpretation of Anne. It's definitely much grittier than the 1985 version that I grew up watching. I think the flashbacks are quite well done and very effective; it makes you have much more understanding of Anne's life before Green Gables, and realize just how much it meant to hear to be wanted by someone.

I found the feminist touches to be more geared towards a modern audience...there was certainly nothing in the books about Anne doing farm chores on top of the traditional household domestic chores.  That would have been nearly unthinkable at the turn of the century, when traditional gender roles were very much the norm.  That being said, I was watching with my 16 year-old niece, and she really enjoyed the show.  It was very much written with her generation in mind, and wasn't as "scrubbed and polished" as the 1985 version.  She was in tears several times (we all were!), and was asking a lot of questions, mainly about how orphans (and children) were treated at the turn of the century.  I would say, despite the generation gap, she found Anne to be an interesting, relatable character.

In my opinion, most of the acting was spot on.  I had my doubts about RH Thomson as Matthew, but he really captured the gentleness of his character.  Marilla is also well-acted, and you can see the glimmers of the softer side and humour.  Amy McNulty's Anne is spunky, dreamy, smart, and strong; which is about as close as you can get.  The weaker cast would be Rachel Lynde, and so far the small bit we've seen of Diana Barry. I'm interested to see which other Canadian actors will pop in as the series continues.

I look forward to the next episodes, and enjoying the series with my niece! I love introducing her to classic Canadiana.

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This production definitely has a more serious tone than the 1985 version.  I was wary about the flashbacks, and upon seeing them, I felt they weren't too bad, but they also weren't all that necessary.  The one with the orphanage girls and the rat was the worst one, though... where was Anne's famous temper then?  The others weren't that much "grittier" despite the physical abuse.  The 1985 version's Mrs. Hammond showed such contempt that the same message came across without the violence.  The scene where Mrs. Hammond refuses to keep Anne after her husband dies is also very similar to the 1985 one.  The filming style of this production is more "real" in the sense that they use a lot of close-ups on character's faces to try to give the viewer the sense they were there with Anne.  The effect was a little weird for the flashbacks and the closeups on Mrs. Hammond and the Orphanage lady's faces.

I did think the PTSD worked well for this production and added something new to the interpretation.  What I found strange was what they did exclude some elements from the books which would have added to the "grittiness".  I was disappointed that Anne didn't elaborate on her looking after successions of twins to Marilla.  There was no mention/flashbacks to Mrs. Thomas, and no mention of the drunk husband.  All of this was very important in explaining why Marilla decided not to let Mrs. Blewitt take her.  I also expected them to do something with the "Window Friend", but maybe the producers felt Anne was too old for that and people nowadays can't relate to it.  But I thought it really showed Anne's loneliness in the 1985 miniseries to include that.

Overall, the production was beautifully filmed, and some of the Anne-imaginative sequences were artfully staged.  The use of hand-held or close-up, as I mentioned above, did give a more immediate and intimate feel.

Both Matthew and Marilla were very well cast.  Matthew galloping on a horse was way overboard, and for a moment, I was a little afraid we would get Martin Sheen all over again.  But actually having Matthew act like Matthew made a big difference in elevating this above the YTV production.  I can't pinpoint specifically why Anne in this one was more effective than the YTV's Anne.  This production just felt like it had more heart, whereas the YTV one felt very rote... going through events without the soul behind it.  Rachel Lynde was very weakly cast... she didn't bring across any of the humor.  The YTV version utterly failed in translating L.M. Montgomery's humor, but this production was a bit more successful.  The prayer scene was quite amusing.  At least they showed Anne's apology, but it wasn't really that humorous.  The ride with Matthew was decent, but also lacked the humor.  I guess it didn't help that one of the abusive flashbacks was inserted right into that buggy ride, and they kept cutting to Rachel/Marilla, which interrupted the flow of the journey.  

Edited by Camera One
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I'm a prospective adoptive parent and I really liked how they worked in Anne's PTSD.  I don't think too many people outside of the adoption/foster world understand the trauma kids like Anne - older kids who have yet to be placed in permanent homes - could have.  While many also have attachment issues, it doesn't seem like Anne does (or maybe she doesn't, but is very vulnerable to people who are nice to her). 

Where in Ontario is this filmed?  Is it roughly in the same area as all of the past Avonlea shows/movies?  

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3 hours ago, PRgal said:

Where in Ontario is this filmed?  Is it roughly in the same area as all of the past Avonlea shows/movies?  

Film/TV production in Ontario is centered in the GTA, so it's the same general area, though they aren't reusing any of the specific locations.  Green Gables in this series is an old farmhouse in Pickering that the production evidently paid to have the roof replaced on, for instance.  Road to Avonlea's main outdoors sets were all built in Uxbridge.

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10 hours ago, SeanC said:

Film/TV production in Ontario is centered in the GTA, so it's the same general area, though they aren't reusing any of the specific locations.  Green Gables in this series is an old farmhouse in Pickering that the production evidently paid to have the roof replaced on, for instance.  Road to Avonlea's main outdoors sets were all built in Uxbridge.

Thanks.  I was just wondering, since one of the buildings resembled the venue my cousin had his wedding at (in Caledon).

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18 hours ago, PRgal said:

Where in Ontario is this filmed?  Is it roughly in the same area as all of the past Avonlea shows/movies?  

One filming location was Millbrook:
http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/2016/11/08/millbrook-transformed-into-pei-for-filming-of-scenes-for-new-anne-of-green-gables-television-series

Also, in Baden, Ontario.  Though that would be for a future episode.

The red train station did look familiar.  But maybe lots of them look like that.

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I loved it. Anne seems as though she could have stepped off the page especially in her light imaginative moments. And no offense to Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth, because I would never want to be without their interpretations, but these actors were a hell of a lot closer to how Matthew and Marilla looked in my mind.

Despite the times they went off page, I thought they really tried to keep as much of the original dialogue from the novel as they could, which I appreciated.

I didn't mind Anne's PTSD and the general grittier moments. LMM wrote this at a time where she would not have been allowed to include such scenes even if her sense of propriety had allowed her to write them, and there are enough hints in the early part of the book to suggest LMM was all too aware of what "home children" were subjected to. The partwith the broach, for instance...children thought to be stealing like that would either have been beaten to an inch of their lives - and some home children were beaten to death - or would have been turned out of the house without a second thought. Marilla is not a cruel woman who would have done either of these things; at no point did she think to contact Mrs. Blewett. But she was of two minds about keeping her and this decided the matter. I thought it was all too believable, including her remorse (which she was obviously feeling even before she found the broach).

That's one of the reasons I liked the use of "Ahead by a Century." Aside from the snippet they used thematically fitting the story, it's almost a hint that we're going to deliberately deconstruct Anne's story and the setting of Avonlea through our modern knowledge of psychology and history. This appearsto be an episodic approach rather than a TV-movie one, so it doesn't bother me that they want to tease out the darker and grittier elements of such an "idyllic" time and place as 19th century Avonlea.

Just as long as it isn't bogged down with these elements. Which I do t think it will be. At her most Anne-ness, the actress is the very personification of "irrepressible."

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I didn't mind Mrs. Lynde as much as others here did. To be honest I thought for a good 5 minutes that she was played by the same actress who played Josie Pye's mother in Road to Avonlea (alas she doesn't). Although, Road to Avonlea fans might've also recognized the same actor who played the White Sands' Mr. Tremayne playing the station master. He's much skinnier and older, but that's him with his Scottish accent. 

I was just at Green Gables this past summer. What a glorious park (which has a wooded lot behind it!).  The one thing I would've liked to see is for the farmhouse to have had a darker/brighter green roof. It looks grey to me. But other than that the farmhouse looks realistic enough.  I'm so glad to see the establishing shots of PEI. It's a beautiful province and if you ever visit it you'll fall in love instantly. Truly Canada's best kept secret.  

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I just rewatched the first part, and Mrs. Lynde was a bit better the second time around.  It looked like they went out of their way to show how out-of-shape she was by stressing how out-of-breath she was.  An interesting choice.

It's interesting how different people read the books and certain lines might be important to them, or not.  One little quibble I had was with Anne asking Mrs. Spencer on the train about why Matthew and Marilla never married.  That just seemed nosy and unnecessary.  I was actually disappointed they didn't have Anne asking about why the roads were red.  It showed how inquisitive she was and gives a glimpse into why she became such a good student.  But that was just a personal favorite line from the book, so I was hoping they would use it.  Instead, they made up that new line about Matthew and Marilla's marital status, which was something the headwriter said she was curious about.  

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Despite the CBC's weirdly misleading promos, the series didn't actually skip a weekend, so Episode 2 aired.  The episode thread for that is still locked, though, reflecting, I guess, the earlier information.

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4 minutes ago, 17wheatthins said:

The thread will unlock after the episode is finished airing. 

I'm in the Atlantic Time Zone, so for me it finished airing an hour ahead of EST.  I guess that's the source of the confusion.

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On 3/26/2017 at 7:09 PM, Camera One said:

One little quibble I had was with Anne asking Mrs. Spencer on the train about why Matthew and Marilla never married.  That just seemed nosy and unnecessary.

Perhaps it's setting up the plot point...

Spoiler

that Marilla fancied Mr. Blythe (Gilbert's dad) at one time? 

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It's been a long time since I read the books. Things like Anne's apology still made me laugh, even though I vaguely remember what happens. Marilla's "I want to laugh but I have to remain proper" face made the scene. The old series with Megan Follows had a certain charm, but this one so far seems to have improved production values.

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7 minutes ago, Auntie Velvet said:

I think the recapper is mistaken about the Netflix title being "Anne with an E."

There are two titles for this show...."Anne" in Canada and "Anne with an E" in the US/on Netflix.  It is a little confusing, not only because there are 2 titles of the same show, but also because the name change on the Netflix side is fairly recent.  When they first announced the show, they used the "Anne" title, but in the last month or so, opted to go with "Anne with an E."  (Not sure why....)

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12 minutes ago, OtterMommy said:

When they first announced the show, they used the "Anne" title, but in the last month or so, opted to go with "Anne with an E."  (Not sure why....)

My guess is that they wanted something more distinctive for this new iteration.

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The lead looks SO much like Pippi Longstocking to me. Not a bad thing but not a connection I ever made between the two characters before.

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10 hours ago, OtterMommy said:

 When they first announced the show, they used the "Anne" title, but in the last month or so, opted to go with "Anne with an E."  (Not sure why....)

I was trying to find why but couldn't.  I figure maybe it's to make the name less generic?  If I read "Anne" on a TV listing, many possibilities come to mind... but any fan of "Anne of Green Gables" would immediately take a second look if they saw "Anne with an E".

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13 hours ago, Camera One said:

I was trying to find why but couldn't.  I figure maybe it's to make the name less generic?  If I read "Anne" on a TV listing, many possibilities come to mind... but any fan of "Anne of Green Gables" would immediately take a second look if they saw "Anne with an E".

When the Netflix trailer first showed up on Youtube, it was still called "Anne." I noticed a lot of people in the comments were mis-reading this as "Annie" (including confusion about where Daddy Warbucks was and why wasn't anyone singing). Literacy and comprehension issues of typical Youtube commenters aside, I think they decided to go with something that would provide more brand recognition.

Likewise, calling it "Anne of Green Gables," as sensible as that might be, would result in Internet searches that conflated this series both with the Sullivan series as well as the books. As you say, "Anne with an E" will still ping fans of the book series while the name also sets aside confusion with any other similarly named franchise, related or unrelated.

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6 hours ago, DeathQuaker said:

Likewise, calling it "Anne of Green Gables," as sensible as that might be, would result in Internet searches that conflated this series both with the Sullivan series as well as the books. As you say, "Anne with an E" will still ping fans of the book series while the name also sets aside confusion with any other similarly named franchise, related or unrelated.

Yes, especially with the PBS version (titled "L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables") which had the first movie air last year, and two more movies to air this year and next.

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This is one of the worst travesties that I've ever seen. It isn't horrible and certainly better than the tv movie with Martin Sheen but yikes. I didn't enjoy it. Yes, I am biased because I love the PBS version. But this netflix version only highlighted how good the PBS version was. The music, the cinematography, the writing, everything was superior. And I haven't even gotten into the actors.

I think the girl who plays Anne is good - she's a good actress and she's doing the best with what she has been given but I don't feel like the writers/directors of the version are faithful to the spirit of the book even though they have kept in a lot of things. The tone of this Anne is too sullen. Too obsessed with trauma. Anne is a character who is almost optimistic even in the worst of circumstances - that's why we admire her. She has an underlying strength that she doesn't let crule life circumstances harden her.

This version does not give a good feeling for Avonlea. We see a few of the characters but it doesn't bring us into the village. There is no scope, as Anne would say. Furthermore, I did not like the actress who played Mrs. Rachel Lynd or the actor who played Matthew. And why were the Barry's suddenly made into the Countess Doweger? 

I'm dusting off my old DVDs.

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I say this as someone who loved the first Kevin Sullivan movie, liked the second, and pretends the rest of his films don't exist:

It took me three episodes to really appreciate just how wonderful this version is, and five episodes to realize Jasper Dale is playing Matthew Cuthbert. 

The first two were rather morose, but I think the show really finds its footing in the subsequent episodes. And I really appreciate how it's fleshed out a lot storylines with a modern eye but still feels in keeping with the spirit of the original novels.

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On 3/25/2017 at 10:52 AM, Miss Dee said:

I loved it. Anne seems as though she could have stepped off the page especially in her light imaginative moments. And no offense to Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth, because I would never want to be without their interpretations, but these actors were a hell of a lot closer to how Matthew and Marilla looked in my mind.

Despite the times they went off page, I thought they really tried to keep as much of the original dialogue from the novel as they could, which I appreciated.

I didn't mind Anne's PTSD and the general grittier moments. LMM wrote this at a time where she would not have been allowed to include such scenes even if her sense of propriety had allowed her to write them, and there are enough hints in the early part of the book to suggest LMM was all too aware of what "home children" were subjected to. The partwith the broach, for instance...children thought to be stealing like that would either have been beaten to an inch of their lives - and some home children were beaten to death - or would have been turned out of the house without a second thought. Marilla is not a cruel woman who would have done either of these things; at no point did she think to contact Mrs. Blewett. But she was of two minds about keeping her and this decided the matter. I thought it was all too believable, including her remorse (which she was obviously feeling even before she found the broach).

That's one of the reasons I liked the use of "Ahead by a Century." Aside from the snippet they used thematically fitting the story, it's almost a hint that we're going to deliberately deconstruct Anne's story and the setting of Avonlea through our modern knowledge of psychology and history. This appearsto be an episodic approach rather than a TV-movie one, so it doesn't bother me that they want to tease out the darker and grittier elements of such an "idyllic" time and place as 19th century Avonlea.

Just as long as it isn't bogged down with these elements. Which I do t think it will be. At her most Anne-ness, the actress is the very personification of "irrepressible."

I am right with you. I was interested to see how Anne's difficult past was explored, and appreciated a glimpse into a darker history. Anne is irrepressible and optimistic, but she also has a hot temper and occasional lack of impulse control. The "grittier" interpretation saves the story from dipping into the saccharine, which, as much as I love the books and have read them literally to pieces, is something that does interfere with my enjoyment from time to time! 

I love the actress playing Anne. I love how awkward and homely she is--much more true to the story. I loved Megan Followes but dear me she was a lovely child and it was hard to see her as a skinny, homely kid.  

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I don't really think the abuse adds anything to the story. I'm all for a new approach to old material, but I tend to gauge these things on how I think the author would view them, and I have to think L. M. Montgomery would be fairly horrified. The scenes really aren't in keeping with the spirit of the book, as someone above mentioned. The poignancy, in the book, about Anne's past, comes from the fact that she seems blithely oblivious about the sadness of it. It's something you may not even catch when reading the book as a child, while the implications of what she's saying are more profound when you read as an adult. Hitting us over the head with it and giving Anne PTSD takes something away from the character.

Otherwise, the adaption is gorgeous and the casting great.

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22 hours ago, Miss Slay said:

This is one of the worst travesties that I've ever seen. It isn't horrible and certainly better than the tv movie with Martin Sheen but yikes. I didn't enjoy it. Yes, I am biased because I love the PBS version. But this netflix version only highlighted how good the PBS version was. The music, the cinematography, the writing, everything was superior. And I haven't even gotten into the actors.

I think the girl who plays Anne is good - she's a good actress and she's doing the best with what she has been given but I don't feel like the writers/directors of the version are faithful to the spirit of the book even though they have kept in a lot of things. The tone of this Anne is too sullen. Too obsessed with trauma. Anne is a character who is almost optimistic even in the worst of circumstances - that's why we admire her. She has an underlying strength that she doesn't let crule life circumstances harden her.

This version does not give a good feeling for Avonlea. We see a few of the characters but it doesn't bring us into the village. There is no scope, as Anne would say. Furthermore, I did not like the actress who played Mrs. Rachel Lynd or the actor who played Matthew. And why were the Barry's suddenly made into the Countess Doweger? 

I'm dusting off my old DVDs.

I am sorry to say I agree with you. I wanted so much to like this iteration, but find it absolutely  joyless. Anne, so far for me, is too annoying without any likeability; I find it hard to blame the other kids for wanting nothing to do with her.....and that is not a good thing. 

I have read every LM Montgomery book in all the various series she penned and have watched all the different adaptations of her books. I will stick this one out to the end (I am four episodes in) but I find nothing to recommend it. Even the beautiful PEI scenery doesn't sparkle; everything has an odd yellow cast and the use of soft/blurred focus in many scenes doesn't help. 

Now that I have sounded too much like Rachel Lind, I'll go harrumph off to my house. 

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On 5/13/2017 at 3:07 PM, KFC said:

I say this as someone who loved the first Kevin Sullivan movie, liked the second, and pretends the rest of his films don't exist:

It took me three episodes to really appreciate just how wonderful this version is, and five episodes to realize Jasper Dale is playing Matthew Cuthbert. 

The first two were rather morose, but I think the show really finds its footing in the subsequent episodes. And I really appreciate how it's fleshed out a lot storylines with a modern eye but still feels in keeping with the spirit of the original novels.

I personally was captivated enough to keep watching and I would agree that it improves as time goes on. There are a few scenes throughout where I could've done without them, but overall I find it wholly enjoyable. 

I too didn't realize RH Thompson was playing Matthew. I think I caught on at episode 2 through his voice and even then I wasn't entirely certain but knew it sure sounded like Jasper Dale. I had to check IMDB just to be certain! 

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I loved the 1985 series and I was interested to see how the remake would fare.  I think the PTSD makes quite a bit of sense. Orphans were treated as forced labor, and people in general were more violent with children. 

That said, I felt terribly gloomy after watching the first three episodes.  Anne has retreated into her own world as a coping mechanism. In the books and the first season, it was charming. In this series, it's almost pathological, which makes me feel so sad for the character.

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I like the title Anne With An E. That is a legit book reference. I don't know that when seeing Anne, I would have immediately pinged, "Oh, that's Anne of Green Gables" but Anne with an E is Anne of Green Gables. So it immediately told me what I was watching which is pretty much all I can hope to expect from a title.

I thought the first episode was absolutely lovely. Yes, the PTSD flashbacks were harsher than the books but it isn't anything I don't believe could have happened.

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