Ann With An E, is a brand new Netflix series that is based on the beloved Novel, Anne of Green Gables, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The screenplay for this adaptation was written by Moira Walley-Beckett. After spending last weekend binge watching all seven episodes, I searched online to find out what other people think of this series. There are lots of reviews of Ann With An E. For the most part, people either despise the Netflix adaptation or they love it. I have mixed feelings about it.
I did enjoy watching all seven episodes which is why I ended up binge watching them all over two days, however, as a person who read Anne of Green Gables and loved it, I do have some issues with this series. I would say that Anne With An E is more of a fanfic version. It is a darker version of the novel because it includes the subject of suicide and it uses flashback scenes to tell the story of what life was like for Anne Shirley before she went to live in Avonlea with Mirella and Matthew Cuthbert. I really could have done without that, and I feel that inserting these flashbacks reduces Anne’s faculty of imagination to only being a coping mechanism. Of course life in an orphan asylum must of presented quite a few challenges for Anne Shirley, but she did not come out of it as damaged goods. Within Anne was the innocents of a young girl who recognized the beauty of everything around her, especially in nature. I think that the screen writer missed the mark on this very important aspect of Anne Shirley, and the actress, Amybeth McNulty, who played the role of Anne was not convincing to me as Anne the dreamer and lover of life in all of its beautiful simplicity. It’s not that McNulty is a bad actress. At the age of only 15, McNulty is already a seasoned actress who has won several industry awards. I just don’t think she depicted the character in a way that showed the true essence and beauty of Anne Shirley. I still enjoyed her performance though.
I was completely turned off by the scenes where Anne is telling her schoolmates how babies are made. I don’t know what possessed the writer to add that to the script. Anne tells her friends that the woman touches the little mouse in a man’s pants, then they go into a room and when they come out she is having a baby. I did not find that cute or funny in any way.
There are some other differences from the book that I thought were not the best of choices, but I won’t get into them in case you have not seen this series yet on Netflix.
I have not seen any other adaptation of Anne of Gables, but watching this inspired me to watch them all. I ordered the DVD of the 1980’s version starring Meghan Follows, as well as the version that was filmed in the 1930’s.
As far as I know, at this moment in time, the series has not been renewed for a second season, but that could change. If it does, I will be watching.