The "Best Kind" of Adaptation? Yep, it is.

June 23, 2017

Anne with an E ~ now on Netflix

 

I started watching this series idly as a break from 1) the news, 2) Fargo, which was freaking me out ... but in a good way, obviously; it was just really intense, and 3) the news. (I mean frankly, these days reading the back of a tooth paste tube is preferable to watching the news. But I digress.)

 

And now I am utterly, immutably hooked. It's a marvelous series. If you were ever a kid, or if you know any kids between 10 and 12 (the age of our heroine) I'm sure you will agree.

 

Anne with an E is a new adaptation of the beloved young adult series of books Anne of Green Gables, written in 1908, before the term "young adult" was invented.

 

There have been several other iterations, including the popular mini-series broadcast on PBS in 1985. This new version has received some (in my opinion) rather naive criticism that it is darker. Yes, it is. And I think it's absolutely about time, and exactly what the story needed to come truly alive.

 

Here's an excerpt from the excellent review in The Atlantic by Sophie Gilbert entitled "Anne with an E is the Best Kind of Adaptation":

 

Anne With an E, created by Moira Walley-Beckett, a longtime writer and producer on Breaking Bad, isn’t exactly inventing darkness for the story so much as reading between the lines. It’s Anne of Green Gables for 21st-century audiences, who are perhaps more sympathetic to the idea that children can suffer. That’s not to say darkness defines the show. Anne With an E captures the winning exuberance of Anne Shirley—who, played by AmyBeth McNulty, is entirely irresistible—while finding some deeper potency in her story. 

 

Yes, yes and yes. Moreover, this version is stunningly authentic. It's like going back in time. The production values are magnificent, the music is glorious, the writing is sublime and the acting, especially that of the three leads (AmyBeth McNulty as Anne, R.H. Thomson as Matthew and Geraldine James as Marilla) is superb. I don't want it to end.

 

Bottom line? If you need a break from the news ... or anything else, here's my prescription: Make some popcorn, pour a large beverage of your choice, get comfortable and settle in. You will be transported.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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