‘Anne with an E’ – It’s Just Not The Same!

Why can’t directors just leave an excellent story line alone?

A life-long devotee of L.M. Montgomery and ‘Anne of Green Gables’, I’ve read all the books several times. I’ve watched the miniseries starring Megan Follows more times than I can count. I’ve enjoyed various other film versions of the story. I’ve visited Prince Edward Island and the original house that was the inspiration for Green Gables, where I walked along the original Lover’s Lane and stood outside the Haunted Forest. I visited Montgomery’s birthplace and the first school in which she taught, which served as the inspiration for the school Anne Shirley attended.

I’m not an expert, but it’s fair to say I know my stuff when it comes to all things ‘Anne of Green Gables.

`My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.’ That’s a sentence I read in a book once, and I say it over to comfort myself whenever I’m disappointed in anything.”
This is a line and a scene from Montgomery’s book which has always stayed with me. I found myself saying it again today, shortly after I started watching the series titled ‘Anne with an E’. I instantly liked this new Anne, and the new Matthew. I found Geraldine James’ portrayal of Marilla suitably crisp and direct. I was delighted by the way in which the story had started, and by Amybeth McNulty’s delivery of that favourite line of mine. I began to fall in love, all over again.

And then they changed the story. Before the first episode was over, the plot had taken a completely different direction than anything written by Montgomery. “WHY?!” I yelled. “WHY do people DO that?”

Still, I persevered, telling myself it might get better. It didn’t.
I made it to 13 minutes into the third episode, where I clicked off in disgust after yet another change to the original story.

I won’t watch any more of it. It had so much potential, and I had so many hopes… and all it did was desecrate my favourite story and make me angry. This series, like so many other abominations of great books, is yet another corpse buried in that perfect graveyard.

5 thoughts on “‘Anne with an E’ – It’s Just Not The Same!

  1. “Why can’t directors just leave an excellent story line alone?”
    Perhaps because it has already been done and people who are not purists of the book or worshipers of the miniseries starring Megan Follows want and expect something else.

    “… desecrate my favourite story”… …”abominations” of great books…
    Why those gross exaggerations. It’s only a story BASED on an old book about a little orphan girl in the end of 19th century. You could have seen the magic of that beautiful series of a brave and sensitive heroine as a tangible interpretation of that idea at the heart of the book “The Scope of the Imagination” but you chose the indignation of the corseted purist in its strict fidelity to the book and a previous version.

    What has always intrigued me the most with the Megan Follows version is that those who scream the most for a rigorous fidelity to the book accept so easily that the pivotal character of the 1985 version is so far from the description of the book. A skinny, gawky, carrot redhead child with freckles. In that 1985 version, we have a pretty ¨fleshy¨ young woman with almost invisible freckles and no real carrot hair but a kind of blonde-reddish (venitian blond?) color. Maybe the 1985 production chose that color because they knew that a lot of people in real life hate redheads? They wanted to please everyone, so they played safe on all fronts.

    Personnaly I like the new stories. The new scenes. So many new and great scenes in this series that diverge from the book. Most of them are memorable. Some less interesting. Others just fun. You never know what to expect. Love that. Anyway, when I want a rigorous fidelity to a book, I read the book.

      1. That is true. I imagine when you take the trouble to write an opinion as you do, the biggest fear is that no one reads your text. Better a slightly negative answer than indifference.🙂 Sometimes I feel that I am the only one who has read a text that someone has taken great care to write and it makes me sad.

  2. Wish you many replies and vigorous discussions. 🙂 Sorry for the errors in my text and some choice of words, English is my third language that I only use on the net.

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