Not My “Anne with an ‘E'”

I once wrote that Anne Shirley was “my pen and ink twin.”

My copies of the Anne of Green Gables series are cover-lost and taped up… I’m pretty much always re-reading one of them.

At my wedding I walked down the aisle to “Anne’s Theme” (I’m listening to it now).

So when I heard that Netflix was coming out with a new version of Anne, I was excited. Really excited.

Nothing can ever beat the Megan Follows version for me, but I was willing to watch something new.

I was excited to see my Anne onscreen again.

The problem?

She wasn’t my Anne anymore.

She still talked all the time and used big words. She had red hair and a fierce temper…

But the lightness of my Anne was gone.

I understand that Anne had a bad upbringing. She was an unloved, unwanted child until 11, and that’s bound to leave scars on anyone.

“Anne with an ‘E'” wants to hit you over the head with that fact.

Anne of Green Gables makes it clear that Anne was mistreated and abused in her former life, but it doesn’t linger on it.

I think one of the reasons we love Anne Shirley (no Cuthbert, thank you) is because, despite her early childhood, she still sees the world as beautiful and lovely and of good report.

L.M. Montgomery herself had a hard childhood, and I don’t think she was trying to cosset her readers in wool and make them ignore the realities of the world. She was showing that in spite of –there was Anne.

This new Anne is too gritty, too dark. She’s loud where Anne is effusive, obnoxious where Anne is chatty, and annoying where Anne is charming.

The creators of the show seem to be making Anne a 21st-century heroine when 19th-century Anne already endeared herself millions of viewers and readers.

Don’t try to make Anne a feminist –she already was.

Don’t try to make Anne smart –she already led her class.

And don’t you dare try to bring a gun to Green Gables.

Anne of Green Gables is one of the best-selling books of all time.

We loved her already. The creators of “Anne with an ‘E'” should have left her where she belonged –in Green Gables, not running through the streets of Charlottetown.