This What to Watch Wednesday I thought I’d take a trip north of the border to Avonlea, fictitious home of the literary legend herself Anne of Green Gables, to reflect on the second season of her latest adaptation, “Anne with an E” on Netflix.
If you’re looking for unfiltered, unbridled, unbreakable joy, you’ve come to the right place. “Anne with an E” will warm your soul…and expand your vocabulary….and I know that’s sappy and sentimental, but so is Anne.
Of course, the challenge of a story like Anne’s is avoiding making it too wholesome. And before you call me cynical, think about it. There’s a fine line between kind, good, and honest, all the things Anne is supposed to be, and cloyingly self-righteous.
The chance for “gee willikers” overload was high. But from the start, this show has balanced the sentimental with a more palatable, thoughtful tone and a lot of that lift falls on our young heroine, Anne Shirley Cuthbert (Amybeth McNulty).
I cannot say enough good things about Amybeth McNulty why plays Anne, or for that matter, all of the young actors in this series. It may seem obvious, but they’re what makes this series sing (occasionally literally).
And while the show in many ways falls into the overcrowded category of revivals and nostalgic reboots, there’s something inherently modern about this Anne and the stories they’ve chosen to tell. You better believe it’s #feminism, but also #inclusive. To quote Anne, “Different isn’t bad, it’s just not the same.”
In a sea of (excellent, to be fair) often dark and tragic television plotlines, there’s something refreshing about this hopeful, wholesome tale. But let me be clear, Anne may be pure optimism, but she’s not without depth. Her story isn’t all sunshine, her backstory, which we see flashes of is quite sad, and her present is far from perfect, but Anne’s unrelenting faith in herself and the goodness of others is infectious.
May her ongoing quest for “scope for the imagination” inspire us all to do the same.