Review of "Anne With an E" on Netflix From The TV MegaSite

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Anne and her adopted parents 

Review of "Anne with an E" 5/27/17 by Suzanne
Airs on Netflix now

There are many reasons why one might want to do a remake of an old TV series (besides just making money on a brand viewers recognize). If the old show is from the 60's and 70's, when the pacing of shows was slower, and acting styles were different, then it makes sense. If the old show was a scifi or fantasy show before 1977, then it makes sense to remake it because after "Star Wars" came out, they had  better ways to do special effects.  Or if the show was a low budget show in the 80's, then you could do it nowadays with computerized special effects. If the show is really old, it might have been in black and white, or been unrealistic because the TV censors wouldn't allow shows to have non-white actors, or had stringent rules about what the "good guys" could do, etc.

However, the 1985 miniseries "Anne of Green Gables" (and its two sequels) were fantastic, with great acting, especially from Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst. The show is set at the turn of the century, so no special effects were needed.  They really didn't need a sequel at all. The miniseries was already a remake of a 1934 film.

The new series on Netflix, starring Amybeth McNulty as Anne, is okay, but not as good as the 1985 series. McNulty is no Megan Follows (the original Anne from that series).  Follows was wonderful as Anne. McNulty's Anne is just not as good. She's annoying, in fact. I think part of the reason is that they made this Anne more like the one in the book. She's supposed to talk a lot. However, in the 1985 version, they tone that aspect down. There's a fine line between between charmingly talkative and so annoying that you want to scream "shut up!" at her.  Honestly, though, I just felt that McNulty was reciting a script rather than living the part.

They also made this Anne way too emotional. They do show that she's been abused in the past; but still, it doesn't really explain her over-the-top behavior.  Another problem is that they made her adopted "parents" really young, compared to the other previous movies and series.  TV tends to do that nowadays, anyway. They want everyone to be as young as possible.  For today's audiences, it seems strange enough that a brother and sister are living together and adopt a child. To make them younger only makes that way more creepy.

I'm not saying you won't enjoy this adaptation. I'm just saying, you shouldn't bother with it. Watch the one from 1985 instead. You will see how great it is.


Anne with an E is a coming-of-age story about an outsider who, against all odds and many challenges, fights for love and acceptance and her place in the world. Set in Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s, the series centers on Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty), a young orphaned girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an aging sister and brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform the lives of Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson) and eventually the entire small town in which they live with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination. Anne’s adventures will reflect timeless and topical issues including themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice. Available first-run globally on Netflix except Canada (second run in Canada).

View the trailer for Anne with an E on Netflix.

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