I loved reading L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables when I was a girl growing up. The story of an orphan girl with a temper, her love of friends, books, and nature, and the loving brother and sister who became her parents, was irresistible to my romantic heart. The idea of living at Green Gables, an idyllic farm in a small town with lunch pails full of homemade food and trees to climb, what’s not to love?
It’s because of this deep and abiding love of my Anne that I hesitated to watch Anne with an E when it came out on Netflix a couple of years ago. It was at the urging of my sister-in-law that I tuned in and, once again, fell in love.
For me, the series achieves a perfect anachronism of imagining these lives from the past with the openness of our awakening collective consciousness around trauma, inclusion, and what it means to be personally free. The new series imagines Anne with reasons behind her infamous temper and her flights of fancy, and in Season 2, creates whole new stories out of the whole Avonlea crew.
Produced by one of the producers of Breaking Bad, Moira Walley-Beckett, it brings a sophistication and moral clarity to a story that could be saccharine and overly simplistic. In short, it is a wonderful tonic for difficult times.