Anne: Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny   Books Included 
May 12, 2017 6:57 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

A bungled message brings spirited orphan Anne Shirley to Green Gables, where unmarried siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert are waiting for a boy.

This episode ends with the incident of Marilla's 'stolen' brooch - but differently from the book, Marilla doesn't discover her misapprehension until Anne has already been packed off to the train, and with Matthew racing to the station too late to prevent her departure.
posted by oh yeah! (9 comments total)
I'm giving myself a 3-day weekend by using up vacation day today, and I have to admit that the launch of this series on Netflix was a strong motivating factor in my 'staycation.' (I mean, I'm still behind on a bunch of shows from last weekend's Sense8 s2 binge.)

I haven't read the books in decades, or seen the Megan Follows movies in years, and all I know about this adaptation comes from the recent Anne of Japan thread.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this first episode. Love the opening credits, and the casting is terrific - what an Anne-looking Anne she is. I was expecting to find the book-to-show changes jarring, but, so far I'm mostly fine with them, though I guess I'll have to see how far they take this twist of Anne being sent away for stealing. But I didn't mind Anne's flashbacks to past abuse & bullying - I don't think it was ever explicit in the books, other than her being undernourished, but it doesn't seem out of character as having been subtext. And I thought the bit with Anne shooing off the charging dog was an interesting way to give Marilla a little moment of bonding before the Mrs. Blewett scene.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:43 AM on May 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I am good on episode 1, the actress who plays Anne is great, and I am okay with the flashbacks -- they are suggested in the books if not outright explained.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:28 PM on May 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

I am super struggling with this series. As beloved as the books are, I think they are of their time and problematic in the contemporary world. The books are locked in time, but the choice to make a television adaptation is a contemporary one. The idea that an adopted child could be returned is repugnant; the idea that an adopted child owes a debt of gratitude and servitude is repugnant. I feel like other series have done a better, less unquestioning and uncritical job of contemporary adaptation.

And as wonderful as I think the young woman playing Anne is, I pity her having to memorise endless, endless lines of monologue. I'm not having a great time listening to them, either. It's all very staged and uncomfortable.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:36 AM on May 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

I really liked this episode. I've read the books and seen the Megan Fallows version, as well as the quite-disappointing TV movie on PBS at Thanksgiving. I laughed a lot, but I teared up more. This is a version of AoGG that focuses on the stakes for Anne. Yes, it shows her effusive spirit and thrilling imagination, but it also shows what a rotten life she's had and what a narrow ridgepole she walks to keep her dreams alive.

I found the acting really great. The relationship between Matthew and Marilla is so key, and they really nailed it. There are changes from the book, yes, but done very much in the spirit of the book. I liked that Anne stood up for herself and directly said she could do any chores a boy could. It IS hard to adapt a historic or historical story and not pass on the wrong values and ideas about gender, race, politics, etc. Rilla of Ingleside has some very nasty views of the Germans.
posted by rikschell at 1:10 PM on May 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Having made it to the finale, I feel like I need to leave some kind of warning back here at the start, a la the "A Series of Unfortunate Events" theme song chorus "Look Away". This show's diversions from the book get progressively bonkers. Anytime you find yourself thinking "well, that was weird, but hopefully they'll get back on track in the next episode?" - abandon that hope. I am almost impressed by how jaw-droppingly wrong-headed this is as an adaptation, so, I don't regret watching it, but, yowsa, this was not what I was expecting.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:04 PM on May 13, 2017 [10 favorites]

Oh. Okay. Well, do they send her off to Europe chasing after Gilbert in WW1? More or less bonkers than that?
posted by rikschell at 7:11 PM on May 13, 2017

Thanks for the warning, oh yeah!—that's exactly what I was afraid of, after seeing Netflix's teaser about episode three. Now I need to decide if I keep watching, or go back and reread the books. Gah.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 5:37 PM on May 15, 2017

Aw man, I love this Anne, so I'm sad to read that it diverges so far. On the plus side, this first episode did provide the inspiration for my PhD application, so I'll always be ever so grateful for that scope for the imagination.
posted by Ruki at 7:28 PM on May 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Well, do they send her off to Europe chasing after Gilbert in WW1? More or less bonkers than that?

More bonkers than that.
posted by corb at 1:43 PM on May 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

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