Anne: Wherever You Are Is My Home   Books Included 
May 13, 2017 12:42 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Welp, guess I should have done just one full-season thread, this series has been quite a journey into what-the-fuckery territory. Matthew contemplating suicide? (And what would a farmer be doing with a handgun in the house anyway? A shotgun for hunting, sure, but a pistol?) Violent thieves pretending to be respectable boarders? (I thought maybe they were setting up for Jerry to recognize them, and the Cuthberts getting some ridiculous bounty for their capture, not setting up for a cliffhanger.) This was like the Zack Snyder's Superman version of Avonlea by the end.

I remember that Buffy episode where one of Willow's spells goes wacky and makes Buffy & Spike want to get married, and Xander is just standing there in confusion saying "What? How? What?" That's how I feel now. Just sitting here, shaking my head, baffled.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:19 PM on May 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

Now they're losing me. It's like they're trying to squeeze in gruesomeness and tragedy whether it makes sense or not. The idea of Matthew going suicidal takes this into different territory which I find hard to believe. It's no longer an adaptation of the book with a few (generous) liberties. I feel jarred out of watching for appreciation into watching for critique.

Maybe there will be a slasher in the next episode and Anne will meet an LSD dealer in the woods.
posted by bunderful at 2:16 PM on May 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the link to the New Yorker review. It perfectly summarizes how I felt about this experience. An experience I never intend to repeat. By the end, I was half-listening while playing a video game, wondering why everything has to be a gritty narrative. I can accept a gritty look at the city of Baltimore or into the mind of a serial killer, but must we add sex and suicide and casual cruelty to everything?

Also, this:
Its Emmy-winning showrunner, director, and writer, Moira Walley-Beckett, late of “Breaking Bad,” wanted it to “look like a Jane Campion film, and it does,” she told the CBC.
From Breaking Bad to Anne? OK, then.

(BTW, if you're looking for Jane Campion on tv, look no further than Top of the Lake, which is Jane Campion's tv show.)
posted by xyzzy at 5:26 AM on May 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was tolerating all the changes (because if I can tolerate WWI Anne I can tolerate anything) and going along with it since it was a more emotive look at Anne, but the Matthew thing has me utterly bewildered because it's so unlike him. Then again, I was baffled by his horse-race to the city a few episodes back when he went to retrieve Anne. Not that I'd doubt he'd go after her, but not in that manner, y'know? Matthew is such a shy, sweet, tender-hearted, emotive fellow -- which is why I think he and Anne connect so well, no matter the adaptation -- that for him to consider suicide even knowing what it do to his family, that it would leave Anne without a friend and parent figure, even forgetting what apparently this version's backstory of his older brother apparently committing suicide (or that was my read, although it could have been accident) -- the fact he'd let Marilla live through that again is just mindboggling.

Anyway. I would have liked this drama a lot more if my brain would shut off its comparisons to the source material and if I didn't get distracted by the constant anachronistic dialogue. Although, to be fair, the anachronism was mostly between the younger generations so perhaps it was slyly intentional. Either way, it was frustrating.

Also this Gilbert was... okay... but then who can compete with Crombie, the proto-Gilbert.

Overall, I enjoyed this version more than I thought I would but also less than I thought I would, if that makes sense. While my complaints still stand, I did appreciate a new take on the Anne saga that does justice to her inner turmoil, and the cinematography and casting were lovely (not just the main cast, but the supporting, too. Jerry is a hoot and Ruby Gillis is adorable -- she makes me think of Ginny from Bunheads). I'd also definitely welcome more young Marilla and young Matthew flashbacks or maybe an entire show based on their younger days.

That said, I'm mildly aghast that the showrunner wants it to go for 30+ episodes for just the first book. There are so many fascinating stories in the Anne series that go beyond Green Gables! And this series seems like it could do it, since it's about Anne (with an e) and not just "Anne of Green Gables." But I don't know if I'd have the patience to last ten series to see her grow up and go to college. (Where's my "Patty's Place" adaptation already, dammit.)

I'll still keep watching, though, if only to hopefully see my favorite moments brought to life again, even though my expectations will be severely tempered.
posted by paisley sheep at 4:35 PM on May 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

5 seasons for Book One? With what? She's already gotten through most of it and skipped to the end and rewritten everything. What's next? Is Matthew going to recover and then die again? But now, with a romance in the middle?

Anne and Gilbert are also in the place they should be at the end of the book, without having gotten through any of the middle of the book.

Really I just, despite wanting SO HARD to love it, hate this adaptation with the fire of a thousand burning suns.
posted by corb at 2:05 PM on May 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think I've been the most (only) enthuastic supporter here, but this was just bad.
posted by Ruki at 5:46 PM on May 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have many feelings. I actually liked the choice to delve into Anne's experiences and be a little darker. Anne had a terrible childhood that LLM largely glossed over (for many obvious reasons!). As a child who reread this book countless times, i never put together that Anne's imagination was a defense mechanism. I hadn't really thought about it as an adult, so that was like a bucket of cold water on my head since it seems so obvious now. I think bringing that to the foreground could be really interesting and add layers and subtext to the existing framework.

The plot tinkering, however... yikes. Mostly pointless and/or anti-character personality deviations. I'd welcome new plots of they were faithful to the characters and moved the story in an interesting direction, but this is just weird. I guess I'll watch season 2 but mostly out of morbid curiosity. The boarders storyline needs to die immediately.
posted by gatorae at 9:18 PM on October 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

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