“My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes “-the charismatic charm oozed so effortlessly from the mouth of ‘Anne With an E’, a teenage girl from Avonlea!
‘Anne with an E’, later acknowledged as ‘Anne Shirley Cuthbert’ can be defined in wholesome as a fireball with rattling vivacity! As a young little girl who is in her early teenage days, Anne is synonymous with impassioned fantasy, dream, imagination, literature, nature, love, and a lot more. This all-encompassing entity has been fluttering her wings through the screen of all web series’ freaks for the past one year and even continues to spread out her wings of hope and ecstasy all throughout the times!
With all the three seasons the series was at the upsurge and was highly a threat to all its competencies. Also, the recent discussions about the release of ‘Anne With an E Season 4’ is hotly debated these days.
But what made the series this popular? What is so enchanting in a tale of a little orphan girl? What made this series stand out from the rest? are some of the pivotal questions that are to be answered before critiquing the series from a layman’s perspective.
Anne With an E: Funs and Facts so far
Anne with an E is a Canadian episodic television series adapted from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 classic work of children’s literature, Anne of Green Gables. It was created by Moira Walley-Beckett for CBC and stars Amybeth McNulty as Anne Shirley, Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert, R. H. Thomson as Matthew Cuthbert, Dalila Bela as Diana Barry and Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert Blythe.
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The series premiered on March 19, 2017, on CBC and on May 12 internationally on Netflix. It was renewed for a second season on August 3, 2017 and for a third season in August 2018. Shortly after the third season was released in 2019, CBC and Netflix announced that the series was cancelled.Though ‘Anne With an E season 4’ was the most anticipated one, it was unfortunate news for all ‘Anne’ fans.
The series, which can be considered as a bildungsroman, delved more deeply into the growing sense and sensibilities of an orphan girl named Anne Shirley. The radical shifts in her perspectives,her gradual development both physical and mental as well as her paradigm transmutations from the universally acknowledged delusions of grandeur is visually weaved into three different seasons.
In season 1 along with Anne the series introduces the main characters of Green Gables including the Cuthberts, Gilbert and Barrys. It also elaborates on the initial hiccups of Anne in Green Gables and how she struggles to make herself fit in an excruciatingly painful school atmosphere. Whether it be Anne adjusting to life at school or the various issues that occur on the farm with the Cuthberts themselves, Anne With An E does an excellent job bringing each of its characters to life and fleshing out their backstories.
Coming to the second season,the story takes a jump towards the widening of landscapes, a bit away from Green Gables and traverses through the youthful springs of Anne, Gilbert and Diana. The story picks up where Anne With An E left off with the Cuthbert family taking the borders under their wing and providing them refuge on the farm. It’s not long before excitement stirs in the town as the prospect of gold lying untapped in the soil beneath them promises an end to the town’s woes. As the series progresses, this plot line fizzles out and is replaced by a far more familiar structure as seen last year with Anne continuing her journey to adulthood while lost in her own fantastical thoughts. Continuously haunted by flashbacks of her traumatic time in the orphanage, Anne feels like a far more conflicted character this time around, especially given the potential romance angle with Gilbert.
In the third and last season,the story attains a half empty circle with the love life of Anne and Gilbert attaining blossom along with Anne discovering the roots of her lineage.This season is often ranked as a kaleidoscope of love, significant issues, friendship and community blended in with more serious themes.
Anne With an E: A Tale of Misfits
When it comes to encompassing differences or thinking out of box, the general approach of the society is undoubtedly revolutionary. This is what happens in Anne With an E.
Based on the 1908 novel ‘Anne of Green Gables’ by L. M.Montgomery, the series ‘Anne With an E’ can be categorized as a tale of misfits.
Originating from Anne who is often marginalized as an out and out crackpot and orphan the series developed a world of Misfits in the fictional town of Avonlea. Bombarding a fistful of jangling phrases, Anne is often characterized as a nutty little girl by each and everyone inhabitant of her orphanage as well as Avonlea. Her ‘true spirit of imagination’ always uttered aloud also made her life in the orphanage even worse than the hell. Once she is plucked and planted onto the holy land of Avonlea, she attains a sense of liberation from pangs of imaginative agonies in the orphanage.
Along with her Miss Murial Stacy is a second woman in the series who is sidelined because of her ‘differences’ which the society addresses as ‘oddities’.Wearing trousers and riding a bicycle she sets her foot in Avonlea carrying the beam of modernism. Initially the ‘Avonleans’ waged a war against Miss Stacy. But later her attitudes and thoughts become an eye opener for everyone and is thus embraced wholeheartedly.
Through the mental make-ups of both Anne and Miss Stacy the plot attempts to wage a battle against the age old ham-fisted misogyny which ultimately leads to their victory in flying colors.
The tabooed idea of homosexuality also attains a different dimension through the lives of Cole as well as Aunt Jo and Aunt Gertrude opened up a different panorama of queer representations altogether.
Sebastian,known popularly as Bash is yet another Misfit of the series. In a society where racism was so rampant and strong, Bash finds it hard to ground his feet for his existence. This racial segregation is beautifully pictured from two different perspectives and thereby offering the viewers an outlook towards the shrugging objectification of a colored man. One is through the unfathomable bond that Gilbert has with Bash and the other through the initial singultus reactions of Marilla towards Bash(which is later solidified into a motherly care).
Ka’kwet is a second character who falls for the racial descriminatory affairs. Born in a Red Indian family she becomes a bosom friend of Anne which is vehemently opposed by Marilla.
Hence the series as a whole meditates on What is ‘good life?’ Who are ‘good people’? by using the racial disparities and clash of ideas as its template. And these disparities are expressed in a better light and hence nullified.
Anne With an E as a ‘Poetry of Innocence’!
With its cathartic narrative infused with dialogues that resonate deeply, ‘Anne With an E’ can be named as an ‘Innocent Poetry’! Being the logophilic,voracious reader that Anne is she puzzles the entire society around her with her unbeatable knowledge in language and words. “If you have big ideas, You have to use Big Words to express them haven’t you?”-as she puts it defines her the best.Right from the ‘scrumptiously delighted’ introduction in the school till the end she is ranked first to excell in the world of poetry and imagination.
The life saving delicacy that she offers to the audience is massive and matchless. A few takeaways from Anne are as follows;
‘“I guess love doesn’t conquer all.”
“Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.”
“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray, I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go into a great big field, all alone, or into the deep, deep woods, and I’d look up into the sky, up-up-up, into that lovely blue sky without end, and I would just feel a prayer.”
And a lot more since the list is endless. With its poeticity these remarkable utterances from a young teenage girl serves as a life saving one for many.
What really sets Anne With An E apart from other dramas in this category is the characters. Well fleshed out and compelling throughout, there’s a distinct poetic bounce to a lot of the dialogue and each of the characters change and grow as the series progresses, including a lot of the supporting characters too.Overall Anne With An E is a charming series featuring some well written characters and a slowly developing story that embraces its 19th Century setting.