Who doesn’t know Anne of Green Gables? The beloved character of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s children’s novels has been inspiring kids to keep dreaming for over a century. Perhaps it’s precisely because of the timeless value of this ugly ducking tale that the Canadian TV has decided to create a reboot of the redhead orphan’s story. The makers naturally tried to add something extra from themselves to spice things up. Is the result any good?
Yes and no. For those who don’t know the story “Anne of Green Gables” is a tale of an orphan who is adopted by siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. The girl is mistakenly sent to them instead of a boy but they decide to keep a stubborn redhead with extraordinary imagination. Anne quickly befriends Diana and they promise to stay friends forever and ever, she also even quicker starts to hate the most handsome boy in the village, Gilbert. The redhead has a true talent to get herself in trouble and the viewer will not be bored, especially given the added dramatic twists in the series..
Some attempts of adding more drama, realism and depth to the story were positive. It’s nice to have some more background into the story of Matthew and Marilla. In the book they were just unmarried and little was known of the reasons why. It makes them more real to see that the simple life of solitude wasn’t their first choice. I also really liked the additions about female emancipation, as even if absent in the book, they were very much with the spirit of it. At the same time, the lightness of the original storyline is lost in the attempt to make it more dramatic.
Yes, perhaps the novel was very innocent and idealistic but this was its charm. After all, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” as Anne would say? Even if it’s not true, it’s still nice to think so….Anne’s been through a lot as an orphan but that could never kill her spirit. She had grit and resilience and her attitude was meant to be something that would help kids go through the darkness of whatever they experienced. It was always meant to be a feel good story about the power of love, friendship and dreams. The series transformed it into a trashy adaptation of a Dickens’s novel.
In defense of the series, let me just say that I may not be objective. “Anne of Green Gables” was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. As an introvert child I could relate a lot to her dreamlike nature. I also really liked the series with Megan Follows as Anne and rewatched it so many times that the VHS tapes stopped working. I’m not against reboots and remakes in general but one can’t redo perfection. We all remember what a pathetic movie the Psycho‘s remake was, right? The makers should try to enhance stories and not butcher them… Unless of course, the point is just to make money but then a new version of Anne Shirley’s adventures was probably not the best choice.
Having said all that, it’s still and okay series. The acting was definitely on the plus side of things and all in all I didn’t hate every second of it. I’m not recommending the series, though, and particularly not to fans of Anne. I will also be skipping season 2 if such is made.
Have you seen the series, Dear Rinser? Does the name of Anne of Green Gables ring a bell? What do you think about reboots and remakes? Any favorite or least favorite ones?