Anne of Green Gables, a series of stories loved all around the world. Written in 1908, the story focuses on Anne Shirley as she navigates life during the transition from foster care (I use the word care very loosely) to life with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. Through the following novels, we learn more about the friends she makes, the adventures she has and the all-around trials and tribulations she experiences while growing up.
There have been many film adaptations of the series over the years, all of which add their own twist. However, in 2017, Netflix (in partnership with the CBC Television network) brought the newest take on the classic to life. Anne with an E, like many adaptations, took its own liberty to stay true to the original storyline — however, it also threw in things that would not only apply to the turn of the century all those years ago but could hit home today as well.
And in November of 2019, just after the conclusion of the newest season, it was announced that the third season would be the last for this adaptation.
Amybeth McNulty plays the role of Anne (with an e and do not forget it), and she does it in a way that brings a new sense of wonder to everyone’s favorite adventurer.
I won’t spoil the series for you, because I truly believe it’s something that everyone — regardless of age — will enjoy. The first two seasons are on Netflix, with the third having just finished airing on the CBC. These seasons introduce characters that readers will recognize from the books and some other new faces. Diana Berry, Anne’s best friend, and Gilbert Blythe, Anne’s sometimes friend (and so much more…) are back — and viewers seem to think the casting was spot on for the roles. Still, the producers introduced some new original characters, such as Cole Mackenzie.
While Anne is the main character in our story, the people she meets and their stories play such a large part in what makes Anne with an E so special. Without too many spoilers, Gilbert must learn to navigate life without any parental figures, Diana learns that there is so much more to being a girl than just being “pretty,” and Cole’s story sheds a light on the discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in society. The two opening seasons also touch on topics such as racial discrimination, the perception of women and their lives before marriage, and the big one, sexual harassment.
In the third season, issues such as motherhood and its expectations, death, and the treatment of indigenous peoples all bring a new level of maturity to the show.
It’s no secret that very few shows nowadays touch on all these topics, and more, in a way that both entertains and educates its viewers. Viewers around the world, who had grown so fond of Anne and her story, were shocked when the announcement came. Protests on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter followed almost immediately. The cast and production crew shared their feelings, which hit home to prove that this adaptation was more than just another show.
It’s not clear yet as to whether or not it truly is the end. The CBC hasn’t outwardly said it will be canceling the show, but Netflix has said this will be the final season it streams. This has left fans shocked, confused and (understandably) upset.
In the meantime, while you’re looking for something to binge-watch this holiday season, I recommend Anne with an E. I promise you will laugh, cry and cheer along with the characters that mean so much to so many.