Hello, my dears, and welcome back to the blog! It’s been a hot minute since I managed to write something on here – I’ve been enjoying my February, taking things slow-ish and recovering after a very tough semester of university. As per usual, though, I’m back with another edition of “Clau Gushes About Things That She Is Hopelessly Obsessed With”, and this time I am bringing you “Anne With an E”!!!
Now, if you’re not aware, “Anne with an E” is the latest adaptation of the beloved book series written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and follows Anne Shirley, an orphan who serendipitously gets adopted by Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert – the siblings originally wanted a boy to help them with the chores around Green Gables, but by a lucky coincidence, they meet Anne instead and fall in love with her. She is kind-hearted, very spirited, loves nature and adores books, and has a thirst for knowledge that is unique to any character I’ve ever read about (or watched). Even though she lost her parents at three months old and has had to fend for herself ever since, Anne never loses her sense of wonderment, and always sees the very best in the people around her, and in the world, as well. In short, she is officially my daughter that I will protect with my life, thank you very much 🥺 I don’t want to spoil the show and her many adventures too much for you, so I’ll keep this introduction very brief; but let me tell you about some of the reasons why I think “Anne With an E” needs a renewal immediately:
1. ANNE SHIRLEY-CUTHBERT AS A CHARACTER (AND AMYBETH MCNULTY’S PORTRAYAL OF HER!!)
From the very first episode, I just fell head-over-heels in love with this fire-haired dreamer!! Her story is so emotional, so heart-wrenching at times, but also unbelievably inspiring and full of so much hope. The journey that she goes through, both before arriving at Green Gables and after, is an absolute delight to watch. I identified so much with Anne’s feelings of inadequacy, and with her feeling like she couldn’t belong anywhere, and I also adored the fact that she is a voracious reader, and that her big, incredible imagination is what saved her and what enabled her to believe that the world is still good, and that better times were coming for her, too. Getting to watch her grow up and mature, while also staying the same bright-eyed, kind hearted girl that we meet in the first episode, is honestly what made me love this show as much as I do! Not to mention that Amybeth McNulty does a phenomenal job bringing Anne to life – everything from the way she speaks, to her mannerisms, to her body language and her chemistry with all the other actors is just perfect!!
2. THE (AMAZING) CASTING CHOICES
Since we’re already on the topic of acting, can we please also discuss how refreshing it is to see children played by actual children, as well as mature actors that are all so incredible in their roles? From Anne herself, to Marilla and Matthew, to literally everybody else on the show, they are perfectly cast and are bringing so much life to their characters that I cannot imagine anybody else playing them now! I love the fact that Anne is thirteen at the start of the show, and she looks it; I also love the fact that the Cuthberts are in their sixties, and the fact that they’re getting old is shown multiple times on-screen; I love that each and every person we meet is thoroughly fleshed-out and very multi-dimensional, and the great casting choices have certainly contributed to that!
3. IT HAS SO MUCH LOVE AND HOPE…
I don’t think I’ve ever watched a show this touching before. Its every episode is so filled with emotion, you can almost feel it with your bare hands. One minute you’re filled with joy, the next you’re in the depths of despair (as Anne herself would put it 🤗). It’s not only the characters that have an extraordinary range of emotions, it’s the show itself, and emotions are at its very core. I think that’s why so many people connected with it – because it makes you feel, and most of all, it makes you feel seen and understood. Ultimately, while “AnnE” has its fair share of sadness, its message is one of love, and hope, and of the promise of the better tomorrow. Most of all, I like the fact that all kinds of love are represented, and we can see how important each of them are to Anne. Of course, there is romantic love, but there is also friendship and the beautiful relationship she has with Diana, Cole and the rest of her classmates, and also (I believe most importantly) familial love, that she never experienced before but that she finally finds with the Cuthberts. All become integral parts of her identity, and all are equally important to her – but the main takeaway is that one can soar to the highest heights when one is truly loved.
4. …BUT IT ALSO NEVER SHIES AWAY FROM APPROACHING DIFFICULT TOPICS
At its core, “AnnE” is an overwhelmingly positive show, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t discuss its fair share of important, yet difficult subjects. From women’s rights, to LGBTQ+ issues, to freedom of speech and of the press, to how Black people were treated, to what the Indigenous people of Canada experienced, to trauma and how you can heal from it – all of these are approached in the show in a very respectful and realistic way. As important as the feeling of hope that the show puts forward is, these issues are always and will always be worth talking about, and the care that is put into the portrayal of each and every one of them is really something that I appreciate about the show a lot!
5. IT’S A PERIOD PIECE, YET IT FEELS VERY CURRENT
“AnnE” is set in the late part of the 19th century and very beginning of the 20th, so it’s not a surprise that everything from the set, to the costuming, to the speech patterns and mannerisms of the actors reflects that time period. We have beautiful, decadent dresses; Anne uses a slate to write in school; travel was harder and took longer; most houses that we see don’t have electricity yet. It’s details like these that give the show its “olden times” feel, and yet it still manages to stay current to our time. Of course, not being afraid to bring forward certain topics that were (and maybe still are) considered taboo helps with that, and it never feels like you are watching some distant events that you could never relate to, because they happened a century ago. This isn’t to say that the atmosphere of the show is lessened – but within that atmosphere, we can bring the show closer to ourselves and connect to it even more, something that not all period pieces are able to do!
6. FOUND FAMILY AS A DRIVING FORCE
From the very first episode, the idea of found family is what propels the show forward. Not only for Anne, who has never known her parents and who wants nothing more than to belong to someone, but also for the Cuthberts, who have been living on their own for decades, who only had each other, and who needed somebody to show them the beauty that can be found in the world and in life. All three of them heal alongside each other as the story goes on, and the love and care that they develop and consistently work on together is an absolute delight!! No wonder that Marilla has one of my favorite lines in the show that she says to Anne (and that makes me tear up every single time): “You are a wish come true I never knew I was making”. All three of them are each other’s safe haven, each other’s joy, and I just find that so beautiful!!
7. MISTER GILBERT BLYTHE. THAT’S ALL.
Ok, alright, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m cheating a little bit by including him in the list
mainly because it’s so easy to gush about him forever but can you really blame me? He’s kind, extremely charming and a romantic at heart, he would do anything for his family, he puts his all into everything he does, he’s very good at school and very ambitious, he has a clear goal and doesn’t want to settle for less than what he wants, and he’s also incredibly witty and sarcastic and can always hold his own against anybody. Basically he’s now the ideal that I will be judging any and all romantic partners by. If you decide to watch the show after reading this, you’ll know exactly what I mean because let me tell you he stole my heart from the second we met!! And if I still haven’t convinced you… please look at him:
8. THE SOUNDTRACK!!!!
If you’ve been keeping up, I’ve already mentioned the “AnnE” soundtrack in my January recap – but honestly I feel like I haven’t given it enough love, and I haven’t talked about it nearly enough!! The beautiful music adds so much to the show, you can relate specific moments that happen throughout with certain songs, and I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a soundtrack that just… fit so well with its characters, its themes and its feelings! I adore all the unique instruments that were used (we get beautiful piano music but also BANJOS and FIDDLES, you guys, and they sound incredible!!!!) and the compositions are just pure genius. I wish I could describe the feeling that listening to the tracks gives to me, but I don’t have the words; I’ll leave you instead with some of my favorites, like “Unrequited Love”, “A Nature Symphony”, “A Big Day Ahead”, “You Can Ride in Back” and “Goodnight Anne”!
9. ITS AESTHETIC
Again, this will be immediately obvious if you decide to watch the show!! The way the show is filmed, the colors used, the beautiful nature shots that we see literally every single episode, the setting that makes Anne’s surroundings and her love for the world seem so real, everything has a unique quality to it that I haven’t seen in any TV show before. Not only is its atmosphere as a period piece very different from anything I’ve watched, but it’s just so gorgeous to watch!! The attention to detail that the filmmakers prove is really great to see, and every episode makes you feel like you’re right there with the characters, in Green Gables, in Charlottetown, or even in Trinidad (you’ll see what I mean)! Also, it wouldn’t be me writing this post if I didn’t bring up the music once again – scenes hit harder because of the melody underscoring them, the moments of joy are made even more happy by the soundtrack, and it just deepens the show’s atmosphere so much! It’s really truly brilliant.
10. THE FANS’ LOVE FOR IT
Last but not least – this is the first show I’ve watched where I’ve just been blown away by how invested people are in it. And it’s no wonder, really, since everything I’ve written so far just goes to show how amazing it is! But I’ve never seen a group of people rally so quickly, and so vocally, to save something they love (perhaps with “One Day at a Time”, another of my favorite shows that was in danger of getting canceled, but was saved by the fans’ campaigns – but that was nothing compared to what “AnnE” fans proved capable of)! As soon as the news that season 3 would be the last one broke in November of last year, everybody rallied and tried to do their part to save the show. We immediately trended worldwide on Twitter, we’ve made petitions asking for a renewal and gotten a lot of signatures, and fans have even fully funded billboards in Toronto and New York, promoting the show and trying to prove that we need more seasons! The way “AnnE” inspires people is unlike anything I’ve ever seen – or experienced – before, and even though we still haven’t gotten any news as to whether the show will be able to continue on, I’m grateful that it exists, and I’m still hoping for more!
If you have not seen “Anne with an E” yet, does it sound like something you’d enjoy? And if you’ve already watched (and loved) it, what do you think is the main reason why it needs to be saved? Please share your own experience with “AnnE”, so that people can look through your responses and find even more reasons to pick the show up for themselves! I look forward to hearing from you in the comments down below, and I can’t wait to share my love for this amazing show even more than I already have (seriously, you guys, I’ve talked about it everywhere – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, literally all of my social media. I’m so not sorry, though)!
Until next time, my dear kindred spirits, remember to never stop dreaming 🧡