This is an anti-rec!

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:38 pm
calvinahobbes: Calvin and Hobbes watching tv (calvintv)
[personal profile] calvinahobbes
I watched Anne With An E, and I absolutely loathed it. I watched the whole thing, because I accidentally started it with my mom, who kept insisting it might become better (it didn't) or, later, might be a decent show if we pretended it had nothing to do with Anne of Green Gables (nope).

The production value is great - I was able to enjoy the costumes and set designs and authentic food, although eventually it became weird how the characters were constantly eating or cooking. The problem with this show is that it is REALLY BAD fanfic. Jerry Boute is made a major character, and from episode 1 it's obvious that Moira Walley-Beckett is trying to set him up as a romantic interest, for absolutely no fathomable reason. Maybe she wants to emphasise the French presence in Canada by foregrounding one of the only French-Canadian characters in the book??

I might easily be able to forgive a change like that, but it proved to be a foreboding of how Beckett approaches canon: imagine her just gleefully tearing up the original books and tossing them across the room. Again, if she changed things with some sense of respect for the originals, in an endeavour to make the stories more suitable for television, that would not automatically be a problem. But Beckett seems to inexplicably think that L.M. Montgomery's original novels were boring and devoid of plot, so she freely invents conflicts and challenges that never would have belonged in quiet Avonlea. This short first season (first? I hope last and only!) contains: a dramatic horse racing scene, a cliff-hanger, a pedo!threat, a housefire, the death of a major side-character, the attempted suicide (WTAF I could scream!) of a major character... and these are just the ones I can mention without really spoiling the plot. So. Many. Unnecessary. Changes!

The actors are very good, not least Amybeth McNulty who plays Anne with an impressive amount of talent - she's the perfect fit - and she does an admirable job of acting out Anne's verbosity, mood-swings, and many many honest-to-god anxiety attacks and flashbacks because this is a "psychologically realistic" production, apparently. But the actors can't save the atrociously melodramatic plot, or the fact that this has very, very little to do with Anne of Green Gables. I hate it! Don't bother with it!

(This review by Sarah Larson is good and only a bit more spoilery than mine.)

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