You ever see a description in which they note “Based off the classic […]” and you begin to think to yourself, “By whose standard?” If only because: A) You’ve never heard of it and B) You’ve read many a classic before which was shite? Well, strangely enough, Anne is more so an exception than following the rule of using the word “Classic” as a cheap marketing ploy. For truly, this adaptation allows you to understand why the source material is considered a classic.
At 13 years old, Anne (Amybeth McNulty) has spent nearly ten years as an orphan who didn’t get the privilege of childhood. Instead, she has been working, taking care of other kids, and often without a sense of friendship or family. Yet, things seem to be looking up. She is due to be adopted by Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew (R.H. Thomson) Cuthbert. Two people up in age, but who could still make swell parents.
Well, that is if either of them wanted a child for the sake of one, much less a girl. The truth is, Matthew needs help and while perhaps too proud to say so, Marilla just the same. For neither one are getting any younger and with them both unmarried and seemingly, family wise, only having each other [note]I should note they are siblings and not husband and wife[/note], the cheapest option would be to adopt a boy.
Yet, what they end up with is Anne. A girl who is inquisitive, loquacious, and imaginative. Something Matthew appreciates since Marilla is very conservative, but their decisions are made together. For even if he is the man of the house, he shares said house with his sister. Which leads to problems for Anne since Marilla is hard to please. Yet, as she gets to know Anne she does try to warm up to her. However, there is this nagging desire to have her be off. Not because it is personal but because, business-wise, even if Anne is willing and able to work, they need a farm hand. Something Marilla, with her traditional Christian values, doesn’t see as something appropriate for a girl to be doing.
I like imagining better than remembering.
It’ll Take 5 Minutes For You To Connect With Anne And 9 For Her To Get You To Cry
I try to go into any new series with a sense of optimism yet, I do feel I will end up disappointed. However, there is nothing to really be disappointed about in this premiere. There is no long wait or slow burn when it comes to falling for Anne. Within 5 minutes, 5 MINUTES! McNulty’s charm has you hooked and then within 4 more she has you emotionally invested. For, at first, Anne just seems like a little kid with an overactive imagination sent to the Cuthbert’s because her need to express her thoughts was getting on everyone’s nerves.
However, once you discover she never really had the opportunity to be a kid she slowly tears down any walls you may have built up. For, as you begin to understand her, you realize she uses books and her imagination to escape a life where she had to work to survive. She uses Jane Eyre and romantic tales to paint a future where she isn’t, as she sees herself, some ugly girl due to her freckles, skinniness, and red hair. I mean, you’d have to be heartless to not feel for the child. And really, you are almost to the point you want to reach out and hug her, make her feel reassured and validated. I mean, McNulty really does get under your skin and dig her way into your heart like that.
Making it so, as we are introduced to Matthews and Marilla, despite both of those actors working since the 1970s, McNulty, who seemingly only began her career 3 years ago, not only outshines them but forces them to be reliant on her. For, strangely enough, the writing is so that even if Anne is just reacting to the people and situations she finds herself in, you never forget who is the lead and who this story is about. For, not once, does McNulty ever lose you.
On The Fence
You May Find Anne Overdramatic
Though you know her feelings are genuine, this is a girl who grew up on Jane Eyre, surely among other titles. So she makes every sentence and paragraph into a dramatic performance. One which may seem cute when she is happy but when in despair, oh you will probably be as Ms. Cuthbert and wonder when will she shut up?
Yet, at times, as she goes on and on, you can’t help but smile. Imagine yourself having a child with a mind such as hers and being delighted by the idea. Such wonder, such inquisitiveness, the imagination, it is part of Anne’s charm really. It’s just, she needs to know her audience better.
Overall: Positive (Watch This) – Recommended
This show will send you on a whirlwind of emotion. One minute you’ll be tickled, possibly laughing, as Anne goes on and on about something. Yet, in the next minute, as you begin to understand why she is so happy with the Cuthberts, you will find yourself in tears. For Ms. McNulty truly knows how to manipulate and toy with your emotions. She isn’t relying on her character and whatever connection you have to them, instead she has you connect with her. Thus leaving you at her whim and desiring nothing more to see joy come to her and the unfortunate lessons of life kept to a minimum.
Hence the Positive label and the recommendation. For most shows, even with an hour and a half premiere, can still leave you unsure of its direction or if you want to invest time into it. With Anne, however, McNulty, and the rest of the cast have you invested within 5 minutes and have a hold on your feelings in 9. Something I’m not sure I ever experienced before.