I wasn’t sure I going to review this and then I thought “What the hell, it’s Friday, and this was a great episode”. For those of you who don’t know, I am originally from the Maritime on the east coast of Canada. Many of you may only know Pop culture and the Maritimes in one specific context……..The Trailer Park Boys. Now this is a fine , classy show, but there is one other icon of that particular geographical location that also has a rich history in TV and cinema. Her name is Anne……of Green Gables.
I’m not going to delve too much into the 107 year history of Anne of Green Gables which has included, first, world renowned and beloved books, and later much loved TV series and movies which made a star(In Canadian terms anyway) of Megan Follows.
This review will focus on the new Show which premiered last Sunday night called “Anne”. To me, it’s a re-imagining of “Anne of Green Gables”. Showing a much more realistic look at life in those days and how life as a child in an orphanage was sometimes very dark. The actress who plays Anne(played brilliantly by young actress Amybeth McNulty) brings both a sense of innocence and intense personal pain to the character .I realized 20 minutes in she was going to be one of the main reasons this show was going to be a success.
The brother and sister who Anne is placed with (through an unfortunate series of errors that turned out to be a blessing in disguise) are played by actors Geraldine James(Marilla Cuthbert) and R.H Thomson(Matthew Cuthbert).These decorated actors of screen and stage(R.H Thomson received the Governor Generals Performing Arts Award for Lifetime artistic Achievement in 2015)played these characters wonderfully.
Matthew Cuthbert, the soft spoken , quiet, wise farmer within minutes endears you (My wife said the character reminded her of her dad, which is high praise in of itself)and brings a strong sense of warmth and country living to the show. Marilla Cuthbert is the stern head of the household who has no time for sentiment but I think sees a bit of Anne in herself and slowly begins to see the potential of the child if someone will simply care for her.
I suppose I am a bit biased on this show. The scenery and cinematography showcases Prince Edward Island beautifully even though due to cost logistics a bulk of the show was in fact shot in Ontario. HOWEVER, much of footage of the coastline and of Anne and Matthews horse buggy ride is in fact P.E.I. Some things you cannot replicate. If a continued success, I suspect this will be a boon for P.E.I tourism.
I’ll be watching the second episode to see where this story goes next. It airs Sundays on the CBC. Starts May 12th on NETFLIX.Trailer Below.