The beloved Anne of Green Gables returns in a Netflix series

Amybeth McNulty as young Anne in Anne With an E

Three stars

Anne with an E Season 1 available May 12 on Netflix.

Anne of Green Gables is a Canadian national treasure. The protagonist of L.M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel and its many sequels and spin-offs has been a pop-culture staple for more than a century, and her adventures have been adapted into numerous films, stage plays, radio dramas and TV series, most notably a 1985 miniseries that aired in the U.S. on PBS. Anne is so popular that she’s getting two concurrent TV adaptations in 2017, the more high-profile of which is the Netflix series (co-produced with the Canadian network CBC) Anne With an E.

Although it was created by Breaking Bad veteran Moira Walley-Beckett, Anne isn’t a dark or gritty take on the classic tale of a talkative, overly imaginative orphan girl who comes to live with an aging brother and sister on rural Prince Edward Island. It’s vibrant and family-friendly, with an appealing performance from Amybeth McNulty as young Anne. Walley-Beckett isn’t afraid to delve into Anne’s more turbulent feelings of abandonment and resentment, but the show also maintains a hopeful tone, showing goodness and generosity in the face of cruelty. The generations who grew up with previous incarnations of Anne might not have their favorites supplanted, but the new series offers a promising introduction to the character for a new audience.

Tags: Television
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