Friends, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of our childhoods.
This month, Anne Shirely, the book and TV heroine who shaped the lives of countless women (and quite a few men, in my circle alone) has been re-imagined for a modern audience.
And, instead of being a unique, imaginative and smart force of nature she is now a broken specimen of a human being whose iconic story has been blackened into a Game of Thronesesque pit of despair.
Anne With an E is the latest offering from the endless conveyor belt of reboots, re-imaginings and retellings that are currently flooding our screens, and this particular one happened to pop up on Netflix.
Listen to a breakdown of everything that is wrong with the new Anne of Green Gables on The Binge.
In this day and age it’s not enough just do to a remake of a classic and hope that it will cut through the noise.
Now, it’s all about taking these stories and flipping them on their heads, like taking a beloved cast of fairy tale characters and turning them into murderous, sexual story fodder (yeah, I’m looking at you, Once Upon A Time).
At this point in time I would not be surprised if Laura Ingalls Wilder herself reemerged with a bazooka and a taste for blood and destroyed that little house on the prairie with her dangerous chain-smoking habit. That’s kind of where we’re at now.
In this new version of “Anne” we are still introduced to the young, orphaned girl who is adopted by an ageing brother and sister who call Green Gables and the town of Avonlea, home. But that is where the similarities end.
With the original earnest, magical format of storytelling erased from this modern retelling, everything is presented in a much harsher light, and so the story and character motivations of those within it now refuse to make sense.
There’s now no way to hide the fact that Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert are straight up ordering in a slave child to do their bidding on the farm, and so their motivations going forward are thrown under a suspicious light that no amount of recycled storybook dialogue can save.