grundyscribbling: Mr. Green from Clue: "It's a bit late for that!" (clue - bit late!)
[personal profile] grundyscribbling
My sister kindly informed me this evening that Netflix's Anne of Green Gables series is available. I just watched the whole thing, although I'm not sure why.

I do not mind dark and gritty. I do not even mind a less sunshiney version of Anne than the Disney version of the 1980s. What I do not like is relentlessly gritty and dark claiming to be Anne of Green Gables. If you love the books, skip this mess.

Highlights:
-Mr. Hammond expires in the middle of beating Anne with a strap.
-The other girls at school, except Diana, don't like Anne. While I will grant that Josie Pye is supposed to be on the spiteful side, Ruby Gillis and Jane Andrews definitely weren't.
-Billy Andrews tries to beat her up after Anne inadvertently spreads a rumor that Prissy is 'intimate' with Mr. Phillips. (Yes, seriously to both halves of that sentence.)
-The majority of Avonlea are horrible snobs who look down on the orphan girl and openly gossip about her at the Sunday School picnic.
-Everybody old has tragic romantic backstory. Except the Lyndes, who appear to be happily married. (Not complaining about the Lyndes.)
-Anne gets her first period, and by her reaction, you'd think she was Sansa Stark.
-While Charlie Sloan and Moody Spurgeon do indeed get an intro, Gilbert Blythe is really the only boy who is not a jerk.
-Above statement should be qualified with "at school". Quite honestly, if I continued with this, I'd be shipping Anne/Jerry. As in Jerry Baynard, who is the Green Gables hired boy. (For some reason, he got a name change from the book's Buote. He's still French but I guess his original last name wasn't French enough?) They actually talk more than Anne and Gilbert, and Jerry has better advice.
-Speaking of Anne and Gilbert, she doesn't so much break her slate over his head as clock him upside the head with it. For a second, I thought she'd killed him, and thought 'that's taking this darker grittier thing a bit far'.
-Gilbert's father dies, and he shuts up the house and takes up working on boats.
-Anne appears to have PTSD
-The dangers of child snatchers, violent muggings, and conmen seems ridiculously high for 1880s PEI. This isn't Boston or New York City.
-Matthew attempts to commit suicide with a revolver
-The same lowlifes who beat the crap out of Jerry and stole the proceeds from the sale of a Green Gables horse are posing as would-be lodgers at the end of the last episode.

And now I want to read the book as a palate cleanser. But it's kind of late for that, and I have to work in the morning.

Date: 2017-05-22 03:00 pm (UTC)
sulien: Made from my favorite photo of Big Lagoon, Humboldt, CA (Default)
From: [personal profile] sulien
You watched the whole thing? I watched the first episode and thought it was an interesting start to a more realistic treatment of the lot of an orphan in that era (they were obviously evil sinners, otherwise God would never have taken their parents from them, at least according to common belief at the time) and decided to read a variety of reviews to see if I wanted to watch the rest. What I read sounded like the issue isn't so much gritty darkness, but that they figuratively bludgeon viewers about the head and shoulders with the gritty darkness, so I gave it a pass. Reading your review reinforces my decision. Thank you for the heads up!

Date: 2017-05-22 03:52 pm (UTC)
sulien: Made from my favorite photo of Big Lagoon, Humboldt, CA (Default)
From: [personal profile] sulien
Agreed, I don't understand the entertainment industry's obsession with 'darker and grittier' either, and it seems like they're trying to make everything 'darker and grittier', even where it just doesn't fit. I recall Battlestar Gallactica was a big influence on a lot of the sci-fi/fantasy television productions and everyone scrambled to copy them.

The '80's adaptation of the Anne stories was a bit too saccharine for my tastes and I'd really love to see an adaptation made as you described. Unfortunately, subtlety is just not in the repertoire of most productions these days. :-/

Date: 2017-05-22 04:55 pm (UTC)
sulien: Made from my favorite photo of Big Lagoon, Humboldt, CA (Default)
From: [personal profile] sulien
80's Anne was too saccharine, but the solution to that should be'dial down the Disney factor' not 'let's make Battlestar Green Gables!"

Dude, you win the internets with that comment! *g* 'Battlestar Green Gables' *laughs out loud some more*

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