Eight one-hour episodes is a lot of time to break down Anne of Green Gables. Perhaps that’s why last Sunday’s instalment, “I am no bird, and no net ensnares me,” didn’t contain anything from the source material. Anne didn’t make it all the way back to the orphanage, earn a ride helping the milk delivery man or sign the Cuthbert’s bible.
It certainly didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Yes, some of you let me know none of what happened was in the source material, but you also noted you’re enjoying Moira Walley-Beckett’s take on L.M. Montgomery’s classic. That’s pretty high praise, I think, and Walley-Beckett and CBC should be proud of that accomplishment.
But on to Sunday’s new episode, “But what is so headstrong as youth?” Here’s what the network had to say about it:
- Anne is excited to begin school and make friends, but is unprepared for the bullying that occurs when she doesn’t fit in. Marilla too, is testing new waters as she accepts an invitation to join a “Progressive Mothers” group.
- And here some notes from us after watching a screener.
Amybeth McNulty is a fantastic Anne
Playing such an iconic role is tough, but McNulty makes it look easy. As Walley-Beckett told me earlier this year, “Amybeth is fiercely bright and independent, spirited and incredibly sensitive and also has a worldly perspective, which is something we touch on again and again in Anne. She was it.” She most certainly is it, showing an incredible emotional range for such a young actress and able to go toe-to-toe with her veteran co-stars. I can’t help but smile every time she delivers a rat-a-tat-tat piece of dialogue, not waiting for an answer from Marilla or Matthew or anyone, really. Anne’s long walk to school is full of conversation … more of a soliloquy if we’re being honest.
Imagination vs. reality
We know Anne’s head is full of fantastic stories and characters, and she certainly has dreamy expectations of what school will be like. Unfortunately, she runs into bullying and meets her academic nemesis in Gilbert Blythe (Lucas Jade Zumann). School isn’t all bad for Anne; there is a very funny moment between she and Diana as they discuss babies and pet mice. I’m interested in hearing what fans think of Gilbert, so let me know after you watch the episode.
Marilla joins a club
Anne isn’t the only one trying to fit in. Now that Marilla has a daughter, it opens the door for her to become a member of the Progressive Mothers Sewing Circle. The group meets to discuss how their daughters should be educated, to do needlepoint and sip tea. Her attendance at her first meeting causes Marilla to wonder if she’s up to the task of raising a child. And not everyone is a fan of her being part of the Progressive Mothers Sewing Circle.
Anne airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBC.
Images courtesy of CBC.