Everything about Anne, eh?

CBC’s Sally Catto: Anne’s future still up in the air

There’s a simple, yet frustrating, reason a second season of Anne wasn’t announced at CBC’s upfront presentation on Wednesday morning. Netflix has yet to weigh in on its commitment to a sophomore go-round of Anne Shirley’s adventures in Avonlea.

“[A second season announcement] is pending,” Sally Catto, general manager, programming at CBC told us. “It’s a partnership and they’ve just started broadcast it.” That may be tough to swallow for fans who were left staring in shock at their TV screens after the cliffhanger season finale went dark, but that’s the nature of the television business today. More broadcasters and countries involved in a series can mean a waiting game.

As for fans of programs Pure, The Romeo Section, Michael: Every Day, Four in the Morning, Bellevue and This Life, it was a bitter pill to swallow after it was confirmed none will return for additional seasons on the public broadcaster.

Pure was beautifully received and done,” Catto explains of the Mennonite Mafia drama created by Michael Amo and starring Ryan Robbins, A.J. Buckley and Alex Paxton-Beesley. “If you look at it, it’s a contained story and that equally weighed into the decision. It wasn’t just a numbers decision. There was a beginning, middle and very final end to Pure. Of course, any series has the potential to have another season, but for Pure, it’s up against other programs that have been percolating in development and there is limited space in the schedule. You’re making a choice, and it’s not always easy.”

Crawford debuts this winter on CBC.

When it came to choosing new programming this fall and winter, Catto was looking for series to compliment what’s resonating with audiences. Though research plays a part in the decision, they’re looking for distinct voices and unique stories. Who has a story to tell? What’s their voice? What’s their vision? To be too narrow, she believes, is to miss gems in the making.

Catto sought to expand CBC’s comedy base by adding new projects in Mike Clattenburg’s Crawford and Little Dog from Joel Thomas Hynes. As for drama, Frankie Drake Mysteries is a natural new series to present to loyal fans of Murdoch Mysteries and literary adaptations of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace and Lisa Moore’s Caught fit in the network’s structure.

As for The Council, we got a final word on its fate. René Balcer’s series “set against the unfolding drama of our changing planet and draws inspiration from the true-to-life fight over the vast and valuable resources of the Arctic” that was originally announced for the 2016-16 season is not moving forward.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Links: Anne with an E

From Sarah Larson of The New Yorker:

Link: How not to adapt Anne of Green Gables
So we see flashbacks to Anne’s life with an abusive family and in the orphanage—another fine idea in principle. In one flashback, vicious girls, spitting threats and insults, taunt Anne with a dead mouse in a grimy alcove; afterward, she comforts herself by stroking its fur sorrowfully. When we cut back to the present, she says, in a hollow tone, “I’ll be as quiet as a mouse,” as dead-eyed as the twins in “The Shining.” We should empathize here, but we’re too busy seething. Continue reading.

From Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair:

Link: Anne of Green Gables: Netflix’s bleak adaptation gets it all so terribly wrong
Still, none of the many, many other Anne adaptations stray so disastrously far from the spirit of Montgomery’s original books—and the result is a gloomy series with grim, life-or-death stakes draped over the bones of something beloved, warm-hearted, and familiar. The milestones are still there—currant wine, broken slates, puffed sleeves—but seen through a glass darkly. Brave as the concept may be, it falls flat—and feels particularly unwelcome in an already grim 2017. Continue reading.

From Marissa Martinelli of Slate.com:

Link: Netflix’s dark, gritty reboot of Anne of Green Gables has all the subtlety of a chalkboard smashed over your head
The show’s lack of nuance is especially evident while trying to assert its modern sensibilities. Walley-Beckett’s adaptation of Anne is so worried about announcing itself as feminist that it forgets that its source material already was. Continue reading.

From Sophie Gilbert of The Atlantic:

Link: Anne with an E is the best kind of adaptation
So Anne With an E, created by Moira Walley-Beckett, a longtime writer and producer on Breaking Bad, isn’t exactly inventing darkness for the story so much as reading between the lines. It’s Anne of Green Gables for 21st-century audiences, who are perhaps more sympathetic to the idea that children can suffer. That’s not to say darkness defines the show. Anne With an E captures the winning exuberance of Anne Shirley—who, played by AmyBeth McNulty, is entirely irresistible—while finding some deeper potency in her story. The first two episodes offer a gripping and moving setup for the rest of the season, portraying how Anne, despite improbable odds, persuades the elderly Cuthberts to love her. Continue reading.

From Jen Chaney of The Vulture:

Link: Anne of Green Gables fans, you will love Netflix’s Anne with an E
Lifelong fans of the Anne of Green Gables series should find much to admire here, but the newly initiated will be just as easily drawn into the town of Avonlea, where Anne and the Cuthberts live, and enchanted by the open-hearted wonder with which Anne greets the world and spins her creative yarns. Continue reading.

From Lorraine Ali of the L.A. Times:

Link: Netflix moves to Green Gables with scrappy, irresistible Anne with an E 
If only television treated all its teenage girls with the same respect “Anne with an E” affords its whip-smart, scrappy protagonist. Continue reading.

From Allison Keene of Collider:

Link: Netflix’s Green Gables adaptation has grit
Once Anne arrives at Green Gables, it’s a spiritual transformation. She is given hope and new focus on fulfilling her dreams of friendship, education, and both familial and romantic love.  Continue reading.

From Mark Dawidziak of Cleveland.com:

Link: Anne with an E pursues a darker shade of Green Gables
While remaining true to the spirit of Anne and the book, this Netflix series reminds us that Montgomery wrote her novel for all ages. She did not consider it just a children’s book. And it wasn’t designated a children’s book until many decades after its publication. Continue reading.

From Gwen Ihnat of The AV Club:

Link: Anne with an E offers a winning, darker take on a familiar tale
Amybeth McNulty defies her youth with a performance that’s less a portrayal of Anne than an absolute possession. It can’t be easy to make Anne’s fanciful language sing the way she does, and McNulty captures the endearing awkwardness that enables Anne to win over everyone she comes in contact with. Continue reading.



Link: The sisterhood of Anne of Green Gables is ready for Anne’s next chapter

From Katie Calautti of Vanity Fair:

Link: The sisterhood of Anne of Green Gables is ready for Anne’s next chapter
“L.M. Montgomery was writing in a time period where there were not a lot of women’s voices being heard nearly loudly enough nor often enough—and yet somehow she gave voice to a brave little girl whose loud and important voice is still resonating. I’m just thrilled that as woman producers today, we can continue to push the strength of L.M. Montgomery’s spirit through our Anne Shirley. Anne with an E is definitely our feminist rallying cry.” Continue reading.


Comments and queries for the week of May 4

I was so upset when [Anne] started going off-book, but then couldn’t stop watching every Sunday! The finale was fabulous and the scene with Jerry singing was epic! This character has more to offer and I hope that in Season 2 there will be a lot more of Jerry! —Sarah

I felt it had a very uneasy ending with those robbers invited to dinner and maybe renting a room at the farm. There must be more to add, the ending spoilt a lovely series. Please tell me they are not leaving like that. —Veronica

I wanted to hate it (I felt a new adaptation would be disloyal to the Kevin Sullivan version), but I love it so much! —Laura

Would love to see more of this delightful series! Entertaining, real, delightful. I am hoping for more seasons to come with the same detail as the first season. Certainly brings back many special childhood memories of the book series that I thoroughly enjoyed as a young girl. —Theresa

Anne 2017 is excellent. I am so pleasantly surprised. Looking forward to seeing more. —Yvonne

Wonderful … never watched any previous series, movies or read the book even though Anne of Green Gables was around our home. BUT enjoyed the series immensely. A breath of fresh air amongst the very low quality and sometimes offensive shows coming from south of the border. Thank you, CBC. Patiently waiting for Season 2. —Martin

My Husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this presentation of Anne of Green Gables! Love the different spin on this epic tale and yet the basic story line is there … such a great “facelift.” We are so looking forward to more seasons … the finale just screams for more! Please don’t make us wait too long! Thank you for this great series … loved it! —Allison and Don

Love [Home to Win]! Love the HGTV stars! Totally disappointed in your HOME choice this season. As designers, you should have put your thinking caps on and went for a true challenge with character and charm. Why would you take a newer home, gut it and re-do it? Such a waste to the land fill and to the home. I used to believe in you all, now I’m not sure. —Marlean

We just watched “Hell to Pay” here in Scotland. It was broadcast this evening on Alibi channel. Wow! We are so looking forward to Series 11. Hubby and I have watched it faithfully since Episode 1 and Station No. 4 is part of our family now. :) The only deaths I want to hear of are Davis and his cohorts. I am hoping George, Higgins and Jackson wore bullet proof vests like the prototype one George wore earlier in the series. —Agnes

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.


Link: The Other Side of Anne of Green Gables

From Willa Paskin of The New York Times:

Link: The Other Side of Anne of Green Gables
Do you know Anne Shirley? You would like her. Everybody does. A lively and optimistic survivor with a feverish imagination and unchecked enthusiasms, she is a redheaded outsider who becomes an insider without forsaking her peculiarities or her intelligence. An inadvertent feminist, an unrepentant romantic, a hot-tempered sprite, she’s impulsive, she’s dramatic, she’s smart, she’s funny, she insists on spelling her name with an E at the end because it “looks so much nicer.” Continue reading.