Anne Shirley? What in the heck are you doing here?

June 22, 2012

My mother read to us a lot when we were little. Most of us were girls. And she liked classic stuff, so I grew up with a strong working knowledge of Little House and Little Women. (I don't think we ever read Little Men, but let's be honest, who did? Also: It's still about Jo!)

But the house favorite was definitely Anne of Green Gables. We read the books together—and we watched the first two miniseries again and again. Rewatching them as I grew up, I was fascinated by the weird mix of production values: a sentimental but sharp script, great locations and costumes, lowish-budget sets, a breakout lead (Megan Follows) working with supporting actors of widely varying skill Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth. (Scenes involving both Dewhurst—master interpreter of Eugene O'Neill!—and some of the company's greener members are especially off-putting, though sweetly so.)

The 80s production wasn't the first, but it's hard to imagine another. Yet that's what we're doing now, because the CBC reports (via Jezebel) that a reboot is in the making. And—shudder—it will be set in the present day. Someone on Facebook suggested that maybe Anne will break an iPad over Gilbert's head instead of a small chalkboard. Or maybe she'll walk through the woods listening to Lady Gaga on earbuds instead of reading Tennyson. Instead of splitting up to each take a schoolhouse in a different town, Anne and Gil can just live at Green Gables and telecommute to their jobs at tech startups, if Rachel Lind doesn't get too upset about them wiring the place for DSL! Etc., the possibilities are endless.

In any case, I think watching parties are in order. Though whether they'll be in earnest or in jest is at this point an open question.

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