Parents' Guide to

Anne with an E

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Dark, intense Green Gables retelling not for all Anne fans.

TV Netflix Drama 2017
Anne with an E Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 230 parent reviews

age 12+

Absolutely not Anne of Green Gables

Nope. I have been a lover of Anne for over two decades and wrote/studied L.M. Montgomery extensively while pursuing my degrees. This is a gritty interpretation with the intent to appeal to an older audience and be "relevant" or create issues in the claim of causing discussion but really it feels like it's just to get publicity. Dark twists and plot devices that are not only anachronistic but also completely unacceptable for smaller children have been added to give this more of an adult feel. I believe this is because the Anne book series is now recommended to 9-14 year olds- while when I was a child it was considered reading for 7-12 year olds- my 7 year old now reads it easily. This is possibly a symptom of dwindling reading ability- however that still does not explain why the creators of this show decided to make Anne more PTSD/psychotic with their strange adaptation. Moments from the book (Anne yelling at Mrs. Lynde that she has never been more hurt) make absolutely no sense when juxtaposed against a new/edgier history in this series where Anne is beaten by a man who dies of a heart attack- or where girls almost force her to eat a dead mouse (which she then cuddles and pets...a horrific reimagining). In the first 3.5 episodes alone Anne is returned to the orphanage, almost kidnapped by a man with clearly sinister motives (who we then see kidnap another child), lives outside, begs in train station, is bullied horrifically by her classmates and older women from her community, enters a burning building, loses her mind and starts screaming at Marilla multiple times, lies about going to school, is beaten by her foster family, witnesses her foster father's death, begs her foster mother to not leave her, is bullied by the children in the orphanage who attempt to force feed her a dead mouse, snuggles with said dead mouse while sobbing, and discusses sex in a confusing way (amongst other strange moments)- none of this happens in the book. The real, imaginative and positive Anne is lost in this interpretations dark, horrifying, deeply negative and violent Anne who is constantly abused. It all made me go- why? Why was this added, but the charm of the original removed? I can only assume it is as I stated above- to try to appeal to young adults/older teens which is ridiculous as that is not the target audience. I would encourage parents to screen beforehand.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
22 people found this helpful.
age 13+

Over the top political agenda

I grew up loving Anne. Read the books constantly and loved the 80s adaptation. But this show gets more and more political in a way that is just historically inaccurate not to mention storylines and characters completely changed or added. The political agenda is so obviously forced it just ruins the real story.
15 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (230):
Kids say (227):

Much beloved among literature heroines, Anne once again shines in this exceptional -- but notably darker than most -- interpretation of L. M. Montgomery's celebrated stories. Whether you arrive at this series already in love with impetuous Anne from previous encounters or you're new to her tale altogether matters very little in how quickly you're absorbed into this story. She's immediately engaging, and as she brings her life's misfortunes to the steps of Green Gables, you can't help but cheer her unwillingness to fall victim to despair from years of torment explored in flashbacks that weigh on her mind in the early parts of the story. Each small victory (making her first real friend, attending school, and even being taken at her word) feels so much bigger for what Anne has overcome just to arrive at a place we often take for granted today.

But Anne with an E isn't content to show Anne getting the best of her past alone; instead the story emphasizes how the very nature of her history challenges her even in the supposed warmth of a small town. Rather than getting a fresh start at Green Gables, Anne faces bullying and prejudice at every turn in school and among those who haven't suffered the injustice of being orphaned. She's taunted, dismissed, and misjudged, but still she perseveres, never stooping to the lows of which she's accused. This unique twist on this timeless story certainly redirects the lighthearted, foible-filled Anne tale of productions past, but it's no less spectacular as a result.

TV Details

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