Anne with an E is a charming, engaging and yes, modern take on a classic, and we deserve to see the story through to its conclusion. Spoilers ahead for Anne with an E season 3.
Anne with an E has come to an end on Netflix. The third season, which premiered on Netflix early in January 2020, is the final season of the hit series, but it shouldn’t be.
There have been Anne of Green Gables adaptations before, most memorably the Megan Folllows version of the 80s, but it’s hard to argue against what Anne with An E, the CBC/Netflix production, has done for a character that, as beloved as she is, was starting to feel more than a tad outdated.
It often happens with classics, after all. You read these books in your childhood, and they were outdated then, but you didn’t notice, or maybe you were just young enough to be able to hand-waved it away, but now you’re an adult,and you still love the idea, the spirit, but you don’t always love the execution.
And that’s why we get reboot, after reboot, after reboot.
Few, however, have succeeded as much as Anne with An E does. In fact, it’s probably fair to compare this adaptation to another recent adaptation of a beloved female-penned and female-focused novel: Little Women. Like that movie, Anne with An E succeeds because it’s not trying so much to stick to the letter of the novel, but to the heart of it.
To the spirit, if you will.
Now, I know there are always the naysayers. We do have books, after all. We know where the story goes. And we did get a mostly happy ending in season 3, with Anne and Gilbert together. But thinking that just because our OTP got together, we don’t need anything else from a show is reductive.
Just as thinking all we care about in an OTP is that they finally kissed.
Conventional TV wisdom has changed in the past decade or so, and there are plenty of successful shows that have stuck to an OTP for years and years and years, shown us their highs and lows, without, you know, breaking them up.
And that’s without even going into the fact that as much as this was Anne’s, and to an extent, Gilbert’s story, it was also the story of Marilla and Matthew, Diana and Jerry, and the whole of Avonlea. Their stories don’t end because Anne got to kiss the boy she finally realized she loved.
That’s not how life works.
So yes, we should get a season 4, and 5, and much more. We should get to see Anne and Gilbert embark on their life together. The show barely scratched the surface of the source material, and there’s so many more adventures to be had, not just for Anne, but for these wonderful characters – new and old – that we got to know in this adaptation.
And despite the odds against us actually getting a renewal, I will be here wishing and hoping and believing in this possibility. As Anne would say “when you’re imagining, you might as well imagine something worthwhile.”
Anne with an E seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix.