Netflix series “Anne with an E” returns with a captivating season two

The beloved story of the plucky orphan by L.M. Montgomery continues to captivate its audiences with season two of Netflix series, “Anne with an E.”

This coming-of-age story explores the world through the eyes of Anne Shirley Cuthbert, a spunky orphan with a troubled past who was adopted by the Cuthberts family; an older brother and sister pair who live in Green Gables, Canada during the early 1900s. 

Much like the first season, the show continues to cover hard topics including loss, prejudice, deceit, bullying, and LGBT issues. With flashbacks from Anne and Cuthberts of less pleasant times in there life, it gives a darker and more realistic feeling to the show. It is the balance of the light humor and darker solemn moments, adding depth to the story. 

With an addition of new interesting characters, the show adds new dynamics to Avonlea, adding topics like progressivism, race, deceit and women-in-pants to the already imaginative storyline.

Even with several adaptations to the story, the writers of the Netflix series seem to find new ways to add their own unique spin to the coming-of-age story. Rather than trying to compete with other adaptations of the series, the Netflix version often brings a macabre spin on the Anne of Green Gables.

The Netflix show stays faithful to the series, while adding elements to the give it depth, with a less cartoonish feel versus other adaptations of the beloved series. This is true, especially with Anne; the bookish, overly talkative, inquisitive orphan who both in the books and the adaptation can be quite tedious, one dimensioned, and annoying.  

The town of Avonlea and the people within jump off the page with beautiful and often stunning sets of Canadian countryside. The actors’ portrayals breath life into the series. They play characters like Anne (Amybeth McNulty), Diana Barry (Dalila Bela), and Gilbert Bilthe (Lucas Jade Zumann) dealing greatly with very difficult topics, as well as silly situations.

While breaking from cannon, it’s darker more realistic view of Montgomery’s work, “Anne with an E” still has all the light heartedness and joy fans have come to expect from “Anne of Green Gables.” It truly is the balance of these polar opposites that make the formula for the show to work.  

Season 2 expands on the formula, with new characters, situations, and topics which children may face while coming-of-age, adding depth to many of the beloved characters, while staying true to the source material. With both humor and pain, the characters continue to move out of the one dimensional look at “Anne of Green Gables” that other adaptations have had in the past.

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