May
14
2017

The Vanity Fair ‘Anne with an E’ review, or: “There Is a Red Haze Across My Vision*.”

It is a rare thing when I read a Vanity Fair article and find nothing in it worth starting a squabble with the author over: but it happens, every so often.  Joanna Robinson has reviewed the Netflix series Anne with an E (because apparently Anne of Green Gables was deemed to be a title that was not able to move the product**), and while she does not actually come out and say that she’s ready to grab a bullwhip and and a pitchfork and go chastise the wicked, I suspect that Ms. Robinson would not be adverse to joining the mob. Because it’s Anne of Green Gables, that’s why.

If you want to know how bad the series is, here you go. This is the only sentence that you should need. But read the rest:

But those hoping the series recaptures the glow of either the original Montgomery books or the 1980s adaptation are in for a rude awakening. From the start, Anne with an E (called, simply, Anne in Canada) has promised a gritty, dark reboot of the Prince Edward Island tale.

It has long been a truism among a certain segment of the population that people are most conservative about what they love the most.  Based on that truism, then Ms. Robinson loves the Anne stories very, very, very much.  You can almost see the tremors in her fingers as she recounts one abomination after the other – and there are so many abominations. Based on Joanna Robinson’s description, it’s as if Anne with an E was commissioned by a literal demon prince whose Infernal task was to turn the various forms of broadcast media and entertainment into a derivative, horrible, virtue-free pile of idiocy and slime***.

I don’t want to judge people harshly for liking this version, because people like what they like. So I’ll just go watch the CBC miniseries again and avoid this one like the suppurating plague that it apparently is.  BUT: Joanna Robinson, with this warning review you and Vanity Fair have done the Lord’s work this day. Well done.

Moe Lane

PS: The original books are available for cheap in Amazon.

*Damn, but I miss John M. Ford.

**And this is where historians will decide that the cascade of Bad Decisions and Tears officially began.

***Yes, I totally loved In Nomine.  How did you know?

11 Comments

  • zamoose says:

    As I read the review yesterday, I thought to myself “If Moe reads this, he will have something to say about it.”
    .
    My wife, a deep and abiding L.M. Montgomery fan, was practically spitting at the mere descriptions of this desecration. The room was electric; her hair stood on end. Woodland creatures fled in terror, and, Lo!, the Heavens were rent in twain.

  • Aetius451AD says:

    Every time I read one of these, I always have the same reaction: what did you expect? This is what happens. Oh, it is one of your beloved stories? Do you think that matters?

    I mean no offense to you Moe, but this lady (The reviewer) by how she wrote this is most likely a loyal foot soldier in other aspects of the culture wars. As you say: You are always most conservative about what you know.

    No one is safe from the little red book brigade.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Oh, aye, but you gotta reward the behavior that you like. Vanity Fair is going to take some heat for this review, so I don’t want it said that nobody gave them and the reviewer props for writing and publishing it.

  • jeboyle says:

    Aetius451AD: you’re right of course, but…

    Dear Lord, it’s even worse than I expected. Matthew tries to kill himself?

    What the heck is wrong with these people?

  • nicklevi86 says:

    *sips coffee*
    .
    That pull-quote about sums up most of Hollywood. Mission achieved , demon of Banality, well played.
    .
    *sips more coffee*
    .
    I can only await the wailing and cannibalism that will be spawned by the next Pride and Prejudice.
    .
    *Buys popcorn futures.*

    • nicklevi86 says:

      Or put another way:
      .
      This is not the Ann[e!] we need, but perhaps the Ann[e!] we deserve…

  • JAB says:

    Sounds darker and grittier than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. People are crazy.

    • zamoose says:

      P&P&Z was self-aware camp. I half expect the creators of Ann[e] to next pitch “Pippi Longstocking: Demonhunter” and “Encyclopedia Snowden” to populate this new terrorverse they’re constructing.

      • Moe_Lane says:

        Also, to be fair: Jane Austen might have enjoyed the joke. At the very least, P&P&Z DOES give an eminently suitable explanation as to why that regiment was out there in the countryside.

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