Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Breaking (bad) Anne

The  writer of "breaking Bad" deliberately wrote the new netflix series Anne of Green Gables to be bleak and negative.

TeaAtTrianon links to a VanityFair review of the new "ANNE" series, which emphasizes the ugly and cruel in the fictional story, as if this was reality.

none of the many, many other Anne adaptations stray so disastrously far from the spirit of Montgomery’s original books—and the result is a gloomy series with grim, life-or-death stakes draped over the bones of something beloved, warm-hearted, and familiar.

in other words, the producers of the show decided to show ugliness and mistreatment, not the positive side shown in the original story. Indeed, they have a lot of negative stuff in there that isn't even in the original book.  This is because in today's world, "Art" and "truth" mean emphasizing the ugly and destroying the normal.

the result is two dimensional unsympathetic characters. Yet as a doc, I have met few "unsympathetic" characters in real life. So is this reality, or reframing the story to fit a stereotype?

photos here promoting the new version of the story only show mean faces for some reason.

Yet all versions of Anne of Green Gables, including the book, are reframing the reality of Anne's story or rather Montgomery's life being brought up by a rigid grandmother after her mother died and she was "abandoned" by her father who had to migrate to find work elsewhere.

The characters face poverty, and are coping the best they can...and the author recognized the strictness as a form of love, and the book tells the story through Anne's understanding eyes.

I have only watched parts of the Netflix version, but even that shows deviations from the plot and ugly cinematography and flat characters. Would watching the entire thing change my mind? Who knows, but from what I've seen, I am not wasting my time trying to find out.

and both the NewYorker and TVGuide agrees with me.

Unlike the flat actors in the Netflix version, the 1985 Canadian miniseries  is closer to the book: Marilla is shown as a  strict guardian who tries her best to guide a flighty Anne, and the love behind her strictness is conveyed well via the wonderful acting of Coleen Dewhurst.

The Netflix writers behind that series forget that we are not seeing a documentary, but that the story is a frame to make sense of reality.

My adopted sons loved the older Canadian mini- series, which mirrored their struggle to adjust to a strange life in America with a new family.

And indeed, one is reminded that showing that hope, rather than ugliness, was once seen as the reason behind the art of storytelling:

one is reminded of the quote in Saving Mr Banks:

Walt Disney: George Banks and all he stands for will be saved. Maybe not in life, but in imagination. Because that's what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.

No comments: