30-Second Synopsis: When an aging farmer and his sister decide to adopt a child from an orphanage to help around the house, they were expecting a boy. Instead, it's the wordy, red-headed Anne who shows up at the train station. Still, they fall for the precocious girl and raise her at their home, Green Gables. As she becomes part of their family and the town, she fights against bullying, bad memories, low expectations, and a world that isn't all too kind to outspoken young girls.
Looking for a long show to sing your teeth into? "Anne With an E" is it.
How This Anne Stands Apart From Previous Iterations: Anne of Green Gables was written in 1908, and since its literary debut, it has been turned into several movies, an anime show, and, most memorably, a Canadian mini-series. Netflix's adaptation, however, re-envisions the classic tale for a generation that binges on darker stories, like 13 Reasons Why, and is acutely aware of pervasive sexism. This Anne is grittier, with a bit more mystery, which will make viewers want to spend more time in the electronic-free world of Green Gables and Avonlea.
Keep an Eye On: Amybeth McNulty, the 15-year-old, self-proclaimed Hufflepuff, who plays the titular Anne Shirley. This is the first major on-screen role for the Irish-Canadian actress, and she holds her own alongside more experienced castmates, like Geraldine James. The dated dialogue can sound just slightly off when spoken by less seasoned actors, but McNulty handles Shirley's emotional outbursts and wordy prose with an even balance of turn-of-the-century poise and childlike awkwardness.
Clearest Marker That This Story Is Set in Canada: The number of times that "sorry" is uttered in the first episode alone (clearly pronounced "sore-ey"). By our guesstimate, the word is said close to 20 times.
Best Insult: When Anne comes face-to-face with Green Gables's new hired hand, Jerry, she makes reference to the founder of the Holy Roman Empire. When Jerry responds that he doesn't know Charlemagne, Anne retorts, "Of course you don't. He died hundreds of years ago."
The Relationship We're Most Excited to See Grow: The friendship between Anne and Diana, a well-to-do girl who lives next door. The very day that the two meet, Anne asks that they swear to be best friends for life. The overt depiction of the sacredness of friendship between two young girls is enough to draw tears, if you're a softy for strong female bonds.
Most Relatable Moment: When Anne kneels down to pray for the first time and she asks for her two biggest wishes—to stay at Green Gables and to be attractive when she grows up.
Watch It If You: Loved Downton Abbey, but really wish you got to see more of Lady Sybil, whose enthusiasm and wonder aren't dissimilar from the attitude of Anne. Or, if your favorite American Girl doll was a tie between Kirsten and Samantha.
Anne With an E is available to stream on Netflix.