A loose adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 classic piece of children’s literature, Anne of Green Gables, serves as the basis for the Canadian television series Anne with an E, which was formerly known as Anne for its first season in Canada.
Starring Amybeth McNulty as the orphan Anne Shirley, Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert, R. H. Thomson as Matthew Cuthbert, Dalila Bela as Diana Barry, and Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert Blythe, it was written by Moira Walley-Beckett for CBC.
The show debuted on CBC on March 19, 2017, and on Netflix in other countries on May 12. In August 2017 and August 2018, it received renewals for a second and third season, respectively.
2019 saw the premiere of the third season, and soon after that, CBC and Netflix made the cancellation announcement. Positive reviews were given to Anne with an E, which won the Best Dramatic Series Canadian Screen Award in 2017 and 2018 as well.
The show addresses a variety of topics, including child abandonment, psychological trauma, conformity, gender inequality, racism, homophobia, bullying, and free speech.
Anne With An E Plot
In 1896, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert (who never married) adopt an orphan boy to help on their ancestral farm in Avonlea, Prince Edward Island.
Matthew discovers inventive, intelligent, high-spirited, and talkative 13-year-old Anne Shirley at the train station. Anne was orphaned at a young age and worked as a servant before entering an institution.
Matthew wants Anne to stay, but Marilla doesn’t trust her as an orphan and a child. When Marilla can’t find a brooch, she suspects Anne of stealing. Cuthberts “return” her to orphanage by sending her away.
She returns to the orphanage, but is too traumatised by the bullying she received there to enter. Marilla realises the brooch was lost, not stolen, and believes Anne is not a criminal.
Matthew finds Anne and urges her to return to Green Gables, where she’s adopted. Anne faces bullying at Avonlea and class-based discrimination from Diana’s parents and others.
Anne returns to Avonlea and uses intelligence, problem-solving, and imagination to achieve acceptance.
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Why was Anne With An E cancelled?
The Canadian Broadcasting Company and Netflix issued a joint statement that said, “We have enjoyed sharing Anne with an E, a uniquely Canadian tale, with audiences all over the world.
In order to share Anne’s story with a new generation, producers Moira Walley-Beckett and Miranda de Pencier, as well as the exceptional actors and crew, have done an outstanding job.
We sincerely hope that viewers will adore this last season of the show as much as we do and that it will bring Anne’s saga to a satisfactory finish.”
So, despite loving it, they decided to cancel. How annoying. There are still many unanswered concerns regarding Anne with an E, like why the character was actually shown the door, even if the cast has moved on (the actress who played Marilla appeared in the Downton Abbey movie).
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Fans want more of Anne With An E
The revival of Anne with an E by Netflix or another streaming service has been pushed for by fans.
The show’s devoted fans, known as “Anne Nation,” organised scheduled letter-writing campaigns and contacted other streamers and broadcasters in the hopes that the show would be picked up.
The hashtags #lettersforanne, #renewAnneWithanE, and #saveAnneWithanE all made (and continue to make) the rounds on social media.
The fan page has already planned next events like “Network Emailing Day” and “IMDb Rating.”
Since it was started, the petition requesting that Netflix renew Anne with an E for season four has gathered 1.5 million signatures.
The petition’s message reads, “Let’s hope this petition catches Netflix’s attention and they decide to renew the show for season 4! Anne would want us to fight!
A-List celebs have also taken notice of the campaign, most notably Ryan Reynolds, who earlier tweeted Netflix to ask them to renew the show.
Anne With An E Next Season? What could be the future of the show
The CBC severed all connections with Netflix in October 2019. According to Catherine Tait, CEO of CBC, making series for the streaming service was affecting the domestic film industry in Canada, she claimed on an episode of the podcast Content Canada (via CinemaBlend).
She even went so far as to equate Netflix to imperialism and the British Empire on another occasion, according to Huffington Post Canada. Unfortunately, this information was released just before season 3 of Anne with an E premiered on Netflix.
Therefore, it’s possible that the show’s cancellation had nothing to do with demographics, ratings, or finances. Maybe it was just a casualty of the breakup and got lost in the shuffle.
According to Deadline, Netflix is also legally prohibited from allowing shows to quickly seek out new networks after cancelling them. That explains, for instance, why Matt Murdock hasn’t joined the Avengers right away or joined his colleagues Marvel superheroes from the street level on Disney+.
Even if the show’s creators have said their goodbyes, Anne with an E may perhaps be revived or brought back in the future.
Perhaps the CBC will restart airing it on their own network. Perhaps that movie will be made. After all, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s stories follow Anne Shirley well into adulthood, so there is still enough of material to adapt.
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