'Anne with an E' returns in season 2 with more spirit, joy and diversity that we couldn't ask of her predecessors

While the essence of Anne is captured in the series, this season especially has taken quite a bit of artistic license.


                            'Anne with an E' returns in season 2 with more spirit, joy and diversity that we couldn't ask of her predecessors

Anne Shirley Cuthbert with her infinite imagination has returned to Netflix for season 2 of 'Anne with an E' and boy is it as funny, joyful and thrilling as we'd hoped it would be.   

In the previous season, we established the beauty of Avonlea, the simple lives of those living there, the charm that Anne's (portrayed by Amybeth McNulty) brought to the farming community and abundance of love the Cuthbert siblings have for Anne. She had to go through quite a bit of turbulence before Avonleans accepted the red-head as one of their own, and this time around, we were just as excited to see the trials and tribulations that Anne would help the villagers through, even as they followed her leadership wilfully.   

However, what we were pleasantly surprised by was the diversity the news season offers, including the first black African-American actor cast in a recurring role. Not going too much into spoilers, we see Anne getting introduced to various minorities of the world this year.

Dalmar Abuzeid as Sebastian Lacroix, the first Black actor to be cast in a series regular role on 'Anne with an E' (Netflix) 
Dalmar Abuzeid as Sebastian Lacroix, the first Black actor to be cast in a series regular role on 'Anne with an E' (Netflix) 

We could not have expected the Anne from 'Anne of Green Gables' to have had the same life experiences as 'Anne with an E' of Netflix. The books and the CBC miniseries that came before the Netflix series were progressive for their times, but none of them as progressive as the one we are viewing currently.  

One thing all Annes do have in common is that they all stand up for the other, the teased, the tormented, the excluded. She finds the beauty and romance in unwanted – be it a broken locket or the leafless branches of a tree. Anne knows that an outsider is a friend she hasn’t made yet.    

Ipso facto, she has no prejudice in her no matter what version of her we are talking about. In Netflix, we specifically get to see her response to the others – who continue to be the others in the 21st century as well – and sigh in contentment regarding her response to them.

Season 2 also deviates quite a bit from the storylines we have seen in the stories about Anne of Green Gables in the past. While the bullying continues to be an integral part of Anne's life, she finds solace, as usual in her imagination and charms even those who aren't particularly fond of her into being her biggest fans thanks to her indefatigable personality.  

Amybeth McNulty as Anne Shirley and Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert (Netflix)
Amybeth McNulty as Anne Shirley and Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert (Netflix)

While the essence of Anne is captured in the series, this season especially has taken quite a bit of artistic license, which may be appealing to the new generation of fans, but not so much for those who grew up with the books. The poor economic status of Green Gables, the presence of the hitherto illiterate farm help Jerry (portrayed by Aymeric Jett Montaz) and Anne Shirley taking on the surname of Cuthbert, all come under this artistic choice.  

Even if these are all forgivable sins, the fact that Gilbert (portrayed by Lucas Jade Zumann) isn't in Avonlea for a big chunk of the season may not sit well with the OG fans. One of the most fascinating relationships in the fictional universe of Avonlea is that of Gil and Anne.  

Their budding romance is way more than just a puppy love, in fact, for the longest period the two smart minds would use their competitive spirit against each other as the driving force behind their academic excellence. Gil becoming an orphan and taking on the steamer adventure to get to the Carribean islands adds quite a bit of depth to his storyline, however, it translated to less screen time together for Gil-Anne. 

Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert Blythe (Netflix)
Lucas Jade Zumann as Gilbert Blythe (Netflix)

Despite these bold choices, based on which one can only assume that Moira Walley-Beckett is hoping for Netflix to greenlight at least one more season, the way the story oscillates between grim and comedic with a sprinkle of innocence is definitely commendable. That being said, not every fan can be expected to let go of the simpler days of Anne and they can always return to the CBC series and the books.  

Everyone else can watch season 2 of 'Anne which an E," which is streaming on Netflix right now.  

You will love season 2 of 'Anne with an E' if you loved: 

Season 1 of 'Anne with an E

'A Series of Unfortunate Events' and

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.'