When I was six, my mom added her well-loved, yellowed collection of books she read in middle school to my bookshelf. The standout series was Anne of Green Gables. She begged me to read those books for years, but it wasn’t until I chose to visit the fictional world of Green Gables on my own that I truly appreciated the storyline.

I remember spending sick days in middle school on the couch in the living room watching the original Anne of Green Gables movies with my mom and two younger sisters, falling in love yet again with Anne’s spunk and spirit. It wasn’t until the summer of 2020 when mid-pandemic restlessness allowed us to stumble upon the “Anne with an ‘E’” series.

“Anne with an ‘E’” is a series of nostalgic importance. The show brings a timeless story to life once again in a form more accessible than the movie series, enabling it to be told to all generations in easier-to-manage portions. Anne is headstrong, but a character that shows the value of being yourself and optimism, firmly believing that everything works out in the end. She exhibits an inspiring will to survive and adapt to situations around her. In the series, Anne is depicted as an unconventional girl who desperately wants to belong. The series’ slightly darker approach to her story makes her struggles resonate with the modern audience while tackling current issues such as bullying and sexism in a period-accurate manner. She feels a couple strides behind the already well-established dynamic of those around her and is determined to find a group of “kindred spirits” and “bosom” friends she can call her own. As the show goes on, she discovers what is dear to her, falls in love, and becomes empowered enough to take adventures of her own.

This show mattered to me when I was in fifth grade desperately wanting to belong like Anne did. This show mattered to me when I was fifteen and wanting to be a writer like Anne did. This show mattered to me when I became determined to better the earth and myself like Anne did, and it still matters to me now as a college sophomore trying to find my place in the world like Anne did.

If I had 20 hours to spare on a weekend, I would love to sit wrapped up in a blanket with a couple of my closest friends and some popcorn and watch the entirety of the show all over again. “Anne with an ‘E’” is a show I will enjoy no matter how many times I watch it, no matter what stage of life I’m in. It’s so special to find a storyline you love that grows with you.

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