On their way to Mrs. Lynde's house so that Anne can apologize for her temper, Marilla wears, here in the 2017 series based on Anne of Green Gables, the shawl that figures so largely in another scene from the book and the series. The one chosen by the costume designer here is rather decidedly untraditional for a late-Victorian lace shawl -- but then, it is very plain and serviceable, much like Marilla herself. I couldn't find a better view of the shawl -- there is one closer in another scene, when Anne is admiring the brooch, but that part wasn't included in the recap at the Netflix website. Perhaps the stitch is either "Falling Leaves" or "Shetland Leaves," from Martha Waterman's shawls book? or the one that FreeKnitStitches.com calls "Shrubs"?
But I confess that there will probably be no more here on this particular series, as I have decided that this was my second and last attempt to watch it. I had heard that it was coming, and was a little wary -- how could anything hope to compare with the near-perfection of the 1985 "Anne of Green Gables"?! -- but was delighted to find that Marilla and Matthew were to be played by Geraldine James and R.H. Thomson -- oh, if anyone could come close to the standards set by Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth, it would be James and Thomson! And the photos only increased my interest. I was a bit dismayed, then, upon the debut of the series here, to find such an emphasis, even in the first episode, even forewarned as I was, on cynicism and sordidness.
I cannot fault the production values, from photography to costumes to set design to casting, in the first episode, but this leaves only writing and direction to blame for the direction the series takes. I got as far as the beginning of the second episode -- at about the 90 minute mark -- where Anne alights from the train on her way back to the orphan asylum after being wrongly accused of stealing Marilla's brooch. It was difficult enough to watch this Anne's bitter and vicious encounter earlier with the hired boy, but after the child-snatcher (yes!) at the railroad station, I turned it off. I already knew from other reviews that this version not only emphasized the grimmer aspects of Montgomery's story but added in more than a few of its own, and so I had sort of steeled myself for things like Anne's flashbacks to the brutality of life in the asylum -- but I just didn't want to watch it diverge so very much from the intentions of Montgomery's original novel.
(I understand the rationale behind that first scene with the hired boy because, clearly and understandably, Anne is afraid of being replaced -- but Montgomery's Anne is not cruel. That's all. If Montgomery's Anne felt that she was in danger of being replaced, she would far more likely have intuitively "imagined herself" into the boy's own situation -- which he tells her right at the beginning of the scene, that he needs the work to help support his family -- than she would have shrieked at him like a harpy. What I don't understand is why screenwriters choose to adapt a story by throwing out much of what is essential to it, and adding things that the author never intended. The fact that this series is not called "Anne of Green Gables" is a warning, indeed. We don't need to be bashed over the head with how hard an orphan's life is -- we get it! Anne's parents died when she was a baby, she's homely and skinny and she talks far too much, and nobody wants her -- nobody. It's an awful life. Why does the series feel it necessary to exaggerate things to the point that fellow orphans are actually physically abusive and the bullying father of Anne's only foster family dies not from a violent outburst at work but from a violent outburst while beating Anne? or worse, add in 21st-century lectures on the evils of racism, sexism, and homophobia?)
It's a real shame that the writer didn't love Anne herself and Montgomery's book enough, that she didn't trust the original story enough to film the the real Anne, the one who brings joy and love to Green Gables and in the process finds the joy and love and family that she herself craves.