Since first appearing in L.M. Montgomery’s 1908 novel “Anne of Green Gables,” the story has been dramatized multiple times. It is, however, the 1985 television show with Megan Follows that has entered the canon as the movie about Anne. That beloved classic is about to be challenged by a new remake: Netflix’s “Anne” is set for release on May 12. You can view the trailer here....but with a record-scratch twist:
While many fans are eager to re-explore their favorite characters, others have been dismayed by footage from the new series. What we see in a released scene is a startling aberration from the spirit of the original story.I know how she feels. Like when I was a kid and saw the Disney movie of Old Yeller? I thought for sure they'd show the dog's brains blown out in slow-motion, capturing the brutal sadism of the Newberry-medal-winning novel. Or was that Pet Sematary? Anyway, what a rook!
In the new show, Anne talks to her friend Diana about sex via a peculiarly unpleasant analogy. She says men have a “pet mouse” in their front pants pocket and that women have babies after they pet the mouse. This conversation is apparently the beginning of an entire plot thread.LOL.
At first glance, fan outrage might seem a little silly. We are, after all, talking about a character who experienced abuse and institutionalization before the Cuthbert siblings adopted her....the fuck? Talk about startling aberrations. Now you've ruined the inevitably film version of your review for future generations of extremely sheltered children!
Regardless of whether she lived in the 1890s or the modern world, a real-life Anne would have suffered trauma. Quite likely she would say inappropriate things to her peers.Just me, maybe, but if all the children who have pet names for pee-pees were abused, the Catholic Church scandal is really just the tip of the iceberg.
Even Anne’s creator must have realized this. Just as anyone nowadays who plans to adopt an unknown older child from foster care becomes fair game for everyone else’s second-hand horror stories, so also Marilla Cuthbert is warned in the book that “foundlings” are liable to set fires and poison wells.Set fires and poison wells? Damn, are you sure this isn't The Walking Dead you're talking about?
Yet Anne is not the kind of child who does any of those things. She is not realistic. And that is the whole point...I might agree, in the offhand way one agrees with monomaniacs for the sake of a quiet life, that it's kinda too bad if the show had Anne of Green Gables working a glory hole. But she just has a childish, fanciful name for a penis. Still author Anne Mussmann ("a stay-at-home mom who writes during nap time") goes on and on about the "glimpses of perversion" represented by the mouse thing:
There is a reason children have long been given inspirational, idealized protagonists. When you think about it, is it realistic that Harry Potter is so well-adjusted? That Charlotte, even if she could spell, would care about Wilbur? That Cinderella has such a good work-ethic? There is also a reason it is cruel and perverted to take away those protagonists and replace them with the grit that some adults call reality.
Just as children cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse with an adult, we should recognize that they have a right to be protected from sexual references that are inappropriate for their developmental level. They have a right to sit down to a story marketed as family-friendly without hearing the characters talking about “mice” in men’s trousers.LOL, again, but also WTF: I thought that was what the Benedict Option was for -- really godly rightwing people who've turned their backs on This Fallen World will only show their broods Veggie Tales episodes from which the Witchfinder General has scrubbed all worldly references. No contact with the godless, no problem!
So what is Goodwife Mussmann complaining about? Probably that This Fallen World is allowed to disappoint her expectations at all. That's why, though I'm inclined to laugh at these freaks, there's always an edge on the humor -- because they're just nuts enough about what you and I see as no big deal that I can imagine them really trying to make us all live up to their fantasies.