Even though it was first published in 1908, L.M. Montgomery’s bestselling novel Anne of Green Gables still manages to captivate the imaginations of little bookish girls all over the world with its heartwarming story of a plucky Ontario orphan who goes to live on a farm. Now the story has a new live-action adaptation in the form of Anne with an E, as brought to television by Emmy-award winning writer (for the Breaking Bad episode “Ozymandias”) Moira Walley-Beckett. But, since all eight episodes have already dropped, can fans expect Anne with an E Season 2 on Netflix?
The bad news is, it’s way too soon to tell whether or not this new version of Anne of Green Gables will return to our screens any time soon. However, the show has already achieved some success in its initial release, which feels like a good sign. Although most viewers across the world will only have access to Anne with an E on Netflix, across the border in Canada they got to watch it right on actual broadcast television as it aired week-to-week on CBC. As reported by Media in Canada, the Anne series debut attracted the highest total reach of any CBC premiere of the 2016-17 television season when it aired on March 19, 2017, so fingers crossed that it’s popular enough to get renewed.
Of course, there’s no reason why Anne can’t continue on indefinitely for as many seasons as it likes — after all, the series spans eight books and several short story collections. If the show wanted to follow those books to the letter, though, then they’d need to update the look of their titular heroine; although Amybeth McNulty herself is 15, the character she's playing is only about 11, and the next book ages her up to a teenager so she can start a job as a schoolteacher (the turn of the 20th century wasn't great with child labor laws). However, McNulty seems to embody the spirit of the Anne Shirley, it seems more likely that the show would instead deviate from the paths the books have set out and create new stories for their cast. It wouldn’t be the first time a show based on a book has done that, after all!
In the meantime, if you’re still reeling from the nostalgia of seeing one of your favorite children’s books being recreated with real flesh-and-blood people, there are ways to keep chasing feeling via everybody’s favorite hobby: binge-watching. Check out some of these other book-based TV shows, for example:
1. ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’
You probably heard about the Netflix reboot of A Series Of Unfortunate Events when it premiered in January, but it’s still worth bringing up again — it perfectly matches the somber and irreverently morbid tone of the book series, which was published from 1999 to 2006. Highlights include Patrick Warburton as the grim, eloquent narrator Lemony Snicket and Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, the show’s costume-obsessed weirdo of an antagonist.
This TV series gets double the nostalgia points — I don’t know about you, but I was reading the books and watching this show at the same time. If you think about it, Goosebumps predates the scary anthology trend crystallized by American Horror Story by a solid 15 years, and while it might not actually hold up all that well, it’s still fun to look back on what used to scare kids in the ‘90s. What a simpler time it was. You can find the whole Goosebumps series on Netflix.
3'The Baby-Sitter's Club'
Speaking of the ‘90s, if you were a girl living back then, you could not go three feet in any direction without encountering a book from The Baby-sitter’s Club franchise. There was also a short-lived 1990 HBO series (I’m not kidding, that’s really where it aired), and while it’s no longer available to stream on Netflix anymore, you can still check it out on Hulu. Or you could just check out this round-up of the weirdest Baby-sitter’s Club series moments and save yourself the money. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
4'Sweet Valley High'
The TV-adapted exploits of Jessica and Elizabeth are pretty much impossible to find nowadays without buying the Sweet Valley High DVD, and for good reason — they’re not exactly, um, good. Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw it on the list for old time’s sake, and remind you that Bustle also watched the pilot episode so you don’t have to. Trust me, revisiting this show is a total trip.
5‘The Worst Witch’
If you’re British, this is probably not the Worst Witch TV show you remember from your childhood, per se (fun fact, the 1998 series starred Rogue One’s Felicity Jones) — but it’s based on the same source material: Jill Murphy’s children's book series about a group of girl witches going to boarding school together. And yes, before you ask, it came out before Harry Potter. Anyway, the reboot premiered in January on CBBC and should be coming to Netflix sometime this year.
Alright, I admit, this one is gonna be tough to find online, at least for free — although you can buy episodes of Animorphs of Amazon if you’re a huge fan with money to burn. But either way, isn’t it nice to remember a time when Nickelodeon was so ambitious as a network that it thought it could produce a TV series about pre-teens and aliens who shapeshift into animals to fight other aliens in a secret war? Sadly, the show didn’t get very far into K.A. Applegate’s series, so you know what that means: time for a reboot with better technology that really gets into the psychological horrors those kids faced! Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, whoever’s interested — you know what to do.
In any event, certainly Anne has a better shot of getting next season than Animorphs has of ever getting a reboot. Until that happens for sure, you can always make like Anne Shirley would and use your imagination to come up with new TV storylines for her. Maybe enough wishful thinking will make Season 2 a reality.