July 11, 2018 Eric Blauer

Agonizing over Anne with an E

Warning Spoiler Alerts: 
Do a google search on Netflix’s series ‘Anne with an E’ and this article will most likely be front page. “Anne With an E Ending Sets the Stage for a Feminist and Queer-Friendly Season 3”

If that’s the type of family entertainment you are looking for, Anne with an E, last half of the 2nd season will deliver.

I wouldn’t consider myself knee-jerk or rabidly averse to the modern entertainment industry including characters and storylines with gay characters. It’s part of the culture, I get it.

As a conservative leaning libertarian/Independent type of guy, I generally have a ‘live and let live’ attitude on things like this in the public square. I embrace equality in a pluralistic secular society and support liberty in matters of personal beliefs and values. I choose to vote with my ‘butt and bucks’ if I don’t like something as well as use the freedom of the speech and press if something rises to that level of needed response.

What disappoints me and gets me writing or speaking out, is when I see one group tearing down another in order to lift themselves up and that’s what really bothers me about Season 2 of ‘Anne with an E’.

Why paint the married characters as gossipy, unhappy, painfully misogynistic and patriarchal, gullible and outright unhappy with the married state?

Why champion stereotypes of slim, socially awkward artists as gay? Or paint someone who is confused about their aunt being gay as sour, bigoted and mean? Why parade the whole gay crowd as fun and fantastic party lovers who accept everyone and are the enlightened social group that brings people alive and the rest of the boring town folks as backward, brutal and beastly?

Why insert awkward and overt messages in the story that read like a PSA instead of realistic explorations of the eras bigotry and biases? Can’t we engage the subject without the villains and good guys being painted with such overboard caricatures? The sexually suppressed and tormented teacher is a tall and black haired jerk with a wiry mustache for heavens sake! Give him a stovetop hat and he’d be the quintessential villain on the train-track tying up the damsel in distress!

Why highjack and force feed a load of pushy, pedantic progressive moralisms into the skin of a tender and tough kids story? It’s as bad as watching Christian films that have to insert Jesusy religious moralisms into every other scene in order to firehose a message.

These kind of projects leave the art used and abused by the breathless proselytizing. It’s like watching shows with obnoxious product placement gimmicks, the audience ends up getting turned off by the commercialization of it all.

Equality doesn’t have to be abrasive and antagonistic in order to make room for diversity. We don’t need to shame others to make ourselves feel good about ourselves. The answer to straight on gay hate, isn’t gay on straight hate.

There’s a place to get real about the awful and horrific realities of different eras cultural norms or evils but in every time there have been good, decent and loving people who could see the truth and value of the humanity in others, even if they personally disagreed about the actions or values of others.

In my opinion the writers of this adaptation are speaking way outside the circle of the audience that was hoping for a quality show that would celebrate individualism, family and adventure. The beauty in quirky things, the power of friendship and creativity and the gift of finding your own unique voice.

They could of done all that and even included gay characters without all the cultural divisiveness. It’s a shame, it could of been so much better at bridging the divide between gays and straights. But instead it just reinforces the bigotry.

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About the Author

Eric Blauer I am barbarian, sage, saint, bard, husband and father. Bow my knee to only One, serve all, ruled by none.

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