Series title: Project Green Gables
Created by: Laura Eklund Nhaga and Janika Vikman
Starring: Laura Eklund Nhaga
Elevator pitch: Anne is a strong, independent black woman who doesn’t deal with racists or Gilbert Blythe
Features: Strong female protagonists, female friendships, bisexual lead, great ensemble cast, racial discussion/representation, fantastic modern adaptation, closed-captioned
Most novel-based LIWs race through content for the sake of production schedules and funding, but Project Green Gables is unique in that it attempts to capture all the wonders of Anne’s world. PGG has already adapted Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, and just released the first episode of season 3: Anne of the Island. Anne’s world is giant, incorporating her family, her neighbors, her classmates, and the people of her town. In order to include them in the world, Anne creates paper characters and plays out interactions from the past, much like the costume theatre that other adaptations are partial to. While this could become dull, Anne’s ability to weave a story with her words provides “scope for the imagination” that keeps the vlogs fresh and entertaining.
Anne spends as much time wondering at the world as she does ranting about it. PGG makes a wonderful flip from pale redhead insecure about her hair color to black woman struggling to embrace her natural hair. In a modern world where being an orphan/adopted is not a factor for ridicule like it was in early 1900’s Avonlea, Anne constantly deals with both casual and active racism in the small town. But she does find her kindred spirits, and all videos with the merry band of friends show true camaraderie and delight in each other. PGG also brings to life a fan theory never before seen in an adaptation: Anne falling for her best friend Diana Barry.
Project Green Gables is everything and more that one loves about Anne of Green Gables, but its wonderful transition from book to screen makes it accessible to everyone.