March 5, 2018  (Web Review)

Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars

PBS, 90 min., not rated, DVD: $19.99

Reviewer rating: 2.5/4

Almost as unsatisfying as the previous entry (Anne of Green Gables, reviewed in VL Online-5/17) in a purported three-part series, The Good Stars—with the earlier cast reprising their roles—starts off in a way that author Lucy Maud Montgomery would never have allowed, given the nature of the exuberant but nearly always respectful titular heroine of the 20th-century book series, as Anne (Ella Ballentine) practically sasses foster mother Marilla (Sara Botsford) while her declining-health foster dad Matthew (a miscast Martin Sheen) looks on. Although bits and pieces of Anne’s (mis)adventures from the novels appear—such as Anne feeding an accidentally horrible-flavored cake to the minister’s wife, jumping on sleeping rich Aunt Josephine, mistakenly dyeing her hair green, and a bit of play-acting gone wrong when the river current sends her out too far—there are also weird additions and blatant omissions. Hopefully, this will spur viewers to read the time-honored series. A strong optional purchase. (J. Williams-Wood)