There is something comforting about watching a television show from your childhood. While you look at the show with adults eyes and adult experiences, a part of you is still watching with the eyes and the experiences of the child you once were.
From 1990-1996, Avonlea, based on the stories by Anne Of Green Gables author L.M. Montgomery was part of the television lineup.
The focal point of the show was the King family living on Prince Edward Island at the turn of the century. Hetty King (Jackie Burroughs) is the oldest of her five siblings and the family matriarch. After the death of one of her sisters, Hetty has agreed to raise her niece Sarah Stanley (Sara Polley). Alec King (Cedric Smith), is the oldest son. Married to Janet (Lally Cadeau), they have two children, Felix (Zachary Bennett) and Felicity (Gema Zamprogna). The youngest of the five siblings is Olivia (Mag Ruffman), who is still being coddled by her elder siblings, despite the fact that she is a grownup.
The thing that I always remember about this show is that is not just that the kind of show that the family can sit around and watch, but it is quality entertainment. There are very few shows that can legitimately fall into the category of quality, family friendly entertainment without being too sweet or predictable. I have fond memories of this show and I wish there more shows on television like it.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Today marks the birthday of L.M. Montgomery.
Readers know her as the creator of the irrepressible, outgoing, redheaded and very talkative Anne Shirley from The Anne Of Green Gables series.
Television fans know her as the writer of the Chronicles of Avonlea, the collection of short stories that was the basis for the 1990’s television series Avonlea.
For this redhead and redheads the world over, Anne Shirley is an icon. In a world where female redheaded characters are few and far between, Anne Shirley is a role model.
Am I the only redhead who gets the tiny bit satisfaction from Anne’s response in the clip above?
Happy Birthday, L.M. Montgomery!
*-This post contains spoilers about Skin Deep and Once Upon A Time. If you are catching up on season 1, read at your own risk.
Half way through the first season of Once Upon A Time, the character of Rumplestilskin (Robert Carlyle) was a villain with a capital V. He was the trickster, the dark one, making deals with people who were desperate enough to seek him out.
Then Skin Deep aired. Skin Deep put this villain with a capital V in a new light, a man who was tortured by his past and hid that tortured past under a mask that no one could crack. That was until Sir Maurice of Avonlea, desperate to end the Ogre wars, called upon the dark one to end the war. As usual, there was deal to be made. Rumplestilskin does not make deals without getting something in return. That deal was Sir Maurice’s daughter, Belle. She would leave her father’s kingdom forever and become a servant in Rumplestilskin’s castle.
This episode was written by Jane Espenson, and introduced Belle (Lost and Roswell’s Emilie de Raven) to the Once Upon A Time universe.
This episode, is best episode that this show has ever produced and I would like to tell you why.
- Carlyle and de Raven have incredible chemistry. They just work on screen.
- The psychology of Beauty And The Beast translates perfectly to the twist and turns that the Once Upon A Time gives to their fractured fairy tales. In the original tale, Beauty is the youngest daughter of a now impoverished merchant who was once very wealthy. Her older sisters are very spoiled and selfish, Beauty is relegated to the role of servant. The Beast lives in an isolated castle, surrounded by material wealth. In the very well known 1991 Disney movie, Belle is an outsider in her small town, longing for adventure. Beast was once a human prince, cursed by a sorceress for his selfish ways. The psychology of both characters: the Beast, broken and bruised by life and Belle, selfless and loyal, while looking for adventure plays perfectly into the Once Upon A Time idea of twisting the basic fairy tale into something far more interesting.
- The title is absolutely perfect.
- The line “No one decides my fate, but me” ties in with the idea of female empowerment, a theme running throughout the show.
- The final scene between Belle and Rumplestilskin is heartbreaking. It echoes in the hearts of everyone who has ever given up an opportunity or a relationship out of fear and low self esteem.
- This episode launched the on screen roller coaster of a relationship that is Rumbelle, it has kept fans hooked since February of 2012 and wanting more. As of the end of the third season, they have married and Mr. Gold has not told the new Mrs. Gold about a secret that will cause ripples in season 4.
And that is why Skin Deep is one of the single greatest hours of television.