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I have waited nearly a decade for Emily of New Moon to come out on DVD. Now finally, here is Season One. This show must have made quite an impression on me as a young teenager as I can still remember how much I loved it. I'll never forget meeting Martha MacIsaac the summer of 1999 in the dim light of the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown on the occasion of "Emily"'s being taken to the stage. Ten years ago, Emily of New Moon was all the rage. And it was all thanks to this spellbinding television series, even though its plotline ends up diverging wildly from the books. One interesting fact about the series was that it was filmed on Prince Edward Island, unlike a good part of Road to Avonlea. In addition, the series employed many local actors, including MacIsaac who plays the heroine herself.
I hope that the other seasons will be released very soon!
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77 of 83 people found the following review helpful
This show has stayed with me for yearsSept. 29 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
Aired from 1998-2000 and spanning four seasons Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery's Novel, Emily of New Moon is the brilliant story of a free-spirited orphaned girl who's vivid imagination, passion to write, and romantic nature clash with her strict adoptive family. I am an avid fan of period TV and movies so, when I stumbled on this show on cable while in my teens it was almost a given that I was going to enjoy it. But I had know idea then what a deep impression it would leave on me. I had heard of L.M. Montgomery and read Anne of Green Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea but had never heard of the Emily books so the series was completely new to me. and I was hooked, I watched as often as I could but the trouble was that the show's time slot Kept changing with the result that I often missed out, which was annoying because the show quickly became my favorite. Everything about it was wonderful, the casting/acting, the costumes and sets, the music especially the music. in short for me it was TV bliss. It wasn't all bad really, withdrawl symtoms from missing the show lead me to read the books Emily of New Moon (Emily Novels) Emily Climbs (Emily Novels) and Emily's Quest (Emily Novels) which to this day are at the top of my list of The Best Books Ever. Eventually I lost track of the show completely, and never got to see the last episodes, but I never forgot about it. If you've seen and enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables movies Anne of Green Gables: The Collection or perhaps the long running Avonlea series Road to Avonlea Season 1 Road to Avonlea Season 2 Road to Avonlea Season 3 - Spin-off from Anne of Green Gables Road to Avonlea Season 4 Road to Avonlea Season 5 - Spin-off from Anne of Green Gables Road to Avonlea Season 6 - Spin-off from Anne of Green Gables Road to Avonlea: The Complete Seventh Volume Emily is along the same lines but darker in tone with a slightly gothic feel. Season one chronicles the first year of Emily's life at New Moon Farm, after the death of her father. As she battles and begins to win over spartan Aunt Elisabeth, brings light and laughter into the sheltered life of fragile, sweet Aunt Laura and finds a kindred spirit in cousin Jimmy who is anything but simple minded. Emily also finds out where the gift of her second sight comes from. We meet llse Burnley, Perry Miller, and Teddy Kent. who will play important roles in the rest of Emily's life, each in their own way.
Like all book to screen adeptations the series has it's detractors. some think that to many liberties were taken and that as the show went on it drifted further and further from the books. This is true, there where a lot of changes and additions not in the original meterial, but in my opinion these did not hurt the series but improved it. If the books had been followed exactly, I don't think the series would have survived long.
Over the years, I had lost hope that this wonderful but little known show would be released on dvd, so I'm overjoyed that Echo Bridge Entertainment has done so, and I can only hope that there are plans to release the next three season's. I can't recommend this series highly enough.
83 of 96 people found the following review helpful
Beware the GhostsJune 16 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I loved Anne of Green Gables. When I found a series other reviewers recommended so highly I jumped at the chance to introduce my children to another of LM Montgomery's worlds. Perhaps I did not read enough of the reviews. As I re-read the reviews I find one that hints at what I wish had been more clear to me before my investment into watching this series. There are some huge themes parents should be aware are in this TV series (1st season).
1) Emily sees ghosts. They call it 'second sight' in the book, but just about every episode has her interacting with ghosts that want her to solve a mystery, to right an injustice or enable them to rest. As a Christian I find this disturbing, and have approached it with my children as 'pretend' or 'like fairies.' The occult is not something kid-friendly, or 'cute'.
2) Real life issues. Emily deals with: death of mother, death of father (death is symbolized by a black horseman crashing through the wall of her house), rejection by her only relations, verbal abuse. She encounters others dealing with premaritial pregnancy, their own illigitimacy, drunkenness, adultery, idolatry, broken engagement due to unfaithfulness, hatred, prejudice, unforgiveness, loose-women, a murderer is hanged in one scene, an American Indian boy is beaten, she is beaten. There are several cases of severe child neglect, emotional trauma, child abandonment, she and her friends try to discover "where babies come from" and get pretty close to finding out.... (to name a few).
One reviewer said the series is 'not for children.' With a sigh I say it has brought some issues about life to my innocent children's minds that they didn't need to know about. Not yet.
But I watch it with my children. And I have been able to explain some things about life to them, as a case-study of sin and deception. It has some light-hearted scenes. But for the most part I would say it is a dark series, where Anne is light and joy.
In Anne of Green Gables, Anne says, "Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?"
This series is quite the opposite. The message of Emily is, "Isn't life full of sadness and grief? I need to help put these ghosts to rest because humans are just so full of unkindness and broken dreams."
So, if you are willing to put in the time to introduce your children to all the confusing things about life, go for it. If you can help them structure their understanding of the world around these new ideas, watch it.
I am enjoying it myself, from a creative point of view it is an interesting series. But parents beware, there be ghosts ahead!
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Superb stories, excellent casting, excellent DVD qualityDec 30 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
My wife and I stumbled onto the Emily of New Moon television series on Georgia Public Television and loved it instantly. I'm not sure that we were able to catch every episode during its entire run but even if we had I would never regret buying every episode of every season again. Since that initial exposure to Emily, we've already bought almost every book L. M. Montgomery wrote. And, when Amazon sent me an e-mail about the DVD of Season One, I couldn't order or get it fast enough. It was as if a long lost friend had been found again. We're now on our second viewing of it in a week. Casting of the central characters couldn't have been better and the story lines are superb. While some have lamented the spirits who often visited Emily, they miss the point that, above all, this is a character study of a young, imaginative, and creative mind. When I was Emily's age, I must confess that thoughts of such mysterious beings were within the fold of my imagination as well. Today, as a 68 year old retired judge and having lost the capacity myself, I delight now in reviving such lucidity of imagination, albeit if only vicariously through Emily's eyes. If you love good, clean, family entertainment and can give yourself up to enjoying this as an enchanting period piece of life on Prince Edward Island at or about the turn of the last century, this DVD set will be a treasured jewel. And, at the offered price, you won't find so much quality entertainment anywhere at multiples of the price.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I LOVE GHOST STORIES! (But not this one!)July 23 2011
Louisa the Lemming
- Published on Amazon.com
I love ghost stories, Gothic fiction, and supernatural thrillers. I am the proud owner of all the black-and-white episodes of the old DARK SHADOWS serial. In fact, while reading the novel EMILY OF NEW MOON recently, I couldn't help thinking how well it would adapt to a similar serialized treatment. So, seeing this DVD set going for a nice low price, and hearing that it emphasized the Gothic/supernatural angle, I decided to ignore the negative reviews and give it a shot.
Well, I didn't like it either. In fact, it took me forever to get through it. (The first two episodes are particularly unwatchable). Though the show improves once the heroine arrives at New Moon and the writers start following the book a LITTLE, it still falls far short of the book's standard and its own potential.
In the novel, Emily is a sensitive and artistic child who cannot help but clash with her Puritanical relatives, but who also has a strong sense of family honor and loyalty. In the show, she is more often written as deliberately insolent or even nasty. Her Aunt Elizabeth, in the novels, was upright and honest, trying to do her best with a child she simply didn't understand. But this Elizabeth is an unprincipled hypocrite ruled by spite, who continually violates her own moral standards. She steals mail, burns books that don't belong to her, abandons pets to die in the woods, and generally behaves like a witch in a fairy tale. Attempts to "humanize" her are thus unconvincing, and more often involve knocking her down than portraying her strengths and virtues.
And this is the general trend of the series -- turning complex characters like Elizabeth into ludicrous Victorian caricatures, then shooting them down. Our modern writers clearly feel plenty superior to these benighted 19th Century folks, and cannot stop rubbing it in for an instant. But rather than being progressive, the ironic result of this approach is to turn once-strong female characters into sexist stereotypes. "Kindly" Aunt Laura has become a cliche "neurotic spinster", with an unhealthy emotional dependency on Emily. The "good" male characters (such as Jimmy and Mr. Carpenter) handle disagreements with women through bullying and intimidation, and we are meant to approve. Jimmy actually seems about to get violent with a child at one point, till Emily stops him. And Emily's perfectly nice friend Teddy has been turned into a junior masher of the dreamy-yet-dangerous variety.
Social issues of the time are addressed by showing some pathetic victim of prejudice ground under the boot of moustache-twirling WASP cliches. A First Nations boy is introduced solely to be beaten and ridiculed, and then quickly written out. The Murray's Catholic neighbor Lofty John Sullivan of the "stately baring and fine manners" is now a deranged semi-idiot, similarly treated. Aunt Elizabeth and Aunt Laura are raving bigots who imply that Catholics have horns and tails, with Laura reduced to ABJECT TERROR if the mild-mannered French priest stops by to chat. And hired-boy Perry is now a complete illiterate from a criminal and abusive family: This was not true of Perry in the book (who if memory serves had been educated by his father while at sea), but it fits into a general tendency of this show to portray lower-class people as near-animals.
As you might have figured out already, this show places high value on hysterical melodrama. Every time a child is criticized in school, she throws a fit and runs from the room. One two-parter has Emily running hysterically out into the snow to Nearly Perish twice in as many DAYS. Her father's death from consumption wasn't exiting enough. So here, he dies after falling off a roof, a tragedy attended by so much screaming and wailing and so many ghostly apparitions that I couldn't feel the slightest emotional connection.
Other problems include 1) blatant plot stupidity (a major shipwreck occurs, and nobody but the shipping company knows about it till a decade later), 2) strained PClectures that get in the way of the story ("sex education good", "death penalty bad"), 3) lack of continuity between episodes (don't get me started), 4) drab and boring scenery, and 5) ghosts that just aren't spooky (we can tell they are "ghosts" because the actors wear weird colors, like turquoise).
It is a shame, because this could have been good quite easily. On the rare occassions when it isn't trying too hard to be "dramatic", it can cast a lovely mood that draws you in. The atmosphere and integrity of the source material is sometimes allowed to leak through, and several of the adult actors give honest, authentic performances. The episode "The Enchanted Doll" is quite charming. Even fast-forwarding my way through a "second viewing" of the atrocious Maida Flynn episode, I'd find myself stopping to enjoy little scenes: Emily with Laura in the attic, or walking with the French priest by the strand. Little simple scenes that engage and enchant without even trying. These good moments encouraged me to borrow later seasons from the library, in the hope that the show would grow to realize its potential. Unfortunately, it is all downhill from here.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Disturbing..Oct. 11 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
My mom and i have seen both this, and the 2nd season at Freddy's a few times, and as it was written by the same author that did Anne Of Green Gables decided to give it a try. (never read the books, but thoroughly enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables movie mini-series.)
So far, my mom and i have only made it through the first 3 episodes and it's disturbing.
To sum it up:
Emily learns this weird spirit ritual incantation stuff from her young indian friend, and while it's done in a 'cute' kid way, there's still something obviously wrong with it. When her father dies she refuses to leave and attempts to 'call on the spirits' to bring him back. When she's forced to move in with her relatives, (and leave her indian friend) she apparently gives up this incantation stuff, however from the very beginning of the show she sees and talks to the dead, and also to 'herself' in the mirror.
Emily's aunt Elizabeth is shown as being very cruel and intolerant to her niece, (and her niece's cat,) yet she claims to love and serve GOD, and is constantly throwing the Bible in Emily's face, so-to-speak. Of course some of her aunt's cruelness comes from past regrets, but it still leaves a bad impression of what Christianity is.
While Emily is portrayed as a spunky, nice, cute young girl (who yells too much), she is indeed a bit of a rebel, and this show leaves much to be desired. The music they picked for the show, fits the overwhelming ghostly creepiness of it, but is rather annoying. I find myself turning the volume down, during the music parts when there's no one talking.
After watching the first episode i had hopes the series would get better, but the only redeeming quality the 2nd and 3rd episodes have are Emily's other lovable relatives Aunt Laura and Cousin Jimmy. However i'm not sure 'redeeming' is quite the right way to describe it, considering they both fear Aunt Elizabeth, and respect her to her face, for the most part, yet they do things behind her back, to reach out to Emily.
The main characters are well thought out, and differ in their personalities, that they clash, yet meld together quite well. However, most of the minor characters are harsh and mean, so it only adds to the darkness of the show.
As a Christian, i find all the talking to the dead, and the spirit incantation stuff rather dark, creepy, and in fact, un-Biblical.
After having read all the reviews from others, i doubt this series will get any better, and will probably end up selling it back somewhere else, due to the fact that at Freddy's when trying to buy it, the system didn't even recognize it, so had to go to a ton of rigamarole just to buy it.
No, i would not, in a million years recommend it to others, but that is merely my opinion, and i'm sure others will disagree with that, but that's your opinion, and i respect it. We're all different. =D