29/03/13 - The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I will preface this with a confession; I am the world's worst English student.  There are so many books - classics and otherwise - which I have not read.  There are several which I have no interest in reading, a fact which many people seem to take as a personal affront.  One of the books which I have never managed to finish but really want to is Pride and Prejudice.  I know, it's bad.  And for years, I've never felt the need to read the actual book as there are so many brilliant adaptations (and some less brilliant ones) knocking around.  The number of times I've watched the Bollywood-style musical film, Bride and Prejudice, is a little embarrassing.  And of course, there are the wonderful seminal versions as well...I think most girls still have a bit of a flustered moment when they think about Colin Firth in that wet shirt.  And when you factor in Bridget Jones...basically, Colin Firth is the perfect Mr Darcy.  And the perfect man.  Got to love a bit of Colin.

But now there's a new Pride and Prejudice on the scene, and there isn't a Colin Firth in sight.  No, this one features a wonderful cast of American actors and was played out over a host of YouTube channels, Twitter accounts and Tumblr blogs - the project is entitled 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries' and it's the brainchild of Hank Green and Bernie Su.  Pride and Prejudice for the 21st century; the narrative told by grad student Lizzie (Ashley Clements) through the medium of video blogs.  And oh, it's good.  The modernisation doesn't feel too forced, the scripting and casting is perfect, and it's just a really interesting and fresh new take on a classic.  It also enables the viewer a broader perspective on the narrative, by giving several of the more secondary characters their own videos or Twitter accounts.  Oh, and there are some very attractive people in it.

I've just watched the 100th and final episode, and I am feeling the loss already.  This series has been such a big part of my life for the duration of the videos; every time I saw a new episode had been uploaded, I'd get really excited, and I became invested in the characters' lives and intertwining relationships...some might say overly so.  Even though I knew exactly how it would turn out, it was fascinating to watch the journey towards the ending.

This blog post actually began its life a couple of months ago and largely consisted of what started as a rant and ended as an academic essay comparing this adaptation to the original.  Also, it was written at about 4am and after a couple of glasses of wine, so it was very repetitive and generally unfit for public consumption.  So I hope you enjoyed this reworked and hopefully much more coherent review.

I've embedded the first video below, or you can find Lizzie's YouTube channel HERE.  I recommend any fans of the book should definitely go and check out the series.  It won't disappoint, I promise.

Did you watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries?  What did you think of it?