As a Jane Austen fan, I love all of her novels. But I have a guilty secret. It took me five years to read Pride and Prejudice. As a thirteen year old I found the language slightly stiff and awkward and the social situations bored me. It took a few tries and a few years in between each one to fully come to grips with the story. It’s a fantastic story about life, relationships and how society influences both of those.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is an online and modern-day adaptation of the classic. With Hank Green and Bernie Su at the helm, a brilliant creative team manage to present the story of Lizzie Bennet, a 24-year-old mass communications student who still lives with her parents though a series of 100 vlogs.
The series premiered just over a year ago and officially wrapped up just last week (on the 28th of March, 2013). I have had friends RAVING about this series but resisted the urge to watch them until they were finished – because of my major hang up on cliff-hangers and because I have a terrible internet plan and just thinking the word YouTube causes me to go over my download limit for the month.
But, considering my upgraded internet (yay!) and the fact that I have fallen in love with Lizzie’s quirky narration, I want to make my way though all the episodes and share them with my followers 🙂
This week’s post will give a brief run down of the first ten episodes. I’m planning on this being an ongoing feature on my blog for the next ten weeks.
NOTE: The links below in the episode titles will take you to the episode on YouTube so you can watch the episode.
Episode 1: My Name is Lizzie Bennet – and this is my life
In the first episode we get to meet the charismatic protagonist of the series, Lizzie Bennet. She’s quirky and endearing and may have a slight chip on her shoulder with regards to her mother and a woman’s role in society. Along with her camera person, best friend and all round editing expert, Charlotte, and special help from younger and slightly promiscuous younger sister, Lydia, Lizzie embarks on a video blogging journey to chronicle what life for the grad student is like.
The second instalment reintroduced us to Lydia, Lizzie’s man crazy younger sister who she believes is a train wreck waiting to happen and Jane. Sweet, caring, beautiful and almost flawless older sister Jane.
Whilst Mr and Mrs Bennet remain offscreen for the duration, charming (if not slightly ridiculous) role plays with Lizzie portraying a Southern Belle version of her mother and Charlotte playing Mr Bennet make it feel like we know them.
Since the start the mysterious Bing Lee, rich medical student and Mrs Bennet’s dream son-in-law remains a bit of a secret but this episode gives a little more information about him – and his new house mate, Darcy (whose name may sounds “like he’s a dubstep DJ”).
The next few episodes all deal with the fallout from a wedding that Lizzie and her sister’s attended along with Bing Lee, his sister Caroline and the aloof William Darcy. With Jane having stolen Bing’s heart and a charming little scene with Lizzie being Jane and Jane being Lizze – this was one of my favourite episodes so far.
Mr Darcy (or as Lizzie affectionately refers to him as Mr Douchey) is the key feature of this vlog entry. After meeting at the wedding, Lizzie has the “pleasure” of finding herself in his company. Lydia is brilliant as she helps Lizzie re-enact their fateful introduction. “Grotesque, nauseating, run-the-other-way-as-if-your-life-depended-on-it” were just some of the endearing words Lizzie had to say on the pleasure of her introduction.
But the fun of the Lizzie and Darcy show doesn’t stop with just an introduction. Rather they both somehow unlikely end up in the positioning of embracing tradition and sharing a dance. “[Lizzie] swayed and [Darcy] snobbed”. Truly deserving of the title Most Awkward Dance Ever.
Lizzie faces the inimical task of having to change her mind regarding Bing Lee and his potential relationship with Jane. But at least she doesn’t have to worry about her mother trying to arrange a marriage between Lizzie and Darcy – Mrs B hates the “stuck-up, humorless [..] worlds worst dance partner” as much as Lizzie does!
Whilst Lizzie is not year a member of 2.5WPF club as her mother would wish (and practically an old maid at 24!) she’s not too upset by her mother’s disappointment in her middle daughter’s love life. Halloween costumes not withstanding!
In an episode that promised many cute pictures of cats and chinchillas (cuteness squared!)it gets slightly off track by Jane who is still over the moon about her blossoming relationship with Bing Lee. Lizzie thinks that there is such a thing as being too nice (case and point, Jane!) but does deliver with the Cat/Chinchilla picture.
After watching the first ten episodes I loved how true and yet how ridiculously absurd this modern version of an old classic managed to be. The characters are so likeable and even the slightly off topic bizarreness of it all makes it an enjoyable watch. The fact that each episode is only a few minutes long just makes it even better – there’s no being tied to the computer to watch an epic length video but rather a small taste of Lizzie’s life in each new episode. My only issue so far is that every time I hear the name Bing Lee I’m reminded of the electronics store that I bought my VCR from…
SO that’s it. My thoughts on the first ten episodes of the highly addictive web series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Tell me what you though or just tell me how much you love kittens and rainbows. Comments are always welcome 🙂