austenized: the lizzie bennet diaries

Last night, I finished watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I’ve come to know this series through a friend who, like me, is a fan of Jane Austen. And among her works, we obviously are in love with Pride and Prejudice the most.

We definitely love the book but we also like other adaptations of Ms. Austen’s work. The latest of which is a modern adaptation of P&P in a video blog. The fusion of creativity with technology in it is just brilliant. And the series is hilarious. Whoever thought of this project must receive some kind of special recognition for bringing Ms. Austen’s characters to this century.

One would think that there are so many adaptations around and another one would just be stacked into the pile. This may not be true to all who are admirers of Ms. Austen’s works but for me I see these adaptations as tribute to her genius. The themes explored in her works are timeless and so they still can be explored in many ways even in our time. I see the Lizzie Bennet Diaries as a creative tribute to P&P. It’s a smart and witty, at-the-moment version which leaves you laughing right to the very end while still feeling your heartstrings tugged. It makes you want to say, “Hey, why didn’t I think of doing that?” But on second thought, acting really is best left to the pros. I visited the official website and saw that all the cast have degrees in theater or literature or some other related fields.

I haven’t read the book in a while and I wonder if I just forgot or I haven’t really seen before some of the themes which I’ve seen from this video series. Either that or the tweaking of some of the details of the story has affected the emphasis on some events that’s why I was able to see some things which I haven’t seen from the book. Or it could just be a case of better perspective and awareness of things now than before. Anyway, here are some of the reasons why one should watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries aside from the fact that it is the wittiest thing right now in the whole wide world of the internet:

The emphasis on the sisters’ relationship with one another (especially between Lizzie and Lydia)

Jane and Lizzie of course are obviously close with each other even in the novel. So toward the end of this series I like how they portrayed the elder Bennet sisters’ protectiveness over Lydia. How Lizzie admitted that she really doesn’t know her sister well went just straight to my core. Guilty older sister right here. Her overprotectiveness and kind of domineering attitude toward Lydia who was different from her in a lot of ways was just too close of a reflection of my attitude to our youngest because she too, like Lydia, is different from her older sister. It was weird that I would get an insight on my relationship with my younger sister from a most-of-the-time-funny video series but then again, it was based on such a profound material so then it’s not impossible to have picked up such a serious observation on life.

Vlogging (or YouTube for that matter) is the language/medium of expression of the current generation.

It is relevant to anyone who is tech/internet-savvy and while I am such a loyal fan of books and I guess will stay that way, I find this format refreshing. I’ve always wondered how to share to my own generation the love for literature classics. Blogging perhaps? But I know that would again be limited to the reading-types. Hence, I congratulate the brains behind this adaptation. Behold, you have brought to the mainstream what otherwise might have been appreciated only by the reading world.

It has a colorful cast and by that I mean they are from different races or mixed races.

I think this mirrors the present Britain beautifully where the story was originally set (during the Victorian era of course). (Note: the video series is set in the US.) And might I add that every one of them is exceptionally good-looking? 🙂

I know I’ve said it already but I just find it so refreshingly creative.

There’s just something raw and real about it that you feel they lived out the story in our time. I watched part of an interview with the two main actors and Daniel Vincent Gordh who plays Darcy mentioned that what they did was something like a cross between a movie and a play. (So that’s where the ‘rawness’ comes from-a touch of theatre.) I think it’s amazing that instead of acting out Ms. Austen’s characters, the characters became them. Talk about suspension of disbelief.

So there, I’ve been Austenized anew.


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