May 6, 2014

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is the best adaptation of Pride & Prejudice

I heard about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries about a year and a half ago. I was intrigued by the thought of a modern adaptation Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice told through a web series and fascinated by all the buzz about how it leveraged transmedia storytelling. I kept meaning to watch it, but being the binge consumer that I am, I decided to wait until the story was finished.

When they launched a Kickstarter to bring the series to DVD, I backed it without a second thought. I had a hunch I would enjoy the series, I wanted to watch it straight through without dealing with YouTube, and I wanted to support friends who were part of the crew on the show. They experienced more than a few delays in getting the DVDs out to backers, but the package from Pemberley Digital arrived recently and I sat down to see what The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was all about. I inserted disc one, and my only movement for the next few hours was to change discs. I fell in love. Head over heels, swooning in love.

You can watch the first episode for a taste but don't blame me if you're sucked into a period drama shaped black hole:

I've watched more than a few versions of Pride & Prejudice. None have come close to moving the A&E adaptation starring Colin Firth out of first place until The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The changes they made to the story to make it fit into our time and the way we use social media was clever, and I also appreciated the fact that they alter the story to make the Bennet sisters stronger and more independent but still fallible.

Besides the captivating writing and set-up, the casting is freaking perfect. Lizzie, Jane, Lydia, Darcy... ladies and gents, everyone is charming and they are all ideal in their roles.

I went into the series knowing very little about the specifics of how it was modernized, and I don't want to give anything away because I loved experiencing the story that way. And by experiencing I mean inhaling. I watched it all over the course of a few days. I giggled, chortled, and wept my way through The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and all the spinoff content (it was all lined up on the DVDs).

 Getting to know this take on the Bennet sisters and the men and friends in their lives was utterly satisfying. As far as I'm concerned, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is the best adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that this is the best adaptation of Pride & Prejudice so far. I followed it when it was being posted on YouTube. I haven't received my DVDs yes, but they will probably arrive in a feel days; I got the email saying they sent it today. I can't wait to watch it again!


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