Saturday, November 1, 2014

Late Nights with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I've been enjoying a mostly bookish tweet stream for at least five years now, but somehow did not know about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries until just a few months ago.  Had no idea, but WOW, talk about the most pleasant find ever.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (henceforth referred to as "LBD") reimagines Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (henceforth "P&P") through a mid-twenties vlogger named Lizzie Bennet.  I loved the modernization and adaptation of my all-time favorite novel.  The shows' creators account for contemporary life, social media, feminism, technology, etc. with great energy, creativity, and a real sense of fun.  These diaries feel true to the spirit of Austen's novel and her characters, but are not wed to each plot point in a plodding or forced way.  So enjoyable, so satisfying.

I especially loved how LBD portrays Lydia Bennet in a more forgiving, hopeful way.  The casting was spot on for each character, actually.  I did not spend a lot of time studying the cast photo above and I don't recommend you do either.  That way, you can savor the anticipation and be really quite thrilled when you finally meet Darcy in these videos.  There have been many hot Darcys in the past two decades and this one ranks right up there (though I am admittedly lukewarm on a couple of his outfits in these episodes). 

I watched these videos on my ipad via the Pemberley Digital website.  That method allows you to also see the "tweets" sent by the characters as part of the story.  And, it's free.  I think you can buy the DVD, which I just might do for the pleasure of sitting down to watch and enjoy without having to wait for streaming and scroll and click for the next episode.  If you have a little time and a decent internet connection though, just get started!  LBD episodes are usually in the 2-6 minute range, but warning:  as you get into the story and catch the feel of the adaptation, good luck limiting yourself to a couple episodes as a time.  I was up past midnight two nights this week watching "just one more" episode.  I watched the last five earlier this evening and could not stop smiling.

To quote their site bio, Pemberley Digital is "an innovative web video production company that specializes in the adaptation of classic works onto the new media format."  I look forward to trying some of their other Austen interpretations:  Emma Approved and Welcome to Sanditon.

Have you watched LBD or any of the other Pemberley Digital offerings?  Recs for another viewing addiction?  Lead me in a good direction please!