The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I think I might have been the last person to watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – I was certainly the last person in my nuclear family to do so – but perhaps some of you are new to electricity, and I was second last.  Penultimate, if you will.  And so I’ll tell you about it.

I imagine a good 95% of people who stumble across my blog will have read Pride and Prejudice (got my eye on you, Simon S.), and a fairly high percentage will also have seen an adaptation of some variety.  By my count, I’ve seen two films, one TV series, one Bollywood adaptation, and one play – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg for what’s out there.  But The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is one of the most innovative ‘takes’ on Pride and Prejudice yet – it’s done as a series of vlogs.  (For those not in the know, ‘vlog’ is ‘video blog’, which – in turn – is ‘video web log’.  Phew.)

In videos that last about five minutes, ‘Lizzie Bennet’ (a graduate student) recounts her life to camera, mostly being annoyed by her overbearing mother, ambushed by her OTT sister Lydia, and agonising over the love life of her sister Jane.   It’s not just Lizzie – Jane and Lydia appear sometimes, alongside Charlotte Lu (her Asian-American best friend), Caroline Lee and (ahem) Bing Lee.  No sign of William Darcy yet…

It’s done rather brilliantly, and certainly all we Thomases are fans.  It follows the novel pretty precisely, albeit with a modern spin on things.  The arrival of the militia morphs into some visiting swimming teams; the entailment of the house becomes threats about having to sell the house because of the financial crisis; Mr. Collins is a businessman, and Catherine de Burgh is his financial backer…  And the characters translate perfectly, especially Lydia.  What else would she be but a self-indulgent popular cheerleader-type, enthusiastically high-fiving people all over the place?

My favourite moment so far?  That Kitty is, in fact, a cat – and, as Lydia says, “Kitty follows me about everywhere.”

Here’s the first episode (if it embeds properly).  If you want to watch more, click here.  37 instalments in, most of the novel is still ahead of us – long may it continue!

19 thoughts on “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

  • August 13, 2012 at 11:54 pm
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    I love these! I've been watching from the beginning and I get so excited when a new episode shows up in my feed. Lydia steals the show but I love everyone. The impersonations are my favourite bits – Jane's "it's super important" as Darcy makes me laugh every time I hear it and Lydia and clueless Mr Collins' impersonations of the others in the most recent video are hilarious – but I really love everything. Long may it continue, indeed! We still need to meet Darcy and, after the perfect casting of everyone else, I cannot wait to see how that turns out!

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:42 am
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      They're great, aren't they! I think the most recent, Mr. Collins's 'proposal', is my favourite, in terms of its clever reworking of the novel.

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  • August 14, 2012 at 5:09 am
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    Oh my gosh! SO glad you have discovered these also. I look forward to every monday + thursday now =P

    The most recent–with Lydia and Mr. Collins–was probably my all time favorite. And I definitely had to pause for outrageous laughter with the "Kitty" comment. Oh – and that Lydia's fake ID was "Mary Crawford." Genius! So glad to know that I'm not the only academic type to be enjoying this "fresh" spin on the life of Elizabeth Bennet =)

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:42 am
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      I bet it will become a useful part of high school studying, too! I wonder when the first academic paper on it will happen?

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  • August 14, 2012 at 7:42 am
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    You are not the last person — I am. Never even heard of these and am very excited to have discovered them. Thanks!

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  • August 14, 2012 at 10:47 am
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    This sounds amazing Si. Especially the Kitty thing. Lizzie Bennet FTW generally. Think I know what I am watching this evening…
    xRx

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  • August 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm
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    Okay okay okay. I've been under a rock, but now I'm like so hooked, Simon.

    Like the time my friend Shirley lent me the ENTIRE Sex and the City series, and I kept saying, okay, just one more….

    Hee hee:
    "Who wrote this?"
    "William Shakespeare."

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:43 am
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      I have managed to stay away from Sex and the City – it, like The OC, Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl etc. – is something I know I'd get hooked on, and then hate myself for watching.. ;)

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  • August 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm
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    Thank you for introducing me to these. I had no idea these videos existed!

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  • August 15, 2012 at 4:17 am
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    I love this series. And don't miss Lydia's spin-off vlog. It's like Lizzie’s but “way more awesome” – http://youtu.be/B0H8WdGdxS8. Plus, you can follow all characters on twitter, including Kitty. It's really well done.

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  • August 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm
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    Thanks for sharing this!! But does anyone know how to get rid of the close captions? Very distracting.

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    • August 21, 2012 at 11:44 am
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      Mine doesn't come up with them… hmm. I think if you click 'cc' on the video, it might go…

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  • August 22, 2012 at 7:48 am
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    Hurray! I'm such a huge fan of this YT channel, and I love that you're spreading the word about it. (And that most of your commenters are already fans. Cool people, unite!)

    Reply

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