The Lizzie Bennet Diaries-A Review

Hi guys,

Good news: I got a new laptop! Which I’m sure isn’t of much importance to you all as it doesn’t affect how you view these posts, but I thought I might mention it. So my posts will resume, Disney gifs and all, as usual.

So you know how I was going to be kicking butt writing over the break? Well…

I may or may not have fallen into the trap that is the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Again. Instead of writing as much as I said I would. *hangs head but isn’t truly sorry*

“Again?” you ask. “Why, if you’ve seen it, shouldn’t it not consume you and suck you in as much as the first time you watched it?”

No, it did. And it can.

For those of you who think I may have finally gone crazy, I am talking about a YouTube show that has long since ended, but I discovered maybe a year or two ago. It’s a re-telling of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, but set in modern day, and told in the form of vlogs. And yes, it is as quirky as it sounds and no, it is not just another overdone adaptation of perhaps one of the most popular stories ever told. We’ve all seen Pride and Prejudice done a hundred times over, in movies and books and probably some theatre, somewhere. When I first heard of it, I wasn’t interested much at all. A vlog about a story I already know? And I wasn’t a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice anyway. I know, I’m a horrible human with no taste for the classics.(kidding, but you know how some people are with the classics. More word on that in a few minutes). But once I caved and watched an episode, and then another, and then another, I soon found myself absolutely hooked.

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Needless to say, if you haven’t seen the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, you should. It’s all on YouTube, completely free, so you can sit back and watch one of the greatest stories every told as you please. I will warn you though, it might be best to start when you have a weekend free or something, because once you start, you might not be able to put it down.

I re-watched the entirety of it in a week or less. I can’t remember if it’s my second or third time watching it all the way through, but man. I had forgotten how good it was! And it got me thinking; what if there were more books told like this? Classics in the modern day vlog style? Pemberly Digital, the youtube channel behind it all, has also made series for Emma (which I also loved), Frankenstein (which I liked so much more than the book) and Little Women (which I have yet to finish). But I’m really hoping that they’ll do more in the future. You see, as an avid reader and an English major, I have a kind of skeleton that I hide in my closet.

I don’t like Victorian literature.

Wait, wait, before you light your torches. I can explain. It’s not that I hate them all, I just..well, I just can stand to read them. I have yet to ever finish a Victorian book in my life. Yes, that even includes Frankenstein as mentioned above. I, uh…may or may not have sparknoted the last few chapters. I am so sorry to my senior year English teacher, who was none the wiser.

I realize that not all classics are Victorian. I’ve loved quite a few non-Victorian classics, but a lot of them are. And believe me, I’ve tried reading plenty of them. Even the famous Jane Austin and her books that have won the hearts of readers across time and space. You don’t know how many times I’ve picked up Pride and Prejudice. (Hint: it’s too many to count)

Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure that they’re wonderful stories. They wouldn’t last this long if they weren’t. Just for some reason, I have a hard time connecting to these books, if I can at all. The characters are so unrelatable I find them almost different beings altogether, there is not usually any direct plot in sight, and the writing style of the era is somehow mind-bogglingly illusive to me. I mean, come on. I’ve read Shakespeare and understood it, but Jane Austin? My brain, for some reason, cannot compute. My brain is weird that way, I guess.

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(And in case you were wondering, yes I relate so strongly with Darcy. He’s so awkward and very bad at making first impressions XD)

I think the writing style may be the biggest part of it. I’ve watched plenty of Victorian-era movies and TV shows, and I absolutely love content set in that era. The literature of the time just isn’t my thing. I’m not trying to discredit Victorian literature or anything here, no worries. If you like it, that’s awesome for you. I really wish that I did. It would make school reading so much easier. And I’m also not giving up entirely on Victorian lit. I’ve just tried to read it so many times that I’ve realized it’s not what I would pick up off the shelf for my leisure reading.

But this is where the Lizzie Bennett Diaries come in. At the time before I’d seen the vlogs, I hadn’t really seen an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice yet. I obviously hadn’t read the book, and I wondered for years what all the hype was about. And while the vlogs are definitely different from the book or any other adaptation out there, it did something that other adaptations couldn’t for me: it made me love the story of Pride and Prejudice.

I think what I loved the most was how relatable it was; it brought a story I saw to be distant and boring and gave it life. The characters, especially Lizzie, are just so lovable and you root for all of them with every bit of you. It almost feels real, because of the format of the videos.

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I wish there were more adaptations like this, told in a way that makes it so accessible and relatable. Who knows, maybe they’ll make more in the future? I think more Jane Austin would be amazing, but maybe also something new, like a Tale of Two Cities? I don’t know that story, so I don’t know how it would translate into vlogs, but I would love to know the story someday.

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I suppose that’s all my general thoughts on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I obviously have many thoughts on the actual content of the show, but this post has already gone on for far too long XD. What do you guys think? Have you seen the Lizzie Bennett Diaries? Do you happen to like Victorian literature? And are there any movie adaptations to some of your favorite Victorian stories out there that I should watch? After Lizzie, I really want more Jane Austin romance-y type stuff in my life. Comment below 😉

Oh, and here’s the url to the channel on YouTube, if you want to check it out 😉 https://www.youtube.com/user/LizzieBennet

This may be the last post I upload in 2016, as I’m going out of town tomorrow for a few days. So, I suppose I’ll see you all next year!

-Abigail

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