Things You Should Be Watching: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

So I’ve been pushing this series pretty strongly on the people in my life, but in light of yesterday’s episode and Lydia’s video from this morning, I really want to recommend it to everyone that I can. So, what are the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and why should you be watching it?

Charlotte, Lizzie, Lydia, and Jane

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern day Pride and Prejudice adaptation, done in a vlogging format. Updated twice a week on the main channel (and then twice a week on Lydia’s spinoff channel), we get to see into Lizzie’s life via her storytelling and costume theater (as well as the occasional interruption by other characters.) It’s supremely well acted, and it’s super accessible, you don’t need to have read the book to enjoy it or understand what’s going on (though having read it made it more enjoyable for me as I spotted the changes made in this adaptation versus others.)

Things that I love most about this series? (EVERYTHING, but I’ll limit myself to a few points.)

  • The medium; even though we have to rely on Lizzie (for the most part) and her perspective of events and people we don’t get to see, the vlogging style is used really well to tell the story without feeling like we’re missing out on huge details. The video format isn’t just a vehicle for showing us the story, but also ends up being plot relevant as we get to see the effect as people find out about the videos, or how keeping their existence a secret has impacted certain characters. Not only that, but online presence is not limited to Youtube; some have tumblr accounts, and each of them have twitter accounts in which they interact with each other as well as occasionally with their followers. You don’t miss anything important in skipping but, there are a lot of neat things to see and find out if you keep up with it! 
  • The acting! Everyone has done a wonderful job of portraying their characters, and making even the ones that weren’t nearly as fleshed out as the main characters in the books into engaging and well developed characters (it also helps that the writing has expanded quite a few character roles.) I especially want to make shout-outs to Mary Kate Wiles (Lydia) and Julia Cho (Charlotte) for actually making me emotionally invested in what happens to those characters, when I didn’t nearly have that same attachment to them in the book.
  • The diversity! I really like the way that they adapted names in order to allow for more racial diversity in casting. The Bingleys became Bing Lee, and Caroline Lee, Charlotte Lucas became Charlotte Lu, and Colonel Fitzwilliam is Fitz Williams (also, additional shoutout to Craig Frank because Fitz is absolutely delightful.) This series is a lovely example that you do not have to cast everyone as white just because that is the way it was in the source material, and I think the series is much better for it.
  • Darcy is a hipster and it is everything I never knew I wanted.
  • Really everything, but I don’t want to spoil anything!

The number of episodes (83, 119 including the spinoff videos) seems daunting until you take into account that the videos average at about four minutes each. So that’s only about eight hours, broken into very easy chunks.

“But oh no A, the order is going to be difficult, when you include all the spinoff episodes!” BAM. Playlist with everything in order, right here. “How do I keep up with the twitter stuff, that sounds hard!” BAM. The LBD site does it for you. No more excuses, get to it. You’ll be glad that you did.

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