A wave of disappointment washed over me this past Monday. It was the first Monday I’d had in a long time without something to look forward to. That something was a recently completed web series from the brilliant minds of Hank Green (of VlogBrothers fame) and Bernie Su called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, as you may have guessed, is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice. It’s presented in vlog format, and features the title character Lizzie Bennet (Ashley Clements) talking to her viewers about the goings on of her life. Behind the camera is Lizzie’s loyal best friend Charlotte Lu (Julia Cho), who acts as her voice of reason and her video editor. Lizzie’s two sisters Jane (Laura Spencer) and Lydia (Mary Kate Wiles) are frequently featured in her videos as well, and many of Lizzie’s stories revolve around them.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries follows the original Pride and Prejudice storyline with several major modern updates. Over the course of the series, Lizzie meets and immediately despises awkward hipster William Darcy (Daniel Vincent Gordh), relays the rocky relationship between Jane and the amiable Bing Lee (Christopher Sean), makes a frenemy of Caroline Lee (Jessica Jade Andres) and deals with the two-faced George Wickham (Wes Aderhold), all while putting up with her overbearing mother’s attempts to marry her and her sisters off.
The writing and acting are top notch and the production is incredibly professional, but the most interesting part of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is the trans-media approach it takes. The main storyline is presented through the primary web series, but extra information is revealed through various channels such as the vlogs of supporting characters, their Twitter accounts and even a website or two. Admittedly, part of the fun was watching everything as it happened, and a few elements may not even be available any longer, but ultimately the extra stuff makes the Lizzie Bennet experience all the more enriching.
At one hundred 2-10 minute episodes, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is not exactly a quick watch, but it’s so compelling you’ll want to marathon it all anyway. It’s funny, clever and genuinely gripping and if you’re a hardcore Austen fan, or a Nerdfighter or just really into good Web TV, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is something to check out.
For your viewing pleasure, may I present the primary The Lizzie Bennet Diaries channel:
The secondary channels will be linked at the end of the primary episodes as they appear in the storyline.
For your convenience, here are various social media sites belonging to the major characters:
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: https://twitter.com/TheLBDofficial
Bing Lee: https://twitter.com/Bingliest
William Darcy: https://twitter.com/wmdarcy
Caroline Lee: https://twitter.com/that_caroline
Created by: Hank Green and Bernie Su
Written by: Jay Bushman, Margaret Dunlap, Hank Green, Rachel Kiley, Kate Rorick, Daryn Strauss, Bernie Su, Anne Toole
Directed by: Bernie Su
Starring: Ashley Clements, Daniel Vincent Gordh, Laura Spencer, Mary Kate Wiles, Julia Cho, Christopher Sean, Jessica Jade Andres, Wes Aderhold
Executive Producers: Hank Green, Bernie Su
Artwork copyright Naomi Gunadie.
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