Social Media Infuses Jane Austen With New Life

As if you need a reason to reread “Pride and Prejudice” – if you do though, “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” on YouTube is that reason. A episodic chapter homage to all things Austen, LBD chronicles the life of 24 year old communications grad student Lizzie Bennet and her family living in contemporary California.

The chronicles cleverly use costume theater to depict Mr. and Mrs. Bennet as well as other characters who aren’t on screen. Some characters have been smartly updated – Mr. Bingley is now Bing Lee, an Asian-American med student. Fitzwilliam Darcy is now William Darcy, media mogul and   American upper class business tycoon. Fitzwilliam is now Fitz Williams, Darcy’s one BFF. Georgianna Darcy is now Gigi, overprotected little sister who bonds with Lizzie.

The most interesting dynamic, however, is within the Bennet sisters – now, Jane, Lizzie and Lydia. Jane is perfect and pursuing a fashion career. Lydia is perky just turned 21 little sister who actually pulls off the term “adorbs.” The dynamic between the three is fascinatig. Lydia gains the most from this new arrangement. In addition to her own spin-off videos, her character gets a shot at redemption unlike in the novel where she simply gets married and is “permitted” to visit Lizzie and Jane sans her rogue husband George Wickham. BTW, Mary Bennet is now a semi-goth cousin (amusing) and Kitty Bennet is a cat.

I just watched episode 91 last night. In terms of the novel’s original storyline, Jane & Bing Lee (Bingley) are now officially reattached – that’s not a spoiler if you read the novel. But its not what you think. Lydia’s scandal has been semi-resolved, but Lizzie does not yet realize what role Darcy played. Da da da dummmmm ….

Watch for your own entertainment and then be sure to pick up an Austen novel near you. You won’t regret it.

I love this novel and this adaptation. Unsure if I want to see more episodes after the climatic reunion of Darcy and Lizzie OR adaptations of other Austen novels. I’m a litle canonical so perhaps other novels.

What do you think?


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