Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Web Series Review: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

*My post was featured for "Austen in August" over at The Book Rat*
Title: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Cast: Ashley Clements, Daniel Vincent Gordh, Julia Cho, Laura Spencer, Mary Kate
Wiles, Christopher Sean, Jessica Jade Andres, Wes Aderhold, Maxwell Glick, Craig Frank, Allison Paige, Briana Cuoco, Janice Lee
Created By: Hank Green and Bernie Su
Official Synopsis:  Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modernized adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel, Pride and Prejudice. The story is told primarily through Lizzie Bennet‘s Video Diaries, while being supported by her and other characters social media streams.

This web series was recommended to me by a good friend of mine who saw that I was slowly becoming obsessed with P&P. At first, I was not too eager to watch it because I've already seen a few adaptations of Jane Austen's novel (yes, you can egg me) and thought that it would not be any different. Also, I was not too fond of the idea of watching a web series. Luckily, I gave it a chance because I became hooked. I came to love this web series!

Plot: The general story of P&P was the same but the details were modernized to make sense in today's world, which meant there were changes. Instead of five Bennet sisters, there were three: Jane, Lizzie, and Lydia (no worries, the other sisters come out as other characters). Mr. Bingley was turned to Bing Lee, Wickham was a swim coach, and marriage was not the ultimate answer for the sisters. These changes were cleverly done though, which made the web series memorable.

I quite enjoyed viewing the story through Lizzie's point of view. Lizzie documented her life through her video diaries and had her sisters and her friend Charlotte make cameos at first. Lizzie and her "guests" will dress up for "costume theater" to represent the other people in Lizzie's life. We don't come to view the other actual characters until further on in the series.

Each episode was about 2-9 minutes long, which made each story quick and fun to watch. It was also amazing to see how all of the plot was pulled off in front of Lizzie's camera.
Characters: I loved the characters and how diverse they were. Lizzie was the independent one but who liked to over-dramatize her life when representing day to day events. Jane was the sweet and caring oldest sister who worked in the fashion industry. Then we had Charlotte, Bing Lee, and Caroline Lee represented by three Asian actors. They were great. I loved the diversity. Finally, there was William Darcy. He was one of the last characters to appear in the series and it was a huge deal when his face was finally shown.

As much as I enjoyed these characters, I only had two who were my favorites: Lydia and Mr. Collins. Lydia Bennet was still the annoying and very energetic little sister who always got into trouble. Her character developed as the story progressed to become more mature towards the end. Next there was Ricky Collins. His character was a riot! He stayed true to the book’s character. Ricky was constantly talking with too many words and was too busy making himself be the focus of every conversation.  

Overall thoughts: This show had me laughing many times and even made me cry a couple of times. I laughed with the "costume theater" and  cried when Lydia had her meltdown. Though it only took me three days to watch the series, I teared up at the thought that the show was over. I knew the story of Pride and Prejudice had an end but I didn’t want The Lizzie Bennet Diaries to end. This was a wonderful web series that I am absolutely glad that I took the advice to watch it. I rate it:

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