My name is Courtney Cheng, and the amount of media I have consumed in the past month alone is frightening me.
For those of you who don’t know yet, I am currently in the process of writing an honors thesis to complete my English degree at UC Berkeley. My topic? Studying three contemporary adaptations (all produced within the last 20 years) of Pride and Prejudice and placing them in dialogue to each other, as well as Jane Austen’s original novel.
Needless to say, I have watched so many hours of Lizzie (Lizzy?) complaining about Darcy and Darcy giving Lizzie significant glances, that I think my eyes have gone Darcy-shaped. (I don’t say Colin Firth-shaped because I’m still in the process of rewatching the 1995 BBC production.)
How has it been, you ask?
Well, if you’re at all familiar with the structure and tone of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012, YouTube), you will realize that one could, indeed, read my entire blog post up to this precise word in Lizzie’s voice.
…do you hear it now?
What’s horrifying is that I’ve found myself speaking like her in real life. Don’t even get me started.
But creepy media osmosis and fears surrounding my thesis aside, how did I find The Lizzie Bennet Diaries?
They were well-written (re-written?) to fit more contemporary relationships between sisters, families, friends, and significant others. The producers (Bernie Su and Hank Green) created a diverse cast out of Austen’s 18th century English novel, which brought new subtleties and nuances to the story. None of the re-identified characters (Charlotte Lu, Bing Lee, Fitz, etc.) seemed to be included simply for the purpose of representation, and they all had larger roles in the narrative.
I appreciated the new resolutions of each of the marriage plots and the manners in which they navigated our 21st century social dynamic while remaining faithful (in varying degrees) to the original text. Sorry for the ambiguity. I’m trying to avoid spoiling the plot for those of you who may not have watched yet.
But no, overall, I found it a delightful series to watch, and am massively impressed that during the original airing of the series, Su and Green even went as far as creating Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social media profiles for each of these characters for the viewers to follow elsewhere.
I know this is an oddly short post, but when faced with the wall of due dates I have between myself and Thanksgiving break (which is a blissful three days away), I’m afraid the academics win.
Until next time, my dear readers.