Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Completely my newest obsession. Watch from the start here or here or wherever else they're shown. I've watched all current 84 episodes, as well as the Q&A sessions and Lydia's videoblogs in less than a week. I need more.

What is The LBD? Basically, a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Lizzie is in grad school racking up the debt, there are only three Bennet sisters and Charlotte, Bing Lee and Caroline inject some very welcome Asian-ness into the show (I'm Asian too, if you don't know why I said that) but otherwise the rest of the story is pretty true. Mrs Bennet is still frantically trying to marry off her daughters, Darcy is still as stuck up in Austen's version and Lydia takes off-the-rails into the twenty-first century.

What makes The LBD so good? It just is. It takes the classic love-story and transports it into the twenty-first century, making it extremely relevant for viewers, but still manages to capture the essence of P&P and two-hundred years later, it's still a feel-good story that people love to read/watch unfold. The fact that each 'episode' is between 3 1/2 - 6 minutes long gives us just enough time to introduce a substantial new part of the plot while at the same time not bombarding us with too much at once. I've caught on the LBD-wagon pretty late into the picture and so I've had the luxury of being able to watch lots and lots in a row (at the expense of my uni work, of course). Now that I'm caught up, the suspense between each new upload (Mondays and Thursdays) is going to be exquisite and I can't wait.

Lizzie is smart, witty and cool but it's her supporting cast that help make the show. As much as we love her as our protagonist, she can be unnecessarily harsh in her judgement and we quickly come to see that she can be an unreliable narrator. Lydia's spirit and enthusiasm should be bottled up and sold as an alternative to energy drinks; Wickham is so up-himself and vain that he should be shot; Charlotte is a brilliantly resourceful and pragmatic best-friend and; while it took some time to warm up to Mary, she really came into her own when she appeared on Lizzie's blog. It takes us until episode sixty until we meet Darcy for the first time and - believe me - it's worth the wait. We've now got to a very juicy part of the story and Darcy and Lizzie are finally comfortable enough in each other's company that you know that the romance isn't far off and it just makes me squeal in joy!

The fanbase has grown huge in the ten months or so since the videos started and if anything, it's only going to get bigger. I've liked the page on facebook and each character has their own page too. As if the videos aren't enough, they're supplemented by character profiles on twitter as well as tumblr - too much to catch up on. So far, I've stayed away from the twitter and tumblr but I think that now I've exhausted the videos, I might sneak over to the other sources for my LBD fix. I'm hopelessly addicted - will you be?

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