So, we’ve seen a damn lot of popular youtube videos about Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen (I’m thinking Jane Austen’s Fight Club to start), but this one seems to have got hits far more quickly. For example, the first episode currently has 117,385 hits (and counting) since April 9th when it was posted on youtube this month. I’ve been watching it with curiosity as it builds- there’s currently five episodes, each about three minutes long, that brings our 18th Century novel into the present day and tells it from Lizzie’s perspective.
It’s professionally put together, and actually a really interesting take on the Pride and Prejudice youtube video diary front (I’ve watched several). Created and executive produced by Hank Green and Bernie Su, this is a great idea and has some beautiful touches – I love the introductory book and music motif on each video, for instance. The blurb on the video explains that ‘Lizzie’ is doing this as part of her class project – she’s 24, studying ‘mass communications’ and has a heap of student debt. It’s great, because we can relate to her, she’s quirky and independent, pretty and basically good fun to watch! Also, the fact that ‘Bingley’ is now ‘Bing Lee’ is kind of funny because it reminds me of the Australian electronics company/stores Bing Lee… I wonder if that’s accidental?
Episode 1 (above) – it sticks close to the novel. The opening line to the book IS ON A SHIRT. That Lizzie’s mum got her. Lizzie’s mum has been perfectly transposed from the 1700s to someone who is in the 2.5 WPF club (that’s 2.5 kids and a white picket fence). There’s a nice re-enactment of the ‘Netherfield park is let/sold at last’ scene with Charlotte Lu(cas) (Julia Cho) acting as Mr Bennet, and we meet Lydia (Mary Kate Wiles), who is perfectly young and pouty as we would imagine her.
Episode 2 – Here were are introduced to the sisters again and we learn a bit more about Lizzie. Interestingly, Kitty and Mary don’t exist in this recreation (which is sort of sad, as I think Mary has a lot of potential in a modern-world situation). Jane is almost *too* nice. Charlotte and Lizzie’s relationship is also really cute in this version, although Lizzie (acted by Ashley Clements) starts to get on my nerves a bit here. Look out for the mentions of Colin Firth and Sense and Sensibility.
Episode 3 – Entitled ‘My Parents: Opposingly supportive’ here we flesh out the relationship between Mr and Mrs Bennet a little more. It’s clever, we include a little bit more re-enactment from Lizzie (who is growing on me more by the episode now), and we have a funny graph about ‘Things Dad Enjoys’ (I can’t imagine Mr Bennet being one for new socks though). We re-describe the girls again, and the ‘S*ut’ word gets broken out to describe Lydia (come on, we were all thinking it, right?).
Episode 4 – This episode ‘Bing Lee and his 500 Teenage prostitutes’ is all about, you guessed it, and Lizzie even says it, ‘Bing Lee’. We get some nice stalkerish information about him, and hear that Caroline and… DARCY is in town (cue another Colin Firth reference).
Episode 5 – This episode is all about what happened after the ‘wedding’ (replacement of the ball). It’s amusing, we see Jane and Lizzie together, acting as each other, and a whole lot of female silliness. We hear about the beginning of Jane and Bing Lee’s courtship, and we get our first mention of Darcy… but now we’re having our anticipation whetted. Because Episode 6 is yet to be released, and it will be called ‘Mr. Douchey’ (which is, obviously, a Darcy reference…).
I’m actually pretty psyched for the next episode. Thoughts?