For those of you who are unaware, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern retelling of the Jane Austin classic Pride & Predjudice, a book which I have loved for a majority of my life. My older sister's favorite author was Jane Austin, and even though my sister and I are two entirely different people, we do occasionally have similar tastes, especially when it comes to literature. I remember being in grade school and my sister and I watching the 6 hour BBC miniseries with Colin Firth...which as far as I am concerned is the most well done book adaptation I've ever seen. And I dare any woman out there to watch and NOT fall in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Given that I knew that I would probably enjoy The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and so when I was reminded of their existence a few days back, I decided to take a look at them. I have now become completely engrossed on this new telling of this classic story.
If you haven't seen them yet you can start with the first video here. Seriously go. Watch. Love.
While the entire cast is fabulous and the writers have done an amazing job, I think perhaps the best part of the show is the way that it flushes out characters who are mearly glossed over in the original novel. It actually explains why Lydia "ran away" with the despicable Wickham. It's nice to finally get some sort of understanding about her. I actually felt bad for her, which is an emotion that Lydia Bennet has never inspired in me before. And the cause of her "ruining", which I won't spoil for you here, GO WATCH, is one that I did NOT see coming.
My hatred for Wickham reached new levels while watching Lydia's vlog. It became easy to see how he seduced not only Lydia, but Lizzie and Gigi as well. It finally made sense how three different woman could fall prey to the same jackass. And speaking of fleshing out characters can we talk Mr. Collins? While the entire cast is bursting with talent, they hit the jackpot with Maxwell Glick who was able to take a traditionally disliked character and make him incredibly endearing. Mr. Collin, with his social awkwardness, nonstop speeches and constant praise of Catherine de Bourg, can easily be annoying and even border on slightly creepy. Yet somehow, Maxwell Glick has managed to make all Collins' shortcomings adorable, and well meaning, a perfect example being in episode #54 where he tells Lizzie, "...as you are my business partner's closest and dearest friend, You are forever welcome here [Collins & Collins], my work is my life so, you are both part of that now...". And with that line, we all fell just a little bit more in like with Ricky Collins.
Also, and I am BLOWN AWAY by their virtual marketing. Not only do we get to see the story as told by Lizzie's vlogs but Lydia has also created her own vlog to fill us in on what is happening on her life when she and Lizzie are apart, the Pemberly Instructional videos featuring Gigi and the "Darcy side" of the Lydia drama, even Charlotte's little sister Maria got in on the vloging act. On top of that we are treated to a Facebook page and the fact that pretty much every character we have seen on the blogs has their own twitter account where they interact not only with each other but with the fans who tweet at them. Jane has a Pinterest and there of course is a tumblr. Honestly this all is proof that there are BRILLIANT ways to market your show, you just need to use it.
I can not begin to tell you how annoyed I get by good products/media who don't know how to properly market themselves. So seeing a fabulous show with amazing online marketing? Well that warms the cockles of my little heart.