Review: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (aka LBD)

I fell down a rabbit hole… a major rabbit hole. It was a rabbit hole so deep that I haven’t really taken any time to get out of it because it is so much fun in this rabbit hole.

So what am I going on about?

Well.. as I was lurking at the Pemberley Discussion Boards, I noticed via the Austenations board the acronym LBD with a vast number of episodes. I got curious… when looking at a few posts and how it would appear to be Pride and Prejudice related and how certain characters were emulated other characters I can’t help but be intrigued with this conundrum.

Thank goodness for Google… kind of.

A quick Google look up for LBD revealed a long list of various companies and groups with the initials LBD… but nothing Jane Austen related… which is what hit me.

Another quick Google look up for LBD and “Jane Austen” revealed the website The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: An Online Adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice which led to the online web series of the same name… And OH. EM. GEE.

According to the website it is…

The home of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries an online modernized adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Developed by Hank Green and Bernie Su

And they went all out… a fair number of the characters have twitter accounts, there is a tumblr, there is even an online presence for the companies featured on the show (Collins and Collins, Pemberley Digital) outside of the actual Lizzie Bennet Diaries series…

First a quick round up… here is how the characters have been changed / adapted from the original Jane Austen novel:

Elizabeth Bennet Lizzie Bennet: 24, grad student studying mass communications, middle sister
Jane Bennet Jane Bennet: eldest sister who works as a merchandise coordinator in the fashion world
Lydia Bennet Lydia Bennet: (community) college student (well for three years). Party girl extraordinaire… (really is this any surprise)
Mary Bennet Mary Bennet: social recluse in college who is a cousin of the primary Bennet family
Kitty Bennet Kitty: a little kitty that followed Lydia home from school one day and Lydia locked herself and the kitty in her room and refused to leave until her family allowed her to keep the kitty.
Charlotte Lucas Charlotte Lu: grad student, she helps with primarily the editing aspects of the vlogs
Mr Collins Ricky Collins: CEO of the company Collins and Collins
Charles Bingley Bing Lee: medical student
Caroline Bingley Caroline Lee
Fitzwilliam Darcy William Darcy: CEO of Pemberley Digital
Georgiana Darcy Georgiana Darcy (Gigi): a part time graphic designer at Pemberley Digital
George Wickham George Wickham: swim coach / trainer for a passing through swim team
Colonel Fitzwilliam Fitz Williams

Now the above are only characters that have been featured in the videos thus far… as for other characters:

Mrs Bennet emulated in the videos by Lizzie Bennet, has a southern accent with a massive hat and a shawl
Mr Bennet emulated in the videos by Charlotte Lu, frequently with a pipe and a hat
Lady Catherine de Bourgh emulated momentarily by Lizzie Bennet
Anne de Bourgh Annie Kins: Catherine de Bourgh’s pet dog

I have never been so thoroughly entertained by videos where it isn’t 100% necessary to actually watch them. Granted some of the peripheral storylines have been adjusted and adapted to the modern day audience, but for the most part this is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Having started April 2012 there have been 80 videos thus far that range between 3 thru 6 minutes. There have also been a few spinoffs, most notably a 7 video series done by Charlotte’s sister: Maria… also an ongoing series made by Lydia Bennet.

Now… i could say where in the book The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is at for the moment, but I think it would be more fun to say… YOU HAVE TO WATCH / LISTEN to understand what I mean. And when I say watch I mean there is a new Lizzie Bennet vlog every Monday and Thursday whileas Lydia has an updated vlog every Tuesday and Friday… that is four days a week that you get to learn a bit more about what is going on in the lives of the Bennet family…

What I really love about this series is how interconnected everything and everyone is… it is probably one of the more well done adaptations that I have read and/or seen in a long time… and considering what is to come, I really can’t wait to see how all this unfolds.

Heck… come to think of it, I can’t wait to see what book, story, etc they would bring into the fold once Pride and Prejudice is over (Sense and Sensibility anyone?).

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