Preface: Some of you may have seen a review that I wrote (and then deleted) quite a few weeks (or was it months?) ago. I did that because the series was still in the middle of release and as an afterthought I decided I’d rather wait until its end before sharing an official opinion on it. I’m glad I did that, because some of my opinions changed (one in particular quite drastically), and now I feel I can write in proper context having seen how the LBD completely played out.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modernized online adaption of Pride and Prejudice told primarily in video blog format over YouTube. Each episode is around 4 minutes long, which makes watching easy and hard.
“4 minutes? Oh, I can do a couple of those before starting laundry!”
*1 hour later*
“Just one more. Just one more…”
Yeah…that mighta happened a time or two…
Anyway, to adapt the LBD to a vlog format, some major changes had to happen (like making Mary a cousin and Kitty Lydia’s cat), but I don’t feel that the changes detracted from telling the story. The girls are more career oriented and less marriage oriented, Mr. Collins role is more business related, and Bing Lee is Asian, but these things (and others I won’t mention) make the LBD unique while still fitting (I feel) solidly in the world of Pride and Prejudice.
The content is mostly clean, which is something I greatly appreciated. Most the time it stays in a G/ PG rating, although occasionally I’d consider it a borderline PG-13. They don’t use strong language, and during the Lydia arc they were discreet in what they showed (although I still didn’t allow my kids to watch some of Lydia’s later videos due to, shall we say, “thematic elements”). The first handful of episodes does have some cruder humor/ slang in them, but that disappears pretty quickly, my memory says. If you have children, I would definitely recommend previewing the episodes.
Confession: I almost stopped watching after Ep.2 because of the description Lizzie gave of Lydia and I came away thinking, “If Lydia is really portrayed that way in the series, then I’m not going to be able to do this.” I’m happy I pressed on, because what the writers did with Lydia’s character is one of the things I really like about the show. I was hooked by Ep. 10.
Bottom Line: If you like Pride and Prejudice and/ or enjoyed the various modernized movie adaptions, give this one a try!
If you decide you like it, then I recommend checking out this link, which streamlines the videos and the in-character Tweets and tumbls chronologically. The extra material is not required to enjoy the YouTube show, but it does add another dimension to it. I had great fun following the characters on Twitter and watching some of the online drama unfold. (This is where my husband, if he were here reading this over my shoulder as he sometimes does, would start sniggering and make a comment about soap operas or somesuch. :-P)
Here’s the first episode: