A Case for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries

It’s pretty obvious that the greatest classic romance novel ever written is Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen’s novel shaped romance literature, movies and culture, changing the arts forever. I’ve loved the book ever since I was little, reading it and re-reading it until the cover crumbled and the pages became dog-eared and torn. I decided recently that I wanted (and needed) to read it again.

The problem is, I truly don’t have the time to reread it. With all that I have to do on campus, whether it be tests, exams or extracurricular obligations, I find that whenever I try to squeeze in reading time, I feel like I’m squandering the time I could be using on something else. Honestly, that could be an entire HerCampus article in and of itself, but that’s a story for another day.

 

 

I lamented this woe until I was introduced to "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries," and honestly, it was life-changing. The YouTube series, created by multimedia legend Hank Green and award-winning creator Bernie Su, documents the life of Lizzie Bennet as a twenty-something graduate student living in the present day. We learn of her daily dramas and romantic exploits through a series of vlog-style videos. One of my favorites is Episode 33, “Nope! He Doesn’t Like Me,” which is laden with foreshadowing, perfectly descriptive of the relationship Lizzie and Darcy have (or may have in the future).

 

 

The series follows the book series faithfully; and where it does differ, it establishes a timely nuance to make Pride and Prejudice more relatable to viewers. Lizzie, for example, is a mass communications major desperately trying to find a job, leading to her refusal to look for a partner. Mrs. Bennet is obsessed with getting her daughters married off to rich men because she and her husband may lose the family’s childhood home. In more general terms, the series tackles slut-shaming, abusive relationships, economic decisions and more in bite-sized clips.

 

Plain and simple, the series is a masterful representation of its source material, filled with all sorts of Easter eggs and intrigue. Its dazzling script, actors and nuance earned it a Primetime Emmy—the first time a web series had ever received such an award. If you’ve got a few minutes on your hands, or if you’re just itching for quality scripted drama, I highly recommend this series!

 

 

Sources: 1,2,3