When I was 11 years old, I discovered Pride and Prejudice on Netflix (the 2005 version, also known as the best one) for the first time. Since then, I’ve read as many classic novels as I could get my hands on, ran a short-lived moderately successful book Instagram page, become an English major in university, and of course rewatched Pride and Prejudice an unhealthy amount of times.
My love for literature lead me to discover literary-inspired web series, which retell classics in a “vlog” format While these were much more popular in the early 2010s, I still go back to them now and then and give them a rewatch. So without further ado, here are my top five literary-inspired web series that any bookworm will love!
#5. Project Dashwood
This Travelling Lemon Productions retelling of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility aired in 2015. It follows sisters Elinor, Marianne and Margeret after their father’s death navigating life, love and loss in the contemporary world.
In this web series from Shipwrecked Comedy, a group of famous authors (including Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway and the titular Edgar Allan Poe) are invited to a dinner party by Edgar Allan Poe. This party soon takes a sinister turn when one of the guests is murdered. It stars Mary Kate Wiles, Sean Persaud, Tom Detrinis, Lauren Lopez and Joey Richter.
This Canadian literary web series follows the gothic heroine Jane Eyre in a modern retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Like some of the other web series on this list, the series ran active Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter accounts for their followers to give them a fully transmedia experience.
In this modern retelling of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, we follow Anne Shirley as she grows from newly adopted foster kid to university student. The series ran for two years and is one of my favourites. The agony of waiting each week for a new episode, stalking the characters’ social media accounts for updates, and the “will they/won’t they” dynamic from Anne and Gilbert... immaculate. I definitely recommend it!
This is the series that started it all. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was created by Hank Green in 2012 and ran for 100 episodes. It is truly the best literary-inspired web series and inspired all that followed. The actors are amazing, and the blending of YouTube pages, social media accounts, books and spin-offs to tell the different sides to the story makes for a truly groundbreaking show. The series captures the heart of Pride and Prejudice while giving it a modern edge.
Whether you are a literary connoisseur or new to the genre, I definitely recommend trying literary-inspired web series if you’re interested in exploring these classic stories!