Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Squee! A real blog post!
Do you like “Pride and Prejudice”? Yes? Then you’ll love this. No? Go read “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and get back to me. Or just keep reading. You might like this anyway.

Dumb cable TV got you down? Welcome to the future! The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is modern take on the Jane Austen novel “Pride and Prejudice”. It was created by Hank Green (of Vlog Brothers fame) and Bernie Su. It’s real, professional actors and writers posting two episodes a week on YouTube. Most of the story stays true to the original 1813 text, but the attitudes and the perspective are all new. That said, you don’t need to know the source material to follow along. Lots of folks are being introduced to Pride and Prejudice through these videos and loving it!
“We are not attempting to re-create the story word for word…we’re trying to re-create the spirit of the story, to imagine what the characters would be like in a modern situation that is completely different in specifics, but surprisingly similar with a broader view.”~Hank Green
The first episode was posted to YouTube on April 9 of this year and has received (at the time of this post) 382,601 views. The series now boasts 43 cannon episodes and 4 Q&A sessions, each running between 3 and 6 minutes long. The creators estimate it will take about a year to tell Lizzie’s whole story. (My favorite episode so far is #37.)

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet is a grad student who still lives in her family home, and decides to start a video blog. Her best friend, Charlotte, handles her editing etc. She tends to talk mostly about her sisters, Jane and Lydia, who also live at home and make occasional appearances. Scenes involving some other characters, like Lizzie’s parents, are shared with the viewer via hilarious costumed reenactments.

But that’s not all, folks! The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a full multi-media online experience! Characters are constantly breaking the fourth wall with Tumblr, Facebook, Lookbook, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn accounts. What I find most interesting is the Twitter accounts. Even characters we haven’t seen yet, like Darcy and his little sister Gigi, are active on Twitter. It really fleshes out the parts of the story Lizzie wouldn't know, or wouldn't want to share in her personal videos.

I know that seems like a lot to catch up on, but I have good news. There is a handy list on the main website with all of the content in chronological order. 

It’s a clunky site in barfy really girly shades of pink. But the content is awesome, and it’s great to have it all in one place. The feed also includes behind the scenes posts from the show’s creators! Then again, if you just want to watch the videos, check out the YouTube uploads list.

If you find you love it, as I do, there are lots of ways to support the show. Follow, subscribe, like, +1, share, re-pin, and anything else you’d do with web content you love. You can also buy merch at their online store. Happy emersion!!

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