The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Fandom and Beyond
by Marianne Paluso (@Marianne_P81)
Before you read this, it’s worth checking out this amazing Lizzie Bennet Diaries review.
I came into The Lizzie Bennet Diaries late in the game. I kept seeing things on Twitter praising the show, and being a tremendous fan of all things Jane Austen, I had to know what all the fuss was about. Little did I know the awesomeness that would ensue. Not only did I watch over ninety videos in just two days (Don’t judge), but I became completely enthralled by this modern day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. But what makes The Lizzie Bennet Diaries so awesome encompasses so much more than you would think. Here are just some of the many reasons:
1.) Unique and original, Lizzie talks about experiences that happen off-camera, but ones fans of Pride and Prejudice are already familiar with. In turn, we are essentially treated to new material. How the characters react to these events is just as much fun to watch.
2.) Costume Theater. For these off-camera proceedings, we are often treated to hilarious re-enactments of events and characters who are not seen until late in the series (such as Darcy and Bing Lee), and some we have yet to see (Mr. And Mrs. Bennet). Everyone has their favorites, but mine is Lizzie’s sister Jane’s take on William Darcy.
3.) Fans of Pride and Prejudice (the novel and films) will relish the many clever references throughout the series. We often hear allusions to Colin Firth’s Darcy, while keys moments mirror scenes from the 2005 version with Keira Knightley incredibly so.
4.) The characters have twitter pages that talk back and forth to each other, just to further immerse viewers into the story. Sometimes they even respond to fans. I wonder if outsiders truly understand how clever this is.
5.) In addition to Lizzie’s videos, you can watch ones from Lydia Bennet, Maria Lu, and Gigi Darcy. Lydia’s and Gigi’s especially fill in the gaps in the overall story in quite creative and sometimes moving ways.
6.) The remarkably talented cast (Ashley Clements, Julia Cho, Laura Spencer, Mary Kate Wiles, Daniel Vincent Gordh, Maxwell Glick, Christopher Sean, Jessica Jade Andres, Wes Aderhold, Craig Frank, Allison Paige, Briana Cuoco, and Janice Lee) are not only fine actors, but also very kind. They often thank the viewers for the support via Twitter and Facebook and share photos much to the delight of the fandom. And because they are all so nice, I discovered things I may not have otherwise. Maxwell Glick, who plays Mr. Collins, has a series of videos entitled Flashback Fridays, where he discusses and sings his top ten favorite pop songs of that week from a given year. Any fan of pop music, or awesome people should check these out here.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are so much more than a beloved story told from a new and creative way for a modern and internet savvy audience. They show that media can be immersive, interactive, and indeed bring people together. The series may be winding down but the fandom and love will no doubt continue on for a long time. Good stories are timeless and there is no one way to share, love, and appreciate them. And much like The Nerd Machine, what may come from it are endless possibilities of enjoyment, friendships, and delight in the story of a girl named Lizzie Bennet.
Check out the series from the beginning on The Lizzie Bennet Channel.