E: Our faithful readers might recall from last week that at least two of the three Quibbling Siblings have fallen under the spell of the marvelous, the delightful, the charming Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern transmedia — vlog (mockuvloggery?), Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. — retelling of our beloved Pride and Prejudice.
C: If you read our Pride and Prejudice at 200 post, you’ve already heard some of our praise of this nifty series, so after E gets a little more of it out of her system (though, judging by her frequent emails to me on the subject, there may be an endless supply) we’re planning to tackle a little critical analysis of the latest developments in this unusual adaptation.
E: Web series, how do we love thee? So many ways. For taking the costumes out of one of our favorite costume dramas, and then explicitly playing costume theater? For this alone I could love you. But happily for the rest of the (not so nerdy) world, the show has myriad other charms.
C: Very attractive actors, for instance.
E: (Fans self) Why, whatever do you mean? You don’t mean Bing, do you? On the less shallow side, the characters are goofy, fun, flawed and endearing and engaging, and they learn from their mistakes. And for devoted fans of Austen’s work, it’s never less than a pleasure to speculate over how the great Jane’s words will be adapted.
C: And episodes that average 3-5 minutes in length. Perfect for a quick, pretty work break!
E: Exactly. The ideal reward for hard work, even upon re-watching. But what does this have to do with villainy and slut-shaming, you ask? Just at this moment we’ve reached the defining point in any modernization of this story: Lydia and Wickham’s stalled elopement. What to do with a drama that centers around the devastation of premarital sex when its mere mention no longer makes virtuous maidens flush in shame? You can take away the side bangs and ball gowns easily enough, but how do you make Lydia’s undoing a horror? Just what is the modern equivalent?
“My ‘undoing’? Excuse me?”
C: LDB teased us at New Year’s with a trip to Vegas where Lydia and Wickham met up on the strip. I did think it was possible they were going to go with a runaway marriage after all — which doesn’t have at all the same weight of scandal, but which certainly wouldn’t register as a brilliant life choice to the family of a ne’er-do-well just-turned-21-year-old girl.
E: I knew that wasn’t bad enough. After all, they could just get it annulled, Britney-style. No, as Charlotte Lu might put it… I totally called it.