YouTube Spotlight: The Lizzie Bennett Diaries

By Aly Bartholomew

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of the most recognized novels in the world. In recent years, literary spin-offs and movie adaptations have become popular as well as a video blog. The web series was created by YouTube star Hank Green and writer/producer Bernie Su.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries follows the story of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet, played by Ashley Clements, through vlogs (video blogs). In this new version Lizzie is a grad school student studying mass media and is making the vlogs as an independent study. Other parts of the novel have been modernized to fit the tone of modern day. Darcy’s estate, Pemberly, has been changed into the media company of Pemberly Digital ran by Mr. Darcy.

   Another change from the novel to modern day is the marriage proposal between Mr. Collins and Lizzie. This has been changed to a business proposal that Collins offered Lizzie after watching her videos.Through these vlogs viewers get to hear everything about Lizzie’s life.

Some of the most comedic parts come from the costume theatre that Lizzie and her friends use to elaborate on situations happening with other characters. This vlog adaptation has brought classic English literature into a 21st century setting almost flawlessly.

A lot of your favorite characters from the novel are featured in the story including: Jane Bennet (Laura Spencer), Lydia Bennet (Mary Kate Wiles ), Bing Lee – Mr. Bingley (Christopher Sean), and of course Mr. Darcy (Daniel Vincent Gordh). Posting the story in vlog form has in no way diminished the quality of this story. The cast and crew have made this modern version highly entertaining and fans of the original novel love it. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries even won a Primetime Emmy Award back in 2013.

The creators have also made some spin-off series and other series based off of Austen’s other novels. For The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Lydia Bennet has her own vlog series showing her side of the events with George Wickham. Green and Su have also created Sanditon, which chronicles Gigi Darcy’s (Allison Paige) time in the town of Sanditon, California. This series was based off of the short, unfinished Jane Austen manuscript, Sanditon. Most recently the creators have started the new series Emma Approved based on the Jane Austen novel Emma.

If you would like to start watching it from the beginning, you can see all the episodes at lizziebennet.com.

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