“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife…” It is also a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a YouTube account must watch “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”.

 “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” is an online adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Exploring all the avenues of social media, this web series, which was created by one half of the vlogbrother, Hank Green and former “Black Box TV” writer Bernie Su, changes entirely the way in which fans can fall in love and connect with the characters. For each character there is a Twitter and/or tumblr account, and in a few cases, their own vlog. For example, Lydia Bennet became so popular she had her own spin off vlog, accounting for a side of the story not completely told before.

 For all appearances, Lizzie Bennet is a real woman existing in San Francisco and gives us a biweekly account of her life. Played by the amazing Ashley Clements, 2012’s Lizzie Bennet holds true all the traits of Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet but has one outrageously better feature: a YouTube account.

 Recently, Pride and Prejudice marked its 200th anniversary, and you would think that a story so old that has been told so many times couldn’t possibly engage more fans. But you would be wrong. The creators have used many transmedia theories to produce this show entirely for Internet viewing.

 To keep cost down and to account for characters that wouldn’t make sense being on the vlog, Lizzie has become an avid user of costume theater. Through this we see the point of view from characters we will never meet, such as her mother and father.  The writers have found new ways to tell this tale. One aspect that I particularly loved (and if my tumblr has anything say about it, the other fans did too) was that we got to follow the characters around on an outing via Twitter and Instagram. In the same way any of your friends would post photos a fun day in city, we get to feel like we’re friends, living this experience with Lizzie, as opposed to simply feeling like we are watching a show. And isn’t that the best part?

 They keep major themes hinted in the show but change the characters just slightly. They don’t feel tainted – they just feel refreshed. And speaking of refreshed: it is what you will do many times after you watch the series. 

 Cut into 4-6 minute videos, it’s pretty easy to get addicted and watch the entire series in one night. I would have done so myself if Christmas hasn’t gotten in the way. The show itself is nearly a year old, but after only four months, it had already gained 85,000 subscribers on YouTube.  Not to mention the huge tumblr community that fangirls (yes this word is a verb now) over the show day in and out. As a major LBD fan, I can tell you I refresh my Lizzie Bennet tag on tumblr at least 20 times a day. 

 Bottom line: once you start “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”, you will be at your computer every Monday and Thursday morning anxiously awaiting the new episode. 

You can check it all out right here »>   http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6690D980D8A65D08

 

-Katie McCarty

I love rashida jones.

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