I am quietly obsessed with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
I guess this post means I’m about to become less quiet about the obsession.
Basically, it’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, in a modern way. That, of course, has been done before, but… well, what makes this one new and different, and, to me, absolutely fascinating, is that it’s being done with new media.
Lizzie Bennet is a post-grad student making a video blog, and the story is played out not only using her video blogs, but also using twitter and tumblr (and so on). There have also been spin-offs, showing more of the story from the perspectives of Maria Lucas and Lydia Bennet via their own video blogs. The cast (and occasionally, the characters themselves) will interact with fans in the various mediums.
End result? It’s all exceedingly meta, and absolutely fascinating. I love the blurred line between what is real and what is not – apparently, there are enough stupid people out there that there are a few viewers who didn’t realise that it was fiction. How, exactly, that is possible I don’t know, but it’s an interesting thing.
I know the story of Pride and Prejudice really well, so I keep finding myself thinking ahead and trying to work out how the writers are going to adjust the original story to suit these new mediums. Modern retellings have to shift things around a lot – you can’t have people proposing marriage out of nowhere, for example. Clearly, things need to change. So far, they’ve been very clever in doing this to keep the integrity of the story; I can’t wait to see how the rest plays out.
The really wonderful (and awful) thing is that with two video diaries a week, the whole thing is more or less playing out in real time – and is likely to take another five months to finish. That is an awful lot of waiting. But it’s also an awful lot of new canon to squeal over, and I suspect by the time it does finish, I will be bereft. What will I do, when I no longer have new videos to wake up to twice a week?