Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Every Flavor Bean: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

So, I should start this week's Every Flavour Bean by explaining exactly what I mean by Every Flavour Beans

Harry Potter fans will recognize Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans as jellybeans in the wizarding world that are just as likely to be delicious as they are to be disgusting. They come in every flavor imaginable, including "dirty sock" and "earwax," and even though you're never sure which one you're about to eat, you've got to try them anyway. That's kind of the idea here.

Every week (or so), I'll be posting something book-ish, but not necessarily about a specific book or a review. These posts will be about all kinds of stuff like movies, art, web series, podcasts, theater... anything I find that I think might be of interest to you. I will MOST DEFINITELY be taking suggestions, and weighing in on what's out there in YA-land right now, for better or for worse.

To start off this week, I should let you know that I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Northanger Abbey (which I feel is highly underrated)... to varying degrees, I love them all.

I recognize that not everyone feels the same way about good ol' Jane (even though all people who disagree with me about this are obvs wrong ;), but I bet I can convince you that her characters and story arcs can be just as interesting in the digital age as they were way back in the 19th century.

Ladies & gents, I give you...


Episode 1: My Name is Lizzie Bennet

If you HAVE already seen this nearly perfect (Emmy-winning!) web series created by Bernie Su & Hank Green, move along to Pemberley Digital and check out some of the other classic remakes, especially Emma Approved (adaptation of Emma) and The March Family Letters (based on Little Women), which just ended in June. 

If you HAVE NOT watched LBD... it is a modern-day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, which reimagines protagonist Elizabeth Bennet as 24-year-old Lizzie, a lovably dorky grad student with a crazy family and loads of student debt, unsure of exactly what her future holds. She narrates this comedy of manners, complete with her fateful meeting and subsequent love story with prickly William Darcy, in "real-time" via her vlog, and I promise you'll be hooked on the lives of Lizzie, Charlotte, Jane, Lydia (and of course, Bing Lee and Darcy!) after just a few episodes. 

I'm interested to hear your thoughts about LBD/Jane Austen in general, and I'm always looking for other fun adaptations of classics, so feel free to comment with suggestions!

I'll leave you with some parting words about Jane Austen from another one of my favorite ladies of literature, Virginia Woolf:
“Anyone who has the temerity to write about Jane Austen is aware of [two] facts: first, that of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness; second, that there are twenty-five elderly gentlemen living in the neighbourhood of London who resent any slight upon her genius as if it were an insult to the chastity of their aunts.”

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