The works of Jane Austen have a long history of being readapted for modern pop culture consumption. The 1995 movie Clueless sets the plot of Austen’s Emma in a Beverly Hills high school, while Bridget Jones’s Diary, both a book and movie series, brings the love triangle of Pride and Prejudice to present-day London. In 2012, a new medium for adaptation was added to the list when the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, began airing on YouTube. By the use of pathos conveyed through images, texts and sounds, the series successfully captures the attention of previous Jane Austen fans and introduces a new audience to the timeless story.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, executive produced by famed YouTuber Hank Green, closely follows the plot line of Pride and Prejudice through its 100 episode run. The story is told through Lizzie Bennet, a graduate student creating video diary posts as part of her mass communications thesis. She talks directly to the camera, recounting the events of her life, along with those of her sisters, Lydia and Jane. The series begins when Bing Lee and William Darcy, two young, wealthy friends, move into their neighborhood, and the sisters’ mother begins working to set up her daughters. Jane instantly falls for Bing, while Lizzie is turned off by the rude arrogance displayed by Darcy. The series follows the characters as their relationships with each other grow and change over course of a year, establishing the series as one of the most successful dramatic comedy YouTube channels along the way.
Most of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’ initial audience was carried over from Vlogbrothers, the YouTube channel...
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...izzie thanking Darcy for all he has done. She had tried calling him, and he came over to see what she was going to see. Lizzie confesses to him that she does indeed have feelings for him, and their relationship begins.
The images in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are set up as to convince the audience that Lizzie is a real vlogger. A large portion of the episodes are shot in the character’s bedroom, as many actual YouTubers do. In the background, the viewers can see her bookshelves lining the walls, photos hung up behind her, and occasionally get a glimpse of her sisters hanging out in the hallway. The characters dress as the average young adults would, and each of them have a distinct costume used during reenactments. Mrs. Bennet is demonstrated with a bonnet and shawl, George Wickham impersonators wear swim goggles, and Darcy is shown with a brown cap and red bowtie.
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