Monday, September 1, 2014

Literary Video Blogs: Jane Austen

I have recently become interested in literary video blogs. I was introduced to this corner of YouTube through vlogs based on the writings of Austen. Today I am going to talk about two of my favourite vlog series - The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

LBD was my first introduction to these type of vlogs. It is an adaptation of the story of Pride and Prejudice in a modern setting. Usually, I deeply dislike these type of adaptations. However, I found these vlogs to be delightful and very entertaining. Jane is just as sweet as she is in the books and Lizzie's portrayal of her mother is hilarious. There are obviously a whole lot of changes since the story is now set in the modern world; however, these changes are very believable and fit in with the new setting perfectly(and there are a lot of nod-to-the-book moments). For example, one of the major themes of these vlogs is the creation of videos for the web, so Mr. Darcy's beautiful house from the books becomes a big company that deals with web-based content. There are a few other changes that weren't as necessary to change in the new modern setting, one of these being that the number of Bennet sisters is cut from five to three (Jane, Elizabeth, and Lydia); however, the other two sisters are dealt with in the vlog series in interesting ways. Another change is that Lydia is changed for the better by her encounter with George Wickham and is no longer the immature, boy-crazy young woman she once was. I, for one, really like that Lydia is redeemed in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, so I fully support this change.

from Lydia Bennet
Lizzie on Darcy

Emma Approved

My viewing of EA was slightly different from that of LBD because I actually watched the vlog series before I read the book Emma. However, I enjoyed EA just as much as LBD (which actually was the reason that I watched the whole series before I finished reading the book - it was too good for me to have to wait!). As with LBD, the book is set in the present day and has various changes to adapt with the new setting. Emma is the boss of her very own matchmaking company and Mr. Knightley is her financial guy. The vlog series also brings in a character that will be very well-known by Pride and Prejudice / LBD fans, which was a really great addition, and, in my opinion, actually improved the story. And can I just say, Mr. Knightly is even better than he was in the book?!

Sounds like Emma, right? :)
Emma & Mr. Knightly

Mostly... There is one phrase at the beginning of Emma Approved that I can remember not being the most appropriate. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries also go into a topic that isn't exactly family friendly. The said topic deal with Lydia Bennett, which will be understandable to anyone who is a fan of the book. But other than these few issues, both vlog series are very clean. My younger sister is actually watching Emma Approved at the moment and she loves it, even though she usually hates anything that deals with romance.

Alyianna's rating (of both): 9 out of 10

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