I remember sitting in my room almost a year ago, watching a vlog where a young woman was telling the (then tiny) audience that “it is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune…must be in want of a wife.”
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a vlog-style, modernized adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I think that overall it has done an amazing job at modernizing all of the events in the book, particularly Mr. Collins’ proposal and Lydia running off with Wickham. Pride and Prejudice, incidentally, happens to be my favourite class novel as well as my absolute favourite love story.
Watching these videos, and the anticipation that has come with them, has made me think about this love story with a new perspective.
If you really think about it, Darcy was an ass for the majority of the book (and therefore the videos). So why do legions of women, myself included, love Darcy and want our own Darcy? I can’t speak for the others, but I will share what the videos have sparked and why I want my own Darcy.
It has nothing to do with looks or his demeanour of technically his personality, although I love the idea of having intelligent conversations and debates with my significant other. For me, the reason I love Darcy rests in his relationship with Lizzie.
To put it simply, I love that their relationship allows the both of them to grow as people and triggers some amazing self-improvement for both parties. I think that the two of them truly “see” one another and love one another. In the end, Darcy loves Lizzie in spite of her flaws. He loves her inside and out in such a way that struck a cord with me. I don’t have this now, but I hope that someday I will.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries does not, however, focus solely on the progression of Lizzie and Darcy’s love story. It also highlights relationships between siblings and best friends, something that is both refreshing to see and very insightful in its presentation. I love seeing Charlotte and Lizzie onscreen and watching their interactions, especially what happens between the two of them following the aftermath of Mr Collins’ “proposal” to Lizzie. This situation is presented in such a way that allows the viewer to see both Charlotte’s and Lizzie’s points of view clearly and makes it hard to take one side over the other. Furthermore, this is done even better in the case of Lydia and Lizzie with the drama leading up to the mess with Wickham and afterwards. I won’t go into details as I do not want to spoil anything, but there is a situation with Lizzie and Lydia around Lydia’s birthday that shows that Lizzie, while well-intentioned in her actions, does do the wrong thing and does have her prejudices. So I can see that Lydia’s reaction is somewhat justified. That being said, I can see how Lydia’s reaction could be considered too dramatic and over-the -top.
As uncomfortable as the Lydia/Wickham arc made me, it was really well-executed and was portrayed extremely realistically. Watching the pain onscreen was…wow. But watching the relationship between Lizzie and Lydia be repaired afterwards is amazing to see, even if it came at such a high price.
At noon today I will be watching the 100th, and final, episode of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. But after today, I and everyone else who has seen these videos, can make our way to Lizzie’s YouTube channel and watch our favourites over again. And this summer…we will be able to have this story immortalized on DVD.
So really, it isn’t Goodbye Lizzie.