Get out your tissues FabNerds, because tomorrow is the last episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Let me repeat that: Tomorrow. Is. The. Last. Episode.
Now, I have talked about my love for the LBD a little before and if you are ever on the internet at all, it is likely someone else you know has posted videos or gifs or articles or fan fiction about it it. There is no denying it’s popular and there’s not denying the fans are passionate. Just look at these tea flavors someone made.
If you are my mother or many of my friends…you might find that annoying. Honestly, if I was just coming into the show now I would find it annoying too. Luckily, I saw that first episode within the week it went up and soon fell in love with Lizzie’s story regardless of the fact that I’ve been trying to finish Pride and Prejudice for the past ten years.
There’s not much that can be said about LBD that hasn’t been said already – everyone from Ms. Magazine to Wired has done a write up on it, in some form or another. Yet, I feel like I would regret not sharing why I love it before episode 100 goes up on Thursday.
I went to a play a couple weeks ago that was an adaptation of a fairly well-known piece of literature and I was shocked to see that most of the female characters from the original work (who were all quite prominent) were either eliminated entirely or whittled down to stock characters. For the first time it really struck me how rare it is to find female-driven stories, even in this century; there aren’t as many Joss Whedons and Sarah Ruhls as we’d like there to be.
That’s what makes The Lizzie Bennet Diaries so special. It’s not just Lizzie’s life that we are following – it is the lives of three other well-rounded women. I don’t mean “well-rounded” as in they can check off multiple boxes on Mr. Darcy’s list of what makes an accomplished woman. I mean they are not just a bunch of cute archetypes or sketches of interesting women. Lizzie, Charlotte, Jane, and Lydia* are representations of real, complete women – flaws and all.
And they aren’t playing second fiddle to Lizzie or the romantic plot of the P&P. We care just as much (or maybe more) about the state of Charlotte and Lizzie’s friendship as we do about Lizzie and Darcy’s face-sucking. Hell, we don’t even see Darce’s face until more than halfway through the series**, but we do see Charlotte’s and despite their secondary status in the novel all of Lizzie’s friends and sisters are prominent on our small screens. To quote The Lydia Bennet, herself:
Also, in this modern day and age when we are all just too busy, it’s nice to have an excuse to read some literature. And thanks to fan-created website Darceny – I finally have a reason to finish reading Pride and Prejudice. Even if you don’t want to join the online book/video group (though you should because it looks awesome and I think I will be pretty active on it) I know plenty of other people who are just picking up Austen’s second novel again because of the show.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: If it gets people to read more, then it must be a good thing.
So I’ve said all I have to say on the LBD. At 12AM EST tomorrow I will be awaiting the final episode with everyone else. I’m said to see it end, but I have a feeling that it is just the beginning and I am so grateful with what the Lizzie Bennet Diaries gave me. If you haven’t at least watched the first episode by now, you should. Here it is.
*And Gigi, and Caroline, and frankly every character Male or Female on the show.
** And it’s waaaaay longer until we see Darcy and Lizzie suck face.