Adaptation #42: All About the EL-BEE-DEE!

header042What?! After a year of Mondays and Thursdays spent in anticipation of a new episode, our Austen-inclined hosts discuss Hank Green and Bernie Su’s The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and its whole new level of audience immersion. We gush over our love for most of the characters, seethe over our hatred for others and sit in awe of the realization that they all had depth that we weren’t initially expecting from this Pride and Prejudice adaptation.

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Music: Themes from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and The Lydia Bennet videos

Main Discussion

(Please forgive how long these are. I got a little obsessive in preparation for this podcast.)

Pride and Prejudice

-Written by Jane Austen

-Published in 1813

-Adapted many, many times: the BBC’s 1995 Colin Firth mini-series; Helen Fielding’s 1996 novel Bridget Jones’ Diary; Sharon Maguire’s 2001 film Bridget Jones’ Diary; Joe Wright’s 2005 Keira Knightly film; ITV’s 2008 Lost in Austen mini-series; Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

-Created by Hank Green and Bernie Su

-Written by Bernie Su, Margaret Dunlap and Rachel Kiley

-Starring Ashley Clements, Mary-Kate Wiles, Laura Spencer, Julia Cho, and Daniel Vincent Gordh

-Started April 2012, Ended March 2013

100 main Lizzie videos; Lydia, Maria, Collins & Collins and Pemberley Digital/Gigi videos; Twitter accounts for every characeter; Jane’s Pintrest; other external sites

-Next up: Sandition and another adaptation to be announced


My Personal Notes

(this is where it gets excessive)


“We Love LDB” Week: LeakyNews Celebrates and Looks Back

“We Love LDB” Week: Looking Back with the Creators (Part 1)

“We Love LDB” Week: Looking Back with the Creators (Part 2)

Lydia, Legacy and the End of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

What The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Has Meant to Me (Mary Kate Wiles’ Tumblr)

Just Some Thoughts (Margaret Dunlap’s Tumblr)

Lizzie Bennet

-focus on career

-focus on sisterly relationships

–Only Lizzie, Lydia and Char in last video

-prejudice/unreliable narration


-focus on Jane’s love life

–she hasn’t learned to be independent from family, Jane points out that she’s scared to leave

–New Year’s resolution to find where she’s meant to be

-her growth starts with the fight with Charlotte

-swayed by Darcy’s logic about Bing finding the videos

-breakdown about Lydia, putting people in boxes

Lizzie/Darcy (Dizzie)

-in denial for a long time, refusing that he did it for her

-no one ever considers that he just wants to stick it to Wickham


-Darcy makes sure she was going to say yes before the scandal

-Lizzie doesn’t take PemDig job

-they are going to be competitors, starts own company

-includes lot of visits from Lydia


Jane/Bing  (JING!) and Caroline

-‘someone that makes you realize you’re not missing your other half, you enough as you are’

-Jane’s growth: learns to be independent and strong on her own first

-doesn’t come right down when Bing comes, don’t get back together right away

-Bing grows too, learns to make own decisions and to ask Jane about things himself and not go through others

-Jane takes the NY job without considering Bing

-Bing follows her to NY, Jane doesn’t want it to be just for her, doesn’t say yes right away

-separate apts, lives

-Lizzie calls Bing ‘charming arm candy’

-Lizzie realizes Caroline was just scared of losing her brother just like she was afraid of losing Jane

Charlotte and Ricky

-career opportunity instead of marriage



-Char takes over Collins & Collins

Lydia Bennet

-bubbly party girl

-slut shaming/victim blaming

-Brent issues: dated him, he said things that weren’t true, people believed; parents and lizzie

-Halloween; gets to be whatever she wants, everyone is wearing a costume, everyday

-doesn’t like how Darcy treated Lizzie but realizes that people have more to them

-Says that when you care about someone you’ll ‘do anything for them whether they know it or not’


Lydia and Lizzie

-Liz talks about her to her face, disapprovingly

-Babysitting: littlest was lonely, older kids tease him, how she feels with sisters

-stands up for people she loves; girls teasing Mary; Lizzie’s necklace; comfort when George leaves

-applies to be Lizzie’s sidekick after Charlotte leaves

-Lizzie is hard on her out of love, party girl book, but never actually apologizes until the end

-swears off interfering just as Lydia starts relationship with George

-Lizzie assumes that Lydia was in on the tape- doesn’t know her sister, watch her videos

-Jane points out how alike they are

-Lizzie thinks George was ‘using her to get back at me’

-Lydia gives her a list of why she’s no longer perpetually single


-he’s manipulative; insults Lizzie character; needy/clingy; textbook abuser

-makes watcher question character- thought he might have been sincere- don’t know for sure until the video after Gigi’s story

-in ‘Heartbreaker’ he turns the camera on

-says I Love You for first time on camera

-Lydia’s vivacity completely gone in these videos

-Lydia quotes Lizzie: ‘being a stupid whorey slut again’

-her breakdown: anticipating comments that would be made

-self-blame, not just Lydia, Lizzie and Gigi and Darcy too

-George still plays victim when Gigi calls

-Lydia is in counseling after, asking for help from Lizzie, doesn’t want to be on her own, getting better at talking to people

Gigi and Fitz (Team Figi)

-Gigi says that keeping someone ignorant can hurt them- mirrors Lizzie not telling Lydia

-Gigi helps save day!

-Darcy overprotects Bing because of what happened to Gigi

–were he and Fitz a bit OVERprotective?

-FIGI ships it SO HARD; Fitz goes on vacation to Figi

Allusions to Original and/or Other Adaptations

-Annikins is perfect for Darcy

-Lizzie loves any movie starring Colin Firth

-Lydia references ‘that chubby Zellwegger movie’

-shelves in the closet (oh, happy thought)

-Lizzie would ‘probably have a lot of muddy dresses’

-Lizzie is asked if she is an unreliable narrator

-Lydia is asked if she ever feels like a secondary character in someone else’s story

-Lizzie like empire waistlines

Stay tuned for episode #43 on Fede Alverez’s film Evil Dead!
For more classic literature adaptations, check out our episodes on Les Miserables, Anna Karenina (novel and film) or The Hobbit (novel and film)!

3 thoughts on “Adaptation #42: All About the EL-BEE-DEE!

  1. Pingback: A Jane Austen Fan’s Dream Comes True on the Big Screen! | Adaptation: A Podcast Dedicated to Film Adaptations

  2. Pingback: Adaptation Mini #2: From Page To Screen Interviews – A Bronte Double Feature | Adaptation: A Podcast Dedicated to Film Adaptations

  3. Pingback: Adaptation #46: The Not Quite Oscar-Worthy Gatsby | Adaptation: A Podcast Dedicated to Film Adaptations

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