Favourite Lizzie Bennet videos

I’ve been in a Lizzie Bennet Diaries mood all day after posting that Pride and Prejudice fan video earlier and this past evening I spent a very pleasant time hunting down some of my favourite fan videos made for this show. I’m just sharing a few here for fun, in no particular order.

This first one is catchy and features I think just about every character on the show, which I love…

Another catchy one with all the characters and some nice editing…

This following video was made before the series ending, when Lizzie was still in denial…

And this one was before series end as well…

Disney musicals are apparently popular for Lizzie Bennet videos: Beauty and the Beast lyrics which feel very fitting for the Dizzie (Darcy + Lizzie) relationship…

A video about the Bennet sisters. This series was just as much about sisters as it was about Lizzie and Darcy…

And last but not least this video, which also features a few clips from two bonus videos made in 2014, a year after the series ended (the clips where Lizzie wears the white polka dot top)…

I wish I could make videos like that, mine are pretty lame in comparison.

LBD cast

For its 5 year anniversary, LBD is being released again in real time just like during the original run; this will be happening soon on their Facebook page. So, if you’re interested you can take a look there as well. I may be peeking in from time to time myself. ūüôā

OK, it’s just after 1 a.m. here, I need to head to bed now. Will probably be dreaming of Dizzie tonight…

Advertisements

Best Pride & Prejudice video ever!

I am a sucker for Jane Austen’s¬†Pride and Prejudice; I first read it in my late teens / early twenties. When I was 25 I got hooked on the brilliant BBC adaptation that came out that year, I couldn’t wait for Sunday evening to come around and for¬†each new episode to air. I fell in love with Colin Firth because of Pride and Prejudice. Even though I find fault with the 2005 Keira Knightley / Matthew MacFadyen version, I still do enjoy it. 5 years ago the web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries¬†started airing¬†on YouTube and I fell in love with that as well. I had a similar reaction to that series as to the 1995 BBC version; I was so caught up in following the series twice a week that I’d¬†sit at my laptop at the announced airing time, ready to click on the latest video as soon as it was posted! I even made Lizzie Bennet fan videos.

I like P&P so much that I¬†also¬†enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, very much to¬†my surprise as I don’t normally ‘do’ zombies. I have read P&P retellings and sequels and fan fiction. Recently fellow-blogger Perry even alerted me to a retelling of the story that, yes,¬†I have now acquired and plan to read soon as¬†well¬†(called An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan – part of a trilogy of books, I find, that retell the story from Darcy’s point of view). Anyhow, my love for P&P may be abundantly clear by now, and my love for adaptations of it as well.

So, today, I opened my YouTube page and there was a fan video suggested to me that featured the 1995 P&P, the 2005 P&P, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Of course I can not resist such a suggestion, clicked on it and oh my goodness, it is now my favourite Pride and Prejudice fan video ever! Iconic quotes and images of all three adaptations are put side by side and watching this fills my heart with joy. I am all for spreading the joy, so if you love P&P as well, take a look:

It has certainly brightened up my Monday morning!

BBC’s Pride & Prejudice – 20 years!

I was celebrating Colin Firth’s birthday here two weeks ago and now it’s time to celebrate the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice!

20 years ago today, on September 24th 1995, I eagerly tuned in to BBC One to see what they had made of the latest adaptation of one of my favourite novels: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. I had at that time only ever seen one screen adaptation of the novel, the Laurence Olivier one, and I didn’t much care for it. So, I sat down to watch on that Sunday evening and the first episode opened with Lizzie Bennet walking outside and watching two horsemen ride in the distance: Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy…

I immediately took to Lizzie and her sisters, Mrs. Bennet was a hoot and Mr. Bennet was her tormentor, oh what a joy to watch!

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-20h52m42s185

And¬† then… Mr. Darcy appeared in all his brooding glory!

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-20h55m24s033

Lizzie took an instant dislike to him and I was sold. We saw the introduction of Mr. Bingley…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-21h19m52s557

…and his acerbic sister Caroline who forever was seeking the attention of Mr. Darcy (like here when he is admiring Lizzie Bennet’s ‘fine eyes’ from afar)…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-21h16m52s751

And the episode ended with Lizzie staying over at Netherfield and her head-on verbal collision with Mr. Darcy. Better than any action movie out there! That first hour was over all too soon! I fevered towards the next episode, counting the days, hours and minutes.

The second episode brought the ridiculous Mr. Collins…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-21h14m01s408

… the charming but not so nice Mr. Wicked… er… Wickham…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-21h15m20s581

… and the ball at Netherfield where Lizzie was obliged to dance with Mr. Darcy despite having vowed never to do so! That dance scene…. ah!

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-21h04m56s168

This scene is a word-duel between Lizzie and Darcy with advances and parries and jabs, all wrapped nicely into a dance. The timing is so perfect, the tension building higher and higher between them… I was breathless and in awe (still am to this day) of how good this is!

The third episode ended with Darcy proposing to Lizzie. “In vain I have struggled,” he said, “it will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you!”…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-22h19m06s906

And the episode ended with her refusal to marry him. Understandably so, but heartbreaking nonethess…

And then something awful happened: I had to travel to Germany for two weeks! I had a temp job working in the library of the international organization my dad was the general secretary of and I had work to do there! I needed the money and it paid well, which was nice, but there was a huge downside: there was no BBC in Germany! I programmed the VCR at home (these were the times before DVD, let alone recordable DVD…) and kept my fingers crossed that it would tape properly (I had had mishaps before). The two weeks were loooong, I was so desperate to see what happened next. It was just awful to be left with a refused-proposal-cliffhanger! Finally, after two weeks, I came home again and I immediately binge-watched episodes four and five.

Episode four had Darcy explaining himself in a letter to Lizzie and yes, it also had that wet shirt scene with the nipples!

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-22h48m20s641

At the end of this episode, Lizzie and Darcy were finally starting to find to each other…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-22h49m39s293

Then came episode five, with the beautiful long looks of love exchanged by Darcy and Lizzie as Georgiana Darcy played the piano…. sigh…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h05m15s383

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h03m48s939

But evil Mr Wickham just had to spoil it all…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h10m45s776

“I’m afraid you’ve long been desiring my absence,” Mr Darcy said as he took his leave from Lizzie, and my heart broke…

The last (sixth) episode I was again able to watch “live” and because I had binge watched episodes four and five only a day before; the wait for the last episode hadn’t been long… I was on tenterhooks and even though I know how the story ends, I still wondered, ‘how will¬†this end?’

After all the trouble with Wickham and Lydia was solved and after Lizzie found out that Mr. Darcy was the rescuer, he and Bingley came to the visit the Bennets again…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h20m34s699

And Lizzie and Darcy couldn’t help themselves, they had to sneak looks at each other…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h21m14s824 vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h21m22s404

But before the happy end could happen, first Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine DeBourgh came for a visit. Lady Catherine demanded from Lizzie a promise that she would never marry Darcy. Lizzie, however, refused to make such a promise…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h40m18s528

“Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?” Lady Catherine asked in desperation. Classic! And well, yes they are! Lizzie’s refusal to promise anything finally gave Darcy the courage to propose to her again…

“You are too generous to trifle with me,” he said, “If your feelings are what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged… but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.”

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h58m41s042

“My feelings are so different,” she replied, “in fact, they are quite the opposite!”

And, to boot, after a heart to heart talk, he called her his “Dearest. loveliest Elizabeth…” with such a look of love that I melted… vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h25m02s624

So, in the end, Jane and Lizzie married the men of their dreams…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h26m15s946

And after the wedding there was finally a Darcy and Lizzie kiss…

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h27m20s647

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h28m57s265

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h29m21s226

vlcsnap-2015-09-23-23h29m55s830

Ahhh…. Ok, admittedly, that kiss lacked the passion this one had (9 years later)…

vlcsnap-2015-09-24-00h21m41s388

… but I think nothing can beat the North & South kiss of Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe! In my humble opinion it’s the best on screen kiss ever. But I digress… Lizzie and Darcy kissed! And that is more than they ever did in the book.

I already loved the book but after seeing the adaptation I became obsessed with it and with the BBC series, and yes, like so very many women who had seen this, I fell head over heels in love with Colin Firth! He and Jennifer Ehle had perfectly portrayed Darcy and Lizzie (Jennifer Ehle won a BAFTA for it and I still haven’t forgiven BAFTA for not giving Colin Firth one for this role…)

Today, 20 years on, Colin Firth is still a great favorite of mine and I still adore this version of Pride & Prejudice; for me it remains the best version ever. The 2005 Pride & Prejudice fiilm with Keira Knightley and Matthew McFadyen was alright but for me McFadyen could not hold a candle to Colin Firth’s Darcy. And the rest of the characters were fine but just not as good…

If you love Pride & Prejudice as well, you may enjoy a YouTube webseries called “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” which places the story of Pride & Prejudice in this century, this decade even! Lizzie Bennet is a grad student and one day meets a Mr. Bing Lee and a Mr. William Darcy at a friend’s wedding…It’s 100 hundred episodes that average about 3 to 4 minutes each. For me, the second best Pride & Prejudice adaptation out there…

Yes, I love Pride & Prejudice and the 1995 adaptation was key to it all… Thank you BBC and Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle and everyone who was involved in making it!

Dear John Green,

I am not a teenager (I am a happily married 43 year old mom of two children aged 11 and 9), I do not have cancer or really know anyone closely with that awful disease and I do not particularly want to read sad and emotionally draining books when I have enough other stuff going on in my life. So, what made me pick up your book ‚ÄúThe Fault in our Stars‚ÄĚ? It really all started with Jane Austen.
I am a lover of Jane Austen, have been since my late teens when I finally decided to pick up ‚ÄúPride and Prejudice‚ÄĚ.¬†I fell in love with P&P and subsequently read all of Austen‚Äôs work, loving¬†P&P and Persuasion most (apparently I am a sucker for second chances). Last year around the end of April my love for Jane Austen lead me to a new adaptation of P&P: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries which I totally fell in love with. You can guess where this is going, right? The LBD in time lead me to Hank Green but I did not follow the Hank Green lead for a long¬†while. Then at the beginning of this year, the LBD lead me to a YouTube video of Ashley Clements (Lizzie¬†from The¬†LBD) and Daniel Vincent Gordh (Darcy¬†from The¬†LBD) reading from a book on stage. It was a scene about a teenage couple walking through the Anne Frank House and kissing each other. That¬†held my attention¬†for reasons other than Ashley and Daniel. I‚Äôll come to why that was the case later. The Anne Frank House¬†scene reading lead me to the Vlogbrothers and in getting to know more about the Vlogbrothers I finally discovered you, John Green,¬†and your book “The Fault in our Stars”. I find that the¬†scene in the Anne Frank House is¬†a scene from¬†your book!¬†Over the years I have found many treasures following serendipitous trails like these and this really is my latest treasure find…
As I mentioned at the beginning of my letter I resisted reading the book. I have had a difficult past year and wasn’t looking to add to my sadness by reading a sad book. But the book was beckoning for many reasons: from what I have seen of the Vlogbrothers, I¬†really like¬†you; I also really like Anne Frank; I wonder how the couple in the book¬†ended up kissing in the Anne Frank House;¬†I’m intrigued to see how an American sees Amsterdam; I like a really good love story. My cursor hovered over the Amazon¬†shopping basket¬†button several times but I chickened out each time because I did not want sadness. Then last week I walked into a book store and the book was lying there, right in front of me, begging to be bought. It was like the universe¬†conspired against me and made¬†me pick up that book. And so I did. And I bought it. And I went to our little holiday cottage (where we were staying) to read it. And I could not stop reading as¬†I was sucked in from the first chapter.
What was it that resonated so for me? First of all it was the character of Hazel. She doesn’t want pity and she doesn’t want to leave a mess once she departs this world, she just wants to be.¬†She believes that a life well-lived outside of the spotlight is just as worthy as the life of a well known hero. Everyone counts! It made me identify with a struggle within myself. I remember distinctly that when I was 15 I was crying in the arms of my eldest sister, lamenting the fact that I would never be famous, I would never do great deeds, I would never be a grand hero because I am just not that kind of person. I am not someone who is “out there”, I am not someone with exceptional talents,¬†and now as I grow older I realize I do not have to be. I can make a small difference in the world around me, be good for others, care for others like I do and always have done, and that is enough. It is freeing to find¬†a heroine of a book not seeing herself as¬†a heroine, genuinely not wanting to be a¬†heroine,¬†not even¬†being described in heroic terms, yet she is one.¬†Deep down we all¬†are heroes and maybe, just maybe, in a small way, so am I.
What also really¬†resonated was¬†witnessing the deterioration of a loved one. I am going through that now with my old¬†father who has Parkinson’s disease and is suffering from an onset of dementia. Last year he collapsed at home and since then he has been in a nursing home. He can not live at home anymore and never will again. Of course, this is very different from cancer, but the feeling of helplessness; the pain of seeing someone you love being able to do less and less; the stripping away of everything in their being until they will only become the shadow of what they once were; the fear and pain of losing them;¬†the inevitability of it all: I could identify with that.
Then there was the Anne Frank connection. I read the Anne Frank diary in my early teens, it inspired me to keep my own diary. I have read many many books about her and have been to the Anne Frank House several times. I loved how this book reminds us of the fact that she was just a normal teenager. The kissing scene reiterated the parallels between Hazel, suffering in silence, and Anne, suffering in silence, yet both trying their best to be happy. Anne was a girl and not a monument to be pitied and stared at, just like Hazel.
I was intrigued by the way you describe Amsterdam. While yes, the canals are beautiful, I have never thought of Amsterdam in the romantic way you do and it warms me, makes me think I need to walk through Amsterdam again and try to see it the way you do.
And on top of all of this, I loved the humor in the book, I loved the layers of meaning, the symbolism, the way it is very sad sometimes (yes, I cried several times) but never asks for pity. We learn to live with whatever fate throws at us and make the best of it. And yes, I am also a sucker for a good love story, so that helped too. It is easy to fall in love with Augustus, and with Hazel.
So, thank you. Thank you for this book. I will definitely go back and read it again. Not because of the sadness and because it could make me cry, but because of the no nonsense approach, the idea that we all are heroes, the humor, the warmth, and, gosh, I really do need to get to the bottom of all those layers in the book!
So¬†now, just like 25 years ago when I discovered Jane Austen, I find I have discovered another author I want to read more of! I will go on a new quest to discover¬†your other writings. I think I may start with “Looking for Alaska”…
Yours sincerely and with gratitude,