Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekend Web Series: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

It's only recently that I've started watching web series regularly, and in this very short time I've gone from being kinda meh about them to being an enthusiastic fan. It's driven by this enthusiasm that I'm starting this blog series on web series. (Frankly, I don't know anyone who's interested in web series. Some of my (Internet) acquaintances probably watch web series, but since I don't really talk to anyone anymore, I couldn't say for sure whether or not they do.)

Watching YouTube videos is like getting sucked into a black hole. But if you can control yourself (not this moi, no) you can easily find the time for a web series. You can watch an entire series in two hours, you can watch it during the weekend, you can watch one episode per daily breakfast. Whatever suits you. The point is: you just have to give it a chance and stick with it. You have to stick with it because although many of these web series are created by professionals (usually with a background in television), they do have their problems - all stemming from low production costs. In the end though, it's really satisfying to follow a series and see it improve along the way.

Post-YouTube-Brandcast, there's going to be a ton of web series and original YouTube content. More mainstream content. Which I'm not sure is such good news for those who want to create a web series but have less resources. I mean, how will a low-fi video look next to a high-end production? While I can't promise anything, I hope this blog series will offer a mix of both very popular and lesser known series. I'll start with a new and already popular one.

*****

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was one of Felicia Day's recommendations on the Flog, so I'm proud to say I knew about this series and subscribed to it before having watched said Flog. (Sometimes, things like this can do wonders for my pop cultural ego.)

Based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries is the creation of Hank Green and Bernie Su; Lizzie Bennet is Ashley Clements. At first, I actually thought the series was made by the actress playing Lizzie, so imagine my disappointment at finding out it was created by two guys. Anyways.

The adopted format is that of video blogging, which besides the fact that it keeps the production costs at a minimum, it actually makes sense in this case. The format is dictated by Pride and Prejudice itself - vu que we get the story from Elizabeth Bennet's perspective.

I'm still quite amazed that Pride and Prejudice is remixed and adapted in so many ways. (I still haven't read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but considering my latest reading digressions, I probably will.) Honestly, I don't quite remember the plot of Pride and Prejudice. I read it in high school, mostly during classes, under my desk, so my memory of it is pretty hazy. This however allows me to say that the Lizzie Bennet Diaries is not just for fans of the book. In addition to the popularity of Pride and Prejudice, I should also note that in the context of Downton Abbey fever, I expect this series to attract quite a lot of viewers.

For now, ten episodes are available online. New episodes are released twice a week, with the next one scheduled for Monday. Two more things before I leave you with the first episode: (1) Read an interview with the creators of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries at Tubefilter & (2) Charlotte is my favorite character right now (Lizzie can be a little too intense sometimes).

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