Lizzie Bennet is a normal young woman, pursuing a Master's degree in communications and desiring nothing more than to be her own person. This is in clear contrast to her mom, who just wants to get Lizzie and her two sisters married off to someone rich as soon as possible. She even got them all shirts saying "It's a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Lizzie doesn't buy it, and is going to explain exactly why to the whole internet in the form of video blogs.When the handsome and rich Bing Lee moves into town, with his infuriatingly snobby and even-richer friend Darcy in tow, Lizzie's life is thrown into disarray as her entire family starts clamouring for his attention. Thankfully, armed with a camera, her friend Charlotte's editing expertise and a healthy dose of snark, Lizzie is ready to document this social catastrophe as it unfolds.If you haven't realized yet, this is a modernized, loosely inspired from the original, Vlog Seriesadaptation of Pride and Prejudice, written by Bernie Su and produced in part by Hank Green. Though it's scarcely the only update of P&P, what was surprising was the exciting and devoted fan reaction: the show boasts close to 200,000 YouTube subscribers and its DVD release raised 500% of its goal on Kickstarter within just one week of its month-long fundraising drive. It can be found on YouTube or at its own website.Though the series ended after 100 entries, a Jane Eyre web series adaptation referencing the L. B. Ds in its first episode appeared on YouTube, and a Spin-Off has been aired- Welcome To Sanditon.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Provide Examples of:
Acting for Two: Since there are a lot of people Lizzie can't typically get in front of the camera, she, Jane, Charlotte and Lydia stand in for just about everyone else.
Actor Allusion: In Episode 73, Lydia says "Being grown-up is totes Squaresville, Sis." Squaresville is the name of another web series starring Mary Kate Wiles.
Adaptational Angst Upgrade: The books didn't portray Lydia particularly sympathetically and would have probably been criticized if they did. In this series, we get to see a heartbroken Lydia sobbing in Lizzie's arms in episode 87.
Adaptation Distillation: Kitty and Mary Bennet are cut from the sisterhood to better focus on the contrasts between the three more prominent sisters. It's later revealed that Kitty is actually a cat and Mary is a cousin that Lizzie "always forgets about".
Mr. Charles Bingley becomes Bing Lee, therefore also turning his sister Caroline Bingley into Caroline Lee. This coincides with a Race Lift
Charlotte Lucas becomes Charlotte Lu to go along with her Race Lift. Her sister, Maria, is similarly renamed Maria Lu and also gets a Race Lift.
Fitzwilliam Darcy becomes William Darcy
Probably to avoid confusion with Darcy, William Collins has become Ricky Collins. Lizzie and co. also refer to him as "Ricky" instead of "Mr. Collins" like his book counterpart (not that he doesn't want to change that).
Darcy's sister's full name is still Georgiana, but she goes by Gigi for short.
Colonel Fitzwilliam is Fitz Williams, and he also has a Race Lift.
Adorkable: Gigi, Mary, and Maria. Darcy and Bing also show flashes of this. Many think Mr. Collins is this too. And Lizzie herself.
Age Lift: The series' modern setting wouldn't fit with 15-year old Lydia or 16-year old Georgiana. Lydia's two older sisters are several years older than their book counterparts as well. Inverted with Charlotte, who was 27 in the book, but is Lizzie's age, 24 years old, in the adaptation.
Charlotte gives realistic but emotionally toned-down and uninterested performances.
And the one exception to all of this is when any of the above do impressions of each other, which are typically very good. Which you'd expect from, you know, sisters (or as-good-as, in Charlotte's case).
Mary's attempt at costume theatre is melodramatic, and she breaks character twice.
Darcy finds it too hard to imitate his sister, but is excellent as his best friend Fitz.
Episode 83, in which Darcy and Lizzie flirt cutely and he praises her work. It sits between Episode 82, in which Gigi reveals the truth about Wickham and herself, and Episode 84, which then reveals that Wickham intends to publish a sex tape of himself and Lydia.
Character Development: As they go through their trials and tribulations, Lizzie and Lydia in particular are growing more aware of the mistakes they've made and the potential problems in their judgement and attitudes towards others.
In the source material Lizzie is a pretty good judge of character with the exception of Wickham and Darcy. In the vlog Lizzie is a lot more prone to being a a bad judge of character because of her personal biases. This forces more Character Development.
Jane as well, especially after she moves to L.A in episode 50.
Mr Bingley originally had two sisters. Obviously, just the one suffices quite well. Caroline is also fulfilling the role of Anne de Bourgh.
Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner have been combined into Dr. Gardiner, Lizzie's professor who gets her set up at Pemberley. Fitz and Gigi also seem to be partly fulfilling the Gardiner's roles.
After episode 87, Lydia's storyline and future prospects are closer to book-Kitty's, rather than book-Lydia's.
Chekhov's Gun: Gigi proudly describes Domino, Pemberley's latest prototype, as being able to auto-edit and auto-upload anything it captures. George Wickham downloads Domino without thinking in the 5th demo video, making himself traceable...
The only compliment Jane has in regards to Darcy is that he is "very tall".
Lizzie: Okay! For the record, when the nicest thing Jane Bennet has to say about you is "tall", you have personality problems.
Lizzie herself feels like Darcy is employing this on her. Evidently she's "decent enough" for him.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: Both Caroline and Wickham are smart enough to discover the videos and then use them to their advantage, broadcasting their sides of the story and attempting to portray themselves in a positive light. Wickham briefly appeared to be the only character watching both Lizzie's videos and Lydia's videos as well.
Lizzie has this look when Lydia sneaks up behind her and wraps her hands around Lizzie's neck with very big, sharp scissors.
Episode 60: Darcy
Lizzie, in episode 78.
In the first episode of the Maria Lu spin-off series, Charlotte Lu warns her younger sister not to do this in a vlog.
Demoted to Extra: Kitty Bennet, who was the fourth Bennet sister, has been adapted into an actual cat named Kitty, while Mary has been turned into a cousin seen mainly in Lydia's spin-off videos (although she has appeared in Lizzie's videos).
Episode 84: Darcy asks Lizzie out on a date but before she can answer she finds out that Lydia has been dating George Wickham and he has been advertising a sex tape of the two of them and Lizzie has to return home.
Drop-In Character: Initially, Jane and Lydia but they're such staples of the show now that that's not true anymore. Definitely the case for Mr. Collins, Caroline and Bing. Bing doesn't even know about the vlog he's appearing on until episode 81.
Freudian Excuse: The Lydia vlogs heavily imply that Lydia acts out and is obnoxious at least in part because she feels jealous of Jane and Lizzie's bond and ignored by her parents. Interestingly, the writers seem to take this less seriously than the vast majority of the Lydia fanbase.
"I would never do that. I can't stand that jerk." Oh, Lydia.
Lizzie's "what if we missed our chance?" from Episode 91. The previous rhetorical questions refer to Bing and Jane as "they", but the wording of the last one implies that she's thinking about Darcy.
Genre Savvy: Darcy. When Gigi calls him on Domino (a device that can record calls and post them online) he immediately asks if she's calling him on the demo, and hangs up promptly.
The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: A tame version exists between Lizzie and Lydia. For the most part, the get along and they are kept in check by Jane. Plus, it's obvious that they really care about each other. The Lizzie-Lydia feud finally erupted in episodes 73 and 74.
Charlotte: "Hey, everyone. Lizzie is having a bit of a crisis because her sister Jane actually likes the guy her mother wants her to marry. A guy who, it turns out, is actually pleasant, and nice, and funny, but that Lizzie had already made up her mind to hate. And Lizzie hates changing her mind."
Lydia has one in Episode 85.
Horrible Judge of Character: Lizzie thinks that a lot of other people fit this trope: "And yet another example of lively, outgoing people inexplicably being friends with Darcy!" The truth, of course, is that she fits the trope; Episode 61 basically revolves around nothing else, with both Charlotte and Darcy himself dropping in to debunk her assumptions on Darcy.
In Lizzie's defense, episode 81 makes it clear that Darcy is unusually stiff when he's around her.
Iconic Outfit: Used in-universe for Costume Theater whenever someone is standing in for someone else.
Darcy's bowtie and newsie cap.
Lizzie's plaid shirt.
Jane is represented by a pink flower worn in someone's hair.
Bing is represented by one of those stereotypical-head-mirror thingies that doctors have.
Wickham is represented with swimming goggles.
Mr. Bennet has a pipe and short-brimmed hat.
Mrs. Bennet has a rainbow scarf, chandelier earrings and a large floppy garden hat.
Gigi is represented by Darcy's newsie cap plus Jane's pink flower.
Fitz is represented by a big poufy wig provided by Darcy.
Charlotte has a knit purple hat, pig tails and a book that says "Charlotte costume" on it. Lizzie had to improvise. Charlotte lampshades the Stylistic Suck the very next episode:
"You had ninety-six episodes to think up a costume for me, and you came up with... pigtails and a book?"
Ironic Echo: In Episode 2, Lizzie uses the comment "Argh, Lydia's being a stupid whorey slut again!" as an hypothetical example of what she might say in a future videos. In Episode 87, Lydia says sincerely that "None of this would've happened if I wasn't acting like a stupid whorey slut again, right?"
Lizzie thinks she has one in episode 43. However, it is made clear at the same time that Lizzie didn't know Charlotte was unhappy with her taking most of the credit for the vlog, making the moment rather moving and redeeming.
Lizzie has a major one in episode 87.
Kick the Dog: Lizzie, without realizing the extent of it, towards all the characters whose private lives she reveals. It divides as follows:
Cases begining with serious provocation or indifference towards her well-being: Darcy, her mother, the Team Swimmers, Mr.Collins.
Lydia does the same as a part of her Sibling Rivalry with Lizzie, but at least, she is very affectuous towards her. She does the same to Mary but wants to help her and they finally end up being friends.
Darcy's statements are demeaning to about 80% of the base. Those who haven't read the book have a hard time to see him being redeemed (unless they think Lizzie's exaggerating).
Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Collins may talk a good game, but it is quite fair to say that he has zero understanding of what the "point" of social media is.
Charlotte saying that people like the DIY look. "It makes the video feel more authentic if it's not too polished."
Lizzie and Charlotte:
Charlotte: "Could you get back on-script? No one cares about my aunt." Lizzie: "Yeah... We seem super-authentic now."
Mr. Collins: "I find [your vlog] inherently unique, perhaps it's the complex narrative you're telling."
Lydia winks at the camera in Episode 24 when she explains to Lizzie and Charlotte that she got into Vid Con because she "has friends in high places"...
Lizzie is aware that her viewers ship her and Darcy and she makes comments about not wanting any crazy fan fictions. Cue commentators claiming that one chick named Jane Austen wrote a fan fic in historical setting and that it's pretty good.
One episode 48, where Jane comes in with an embroidery for Lizzie, and when re-enacting a scene between Lizzy and Wickham, suddenly breaks down remembering how Bing never called to explain why he left town.
The Care Package episode. Fitz brings up how caring Darcy is by talking about how Darcy intervened between Jane and Bing, not realizing that Jane was the girl Darcy warned Bing about and that Lizzy is sending a care package partly because of the entire situation.
Episode 84. Lizzie is gleefully showing off her new phone and Darcy is on the verge of asking her out on a date when Lizzie learns from Charlotte that Wickham intends to publish a sex tape featuring himself and Lydia.
My Girl Is a Slut Lizzie opinion of Lydia is that she's a "Whorey Slut" when she is called out about slut shaming her sister by fans she modifies this to say that Lydia is immature and impulsive. In light of Wickham publicizing a sex tape of Lydia without her knowledge or consent, Lizzie's first reaction was that Lydia was being a stupid whorey slut, and then finds that Lydia didn't know about Wickham's plan she starts victim blaming Lydia and saying that Lydia was being reckles "allowed" herself to get conned by Wickham, when in fact Wickham manipulated Lydia because he was abusing her.
Not So Different: Episode 55 revolves around this. Charlotte compares Lizzie to her mother (see the next trope down for her response), and Lizzie quite innocently compares herself to Mr. Collins ("I wonder where Charlotte learned her Politeness Judo?") and then, more subtly, to Darcy (taking note of the friends they both have, which by her calculations shouldn't be true).
Jane points out that Lizzie and Lydia are not so different, being incredibly stubborn and more willing to talk to the internet than to each other.
One-Hour Work Week: Bing's very flexible med school schedule is lampshaded by Lizzie. An explanation is offered in Episode 92: He quit med school after realising he needs to live his own life for himself.
Due to budget and storytelling constraints, only a few members of the cast appear onscreen. Lizzie's extra sisters Mary and Kitty have been transformed into a cousin and an actual cat (respectively), and Bing's two sisters have been condensed into one.
In amusing behind-the-scenes facts: Lizzie's room is producer Jenni Powell's actual apartment, and the lead actresses costume themselves out of their personal wardrobes.
Ashley Clements: "At this point I own very, very little that has not been on the show. Basically if I wanted to wear something that I haven't worn as Lizzie, I could wear pajamas or a bridesmaid's dress."
Promoted to Love Interest: Inverted by Mr. Collins, who goes from proposing marriage to Elizabeth (and later, Charlotte) to offering Lizzie (and later, Charlotte) a job.
Red Herring: The videos concerning Lydia's trip to Las Vegas all drop heavy foreshadowing that she might have some sort of Accidental Marriage there, as in the source material. Even Lydia teases it in her first video of 2013. But it never happens. (The actual way it plays out is even more horrifying.)
Running Gag: Lydia's list of why Lizzie is perpetually single, and Lizzie's confusion over whether it's real or not.
Whenever someone questions the veracity of Lizzie's recollections, Lizzie responds, "I forget nothing."
Setting Update: P&P in modern America, as a vlog. The Bennet sisters are now university students who are probably going need a man in possession of a good fortune to dig them out of the debts their family has. Mr Bingley is now a medical student and Darcy is a media mogul's son and a hipster.
And Kitty Bennet is actually a kitty.
And Collins' proposal is a business proposal instead of a marriage proposal.
Ship Tease: Quite possibly the 2nd video of Maria's spinoff, for Mr Collins and Charlotte.
Shipper on Deck: Naturally, Gigi and Fitz for Lizzie and Darcy, judging by their tweets and Gigi's conversations with Lizzie. In episode 78, Gigi orchestrates the infamous awkward Pemberley scene by unceremoniously shoving Darcy into the room and sitting Lizzie and Darcy in front of the camera. Her tweets with Fitz show that they were both in on it. They were using Spy Speak.
Shirtless Scene: Episode 45 courtesy of George Wickham. Invoked by Lydia. She spilled water on his shirt and persuaded him to take it off. He gladly obliged.
In the Q&A, one of the names Lizzie suggested for the session was "Lizzie explains it all". This is perhaps inadvertently a shoutout to a website called Lissa Explains it All, which teaches children about HTML and which has been around for over 10 years. (The website may have originally been called "Lizzy Explains it All"), or the tv show Clarissa Explains It All.
Charlotte's sister Maria's got one as well thanks to an intership at Mr Collins.
Gigi has one too, where she is demonstrating the Domino app.
Spot of Tea: Jane keeps bringing Lizzie tea when she's distressed. When she brings also scones, Lizzie lampshades the trope by asking whether they have turned British with a nod to the original source.
Episode 59, when Lizzie angrily says that she never wants to see Darcy's face again and that it'll be too soon if she does. Ten seconds later, we see Darcy's torso in the doorway.
Gigi proudly describes in her Domino demonstration that the app can auto-edit and auto-upload anything it captures whenever she uses it. The second demo video shows that Darcy is not pleased that she's talking about personal matters on the demo.
Episode 42. Charlotte accepts a job from Mr Collins and she and Lizzie get into a rather heated argument over it.
Episode 58 through 64 are the real Drama Bomb, coinciding with the apex of the story. First we learn from Fitz that Darcy orchestrated Bing's breakup with Jane. In the next, Darcy himself breaks into the series. In 60, he sits down with Lizzie and delivers his Anguished Declaration of Love. In 61, having watched her video diaries, he apologizes for his actions and gives her a letter. As she relates in 62, this letter contains his motivation for breaking up Jane and Bing, and—because his actions actually make sense given the information he had available—Lizzie's opinion of him begins to change. Finally, 63 and 64 have Caroline return, get called out on lying, and be firmly planted as an antagonist in Charlotte and Lizzie's mind. No more false friends here.
Episode 73. Yeeeaaaah.
Episode 82. Gigi reveals the truth about what went down between Wickham and herself. Wickham was using Gigi for Darcy's money.
Followed almost immediately by the revelation that Wickham is publishing a sex tape of himself and Lydia.
Charlotte to Lizzie in Episode 42, according to some viewers. Though others would place Lizzie as the one chastizing the other one. The latter is probably the writer's main goal.
Lizzie finds out about Lydia's sex tape and then doesn't bother to ask her sister about it but leaves her job shadowing gig to come home and berate her about it without bothering to ask if Lydia even knew or consented to doing it.
Episode 2 on the Pemberley Digital channel has Gigi call out Darcy when it seems like he either won't be helping the Bennet family in their crisis, or will leave her out of the loop when he does.
Lizzie confronts Bing about his leaving Jane in episode 90.
If we are to believe Maxwell Glick's opinion (expressed here), Ricky honestly means well, but he suffers from a lack of social skills and doesn't understand that he hurts others (whether it is because he is awkward or because he is too centered on his career and himself is still up in the air).
Even after getting called out in episode 64,Caroline Lee is still plotting against Lizzie according to the lead writer, Bernie Su.
Charlotte's remarks about working on Lizzie's diaries rather than her own videos in episode 42 were said in the heat of the moment. She really did consider the videos "their project" rather than just Lizzie's.