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Series / Pride and Prejudice (1995)
aka: Pride And Prejudice

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The six-episode 1995 television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Colin Firth as Mr Darcy.

Tropes used in the mini-series:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The allegedly plain Charlotte is played here by the decidedly attractive Lucy Scott.
  • Adaptational Curves: Elizabeth is described as having a "light" figure. The mini-series has her played by the taller and curvy Jennifer Ehle.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: During the reveal of Darcy and Wickham's backstory, this version has Wickham receiving three thousand pounds instead of the living Darcy Senior had intended for him, but leaves out Darcy Junior's refusal to give the living to him when he'd spent all his money. Thus, Darcy's belief that Wickham meant to elope with Georgiana partly from revenge comes rather out of nowhere.
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  • "Awkward Silence" Entrance: At the ball in Meryton, the musicians stop playing and everyone goes silent and stares when the Netherfield party enters the room, who stare silently back. Everyone goes back to what they were doing after Sir William goes over to greet them.
  • Book-Ends: The first time we see Darcy and Bingley, the former is essentially giving the latter his blessing to rent Netherfield. In the last episode, when Bingley finds out that Darcy kept him in the dark about Jane being in London and is understandably angry, Darcy apologises and Bingley, mollified and hesitant, asks if he has his blessing (to propose to Jane). When an amused Darcy asks if he needs his blessing: "No. But I should like to know I have it all the same."
  • Cassandra Truth: Caroline tells Elizabeth at the Netherfield ball that Wickham treated Darcy "in an infamous manner" and that Darcy was blameless in the whole affair, but mixes it with enough disparaging comments at Wickham's descent that Elizabeth dismisses her words as snobbery. As it turns out, Caroline was right —and she's not even fully aware of how much Wickham has hurt the Darcys.
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  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: At one point, Maria Lucas comments of Mary King, "She's not very pretty, is she?" To modern eyes the actress playing Mary is very pretty indeed, but she's red haired and freckled, two big no-nos in terms of Regency beauty.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The opening scenes, before the story proper even starts, tell us a fair bit about most of the main characters:
    • Darcy is rich and snobbish, but a good friend to Bingley;
    • Bingley is enthusiastic and easily led;
    • Elizabeth is independent and cheerful;
    • Mr. Bennet is sardonic and isn't that fond of his younger daughters, but clearly loves Elizabeth;
    • Lydia is self-absorbed and well used to getting her own way;
    • Kitty is emotional and never gets her own way;
    • Mrs. Bennet is 'nervous' and spoils Lydia;
    • Mary can't be having with her younger sisters and prefers reading;
    • Jane is calm and solicitous of her family.
  • Flashback: As Darcy writes his letter to Elizabeth, a couple of flashbacks are seen, particularly one during Darcy and Wickham's childhoods and their time at Cambridge, where Darcy caught Wickham in a compromising position.
  • Foreshadowing: Mr. Bennet is clearly not taken in (or at least somewhat skeptical) of Wickham's tale of woe, and when Elizabeth defends him her father points out that Mr. Darcy may be less a scoundrel than simply a rich man used to getting his own way. This turns out to be close to the truth.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Modern audiences sometimes are confused that Jane Bennet is labeled as the family beauty, and prefer Elizabeth's appearance. However, Susanna Harker's fair complexion and Grecian profile were more fashionable during the Regency period.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Mary can be seen trying to attract Mr. Collins's attention in various ways, including wearing a more revealing dress (for her, anyway) primping herself upon his arrival, and in general being more amiable than when she is with just her family.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Watching the miniseries repeatedly reveals a number of subtle and excellent touches from the actors, often in Facial Dialogue and Meaningful Looks.
    • Watch Wickham at the scene at Mrs Phillip's where he shares a flirty look with Elizabeth. You can just make out that Lydia is playing with his epaulettes (not a euphemism). There are lots of little hints of him and Lydia before they run off together, many of which are only seen after countless viewings.
  • Shout-Out: When the courier arrives with the letter giving the first news of Lydia's elopement, Mrs Bennet's voice is heard demanding if they are all to be murdered in their beds.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: An aversion, highlighting one of the reasons for this trope. Benjamin Whitrow (Mr Bennet) was shown tucking into gooseberry fool. The scene took two days to shoot, and he had to eat so much that he could never bear to eat it again.

Alternative Title(s): Pride And Prejudice


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