Saturday, January 19, 2013

My LBD Feels Are Stars I Cannot Fathom Into Constellations.

But I'm sure as shooter beans going to try.

I've previously discussed Pride & Prejudice on my blog here, and I've also mentioned The Lizzie Bennet Diaries way back here when it was in its early days.  Now, we're 80 episodes in (not counting Q&As or Maria of the Lu OR LYDIA!!), and I can't believe what this little show has become.  I'm consistently blown away by it-- not only the incredible acting (every single cast member! every one!!), but the writing, the characterization, the modernization, the abs.  I mean, seriously.
We the viewers have now reached the point in the story where things are starting to look up for Lizzie and Darcy, and Lydia is getting cozy with Wickham.  In the source material, Lizzy visits Pemberley the house and sees an entirely new side to Fitzwilliam Darcy, while a teenaged Lydia is most likely being utterly ridiculous in Brighton, but the reader doesn't know this because Jane Austen doesn't show us.  Here in LBD, our Lizzie visits Pemberley the company and see an entirely new side to William Darcy (how long do you think he's had the newsie cap & bowtie in his office in case he needed them? "On short notice" my Aunt Fanny) while our Lydia has her own vlog, where we can see her relationship with Wickham unfold before our very eyes.  In Lydia's video on Friday, she's starting to show her sadness in fighting with Lizzie (rather than just her anger), and Wickham's like, whatevs, Lizzie dumped me first, she's the worst, you're so much better than her.  It's manipulative, it's gross, it's painfully obvious, and it's brilliant.

We've reached a tipping point in the overarching story.  I honestly don't know where it's going to go or how dark they're going to take this.  And that darkness is the reason I wanted to blog today.  I've been going kookoobird crazy reading everything I can about LBD, including some very insightful things on tumblr (you read that right).  I came across this piece that really got me thinking.  Is Lydia's story really that much darker here than it is originally?
In my opinion, yes.  Yes it is.

Part of it is because I care far more about this Lydia than I ever have THAT Lydia.  Modern Lydia, portrayed exquisitely by Mary Kate Wiles, is so much more than her literary counterpart.  Book Lydia is silly, frivolous, one-sided, nonsensical.  All she wants to do is flirt and party, and she never thinks of any consequences for anything she does (I assume most of this is because she's only 15).  She is the second worst literary sister ever, right after Amy March.  LBD Lydia is silly and occasionally frivolous as well, but she's also extremely caring and bright, more effervescent than frivolous.  In most of her videos, however, there's this hint of Other to her, like there's so much more bubbling just beneath the surface that she's absolutely terrified to show.  That's what makes her a compelling character.  I see new sides to her.  Because I care about her in a whole new way, I care WHAT happens to her.

What also makes it darker is the LACK of knowledge we have going forward.  P&P is 200 years old this year (that's gonna be a helluva cake), so the reveal of Lydia & Wickham running away isn't news or a new shock.  Also, times have changed A LOT so running away and living together unmarried is not *as* scandalous as it once was.  Also, as far as plot goes, we know that Wickham tried to convince Georgiana to do the same with him years ago, and it didn't work.

LBD has pulled some twists on us.  A proposal of marriage became a lucrative business proposal.  A sprawling estate became a successful company.  Kitty is actually a cat.  What we don't know is... what happened between Wickham and Gigi?  Lizzie knows, but she won't tell.  Whatever it was, it's bad enough that she wants to keep Wickham away from her and her family, to actively hate him rather than be bummed that their "relationship" fizzled out.  Now that she and Lydia are fighting, though, she can't keep Wicks away from Lydia, nor would Lydia even remotely listen if Lizzie tried to tell her to stay away.  Lydia is 21 years old, and she feels she has the right to see anyone she pleases.  The underlying uncertainty at play here is scary.
The age is another reason I believe this is darker.  Book Lydia is 15, and she acts 15.  I think the BBC miniseries shows this the best when it has the hotel scene of Wickham and Lydia together, and you can tell Wicks is like, is this giggling girl actually worth the trouble?  He looks relieved when Darcy shows up, as if he's still in the wet shirt rather than a top hat.  Personally, I never felt that Lydia was in any real danger.  Here, though... it's a different situation.  What did Wicks do to Gigi?  Why is he laying on the charm with Lydia?  Why is he isolating her from everyone?  What is his endgame?  It can't just be to run away together.  I feel in my gut that it has to tie back to whatever he did to Gigi... and I love LBD Gigi so I don't even want to think about what awfulness LBD Wicks has wrought upon her.

Again, we're at a tipping point, and I don't know which way the wind is going to blow.  Maybe it will go someplace dark and twisty, or maybe I'm being emoier than usual and I need to cut back on the Dashboard.  It doesn't matter.  All I know is that I'll be on the edge of my seat from now until the end of the series (which I hope is never because please don't leave me ever).
from the awesomely named
(p.s. can this be canon please?)

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