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Friday, September 26, 2008

Lost in Austen

And so ITV's twist on Pride & Prejudice is over.

Great TV it certainly wasn't, I don't think people will be sitting down to watch repeats or buy the DVD, but it was light, frothy and had the odd amusing line in it.

When I last commented on this I said I expected Elizabeth Bennet to turn up 3 months pregnant and on drugs. Well she did turn up and she wasn't.

My problem with it was that it was all so unrealistic. Ok having a 21st century woman turn up in an 18th century novel is unrealistic but that doesn't mean you can't write it with a degree of realism.

At the start of part 4. Darcy couldn't love a woman who came to his bed not "whole", Bingley was off the rails totally and Jane is married to Mr Collins. Oh and Elizabeth was nowhere.

So how do you unravel that? They find Elizabeth (and this is probably the best bit) working as a nanny. It was amusing to see Darcy's face when confronted with 21st century Hammersmith (and it was a stark reminder to us to see that Hammersmith was a village in the early 18th century) and I liked Amanda's line "I'm borrowing a mobile phone from Elizabeth Bennet".

As Collins is incapable of consumating his marriage Lady Catherine will arrange for a divorce if Amanda Price will remove herself from polite society. Jane weeps that she is now is even worse straits but Bingley appears virtually immediately to propose and says they'll go to America. Elizabeth decides she prefers the 21st century and goes back and Amanda and Darcy stick tongues down each others throat (is that removing yourself from polite society?).

It was ok, and that's the best I can say about it. Let me add I am not a Janeite but I have enjoyed the adaptations and of the books I think Pride & Prejudice is excellent but for me there is a reason for that and that's because Elizabeth Bennet is such a good character take her out and what have you got? And you know what I didn't really like the substitute. In the book (and in the adaptation) you care about what happens and in this you don't.


Anonymous said...

I meant to watch the whole thing, but the first part was all I could face. I was getting goosebumps, and they weren't good ones!

I disliked the modern Doctor Who for some related reasons (central character loud-mouthed female) but obviously it's not quite the same thing. Or is it? Actually I think having Doctor Who pop up in the middle of Pride and Prejudice would have made a better story, despite being no better thought-out.

Dawn said...

I loved it, as did my daughter 13, and many of her friends. No it wasn't Austen and the purists will no doubt be appalled, but it was a light-hearted and rather silly production, which I don't think was meant to be taken seriously.

What I have noticed is that many of my daughters friends are now showing an interest in reading the book to see what it was all about, which can only be a good thing IMHO.

Pete said...

interesting point blondie