For someone to truly appreciate the problems with The Lizzie Bennett Diaries’ take on Pride and Prejudice they must first understand my problems with heavily inspired works in general. I hope to explain here how The Lizzie Bennett Diaries fails to impress in many ways including the voice of the work, presentation, and creative liberties.
As a disclaimer I do not think that inspired works are a problem. In fact I believe without iteration a medium cannot progress within its genres. However works that are heavily inspired such as The Lizzie Bennett Diaries keep as much as they loose making no progress towards the advancement of the genre. As an example the characters in The Lizzie Bennett Diaries are heavily inspired by Pride and Prejudice however in a way that keeps its own flavor. This is clearly an attempt to keep things fresh so viewers are willing to continue. However what we gain is a sprinkle of originality, like Lizzie being a “relatable” collage female with cute character quirks, while losing almost all of the text’s voice. For example, the tense political undertone that Elizabeth must be married or face a life of irreverence in her culture is gone. Pride and Prejudice had romance elements along with political drama and dry light humored moments mixed in for flavor. The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is a romantic comedy with some light hearted drama to keep things in line with the book in small ways.
That brings me to the problem with the presentation of The Lizzie Bennett Diaries as opposed to Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice is a rather dry book and that is a good thing. The time period, society, and emotion that Pride and Prejudice is based in is also told by the style of the writing. This could be also be said about The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. The very happy and light hearted acting brings out the romantic comedy as well as the drama mixed in. However, this is almost like comparing apples to oranges. Presentation is everything when it comes to a story and in my opinion The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is so different from the book it is attempting to be like that it should be considered its own work and not a deviation of the text.
This brings me to the many problems with the creative liberties taken in The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. I understand that they wanted to modernise everything including some of the more major plot points to keep things interesting. However that being the case they should of just wrote another story. As explained above they have changed the major genre of the story in the process of modernization. So much so that the original story almost unrecognizable without a keen reader. I understand that it is not supposed to be a exact copy of the original Pride and Prejudice text and I respect this decision however I don’t think it is similar enough to call itself an adaptation.
As a whole the series seems to just use the very mild similarities for self promotion of their own story over being true to the feel and themes of the original text. However this is just me deciding what The Lizzie Bennett Diaries should be while the producers clearly had another vision for it. I do not hate that it exists I just do not personally enjoy this iteration of Pride and Prejudice.