some miscellaneous miscellany

lizzie-bennet-diaries-lizzie-and-darcy-proposal-scene

1. I have once again lied to you, my reading public. I apologize to all fifteen of you. It has been over two months since my last confession post. P.S. That was inappopriate Catholic humor, for those of you who aren’t in the know. P.P.S. I feel like if I have to explain it it’s probably a bad joke so I apologize again. I’m just going to start throwing out apologies. APOLOGIES, APOLOGIES, APOLOGIES FOR EVERYONE! Did you guys know that ‘apology’ derives from the Ancient Greek ‘apologia,’ meaning to speak in defense of a cause or of one’s beliefs or actions? I only mention this because I find it slightly weird that a word that can now be used to mean the same thing as ‘SORRY I WAS A GIANT DICKBAG’ evolved from a word regularly used to explain the benefits of like, poetry and shit. Words are weird, you guys.

2. Most of you won’t have any idea what I’m talking about, so this is mostly for Jennie and Gretchen, but Lizzie and Darcy finally hooked up in the latest episode of the YouTube series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (which you should totally watch, BTW) and it was both amazing and YESSSSS REWIND but also troubling. Jennie talks about the SQUEEE part here, so I don’t feel like I need to cover it that much. What I want to talk about is the part about how weird it was that Lizzie and Darcy totally made out on camera and then posted it to the internet. Like, obviously from a story standpoint, we’re not going to get any satisfaction out of the Lizzie/Darcy hookup if we as the audience don’t witness it, but the weird part comes when you start thinking about the diaries as “real diaries.”

In order for it to be part of the story-world Team LBD has created, Lizzie and Darcy not only have to sort of forget they are being filmed (which is definitely something that could happen), but then later physically edit the footage together and agree to let the entire internet (and in a larger sense, the world) view their first kiss(es). Up until this point I think Team LBD has done a great job in respecting the boundaries of what a real person would believably post on the internet about her personal life. Part of the joy of the series, at least for me, is that you become so absorbed in the story that you forget it’s not real — in that sense, it functions more like a diary than as a serialized web series based on a novel from 200 years ago. Team LBD is attempting to create the illusion that Lizzie and her family and friends are real people and this is a real diary. So as squee-worthy as those kisses (and extremely personal love connection confessions were), they sort of pulled me out of the moment. I kept thinking, Oh my God, if that were me and my Darcy, I would NOT have posted that video.

Maybe it’s just my inner academic, but I find this whole thing fascinating. It’s very possible that in the next episode, as she has done before, Lizzie herself will justify posting such a personal moment. She has talked before in the several of the videos about how she views the diaries as a narrative, and how she feels beholden to her audience. She has also made reference to the fact that we never get to see certain parts of her life because she edits them out, or simply does not talk about them. Thus, we see her life the way she wants us to. She essentially has narrative control over her own life, and because she has made her relationship with Darcy such a huge part of that self-constructed story, it is very possible that leaving this moment in the diaries was a deliberate act meant to provide closure to the story that Lizzie the character is choosing to tell (while simultaneously being a fictional character in a aforementioned web-series). Anyway, I’ll be interested to see how it’s handled in Monday’s episode.

3. There is no three. I just wanted to write about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Also, I want a chicken cheesesteak.

5 responses

  1. It freaks me out that the actors behind the characters are becoming more visible, like, what…no. Lizzie and Darcy are real people, who are Ashley Clements and Daniel Gordh?

  2. I’m on my phone, so I can’t properly comment on this quite yet, but I do have thoughts on the topic. To be continued…

  3. Okay! I’m back at a regular computer again! Huzzah!
    So I’ve always felt like TLBD blurred the line between existing as a video blog and existing as a straight-up retelling of P&P. That’s why I was okay with the on-screen making out, beyond the obvious squee-ness of it all. Looking back, there was a lot of stuff in the videos that I might have personally edited out. Like, any of the early Bing stuff before he realized what was going on–that’s kind of a major violation of his privacy. I’m also not sure how I feel about the inclusion of the Lydia/George arc in Lizzie’s videos. All of the Gigi/Domino videos were crazy personal for a corporate brand to be posting. Even the Jane/Bing kissing was included in their concluding video, which was much more suited for our enjoyment/emotional involvement as the audience. Presumably either Lizzie or Charlotte got their permission before posting it to the internet? (Oh, gosh, now I’m doing that thing where I talk about them like they’re real people.)
    I agree with you that Lizzie did feel like she was beholden to her watchers. It was interesting for me to see the tone/content of the videos shift as the characters became more aware that huge numbers of people were tuning in. If Lizzie left out all of the really juicy stuff from her story, it’d be super boring. (Just like real-life vlogs! Burn!) Even in episode 99, Lizzie and Darcy cut out the kissing, but chose to cut straight to the post-make-out moment of tousled hair and disheveled clothes. That must have been a conscious choice to pander to the audience. I want to know what you think about the very last moment of the show, with Mrs. Bennet showing up, since it seemed to exist outside of the vlog.
    Basically, since I view the story as both a personal vlog AND a retelling, I don’t have a problem with the kissing and any of the other personal stories that were included over the course of 100 episodes.
    Also, I’m excited that we get more Gigi in Sanditon. That’s gonna be so much fun.

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