I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Awesome Adaptations (25) - Lost in Austen

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,

Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picturemereading.  Anyone can play along! Each week there is a new category of adaptation to blog about. Any format (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. If you’re playing along on your own blog, just mention Picturemereading in your post and include the banner above. Let them know which film you’d pick and why it is an awesome adaptation worth watching. Oh, and don’t forget to share the link to your own post in the comments for that week’s challenge so that everyone can read your thoughts!

An Awesome Adaptation WITH CORSETS!
Title: Lost in Austen
Adapted from: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

If you haven't seen this miniseries (why!??) then you should know that the premise is a modern woman finding a portal to the world of Pride and Prejudice and effectively trading places with Elizabeth Bennett in the story.   Her presence disrupts the plot, and because she knows how the story must go, she keeps trying to put it back on track but it keeps derailing.  This is such an amazing show - it's so funny and clever and a beautiful tribute to Pride and Prejudice.

Because Amanda, the modern day heroine, changes the plot so much, there are different sides of the well known characters that are revealed and some surprising twists and turns to the plot.  Happy Mr. Bingley becomes morose and bitter, Mr. Wickham is not the villain he's always made out to be, and horror of horrors, Jane marries Mr. Collins!  It's so fun to have a faithful adaptation that can also take extraordinary liberties with the original story, explore the meta- impact of the source material on our culture, and even reference other visual adaptations of the novel!  There are just so many levels that this story functions on, that I sometimes find it more engaging than other Pride and Prejudice adaptations because I find it more relatable as a fangirl and an Anglophile.  And this version is definitely more hilarious.

I adore this show so much, I really wish there were more adaptations of novels that takes this approach to the story - something tongue-in-cheek and intelligent while also being faithful to the characters.  Of course, they would also have to pull off perfectly casting the characters and finding another great device to rework the material like fiction portals!  As that is probably unlikely to happen, I'll continue to watch Lost in Austen as my ideal post-modern adaptation.

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  1. I LOVE this adaptation as well! I wish they would do Jane Eyre in the same style..I like the fact that it is very tongue-in-cheek..and I love that the modern girl who goes back in time acts just I would expect...clueless to the customs of the time and bungling everything! In spite of it's teasy tone it really respects the original and I think all the characters act as I would expect them to in that situation!

    1. Exactly my feelings! Especially about doing Jane Eyre this way! I too really like seeing how out of place Amanda sometimes feels with all the customs. They really do squeeze a lot of subtext into this series!