The Lydia Bennet

As I’ve mentioned in recent posts, I fairly recently started watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Like a lot of other viewers, I completely fell in love by the portrayal of Lydia, and yesterday I sat down to watch the spin-off. If you haven’t watched them yet, I’m going to talk about what they decided to do to update them, so if you don’t want to know, stop reading now!

It was fantastic. Mary Kate Wiles deserves a lot of credit for this, as should this list of very talented folk: Jay Bushman,Hank Green, Rachel Kiley, Jenni Powell and Bernie Su.

When reading Pride and Prejudice, the Lydia storyline always fascinated me. When I took part in a readathon for the 200th Anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, I was excited that the chapter I got is the one focused on what happened with her and Wickham. When watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I was wondering what the writers would decide to do to update it. I thought she would either get married in Vegas(which the writers must have expected, as they sent her there to fool us!) or George would get her pregnant. The decision for it to be a sex tape was a much better choice I think, and it was this storyline that made me cry while watching the diaries. Seeing Lydia crushed by George’s betrayal and then watching her videos leading up to it are heartbreaking. You can see how lonely she is, and how inferior she feels to her sisters, and that is why she turns to George. Who also manages to come off as very charming – though I think discussing Wickham will have to be saved for another post. 

It was nice to see what drove her to that relationship with George, which I always felt wasn’t completely explored in the book(though I may be wrong – I’m rereading it at the moment so will keep you posted on if that opinion changes). And whether or not they were truly in love.

The one plus of the modern day version is that Lydia doesn’t have to stay with George. In the book she ends up marrying him, and as that is seen as fixing everything, I’ve always wanted to know more. Were they happy? Did he ever really love her? The third question – one which The Lydia Bennet has answered for me was – what drove her to it? Because we get to see it from her point of view, in the web series version, we can see what it is like for her being the youngest sister. It is quite clear in Pride and Prejudice that Elizabeth is Mr Bennet’s favourite, and Jane’s is Mrs Bennet’s and were it not for the story with Wickham, Lydia may have been forgotten in the way Kitty and Mary are.(Though I think the decision to make them a cat and a cousin respectively was a good on in LBD)

What the Lydia Bennet alongside The Lizzie Bennet Diaries have done, is remind me of the universality and timelessness of falling in love – and especially considering Lydia’s story – a broken heart.