I've read a lot of theories on how the updating of many classic books is difficult. In the case of Pride and Prejudice, you have the issue of the family being ruined by Lydia's escapade and elopement with George Wickham. Today, there are very few people who could possibly care about that. It certainly wouldn't bring shame to an entire family, destroying the prospects of Lydia's sisters. Not to mention the entailment on the property and Mr. Collins wanting to marry one of the daughters so they wouldn't totally lose the family home. So, how do you retell this story, keeping true to the original, but updating it so that it still makes sense? The LBD found a perfect way to do it which felt organic and right.
If you haven't seen The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, you should. You can find them on their You Tube Channel, all of the characters and actors are/were active on Twitter, Tumblr and their own website. If you want to check out the videos, you can start here:
Gigi Darcy, working for her brother William at Pemberley Digital helps with the beta testing of their video/communication system, Domino. There are a handful of set up videos, before Gigi goes to the beach town of Sanditon to do a beta test of the system as the town decides to rebrand itself to increase tourism.
If you didn't already know, Sanditon is another Jane Austen story, although never finished, it was published along with a couple other short/unfinished works. I wasn't as crazy about Sanditon as the LBD, mostly because of the fan videos, which I found wholly unnecessary. While it's true that the series earned and amassed a rabid fan base, I don't know that they needed to be included so senselessly here. It's nice to recognize them, but I wasn't alone (just read the comments below the videos) in feeling it detracted from the story.
You can start watching the Pemberley videos, including all of Sanditon here:
You don't have to take my word for it. Maybe now that I've reduced your expectations, you may think it's just fine and enjoy it immensely. Your welcome. Or, it could be that it's just not very good, but you'll know for yourself. Here's the first video. You can decide what to do from there.
I've watched the first episode and, already, I feel the same way about the characters that I always do. Emma is an annoying egocentric busybody and Mr. Knightley is patient perfection. We'll see how it works as we go on. You can check out the first episode here: