So I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and I was never gonna make a post about it, but reading raspberrystars post about LBD this morning sort of gave me the push I needed (I still love the show, whereas she doesn’t, however, she makes some similar points and articulates them probably better than I’m about to, so I recommend reading her’s too). I’m always hesitant to write anything sort of negative about things that I love (or at the very least, really enjoy) because (1) there’s enough hate out there already, no need to add to it, but also (2) I’m always worried because people will think I hate the thing I’m talking about, when I actually love it, but just have criticisms of it.
So let’s just be clear: I love The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. This isn’t the LBD-bashing hour. But I do have some issues with the way some stuff on the show was handled, and the more time passes, the less inclined I am to just sort of ignore them, especially given the fact that I’ve now witnessed other webseries adaptations deal with similar issues so much better.
The romance. There are plenty of problematic issues with LBD, but Lizzie and Darcy’s romance is what I want to address specifically, because it probably irritates me the most. I absolutely loved the two of them together—their episodes were great, Ashley and Daniel had awesome chemistry, and the Pemberley arc is still my favourite because I thought it was the best executed. The problem is, however, that there simply wasn’t enough of it. Darcy was only in like 9 episodes? How is that an acceptable amount of episodes for him to have been in? It’s a Pride and Prejudice adaptation. Darcy is hugely important and I feel like he was made into a secondary character, when he is a very important main character. On top of that (or as a consequence of it) the romance was also put on the back-burner. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE IS A ROMANCE NOVEL. Like, I’m not going to apologize for wanting more romance in LBD. It’s absolutely ridiculous to try to shame someone for loving the shippy aspect of a story to begin with, but with LBD, it’s even worse. The amazing platonic relationships didn’t necessarily have to suffer if there was more romance. It’s not mutually exclusive. You can have friends and a boyfriend, and to imply that they cannot coexist equally is completely ridiculous. They could have had a bigger focus on the Lizzie-Lydia-Charlotte-Jane friendship without having made the Lizzie/Darcy relationship such a tiny part of the plot.
Now, as for why I’ve posted this in the NMTD tag also. They 100% handled the Beatrice/Benedick romance better in NMTD, than the Lizzie/Darcy one was handled in LBD. Feel free to disagree, it’s just my opinion, but I really believe it was handled better. And I know that Pride and Prejudice and Much Ado About Nothing are vastly different stories, and Beatrice and Benedick are nothing like Lizzie and Darcy, but they’re both romance stories that were modernized in vlog form so I think it’s still fair to compare them.
For one thing, Beatrice and Benedick were both given the main character roles they had in the play. Not too long ago, I counted how many episodes each character was in (I was working on something that never actually happened, but I digress) and Bea and Ben were in an almost equal amount of episodes throughout the series across the 3 channels. We saw them together, but we also saw them individually, which not only fleshed them out as characters in general, but also fleshed out their romance. They didn’t have to be together in every single episode to do that. I know that a big reason Darcy wasn’t on Lizzie’s vlog all the time was because it wouldn’t have made any sense for him to be—I’m not ignorant to that fact. However, Bea and Ben weren’t actually in that many episodes together either (granted, still more than LBD, but most of their episodes together were group episodes, whereas in LBD they were one-on-one), but their relationship still felt more developed. Basically, there were ways PD could have dealt with Darcy not physically being around Lizzie in that many episodes.
I love The Lizzie Bennet Diaries—there’s a reason I’m still so obsessed with it so long after it has ended, and it’s not like my watching experience was completely tainted because of this, I just feel like it’s a fair criticism to make.
Anyway, I’m gonna stop now because each time I go back to re-read this, I end up adding something else (I could go on about this absolutely forever), but I’m really trying to keep this short. So yeah—that’s how I feel in a very small nutshell. I just wanted to try to process my thoughts by writing them down.