Jennifer Stasak Staff Writer
A year ago, a good friend of mine told me that I should start watching this web series called “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.” I watched the first episode and loved it but (as often happens) became so consumed with television shows and real life that I forgot about the little YouTube series entirely. I was motivated to marathon once I realized that a very important character showed up sixty episodes into the series, and caught myself up in a short span of time. And I’ve been hooked on the series ever since.
Today marked the 100th episode of Lizzie Bennet’s video diaries, and it was her final episode. I, as well as many others, was sad to see her depart. But the timing was right for both her and for the creative team behind the series to depart. As many people are aware, “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” is an adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice,” and a revolutionary one, at that, as it is told entirely in vlog format and through transmedia (Twitter accounts, Tumblr accounts, Facebook pages, etc.). I’m not very good at saying goodbye, so watching “The End,” which was the title of Lizzie’s final episode, had me reaching for tissues at my desk.
The series’ finale comes full-circle and features Lizzie, Lydia, and Charlotte – the three women who were in the first episode together – saying farewell to their audience. As Lizzie prepares to graduate and then move to San Francisco to be with Darcy, she also prepares to say goodbye to us – to the video diaries and her viewers. In a meta commentary, Lizzie notes that a lot of people don’t want her to stop making videos. But the young woman feels like it is the right time to stop and that this should be the final page of her story. We bid farewell to Charlotte, who is taking over Ricky Collins’ job at Collins and Collins. And we say goodbye to Lydia, who presents Lizzie with a parting gift – a list: “20 Reasons Why Lizzie Bennet is No Longer Perpetually Single.” The sisters swap sweet sentiments and, to be honest, this is the relationship I am most pleased to have seen grown over the course of the series. Lizzie and Lydia have come to a place of understanding and acceptance. And the youngest Bennet sister is beginning to work through the damage Wickham caused and truly heal.
Charlotte and Lizzie then contemplate their decision to make the videos in the first place, as Lizzie wonders whether or not it was for the best that her family was placed into the spotlight, given all of the drama that unfolded because of the videos. Charlotte and Lizzie, however, both agree that they have no regrets about making the diaries. They, instead, affirm that they have emerged stronger people because of the videos, and have learned a lot over the course of a year about themselves. As the video draws to a close, Charlotte then encourages Lizzie to sign off… one last time.
Lizzie, tearfully, bids farewell to her audience with: “My name is Lizzie Bennet… and thank you for watching my videos.” And then, just as the audience presumes the video has ended, Charlotte and Lizzie reconvene, the former comforting her best friend. As the episode ends and Charlotte starts to make a joke to Lizzie… Lizzie’s mother (well, just her back and voice) appear on-camera for the first time ever. The episode ends, appropriately, with Charlotte and Lizzie’s panicked expressions.
It’s not easy to say goodbye, especially to something as beloved as “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.” But the beautiful aspect of this series for me, as a viewer, was being able to watch each of these characters grow and mature and learn. No character ended the story the way they began it, which is exactly how – in my opinion – stories SHOULD be. There was romance, laughter, and tears over the last year in this series. But it ended, in my opinion, exactly how it should have – with Lizzie, Lydia, and Charlotte together one final time and ready to start the new chapters of their stories. But make no mistake about it: they will be missed. But, as PopWrapped reported earlier this week, the Kickstarter campaign for the show’s DVD is growing stronger by the day (crossing the $300,000 mark earlier today), and a spin-off series featuring Gigi Darcy titled “Welcome to Sanditon” is set to debut in May 2013. Additionally, a new adaptation will begin this summer!
Now that the series has officially ended, what will YOU miss most about “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”?
http://www.YouTube.com/PopWrapped (COMING SOON!)
http://www.PopWrapped.com (COMING SOON!)