I took plenty of literature classes during my undergraduate and I’m a ferocious reader. Give me a book and I’ll devour it. But some of those classics are so hard to replicate. Not all versions of Pride and Prejudice are created equal.
There’s a new thing going around: Retellings of classic literature via vlogs, or video blogs.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (or LBD) started it all and I have to say, it’s pretty hilarious. Lizzie is funny and I love her impression of her mom. Just great. Watch the first episode and tell me you don’t love it (we can still be friends, you just lose some brownie points with me).
Pemberley Digital (the brains behind LBD) have now completed Emma Approved, a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma and are working on Frankenstein, MD.
I love how nerdy, quirky, and awkward Victoria is. But I’ve only seen the first episode. Frankenstein gives me horrible flashbacks to high school senior year English class. No one wants to go back to high school.
What I’ve discovered is that there are actually other classics that are being given a modern facelift. I can’t review them because I haven’t watched them, but they’re on my list:
Jane Eyre set in 2014? Check out The Autobiography of Jane Eyre.
Peter Pan and Wendy? Yep, they’re back and apparently Neverland is in Ohio. The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy will be back for a second season:
How about Little Women? The March Family Letters are online and available.
What are all of these series saying about us today?
The creator of LBD, Emma Approved, and Frankenstein, MD, Bernie Su says that people love being able to interact with the characters which is now possible via Web 2.0.
I think we love seeing people deal with issues that are universal without regard to time. Girls always have issues about whether to talk to boys or to ask them out or wait for them. It happened in Jane Austen’s world and it happens today. We just don’t have to worry about empire waist dresses as much or dancing slippers.
We all know that online videos are the big thing. Plenty of people will choose to watch a video over reading an article. But this takes English class to a whole new level. And maybe it takes TV shows to a new level.
It’s also got me thinking about what classic I would adapt. Oh, the possibilities!