Lost in Austen is the story of a modern day London girl, Amanda Price who is besotted with Pride and Prejudice. Amanda feels she was born in the wrong period and longs for the old world courtesy of Regency England. Voila, she gets her wish one day when a hitherto undiscovered door in her bathroom opens directly into Longbourne and through which comes Lizzy Bennet. Elizabeth Bennet convinces Amanda to go through the door. Amanda goes through, the door closes shut and now she is left to make her way through this inexplicable, very real Pride and Prejudice that unfolds in front of her.
But Amanda must be wary: There is no telling whether the world in front of her will follow Jane Austen's pen and it up to her to try and make it.
Now, I don't really want to go into an in depth analysis of the series ( I am useless at it anyway) so I will just give you quick points on what I liked and what I did not like!
WHAT I PARTICULARLY LIKED:
1. Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price: She was spot on as a bewildered leather jacket wearing London girl who is thrown headlong into Regency England. Amanda spent most of her time curled up with P&P but navigating that in real life is another matter.
2. I can't believe I am saying this, but, George Wickham: Yes. Scum himself. In this loose adaptation, Wickham is not all what we have known him to be and that is all I am going to say. Tom Riley did a great job!
3.Dialogues: They were fresh, brought out the laughs at the right places and held up the pace when there was a hint of lagging.
4.Ahem, well, Elliot Cowan in the wet shirt scene: I know that this scene is probably overrated but Elliot Cowan made a nice Mr.Darcy in it.
5. Pemberley: The exterior of Pemberley was shot at Harewood House, near Leeds, in West Yorkshire. While this is not my favourite Pemberley (mine is Chatsworth House from the 2005 adaptation), the house of course, is breathtaking. I would love to make a pilgrimage of sorts to all these places if I ever get the chance.
THINGS I DIDN'T PARTICULARLY LIKE:
1. I might draw flak for saying this but Elliot Cowan as Mr.Darcy did not work for me. I found him too stiff necked and ill tempered. Mr.Darcy is a mite arrogant and prejudiced, true, but at least I don't think he jerked his head in a stiff bow the way Cowan does. And I found Cowan's Darcy MUCH more inconsistent than the real article. Also. I wonder if it did not hurt him to hold his jaw that way? He did it throughout.
2. Jane and Mr.Bingley: Why? Probably, the thing that disturbed me the most about Lost in Austen was Jane and Mr.Bingley's story. It was a bit of a mess.
3.The ending left me with a few questions and I felt that it could have been handled better.
4. They showed so little of Elizabeth Bennet!! That was such a disappointment.
5. Guy Henry as Mr.Collins gave me the willies.
I had a few good laughs this weekend while watching Lost in Austen. Let me tell you straightaway that this one is not for Jane Austen purists. I suspect that the many digressions, the many unprecedented twists and turns might make a purist howl with rage. On the other hand, if you are in the mood to watch an interesting spin off on what is one of the most delightful (for me, it jointly holds the number one spot with Little Women and will remain there) books, and if you want some good laughs with a runaway plot then I am sure you will have a fine time with Lost in Austen.
Note: Do check out Kal's lovely write up on Lost in Austen on her blog At Pemberley