Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lost in Austen-What would happen if your favorite book came to life?

Friday at the Races was wonderful even if I lost all my bets. I worked Saturday and Sunday and spend Monday in my garden, (if you are a friend on Facebook check out my garden pics), and today was my presentation on consumer websites that I co-presented to the RLA CE group. For information on the RLA CE check out their site here.
Now that my presentation is over I'm starting to get excited about leaving for London in 9 days. I will spend a few days in London before leaving for Oxford, the seminar begins on Monday May 18. Last evening after my busy weekend I relaxed with a cup of tea and watched a charming British television series Lost in Austen. This 4 part series is about the thoroughly modern Amanda Price, a devoted Pride and Prejudice addict who finds a portal back in time to a real life P&P in her London bathroom. Amanda switches places with Elizabeth Bennet and finds herself in the middle of Austen's novel. The entire series is only 3 hours long and is worth a watch for the hysterical antics of Amanda as she tries to fit her modern day sensibilities into Regency England. As she interacts with Austen's characters (yes Mr. Darcy included) the beloved story of P&P goes awry and Amanda tries desperately to conform the characters to the book.
What I particularly enjoyed about the series was watching some of Austen's most beloved characters get turned upside down. A villainous woman is a lesbian? A prim young woman a promiscuous liar? A rake is instead a hero? Loved it! What I didn't like was the writing in the 4th episode/final hour of the series which was completely ridiculous and not nearly as much fun as the beginning of the series. While the ending was satisfying it just wasn't as good as it could have been. This would have been a wonderful long term series but unfortunately it was wrapped up too quickly with unanswered questions. The young British actress who played Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) in the series was brilliant as the "modern heroine" and the actor playing Darcy (Elliot Cowan) was physically spot on to how I picture his character in my head (no it's not always Colin Firth!)
Lost in Austen is a charming glimpse at the fantasy so many of us female Pride and Prejudice's lovers have dreamt about, what would happen if we were the heroine in Austen's book and Mr. Darcy was OUR Mr. Darcy? A must see for any Austen fan. I'm hopeful the movie based on the series will be even better, it will be produced by Sam Mendes the Academy Award winning director and husband to my favorite English actress and the perfect Marianne from Austen's Sense and Sensibility Kate Winslet.

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