PBS is re-airing a British series from ITV called "Lost in Austen" right now and imagine my distress when the first episode aired and I couldn't keep my eyes open. What does one do? Especially when one no longer has a working vcr hooked up to one's tv? Good question.
Super husband to the rescue! He probably earned several bonus points on this one. We've downloaded not only the first episode, but episodes 1-4 (the entire series) and may or may not have already watch the entire series! Yippeee!
The premise is a bit on the lame side, I will admit--Amanda Price finds Miss Elizabeth Bennet in her bathtub having come through a door from Longbourn that opens to Amanda's bathroom in current day England. Amanda then goes through the door and ends up in Regency England. What follows is a comedy of errors, as the entrie plot of P&P is disrupted because Elizabeth is not there to "make" things happen--Bingley starts to fall for Miss Price, not Miss Bennet; Amanda and Darcy start verbal sparring matches, not Lizzy & Darcy; Mr. Collins wants to marry Amanda, not Lizzy--so he marries Jane instead much to the dismay of Bingley & Jane (who now loves Jane because Amanda told him she prefers other women--I mention this because in a great plot twist, this comment comes back in Episode 3). You see where all of this is going.
I fully admit to being somewhat bored and somewhat annoyed at the story during the first 2 episodes. It was a bit painful to watch Mr. Collins and Jane and the characters were all a bit out of sync. The JA purist in me struggled, but nevertheless, I persevered. The Wickham character in the one, was something else however! He is actually a nice guy, and helps Amanda fit into Georgian England and is apparently just misunderstood. It's a good plot twist on Wickham that we would never imagine, so it was somehow believable and it worked.
Then came episode 3--and some great laugh out loud moments that even dear JA couldn't have foreseen... The best being when Caroline Bingley approaches Amanda at Pemberley and comes on to her, sharing CB's secret that she is a lesbian. Amanda's inside thought that we, the audience, hear is something like, "Goodness, Jane Austen would be fairly suprised to hear she'd written that!" It was hilarious! So much so that I had to watch episode 3 twice.
More great quotes from episode 4: As Amanda, Darcy, Lizzy etc. are trying to get through her bathroom and back into the P&P story: "You, are taking him through there right now. The rest of us are gonna say goodbye nicely and watch you step through all that plumbing into fictional Georgian England. And that will be it and then we'll all spend the rest of our lives in therapy. It's going to be fine."
And then, this one just can't be typed, I had to clip the video...
So now the only thing that still irks me is the title of this series--Lost in Austen is also a book and I can find no relation to it at all. (Book: Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster)
Overall, it was still a bit too much for the purist that I am when it comes to JA. But really it was good fun. Afterall, "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?" (Mr. Bennet to Lizzy in P&P, Dear JA)...HA!