Darcybot, The Bennets, and Modernization in the LBD
A little premise: I don’t have a sister (not a blood-related one, at least), so I find hard to relate with what means growing up with one, let alone two.
Another one: I love Mary Kate and Lydia (ok, Lydia I still find annoying, even if I love her).
But I can’t help but feel a little bit disappointed with the whole “The LBD is about the Bennet sisters” thing that has been going on. I understand that it’s their point of view and that’s just fine. But seems like other character became less and less important and their reasons - compared to other one’s - don’t really matter.
No hate, but I’d like to explain :)
First of all, I haven’t seen anything that elevates the Bennets particularly above anyone else’s plight, other than in the fact that it is, you know, a story about Lizzie and her family above anything else…
And I’d like to point out that no relationship is made up here. Charlotte and Lizziewerevery good friends in the book. Aspects of Lydia were made more clear in this adaptation, but certainly not entirely made up.
Regarding Darcy: Yes, he is a character who’s been through a lot, and I think that most of us understand and sympathize with that, but remember the viewpoint of the adaption. We are quite literally watching them from the outside, as an audience acknowledged by the characters. While we can get a more unbiased viewpoint, we don’t tend to because, as Lydia said, “they’re Lizzie’s diaries”. Darcy seems more rude because we see what Lizzie decides to include in her videos, which usually is what agrees with her viewpoint of him as a rude, proud individual. (On a side note, even though Darcy doesn’t always mean to come across like this, a private person like him can easily seem cold and detached just by being too nervous to speak to others, or because he doesn’t value the reward of social interaction as much as he fears the interaction itself. There, I relate.)
Also, bear in mind the modernization. I remember at one point there was a backlash from fans against Lizzie’s extreme rudeness in the earlier videos. The reality is, her personality was little changed from the book. However, as in Austen’s time, women had little place in the violent discussions of men, and were expected to retain the utmost propriety at all times, Lizzie of P&P internalized much of the violent emotion that Lizzie of LBD externalizes in her videos. In the same way, Darcy may seem more rude in this time period, where men and women interact a great deal, and have a chance to develop stronger feelings of like and dislike, but I don’t believe that it’s too exaggerated; he was quite an opinionated, stubborn individual in the book, just as Lizzie was, one of the things that made the story so interesting.
As to Darcy and Gigi, I believe the relationship with his sister hasn’t been neglected at all; if you’ve been following the two of them on twitter, you might have seen some very cute tweets between them showing his concern, and her respect. Also bear in mind that Gigi has not really come into the storyline yet (I’m personally quite excited to see how that plays out!).
Just a final note: I love all the characters dearly, and I sympathize with each and every one of them, but that doesn’t mean that I condone their actions, or agree with some of their choices. Darcy is not a nice person toward the Bennets to begin with, and that contributes to some of the delight in watching him grow to become so much more agreeable as the story progresses.