Okay. To be perfectly honest? If the words "Jane Austen" are attached to a project, you can bet that I'll watch it! Whether it turns out that I love it or hate it, I will absolutely be watching it regardless. Because I just love watching any of Austen's characters come to life via a real person. Whether an actual adaptation or a reimagining, I never get tired of them. At least I haven't yet. I am one of those people who is always glad for another adaptation. In fact, I wish there'd be as many adaptations of her stories as there are of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre! (I mean seriously. There are so many of those!) Ms. Austen could use a few more to catch up. Tell me I'm not the only one who thinks that?
I could not wait to see Darcy and Lizzy's married life on my screen. Though I do admit to having some concern about what this would turn out like. Whether this Darcy and Lizzy would live up to my expectations or whether I would enjoy watching a mystery with Lydia and Wickham having prominent roles. And I can quite happily tell you that I was far from disappointed! I loved it. Pure and simple. :)
First of all, it's beyond wonderful to see Darcy and Lizzy after they're married. The first scene they're in together is so cute! Their playfulness and flirtiness is adorable. Yet they haven't lost their individual personalities. Darcy has softened and warmed up due to Lizzy's influence, but he's still got a little stern edge to him. Still a little stiff and awkward, which is completely to be expected. People do change, but their inherent personalities don't do a complete 180 and disappear. So it was nice to see Darcy come onscreen and I could recognize him immediately, even without knowing Matthew Rhys was going to play him.
And Lizzy! Anna Maxwell Martin is a wonderful actress. I've loved her in so many other period dramas, so I figured she'd do a fine job. Which she did. I do admit, however, that at the beginning of the series I was wondering about her. Lizzy is spunky (Thanks, Courtney, for the word! :) and I wasn't sure I could sense that at first. But with a little more time spent with her, and also the realization that of course she'd change some too after getting married, I grew to really like Ms. Maxwell's version of her. Her warmth and teasing of Darcy (And his teasing her back! Absolutely loved that.) is so much fun. Where would these Darcy siblings be without Lizzy in their lives? Let's not even contemplate such a thing!
|(via) I think this may be my favorite scene. :)
Which brings in many of the other original characters, Lydia and Wickham, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Georgiana, Jane, and even Lady Catherine herself! Lizzy and Lady Catherine's scene is quite amusing. It was great to see that Lizzy hasn't lost any of her quick wit when it comes to parrying Lady Catherine's biting remarks. Wickham is, of course, his usual awful self. Lydia, while irritating, does have her cute moments and shows she's grown up a little. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet haven't changed any and neither has Jane. She comes to give Lizzy some comfort and it was oh so good to see the sisters' relationship is still as lovely as ever. Georgiana has grown up and now has a potential suitor of her own, though she's pretty loathe to admit to it at first. The two of them are quite delightful together though. Eleanor Tomlinson does such a fantastic job of bringing Georgiana to life! She was definitely one of my favorite characters.
While the mystery aspect isn't my favorite, I'd rather focus on the characters, it's certainly very well written. (P. D. James clearly knows her stuff. I'm thinking I should read the book sometime.) I'm one of those people who never figures out whodunit until the characters themselves do, so the twist near the end snuck in and surprised me! For those of you who may have read the book, and anyone else really, you probably saw the twist coming a mile away. But alas, I'm a little dense when it comes to clues. I'd never make a good detective!
Filming wise, it was so fun to see Chatsworth House again. This location was used in the 2005 P&P and was a nice little callback to that. It's quite stately and pretentious looking, but I liked that Lizzy seemed comfortable there. In P&P, it felt very stiff and here it felt more like a home. Whether that was intentional or not, I'd like to think that it was due to Lizzy making it feel that way. :)
I could continue on, but clearly this post is an explosion of words already and I'd hate to bore you. But suffice it to say that the series is excellent! Have you watched it? Or read the book? What did you think? Tell me, tell me! I'd love to chat about it with you.