November 5, 2014

Thoughts On 'Death Comes to Pemberley'

As I am positive most of you are aware, I am a huge Jane Austen fan. And having read many a sequel based on her stories, to say that I was excited when I heard they were adapting one of them would be an understatement! Now that I've watched it, I knew I needed to post about it. Because as I so eloquently said on twitter, I have FEELINGS. ;)

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. :)
Darcy and Lizzy together? And happy? With an adorable and precocious son? (Who totally takes after his mother's energy and fun! ;) Is absolutely wonderful. I actually wish that the mystery would take less prominence and we could just spent the rest of the series hanging out with Darcy and Lizzy in their happiness. (What? I'd totally watch three hours of just them interacting together. They're adorable I tell you! ;) Of course, this wouldn't be a period drama without a little drama, right? So the sweetness of Darcy and Lizzy gets shook up a little when a murder happens on their property and Wickham is involved.

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.


  1. Loved this series SO (so) much. The acting, the production, the return of familiar characters - the flirty (and that scene... just yes!), plus seeing Darcy softer around the edges as a loving family man and husband (who flirts... sorry, but it was epic), I just loved the whole atmosphere and production collectively. :)

    Super glad you're a fan too - you really make me want to watch this again, Kara - that's just how good and awesome you are! ;)

    1. Rissi, your flirtiness comments are cracking me uo! But seriously, for him to go from "I don't know how to talk to you so I'm telling you I love you against my better judgment" to flirting and being so "comfortable" as a husband/father is so sweet.

    2. YES! To all you said, Rissi. And Courtney! This series is SO wonderful! The flirting! And as Courtney said, it's so sweet to see this "new" Darcy, softened up and comfortable. He and Lizzy truly are adorable and fun together. Just as I'd imagined they would be. LOVE that. :D

      It's been a couple weeks since I last watched it, maybe I need a rewatch soon? ;)

  2. This sounds really neat! I'll have to watch it some time. :)

    1. It's wonderful, Ashley. I hope you do get the chance to watch it. And let me know what you think when you do! :)

  3. I'm bookmarking this to read later...I've heard a lot of good things about DCTP, so I want to read your review. :-) Also, I tagged you for the Liebster Award. :-)

    1. Thanks for the tag, Joanna! :) I hope you do get the chance to watch this sometime. It's such a wonderful series! Especially if you enjoy Austen stories.

  4. So many epic thoughts in one post, Kara! I completely agree with your opinion.

    And what you said about people changing but personalities staying the same?? Amen to that, sister!

    I loved seeing Lizzy and Darcy together again, with all of their love and even disagreements. And in Chatsworth house, too. Since P&P (2005) is my fave, it was so cool seeing more of that place. Can we just all vacation there together sometime? I could be like Austenland or something!

    I so enjoyed your "feelings", Kara! May we have many more Austen adaptations to chat about soon!

    1. Thanks, Courtney! Our twitter convos about this series were so fun. And this series is amazing, isn't it?! I'm glad you enjoyed my babbling. When I get going, it's kind of hard to stop. Especially when it comes to Austen-related things. And yes! I hope we do have many more adaptations to chat about! Our convos are always awesome.

      Lizzy and Darcy are just so perfect for each other. We all know that, but I loved actually seeing that onscreen. And the chemistry between Anna and Matthew really worked as well. Which is incredibly important when you're portraying such iconic characters.

      I could totally go for the vaca at Chatsworth House! Our very own version of Austenland and it would be EPIC! ;D

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  6. Good to hear you enjoyed it so much! I really liked it as well and like you would also happily have watched three hours of the Darcys just being a family!

    1. Yes! I'm so glad to hear that, Birdie! And also glad I'm not alone in the Darcy/Lizzy love. They were too adorable! :)


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