Lost in Austen

(Not quite ‘see below’, but if you click on the picture it will take you to the ITV Lost in Austen page.)

So, did anyone see ‘Lost in Austen’ last night? What did you think?

I admit I arrived a little late and the modern girl had already switched places with Lizzie Bennett. But as she was only being introduced to the family, I can’t have missed that much.

The premise of the programme, if you haven’t seen it yet, is that Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice switches places with a modern Austen fan. Lizzie gets to do something mysterious in the modern world, and the other girl, Miss Price, gets to live in Pride and Prejudice. Me, I’m curious to know what Lizzie is getting up to in modern London, but so far this hasn’t been addressed.

So, queue Modern girl blundering around in P&P, simultaneously knowing too much about the plot of the book, and too little about the rest of the society to be able to fit in. Naturally everyone is very curious about her, and her presence begins to disrupt the story in significant ways.

For example, Mr. Bingley appears smitten by her charms. I really hope that the ‘look, I’m wearing no stays’ boob shot isn’t meant to be the whole cause of his infatuation! Perhaps he starts off with ‘OMG boobs!’ and works up to being intrigued by a woman who’s so different from everyone else – as per the rules of most Regencies, except Jane Austen’s.

Cue lots of guilt and scheming on her part to try to get the story back on track. Meanwhile Jane is being lovely to her, Charlotte Lucas is proving to be as on the ball as she is in the original, Mrs. Bennett is see-sawing between far too sharp and her normal dim self, and Modern Girl is getting rapidly out of her depth.

I enjoyed it more than I expected, to be honest. There were some cringeable moments at the start, when it looks as thought the P&P characters are going to turn into caricatures of themselves. But then I thought it settled down and occasionally showed some real insight into the characters. In fact, Darcy’s dancing with Miss Price when he wouldn’t have danced with Lizzie was a stroke of genius, and showed him in a better light – as a friend of Bingley’s – than the original. Mr.Darcy does ride rather roughshod over Mr.Bingley in the original, and I liked very much that this gave him an opportunity to show that Bingley might get something out of the friendship too.

Is Modern Miss Price a bit of a Sue? I think that will depend on whether Darcy falls for her too. A modern girl who fell into P&P and ended up with Bingley would at least be original. Then Jane can marry Darcy and Elizabeth can become a high profile barrister in modern London… Or not. I haven’t read the book on which this is based, so, if you know, don’t tell me how it ends! I’m hooked enough want to tune in and giggle with nervous but thorough enjoyment next week.

Oh, being the dunce that I am, I hadn’t realized that it was adapted from this book

which I do own and have read!  I still don’t know how it ends, of course, because it could end in numerous different ways depending on how the reader plays it.  And the TV programme, of course, could come up with something new anyway.  Good stuff!  Now I’m looking forward to next week even more.

I can recommend the book too, btw.  I enjoyed it a lot.

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