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Sunday, August 31

Review of Lost in Austen: Ouch

Here's a quote from The Times Online, which does not bode well for the series:

Seriously. It's not enough here to have once seen the movie, and to know that Austen's book is basically about some chippy tart in a big crumbly house, mooning over a soggy stuffed shirt with a stick up his arse. You need to know details: that Bingley is supposed to fancy Jane; that stuff happens at a dance; that Jane sets off for Netherfield in the rain, the works. And, while knowing all this, you still have to be stupid enough not to have minded all that crap about the secret door in the shower cubicle. Who are you? Do you work for ITV? Do you mind that I hate you?

Oh, dear. Is this how our young audience views Elizabeth Bennet? As some chippy tart? And what about Caitlin Moran's description of Mr. Darcy as a soggy stuffed shirt? Be still my angry, racing heart. This young reviewer (she must be young, for no one in my age group is called Caitlin) goes on to say:

Maybe Lost in Austen will get better in future episodes. It could be almost interesting to hear about how Elizabeth is getting on, over in Hammersmith. And, once you get past the fact that the whole project is a really, really bad and stupid idea that will be incomprehensible to almost everybody, you do start to notice some good bits. The characters are fairly well drawn (by Jane Austen), the acting isn't bad, and there are nice touches, such as the way Amanda keeps checking her mobile.

Well, thank goodness for Jane Austen, script writer. Her characters save the day once again. For a description of all the characters in this ITV adaptation, go to this fan site.

Update: Vic's reviews of the mini-series on Jane Austen's World


Anonymous said...

I've watched episodes 1 and 2 and have had the most physical reaction to TV I can recall; I've laughed (heartily), I've clapped [not sure I can remember clapping at the TV before) and am thoroughly engaged. We knew this was coming and, if you hadn't read P&P before, you had plenty of time to do so in the build up. There is so much to learn from this adaptation [laughter, incredulity, joy aside] that it's pretty lazy not to have put the couple of hours effort to read the latterday equivalent of Heat magazine (which much more literacy respect given to Austen of course).

More of this new(?) TV genre please. I LOVE IT.

Anonymous said...

I have always been, in my own opinion of course, Jane Austen's biggest fan. I have loved all of her work, particularly "Pride and Prejudice". When I started this series, which I watched all at once, I was optimistic. I had always wondered myself what it would be like if I could enter the romantic world that Austen created in each of her novels. But after the first episode, I was disgusted. Any true Austen fan could not possibly sit through this without cringing at every new scene. Not only is the main character, Amanda Price, totally unlikable, she cannot be related to. I think every girl who has ever picked up "Pride and Prejudice" or even just seen the movie has fallen in love with Mr. Darcy, but surely any true Austen fan would not commit all the unjust acts that Amanda Price commits in "Lost in Austen". Although I mean nothing against any of the actors (which all did an excellent job, in my opinion)I cannot help but wonder who would want to destroy the greatest love story ever told. The last scene of the final episode created made me cringe and I almost tore up the DVD, but remembered I had rented it.
Amanda Price is not at all the right type of character and if you can be "sacrilegious" to a novel, she certainly hit that one over the head. Clearly the character, Amanda Price, was truly "LOST in Austen", and I would have enjoyed much more if she had FOUND herself.