Pop Culture Princess

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Sample some Jane Austen sweetness at Pemberley Digital on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day weekend is upon us and while many of us on the East Coast will be seeking warmth for other than the heart, this is also a holiday that many Jane Austen fans take special delight in. After all, when it comes to her writing, love is always in the air for most of Austen's characters.

However, it can be a little overwhelming as well since there are so many Austen related pop culture venues to choose from. If you can't decide whether or not to reread the original novels or their post modern sequels, not to mention choose which movie version of Pride and Prejudice to watch, there might be a simple solution.

No doubt, most Austen admirers are familiar with Pemberley Digital, where modern day sensibilities meet with timeless story telling by creating web series out of several literary classics, namely the works of Our Dear Jane. With all of them being readily available online, they provide the perfect opportunity for holiday themed binge watching or could be your av version of a box of chocolates. You could devour them all at once or just nibble at a few of your favorite episodes. Either way, let's see what on display at this Austen-tatious candy shop:

EMMA APPROVED: With this year being the 200th anniversary of the book many consider to be Austen's masterpiece, this engaging web series truly captures the charismatic magic of Emma Woodhouse, who in this version runs an agency that offers life style coaching, plus a bit of match making on the side.

What's really great about this take on Emma is how well the story adjusts to such modern day settings and social media, not to mention the chemistry between the leads. Joanna Sotomura and Brent Bailey click together so well as the headstrong Emma and "snarky" Knightley, just about any scene with them is well worth watching(and they became a real life couple to boot!):

THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES: The series that started it all and gave rise to a wonderful revival of interest in Jane Austen's best known and well beloved tale, Pride and Prejudice.

 I also recommend checking out the companion novel The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet and it's sequel of sorts, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet, the latter showing what happens to everyone after the LBD series has run.

The LBD is actually the longest of the three Austen adaptations that Pemberley Digital has done so far(not counting the spin-offs within the actual run of the series such as Collins and Collins), so sampling a few at a time might be the way to go here. Sure, you can go right for those delightful Darcy moments but it's just as fun to see Lizzy mock him in her home theater reenactments:

WELCOME TO SANDITON: Since this webseries is based on an unfinished novel of Austen's, this might be a lovely surprise for Austen fans looking for something new.

Also, the open narrative allows a lot of leeway in the story lines and character development as the struggling seaside town of the title deals with infighting as residents are feeling forced into changing their businesses in order to create a haven for the health conscious.

There's a bit of a crossover from LBD as Georgina "Gigi" Darcy arrives to beta test a new app for her brother's company, which aids a budding romance between Clara, the owner of the local ice cream shop that is being pressured to become a juice bar, and Edward, geeky minion of the Mayor who just wants to make everyone happy but neglects himself. If you're in the mood for a taste of summer loving, Sanditon Scoops should have the right flavor combination there:

Pemberley Digital offers non-Austen fare as well, such as Frankenstein M.D., if you're in a non-romantic mood, and The March Family Letters, with some episodes featuring love of family along with possible love connections. Which ever you choose, have a lovely Valentine's Day both on and off line, keeping in mind that Jane Austen was always in favor of true devotion in whatever form it came into her heroine's lives:

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