As many of you know,the first Bridget Jones book(Bridget Jones' Diary) was a phenomenal success with an equally engaging film adaptation that pulled off the hat trick of pleasing both audiences and critics alike. Major bonus points were awarded to the movie for casting Colin Firth as Mark Darcy,the inspiration for the leading man in our Miss Jones' love life.
However,some of that joy has been diluted today as word that Mark Darcy has been killed off in the new book, leaving Bridget a widow with two kids and looking to tackle the dating scene again. I am sure that some people will find this a non event but to those of us who really liked these books, this is quite the major shock indeed.
Particularly since identifying with Bridget and all of her awkward ways was something many of us did and seeing how Mark Darcy was truly enchanted with her,warts and all, made our hearts hopeful for a happily ever after of our own:
Countless TV show "will-they-or-won't-they" relationships have had to jump through these rings of fire with varying degrees of success but more often than not,failure. Even the second follow-up to BJD,Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,wasn't as celebrated as it's predecessor was,both on film and in print.
I tend to give that one a break since the plot line is loosely based on Jane Austen's Persuasion(my favorite Austen novel) but the movie version in particular does replay most of the high points of the first movie in a rather routine fashion:
Personally, I was hoping for an Emma type of story line with Bridget becoming one of those Smug Marrieds that she always dreaded during her Singleton days. Trying to fix up one of her still unwed girlfriends or a new person in her social midst(a cousin,perhaps?) or even one of her kids would provide lots of fun opportunities for mocking of social media.
I can see why the author would want to put her heroine back in the dating game but it is kind of harsh to kill off Mark there. A divorce would have suited the purpose just as well,with a move overseas due to his work thrown in,but perhaps she didn't want to deal with any notions of Bridget and Mark getting back together. In my Emma scenario, a divorce would have worked to make Mark over into a great Mr. Knightley who did see what he originally saw in Bridget and lead to a renewal of their relationship*sigh*.
I must tell myself,however, that Bridget Jones is not my character and that Helen Fielding has every right to write her story as she sees fit. It is not what I or many other fans would have wished for but since the book is not out yet, let's try not to get too Annie Wilkes about the whole thing:
So, even if you're not Mad About The Boy after reading it,don't get too mad at Helen Fielding over the departure of Mark Darcy. He is in good company in that regard,right next to Sherlock Holmes,Sirius Black and Dumbledore in terms of fan love.
For all of the amusement that her Bridget Jones stories have given us over the years, we as the fans should grant Helen Fielding the courtesy of hearing her out before we judge: