Tag Archives: Jane Austen adaptations

8 Favorite Web Series (Or, 8 Favorite Romantic Literary Adaptions): Nothing Much to Do, The Classic Alice, and more

8 favorite webseries

Webseries adaptations of beloved literary classics have been absolutely the sunshine of my life the past few months – like many people, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is what initially pulled me in to the genre, then Kissing in the Rain made me happy, and it’s all history from there. Of the thousands of webseries on Youtube, my favorite are hands-down the literary adaptations, which have been seeing a huge boom in both creation and attention recently. They are five-minute interlocking episodes of romance, banter, combative chemistry, friendship, sisterhood, and a reworking of classic and loved characters into modern and immensely identifiable characters. Nothing not to love.

Now, note that while I whole-heartedly recommend the top four, the other four are fun but flawed. I’m waiting with great expectation for future ones to debut to knock these down or off the list.

I am not going to include The Lizzie Bennett Diaries because it goes without saying it’s my overall favorite (though NMTD is so close) and because I wrote it up here and am tired of talking about it.

1. Nothing Much to Do. God. I’m obsessed with this. Created by four New Zealand girls and performed by a large-ish cast of New Zealanders and one British boy, this is deliriously gripping and romantic for a webseries. It’s a loose modernized adaptation of Much Ado about Nothing in which Beatrice and Benedict are high school students who were good friends when they were much younger but drifted apart when Benedict acted like an idiot, and the two have hated each other ever since. When he comes back into town, the two immediately get off on a combative foot, to the dismay of all their mutual friends, who decide to convince each that the other is in love with them.

There’s a lot more characters than in most webseries. There’s also a delightful looseness and flexibility to the filming – there are several group scenes and scenes in differnet locations, including ones set at a party, at the high school, and outdoors after a football match, which is really fun and makes the world feel more real. Also, there’s almost no monologues at all – nearly every episode has at least two people dialoguing and interacting with each other onscreen.

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“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more”

The only good episode of this webseries so far – but it’s a whammer. Joy. 

What I’m Into Lately: Murder Mysteries, Austen Web Series, Northern White Wine

65-third 1. Summer put me on a huge murder mystery kick for some indefinable reason, so I’ve been engulfing Agatha Christie like Turkish delight.

Third Girl. This is a twisty Christie in that you really have no idea where you stand until the last 10 pages or so of the novel – in some of her novels, especially the Marple ones, Christie gives us most of the information, but in this one nearly all of it is withheld so we’re as confused as the victim. I did figure it close to the end but simply by instinct rather than logic. Poirot is approached by a girl who is convinced that she has murdered someone – Poirot goes on the hunt and can’t find anyone who has been murdered! This is also one of the faintly disturbing ones – a girl is psychologically ruthlessly manipulated, so it left me with a feeling of unease. Nonetheless worth a read and there’s a sweet romantic note at the end.  (Side note: do you follow me on Goodreads yet?)

The Seven Dials Mystery. A very melodramatic and ultimately silly plot, but the character-writing is superb – Lady Eileen Brent, better known as “Bundle”, is the quick-witted, plucky daughter of a Lord, and when a man is murdered in her father’s house and some clues turn up months later, she goes determinedly on the hunt. She’s a delight and there’s some very endearing romance. A Superintendent Battle mystery. All told read for the dialogue and ignore the plot.

2. Emma Approved. This webseries based on Emma from the production team behind The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is not very good, but it’s finally picked up speed with the adorable latest episode which featured some flirtation between Emma and Alex Knightley.

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Borealis Northern White wine. This 2012 Willammette Valley wine is what the wine shop recommended when I asked for a white that was slightly sweet. It’s still a little too sweet for my taste, but really grew on me over time. It seems to be a versatile wine, it starts out a little dry in the mouth then delivers sweetness; I would say offhand that it’s a wine better with food than drunk on its own, and that it goes well with Asian food. There’s something addicting about it nonetheless – it’s a perfect refreshing summer wine, I find myself reaching for it more evening after getting home. $12.99. Update: much more polished description from Drink here.

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