The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KisuGP2lcPs&w=560&h=315] Everyone is watching this, right? If not, set aside about an hour and get stuck in.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in the form of video blogs, with some additional help from Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. The series is a really interesting experiment in using modern social media to tell a classic story, and it's incredibly fun to watch events unfold in real time every week.

Although romance and the stoic Mr Darcy play major roles in the story, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries focuses on many elements of the original novel that are often overlooked. The relationship between the three sisters, Jane, Lizzie and Lydia, takes center stage, as they support and challenge one another as best friends and barely-tolerated siblings. Lizzie's lifelong friendship with wannabe filmmaker Charlotte also plays a major role, and the occasional tension between Lizzie's optimism and Charlotte's cynical pragmatism is laying the ground for a painful shift in their friendship as the story goes on.

Darcy and "Bing Lee" get a look in every now and again, but so far the story is all about these sisters and friends and their relationships, ambitions, hopes, dreams and fears, as well as more mundane life problems: money, family, education, and employment. Basically Pride and Prejudice then, in a modern context, with misguided stereotypes of whirlwind romance stripped away.

It's great fun, whether you're an Austen nerd like me or are just looking for another videoblog to add to your subscriptions. No Austen knowledge required! A geeky appreciation of Youtube and other social media may help, though.