The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries team deserves all the praise and applause in the world for the Youtube show's recent instalments.

Warning: the above video is actually emotionally painful to watch. I haven't cried while watching TV in quite a while, but the ending here pretty much destroyed me.

When it first started, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries received some criticism from feminist sites for its treatment of Lydia Bennet. People were concerned that the show was presenting her from a slut-shaming perspective, but I argued then, as I still do now, that this was Lizzie's perspective, not that of the show's. And boy has Lizzie's perspective on her little sister been challenged and changed by the past few episodes.

Given the source material, it would have been easy for the show to tell a story where Lydia Bennet was vindictive and irresponsible, where she met her downfall due to her own selfish callous behavior, or where she underwent no change and was as unlikeable as Wickham himself. Pride and Prejudice is hardly kind to the bold, unabashed Lydia who marries Wickham and gloats about it for all to see. Instead, it's given us a raw, painful portrayal of a girl who feels rejected and disliked by those around her, who is emotionally manipulated by a guy she loves, and who suffers all the pain, the self-loathing, the confusion and blame (from herself, and from others) that comes with that. She's probably the most sympathetic character in the whole thing, and the interactive nature of the medium, where she reacts to the negative, victim-blaming reactions of some viewers, adds a dimension to the story that makes it feel all-the-more real, and all-the-more painful to watch.

Just... bravo, LBD team. Now, if you don't mind, I would like my heart back.