A year ago today, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries posted it’s final episode on Youtube.
I discovered LBD sometime in July 2012, I believe. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, and i was skeptical at first that a youtube series could do it justice. But I watched an episode and then another, and then another….. I binged at first, and if I recall correctly, by the time I caught up we were in Netherfield and were just meeting Bing Lee in person. I then was stuck waiting for every Monday and Thursday, like everyone else.
I left church that late summer/fall (i can’t remember) and it was a difficult time. It was nice to have a different world to escape into several times a week.
LBD was still going strong into the new year, 2013. That is around the time I became deeply depressed. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that The Lizzie Bennet Diaries were one of the things that kept me alive during that dark time. It was around this time that I began watching them like my life depended it – every episode within minutes of airing. They were my way to a happier world that I couldn’t quite be a part of. But thanks to transmedia, I could be a small part of it. It was like it happened in real time. We could even tweet at the characters, and sometimes they responded to us. The actors themselves sometimes tweeted at the characters, and that always amused me.
The retelling of my favorite story brought the characters into modern times, and added a lot more depth to many of them. Writer Rachel Kiley and actress MK Wiles made Lydia a complex, likeable, and sympathetic character. I saw her in ways I’d never seen her before, and the story of her relationship with Lizzie became one of the most important story threads. I loved it. It was new and fresh and brilliant.
The regularly scheduled episodes and more random tweets gave me something to look forward to when i was incapable of enjoying most things due to depression.
When spring came, I finally started to get help for my mental illness, my depression finally began to lift a little, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries aired their final episode.
That massive work of art helped me in so many small ways to make it through depression, and I will be forever grateful to Bernie Su, Ashley Clements, and all the other writers and actors that brought my favorite story to modern times.