The best way I can express how I feel about Lost in Austen is that it's basically Kate & Leopold but longer and about 9234877 times worse because it uses the beloved characters of Jane Austen. Almost every character turns out to be worse and/or the exact opposite of the ones that you find in the book. Why, you may ask? I have no idea, but it never failed to make my roommate and I scream in delight and/or terror at every reveal.
But I think my biggest problem with this miniseries is that it can't decide what it's about. Is it about discovering that what we fantasize about isn't as great as it we dream it to be? Is it about discovering that what you have is good enough? Is it about helping others find their destiny? Or is it about falling in love with ideas and those ideas coming true? And why is there a secret door between a modern London flat and the Pride & Prejudice Longbourn attic? There are too many mixed messages for Lost in Austen to be taken as even a decent made for TV movie. So basically He's Just Not that Into You. At the end of Lost in Austen, it's completely unsatisfying and you end up wondering why you spent the last 3 hours staying up way too late watching it.
But that's not to say my night was completely wasted. I got some good roommate bonding in, mostly in the form of mutual yelling at the TV and writhing in pain. There were also some ridiculous moments that perhaps made me sympathize more with the lead character more than I would like. Case in point (spoiler warning, if you care to watch this), compare this past post to this scene:
I like to pretend I love the dip in the lake scene of the BBC adaptation because it in no way resembles the book and the awkwardness is so palpable, but let's be honest, wet-shirted Darcy = awesome.
Although, what makes Pride and Prejudice so satisfying in the first place is the slow building relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy. It's satisfying and organic. This was just a mess where I didn't know who to root for and who was supposed to be good or bad. For what it's worth, I would have taken this rendition's Wickham. He turns out to be the Rhett Butler of the whole affair (that is to say, very self aware and honest about his own faults and those of others).
Hey, look! It's Mr. Wickham, and he's both adorable and awesome, so stop glaring, Amanda. (via)So, if you have few hours to spare and don't mind great literature being perverted for mediocre purposed, give Lost in Austen a watch. I would just recommend watching it with Jane Austen loving friends. You don't want to watch this alone; that would just be depressing and as pathetic as the leading lady.