Tuesday, 5 October 2010


I had seen it just once, in 2008, and I had liked it so much I imagined I'd see it many times more. But I didn't. So,  when I was choosing my tasks for the Everything Austen II,  I added  " re-watching Lost in Austen!" , also because I had never written about it.
This 4-part series was a deligthful experiment carried out  by ITV which proposed I humorous outlook on Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, a nonsensical but so respectful parody ! I don't know if you can agree with me,  but I've never been so amused at watching or reading something Austen-based. I found comedy in Lost in Austen brilliant, especially in its new portrayals of our beloved characters: for instance,  I found  LIA Mr and Mrs Bennets, Bingley and  Mr Collins   amusing, funny,  hilarious. For the first time I could sympathize with George Wickham and even Lady De Bourgh wasn't so terrible.
It is not something for Austen purists, but I appreciated the intelligent parodic tone and the brilliant nonsensical farce.
Darcy and the Bingleys in Lost in Austen
Amanda dances with Darcys
Elizabeth Bennet,  from whose point of view we learn most of the story in Pride and  Prejudice, is almost absent in this series: she swaps life with Amanda Price, a tenacious fan of P&P, an unsatisfied bank clerk coping with an unromantic boyfriend, whose clumsy attempts to fit Austen's good manners are at the basis of this story. Amanda wants to go back at first, while Elizabeth is totally lost in ... modernity and doesn't wish to be back at Longbourn at all!
Amanda ends up exactly in the book she so much loves, that beautiful story whose pages she has read infinite times. Only, once she's there the story starts being marred by her presence ... Bingley seems to be more interested in her than in Jane. Then things start to crash and roll down in a disastrous way! With her presence there, Amanda risks ruining the beautiful story so many readers have appreciated through the centuries and she herself considered her favourite escape from the disappointements of life. Apart from Charles Bingley being attracted to her, Mr Collins wants to marry her too and Mr Darcy seems not so much interested in meeting the woman of his life, Elizabeth Bennet. Wickham reveals himself a noble soul and even a victim, Lydia has her unfortunate elopment in this story too...  everything turned  out  so delightfully absurd that I actually didn't realize  I had been watching my DVDs  just in one nearly-4-hour-long session!

Will Amanda get her Darcy in the end?
Wickham, Darcy, Bingley

The Bennet Sisters: Jane Mary, Kitty, Lydia (from left to right)
Elliot Cowan's Mr Darcy is awkwardly stiff and proud but he is attractive at the same time. He has something sweet in his towering loneliness. What does he lack?  Nothing.  Mr Cowan did a good job: he was believably annoying, rude, conceited, and tall dark and handsome. Look at him in his wet white shirt. Can he stand the comparison with Firth's Mr Darcy, though this performance was meant to be a  parody of the pond scene in P&P 1995 ?
Wet-shirted Cowan/ Darcy in cold November icy water

This is my 5th task for My Everything Austen Challenge II . Minus 1 to completion!


Anonymous said...

I just watched this the other day again for the third time. It's a hoot for sure.

Anonymous said...

I saw it some time ago and really liked it!

It's a story you know but with the -mostly comical- twists it becomes a different one, you don't know what will happen, yet you have an idea. I think it is so because they made a parody of BBC's P&P, you 'know' those characters, you're familiar with them, you've seen (and loved) how BBC portrayed them, I can relate to Amanda. When she has the 'no,no,no. This is not how it shoudl happen' expression, yours is just mirroring hers, hehe.

My fav twist is Wickham. Most funny, Ms. Bingley's ;). Not so good (at the beggining)Jane's and not-so-sure-about-it, Charlotte's.

OML :)

Audra said...

It has a fabulous (and quite attractive!) cast but this statement For the first time I could sympathize with George Wickham... has me scrambling to find it now!

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Thank you MG for reminding me about this lovely series: I found it very funny and cleverly made when I first saw it 2 years ago.
As already pointed out by OML, it's even funnier for those who have fresh in mind (should I say "know by heart"? ;-) P&P95: there's plenty of references!
I don't mind Mr Darcy's and Amanda's performances (not to speak about the almost non-exisitent Lizzie B.): my fave character is definitely Wickham <3, but The-Slimiest-Mr. Collins-EVAH also deserves a mention!
Some great lines, too: "She has Paracetamol" has become quite a classic, now :P

Kelly said...

Rewatching this series was one of my challenge goals as well and I totally agree with your assessment. I loved every minute of it and as Karen says above, so many of the hilarious lines have entered my husband's and my daily conversation. I'm already looking forward to another viewing!

Claudia said...

I watched this series a few months ago and I still remember how I felt involved by the story. Elliot Cowan is extremely attractive (maybe too attractive compared to Mr. Darcy as I have in my mind) but I still prefer our good old Colin Firth!


Theresa said...

Great review - I thoroughly enjoyed watching this as well. I loved the Wickham character and Dary's sulky, pouting look I thought very funny indeed. I could enjoy watching it again in the not too distant future I think.