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Lost in Austen


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#1

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Posted Sep 1, 2008 @ 4:29 PM

This Wednesday sees the launch of ITV's new drama 'Lost in Austen' about a modern day girl who unhappy in her present life is somehow transported back in time into the fictionlised world of Pride & Prejudice , where she become trapped as Elizabeth Bennet.

While I did not have high hopes for this short series I thought the trailers looked like fun. Then I read the review at the Times and thought, oh crap. But on the other hand the critic at the Times does like many TV programmes so I'll still watch the first episode.

http://entertainment...icle4613100.ece

#2

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Posted Sep 1, 2008 @ 4:53 PM

I read the book this is based on and was not at all impressed (the heroine seemed like an idiot), so I'm not sure I'll be tuning into this one.

#3

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Posted Sep 1, 2008 @ 5:28 PM

Hmmm. I wonder if PBS will get this next year for next year's MT line-up. Based on what I've been reading for it, I'm rather hoping not.

All that I've found out about this is on the AustenBlog, which isn't the most unbiased of sources, but I can't find anything to excite me for this.

#4

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Posted Sep 4, 2008 @ 6:22 PM

This was quite fun. It will probably deeply offend the ardent fan of Pride & Prejudice fan, but this is played for laughs, reasonably successfully. It turned out I was right, as the Times, was the most negative review of all the papers.

Basically, the plot revolves around the lead not entirely believing that she is really in the story, so makes mistakes that antagonises some characters and accidentedly bewitches others, thereby upsetting the course of the story and then realising she has to correct it.

#5

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Posted Sep 6, 2008 @ 5:22 PM

I thought it was dreadful. It all felt very heavy handed, and just didn't work for me. Interesting that it's based on a novel, because watching I was thinking it would work better written than on screen, because one could read it as a parody much as one does crossover fanfic (which this basically is). Filmed, it seemed to take itself altogether too seriously.

Also, the heroine only read one book? You'd think she'd at least branch out into other books by Jane Austen, if nothing else. I couldn't take her seriously as a real person.

I won't bother with ep 2.

#6

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Posted Sep 6, 2008 @ 6:29 PM

I keep thinking it'll get a mashup name. "Lausten."

#7

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Posted Sep 6, 2008 @ 10:25 PM

I watched it before reading any reviews and honestly, am surprised by the negative ones like that one from the Times. It's just light, frothy fun and I enjoyed it for what it was. There were some hilarious moments, and I especially liked Amanda being one step behind everyone else during her dance with Darcy.

From the Times review:

Seriously. It's not enough here to have once seen the movie, and to know that Austen's book is basically about some chippy tart in a big crumbly house, mooning over a soggy stuffed shirt with a stick up his arse. You need to know details: that Bingley is supposed to fancy Jane; that stuff happens at a dance; that Jane sets off for Netherfield in the rain, the works.

Yes, but if you have actually seen the movie or miniseries, or read the book, you would know those details! I just find it hard to believe that anyone who would watch something called "Lost in Austen" would be unfamiliar with P&P 101.

I did wonder why everyone wasn't more shocked and outraged by Amanda's modern day attire, but then, you're supposed to buy that Amanda was able to step through a secret door and enter the world of P&P, so....chalk it all up to suspension of disbelief.

#8

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Posted Sep 7, 2008 @ 4:06 AM

because watching I was thinking it would work better written than on screen, because one could read it as a parody much as one does crossover fanfic (which this basically is). Filmed, it seemed to take itself altogether too seriously.


Yeah, it reminded me too much of some of the truely terrible "author inserts" I stumbled across as a 12 year old to really enjoy it. And it and similarly annoying problems: They don't really question why she's here, why she's dressed like that or why the hell Lizzie is suddenly in Hammersmith and I felt it took itself a little too seriously for things that to not matter, even though it's supposed to be fun and frothy. I didn't hate it but it didn't give me much reason to stick around either.

#9

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Posted Sep 7, 2008 @ 10:26 AM

ovrdedge, I too found it frothy, fun, and not trying to pretend to be anything more than that. It's a fantasy of displacement and I don't find that it takes itself seriously at all. I don't think you need to know the source material as intimately as Amanda to enjoy it, particularly as Amanda reminds the audience frequently about what is supposed to happen. I find her attempts to avoid screwing up the story that she loves quite endearing. She's a Mary Sue trying hard not to be Mary Sue. It's a challenging quest and one I'm happy to follow for another three episodes.

Also, the heroine only read one book? You'd think she'd at least branch out into other books by Jane Austen, if nothing else. I couldn't take her seriously as a real person.


Occasional Hope, do you remember where it was revealed that Pride and Prejudice is the only book she's ever read? I don't recall that. Amanda Price seems real to me in that P&P being a favourite book to which she escapes frequently is a sentiment that I've seen expressed in many a blog or comment. I've always imagined those expressing it were real enough, although this is the Internet and one never knows.

#10

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Posted Sep 7, 2008 @ 10:51 AM

Yes, but if you have actually seen the movie or miniseries, or read the book, you would know those details! I just find it hard to believe that anyone who would watch something called "Lost in Austen" would be unfamiliar with P&P 101.


Actually I've never watched or read Pride and Prejudice in any form. Only watched Lost in Austen because Hugh Bonneville was in it and I loved him in Bonekickers. I'll admit though that I did check the P&P story out on Wikipedia first.

#11

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Posted Sep 7, 2008 @ 11:21 AM

I like Hugh Bonneville too, but man, Bonekickers was one of the crappiest shows I've ever watched. I can't believe it was made by the BBC. I thought the premise sounded like it could be fun, but not even Hugh and Adrian Lester could save that dreck. But back to Lost in Austen....

I don't think you need to know the source material as intimately as Amanda to enjoy it, particularly as Amanda reminds the audience frequently about what is supposed to happen.

Agreed! I thought the Times reviewer was being persnickety and bitchy just for the sake of it when whinging about how you have to know all these details. I do wonder where they are going with Amanda and Mr. Darcy though, as that could totally turn into a Mary Sue situation. Also wonder if they will ever show what Elizabeth Bennet is doing in modern day Hammersmith. I read that in episode 2, when Amanda is a guest at Netherfield, she is invited to sing for them since she can't play the piano, and she ends up singing Downtown. Can't wait!

#12

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Posted Sep 7, 2008 @ 12:25 PM

I liked it. It won't win any awards or anything, but it's fun to watch and the cast is likeable. I especially liked Hugh Bonneville, who was hilarious, and Mr. Bingley, who was adorable. Alex Kingston was great too - I liked the scene with Mrs. Bennett and Amanda at the ball. The story itself is probably a little fanfic, but whatever. I'll keep watching. It's entertaining enough.

#13

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Posted Sep 7, 2008 @ 12:52 PM

I like Hugh Bonneville too, but man, Bonekickers was one of the crappiest shows I've ever watched. I can't believe it was made by the BBC.


Never 'twas a truer word spoken. I believe they've commissioned another series and further, that the sky is falling.

Topic...ahmmmm....Claude! Oh, and ceindreadh, do you think you would have still be able to follow it without checking out Wiki first? For all that I can think it's easy to follow, I am very familiar with the story and may be unduly prejudiced in my faith in the writer enabling the uninitiated.

#14

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Posted Sep 7, 2008 @ 1:01 PM

This sounds interesting! I would like to see it - hope it comes to America, or at least, YouTube. If I can happily devour a story where Jane Eyre the book is a tourist attraction, where the characters are like actors, suiting up for the story whenever the book is being read*, I think I could really like this.

*The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde. Quite a good book with many sequels, all featuring the intrepid Thursday Next.

#15

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Posted Sep 7, 2008 @ 2:29 PM

Occasional Hope, do you remember where it was revealed that Pride and Prejudice is the only book she's ever read? I don't recall that. Amanda Price seems real to me in that P&P being a favourite book to which she escapes frequently is a sentiment that I've seen expressed in many a blog or comment. I've always imagined those expressing it were real enough, although this is the Internet and one never knows.


My interpretation, perhaps - but the inference definitely seemed to me to be that it was the one favourite book she read ALL THE TIME. Personally I have lots of comfort reads and would get bored with even my favourites of those if I read only one of them repeatedly.

#16

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Posted Sep 8, 2008 @ 5:28 PM

Oh, and ceindreadh, do you think you would have still be able to follow it without checking out Wiki first?


I think I probably would have, because all the important bits, we're being told what they are and what's supposed to happen. I'll admit i've forgotton most of the wiki details already, but I don't think it'll matter.

(there's a reason I'm not really into historical romances, the whole 'daughters must marry well because they won't inherit' deal, makes me want to spit)

#17

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Posted Sep 10, 2008 @ 8:24 PM

I've watched all of episode 1, and a bit of episode 2, and I'm mostly enjoying it, especially the light "21st century fish out of water" touches. Amanda singing downtown was cute, and I loved when she told Caroline Bingley that she had 27,000 pounds a year. (Ah, to be transported back to a time when my annual salary would make me the target of fortune hunters!) I really like that this Bingley is charming and a little bit assertive (along with the cluelessness.)

#18

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Posted Sep 10, 2008 @ 10:14 PM

dustdevil, I am enjoying it too. Now that they've veered quite a bit from the book, I am intrigued as to where it is going. I was shocked when Jane actually married Mr. Collins! "Imagine having his hands slithering over your arse." Indeed. ::shudders:: But poor Charlotte Lucas. I know Amanda is trying to set things right the way they are in the book only to have it all go pear-shaped, but she could use greater finesse and subtlety. Showing her hand so early and resolutely with Wickham probably wasn't the best idea because look at the lies he went on to tell about her.

This Mr. Darcy is so ill-humored that I find I prefer Mr. Bingley for a change. He is a bit more assertive than book Bingley but ultimately, he still caved in to his friend when it came to Jane.

How is Amanda going to avoid being thrown out of the Bennet house after Mrs. Bennet told her she had to leave?

#19

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 8:08 AM

This is much better now that the story is unravelling all over the place. You can see Amanda literally running around like a headless chicken, trying to tie the threads together, but making it worse. Mr Collins has to die for Jane to be rescued. It is inevitable that some how Amanda and Darcy get together.

#20

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 9:03 AM

What I really liked about the last scene is that Amanda now has reason to genuinely hate Darcy, something that would never have happened before because she always had the book to guide her as to his nature behind the pomposity. With the book's plot going so awry, she is forced to reassess her view of him and come to the place where Elizabeth would have started.

#21

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 9:25 AM

I didn't think I would enjoy this but I watched the latest episode with a smile on my face the whole time, even with terrible things that were happening. Poor Jane!

I suppose now that she's being kicked out of the house, maybe this time she can finally go home and see what Elizabeth's been up to? And come back with a toothbrush and some of her own clothes.

At this point I'm up there with hating Mr. Darcy, but I suppose that's entirely the point. I actually also much prefer Mr. Bingley in this adaptation, as I feel like we get more insight on his character, especially during the conversation he had with Amanda after Jane's wedding. Oh, and um, he's hot too. This version of Darcy just doesn't have the smoulder down quite right, I don't think.

#22

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 10:16 AM

I need help of the Euphemisms for Dummies kind.

... steer the punt from the Cambridge end.

He infers that Amanda is gay. I got that, I'm not a complete moron. So what does this euphemism literally mean? I know a punt is a kind of boat ( Ah, good old google. Here's a cookie for you. ), but Cambridge end ( Bad google, so not helping. Now, go stand in the corner. ) ?

#23

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 11:04 AM

He infers that Amanda is gay. I got that, I'm not a complete moron. So what does this euphemism literally mean? I know a punt is a kind of boat ( Ah, good old google. Here's a cookie for you. ), but Cambridge end ( Bad google, so not helping. Now, go stand in the corner. ) ?


This might actually somewhat of an anachronism because if I had to guess I would say this refers to the Famous Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford University. If Bingley is an Oxford man, making Cambridge's boating team habitually synonymous with homosexuality would probably make perfect sense to him. The problem is that the race was only established in 1829, so Bingley wouldn't associate a boating metaphor with the Cambridge rivalry.

I actually start to really like this series. The first episode was guilty-pleasure amusing, but with here everything getting pear-shaped this was actually genuinely amusing. Mr. Darcy was seriously unpleasant in this one. The weird thing is though, he's understandably unpleasant. If someone dropped into my life telling me that someone I had never met was the love of my life while blabbing out all the embarrassing family secrets in public, I would be much more unpleasant.

Edited by para, Sep 11, 2008 @ 11:06 AM.


#24

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 11:16 AM

maybe this time she can finally go home and see what Elizabeth's been up to?

Part of me is curious as to what Lizzie has been up to in modern day Hammersmith. Although, judging from her fascination with the bathroom light, she might have ended up hypnotized by the TV on the couch or something. But there's also a part of me that thinks Lizzie is being quite a selfish bitch in locking a poor stranger in her world, and abandoning her family like that with little explanation.

This version of Darcy just doesn't have the smoulder down quite right, I don't think.

He just looks like he's pouting.

From the previews, I can speculate that something happens to change Darcy's opinion of Amanda, and I assume it is she that he is asking to Pemberley with an actual pleasant expression on his face. I really want to know how they will rescue Jane from the clutches of Mr. Collins. The times being what they are, it will have to take his death! Is Lindsay Duncan playing Lady Catherine De Burgh in the next epsiode? Because that would be awesome!

Oh, wanted to add, I thought it was really funny how Amanda covered up her forgetting the lyrics to that one part of Downtown by going "Lala la la lala where the neon signs are pretty..."

#25

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 11:34 AM

This might actually somewhat of an anachronism because if I had to guess I would say this refers to the Famous Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford University. If Bingley is an Oxford man, making Cambridge's boating team habitually synonymous with homosexuality would probably make perfect sense to him. The problem is that the race was only established in 1829, so Bingley wouldn't associate a boating metaphor with the Cambridge rivalry.


It's not a Boat Race reference, as that is rowing, which is very different from punting. I took the reference to be that punting is much easier in Cambridge because the River Cam is shallow and gravelly, making it ideal for the pole, whereas the River Cherwell in Oxford is deeper and muddier, requiring more muscle. I know this from the personal experience of leaving a pole stuck in the mud. I would agree that it is, however, anachronistic as punting didn't become a pleasure pursuit until the second half of the 19th century.

#26

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 3:28 PM

... steer the punt from the Cambridge end.


I don't know if the posters of IMDB are any authority (heh) on the subject, but this is what they have to say about it:

There is a little prow on Oxbridge punts, providing a short flat platform at one end.

Cambridge students, brave, fearless* and proud, mount the platform and punt from there. Cowardly Oxford university students stand on the floor of the punt at the end opposite this platform. Then cast aspersions at their betters from the east.

*Secure in the knowledge that the Cam is nowhere deeper than four feet.


Which doesn't clear up anything for me, but yeah...something to do with boats. I suppose I'm too North American because when they said 'punt' I thought American Football.

So I read the synopsis for the future episodes (I couldn't help myself) and...it looks like Bingley gets depressed and starts drinking. And then runs off with Lydia! Mr. Bennett then challenges him to a duel and then gets wounded. Not Claude! Did they make Bingley too lovable that they had to go and muck up his character? I'm not looking forward to that. Also, if you've seen the Behind the Scenes feature for the show, there will be a reenactment of the famous pond scene

#27

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Posted Sep 11, 2008 @ 11:22 PM

I kind of love how everything Amanda has touched has fallen spectacularly apart. It keeps the character from becoming a Mary Sue. I have to say though, I'm not loving Mr. Darcy. I think it's the actor because while what he's saying and doing is appropriately Darcy, it just isn't working. He's too...bland.

I liked when Amanda called Bingley "Bingers" in her head - it's the little things that amuse me. I also kind of loved Wickham. As in, he might be my favorite character loved.

But there's also a part of me that thinks Lizzie is being quite a selfish bitch in locking a poor stranger in her world, and abandoning her family like that with little explanation.


Yeah, it is pretty bitchy of her. It's also, I think, uncharacteristic of her. I would have thought that at the very least she'd want to let Jane know what was going on. Poor girl thinks her sister abandoned her on her wedding day! To Mr. Collins! That has to hurt like hell.

I can't wait for Lindsay Duncan. She is just made of awesome.

#28

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Posted Sep 12, 2008 @ 12:15 AM

This show requires so much suspension of belief on my part (and not even the sci-fi elements of it - the Austen characters are written all wrong) but I'm enjoying the frothiness.

Though I have to say my biggest gripe is - can't any casting agent doing a version of P+P cast a Jane that is prettier than Elizabeth? It's such a big part of the book and dialogue that when you put forward someone who is obviously not the prettiest one in the family (and in Lost In Austen's case, pretty at all, I think) it's extremely distracting.

#29

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Posted Sep 12, 2008 @ 12:19 AM

I think the writer has been rather clever. Amanda and the audience was predisposed to love Darcy and hate Wickham because they know the story. What he's managed to do is to bring her and us back to where Elizabeth was at this point in the novel - hating Darcy and being charmed by Wickham.

#30

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Posted Sep 12, 2008 @ 10:37 AM

Very spoilery summary of episode 3 and episode 4. Although, I am glad the one for the finale does leave some questions unanswered.

Darcy does propose to Amanda but takes it back when he finds out, she's not a "maid"! But there are still no clues if they can rescue Jane from Collins, or why Amanda thinks that taking Elizabeth back to P&P world will save Mr. Bennet.