First off, thanks to every one of you for checking out the series. In Hank’s intro video, he talked about how this was an “experiment” and well as the showrunner he partnered with to execute the series I’ll say that yes, this was, and still is, an experiment. Like as he said, “it’s never been done before.” We really had no idea if this was going to be well received. (“well received” being synonymous with “any good”)
We knew people would check it out but we didn’t know if people would love it, thus seeing the audience response so far has been amazing and so incredibly encouraging. We at the LBD team really hope we get to tell this entire story and because of all of you that are watching, subscribing, and sharing, that goal is becoming more and more likely.
Anyway to the good stuff! So this is the first of *hopefully* many “behind the scenes” segments that I’ll do here breaking down various adaptation choices that we made in taking the Pride and Prejudice novel and turning it into a web series/video blog.
Out of the gate, by far the most common question we’ve been getting is “Where are Mary and Kitty?”.
All of us here at the LBD team are pretty surprised at the amount of Mary and Kitty love. It’s incredible and it pretty much forces me to address it right here, right now, so thank you. Seriously I really was set at writing one of these this weekend and you made the topic really easy.
Ok let’s get to it… Where are Mary and Kitty?
I’ll present our answer in two sections as to why Mary and Kitty aren’t Bennet sisters in The LBD.
1. Are they absolutely necessary?: Early in development, Hank and I chatted about which characters to include and which to cut out. More characters (especially in the early settings) would mean casting, feeding, writing and developing for them. Hank pointed out early on that he thought that Mary and Kitty weren’t absolutely necessary to the story - Which I totally agreed with.
Mary serves as sort of this quiet rebel, and Kitty follows Lydia around in her antics (as I like to say, “Lydia lite”). Look I know they do more than just those things in the novel, but the argument could be said that it’s really not all that much more. They aren’t as vital to the central narrative as say Lydia or Jane, we could simply merge some of their traits and antics into the existing Bennets, and having all 5 sisters would have really diluted our amazing supporting cast’s screen time.
Put it this way, no Mary and Kitty allows us to give extra focus and screen time to Lydia and Jane. I personally think that Lydia and Jane are far more entertaining than Mary or Kitty would have been.
2. Artifact of the Era: Another thing to consider is our setting, we’re in 2012, and we’re in America. I’m not saying that a family can’t have 5 daughters, but it’s definitely far less likely in this era than it was in the 18th century. Which leads to a question…
Why were there five daughters in the source material in the first place?
In our development discussions, including most recently with Ashley (who btw is also a mega P&P fan) it’s pointed out that the “pressure” of marrying off 5 daughters in that era was an important part of the “ticking clock” to the narrative - “We got to marry off our daughters and oh my god we have five of them!”. We are also talking about a period where women couldn’t own property and that if their Dad died, the estate would go to the next man in the family (cousin Mr. Collins in the novel) after all. Our story takes place today in 2012, things are very different now, and thus the change. Oh and speaking of that, I hope you’re looking forward to how we address the Collins dynamic in our version, because obviously he’s a bit of an artifact as well.
I’d like to point out that all this doesn’t mean that we’re not going to have a “Mary” or a “Kitty” in the series, they just won’t be sisters to Lizzie, Jane, and Lydia - feel free to speculate ;)
Btw this was my favorite comment (of the ones I saw) on the subject.