First, something you may not be aware of. The show just crossed the four hour mark of total runtime (not including spinoffs OR Q&A videos). - See for yourself. http://bit.ly/LBDplist
Per usual, I’m answering every Tumblr question that I can, but tend to dodge questions that require me to spoil things. - If you’ve read the book then you won’t get spoiled at all. If you haven’t read the book, then there may be some spoilage so you may want to avoid this blog post. You’ve been warned.
Q: Why IS Mr. Bennet less of a presence in LBD universe? Is it supposed to convey his unhealthy laissez-faire attitude to parenting? It would be nice to see more of the book closeness of Lizzie and her father…just curious if this is deliberate choice or one of expediency.
A: I think it’s just the nature of Lizzie’s narrating. Naturally we talk about things that bother us more than things that remain steady and solid in our lives. In storytelling speak, there’s no conflict between Lizzie and her father, so thus he’s less of a presence in her videos.
Q: why make Colonel Fitz gay? it doesn’t feel necessary.
A: There were several comments about Fitz’s sexuality, which somewhat surprised me. Fitz being “Too hot and single to be gay” isn’t exactly a universal truth. ;) JK
In all seriousness, we wanted to make Fitz a guy in our world that wasn’t a “romantic/pairing” interest to any of the women in our show, thus he’s gay to help with that. - So though it may not be necessary, it was helpful.
Q: Bit late for me to ask this now given we’re getting close to Hunsford but why didn’t Lizzy talk more about Darcy when he wasn’t around between Netherfield and Hunsford? In the book, she’s quite obsessed with him even after he’s left Netherfield. She talks about him to Wickham, brings him up during her conversation with her Aunt at the theatre, blames him for Jane leaving. I think Austen used it to show how much the guy affected her even though she didn’t realize it.
A: I think we have our Lizzie talk about him enough as it is. In our story, I think the non-Darcy stuff had a bigger impact in her life than book Lizzie. Thus things like Collins coming and her lifelong friendship with Charlotte shattering overnight dominated her conversations post netherfield.
Q: Are you going to make Darcy…(how do i say this and not sound racist?)…Black or Asian to subvert expectations of the viewers and make a non traditional version of darcy? Because that would be amazing.
A: Darcy will be like Darcy. Modernizing Darcy has nothing to do with his race, it’s about modernizing him and making sure he feels, acts, and carries himself like Darcy. - This one is a to be continued in a future post.
Q: Where exactly are the LBDs set? Because I had for the longest time thought they lived somewhere on the East Coast (not sure why); but now with the latest Lydia vlog and Fitz’s description of his Fun Care Package Executive corner office, I’m not so sure. Also, really love the series, by the way.
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Q: We know Jane lives in LA currently, but where do Charlotte and the other Bennets (Lizzie and Lydia) live? In the latest Lydia vlog (“Life of the Party”), she pops into visit Jane as if she lived right around the corner, so it made me quite curious… also, just want to add: hats off to you (and the team) for writing/producing such an amazing series. I’ve always been a fan of the book and your spin on it is classy. :]
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Q: wait what? how is she in la..
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Q: if Lydia can show up in LA, does that mean the Bennets are somewhere in California, and she drove? Also, what’s the purpose behind Lydia’s sort-of meltdown last night, and is it going to play into the Wickham story arc? Thanks for all you do! Love it!
A: We visualize it as California, USA. We’ve stated in panels that the exact city is in a small town somewhere south of San Francisco and north of Los Angeles. As for how Lydia ended up in LA, after leaving Mary’s she drove all night or so to LA to see Jane. - and as for Lydia’s arc, we’re seeing Lydia’s individual journey right now, and her journey continues.
Q: This might have been asked before, but I only just realized the 200th (201st?) anniversary of P&P’s publication is coming up relatively soon. Any plans for that? No spoilers! Just, do you guys plan to do anything special for it? :) Amazing series by the way. I never thought I’d be as invested as I am, but it’s too brilliant not to be.
A: Well I think we’re honoring the 200th anniversary by making our show, unless there’s some specific calendar date that I’m missing.
Q: I love when small details that seem offhand at the time, like Lizzie’s go-to skill being that she used to play tennis, seamlessly function as important details later in the narrative. (If tennis does= piano forte). Given that tennis was first mentioned in episode 6, I was wondering: did you consider this and the modernization of the other more minor details(vs turning points like Collins’s proposal, THE proposal, etc), like Anne the dog and Lizzie’s independent study, from the very beginning?
A: To be frank, no. The big stuff we had from the start. like the Collins proposal and Lydia’s upcoming fall. But Anne as a dog, Kitty as a cat, and tennis instead of piano were things that we discovered as we went. - I think when we started, if you had asked me about those three things I would have gone. “Yes Anne is DeBourgh’s sickly daughter, no Kitty will never be seen in any form, and Lizzie sings instead of plays the piano”
Q: You always joke about how everyone won’t stop asking you about seeing Darcy, but how do you really feel about the nagging at this point? Is is just annoying? Does it make you happy to see so many people invested in your series? Do you press your fingers together like a super villain and go “Muwhahahaha!” because you know the secrets of the LBD universe and love watching us scramble and theorize? Just wondering. :)
A: In a phrase, I love it. But to clarify, all of us doing the show are trying to get the audience to care about the other characters more than they ever have before. I don’t think you can do Pride and Prejudice and not have the audience swarm around Darcy, it’s inevitable. I love the theories, it shows (as you said) that the audience is super invested and that’s really the goal as a storyteller.
Since we left Netherfield and got over the “I can’t believe you didn’t show us Darcy at Netherfield” comments. The “Show us Darcy, why don’t you show us Darcy, When are you gonna show us Darcy comments” are now a combination of excitement, being rhetorical, and not REALLY knowing the book.
Last week I had dinner with some relatives where my aunt asked me the “when Darcy?” question. Her daughter astutely went through the book and said that there are only a few points in the story that we could actually reveal him. In which I responded with - Exactly.
Q: asked this already but it wasn’t answered, so here i goes again: is georgiana going to make an appearance on camera soon? got super excited when she was mentioned in one of the newer episodes.
Q: Are you planning to ever get georgiana on screen? i’d love lbd even more than i already do if you did.
A: As with the previous question, if you’re following the story, there are only a few points we could reveal Georgiana if we chose to.
Q: If Fitz watches LBD videos (or at least recent ones that he’s been in) shouldn’t he see how awkward Lizzie is about both the dancing-at-a-wedding-Darcy and meddling-in-other-people’s-shit-Darcy? Also, congrats on having a show where a near-majority of characters are Asian (and I think a majority of characters are actually minorities) and none of them has shown one iota of interest in either math or martial arts. Busting almost every stereotype except the whole med student thing!
A: Well if Fitz did as he was told (we don’t always do as we’re told), he’s only seen at MOST 56, 57, QA-6, and now 58. Fitz knows that Darcy likes Lizzie a lot. Fitz doesn’t know the level of Lizzie’s hatred of Darcy. He may think that Lizzie doesn’t think too fondly of Darcy, but he’s trying to get her to see the good in him. Note: there is a chance he didn’t watch any of the vids.
And thank you on the diversity thing. A great deal of credit has to go to Hank (the white dude from Florida) on that. He’s the one who suggested Bing Lee should be Asian. The rest just sort of played out.
Q: Will we meet or hear more of Fitz’s boyfriend? That would be so adorable >.<
A: Only if it’s talked about via Lizzie or around Lizzie.
Q: Will Maria Lu appear in the main show?
A: There needs to be a reason for her to come on the main show. Lizzie needs to find a way to bring her on.
Q: Please can we have a BTS video when the series is done? I’m internally weeping at the thought of finishing but I’d love to see the writers and director(s) etc be given some credit for their amazing work.
A: At the end, I don’t see why not. Why there has been very little of BTS video is really because I haven’t pushed it. Our resources our tight, and right now I want to make sure the team is focused on making the show great rather than showing you how we make the show.
Q: How far along will you go with the story? The book ends in a certain way, but will you be giving a lot of closure? I don’t imagine you would because a big theme in this series is to let the viewer try to surmise the details from the hints given (which I love by the way). But the ending to each of the characters stories- how along their lives will you go?
A: I almost ignored this question, but I’ll say this. We have not written the last episode yet.
Q: How, if at all, do you feel that the plot of the story (past and future) must be altered to accommodate the public nature of the Internet?
A: The Lizzie as narrator/knowing she in the show nature of the show obviously has massive ripples through out the story. I think you’ll see more of as we get deeper into the back half of the story. Knowing who’s been watching the videos and who hasn’t really alters what we can do, and also what we can show.
Thus far the biggest change has been our version of Caroline and how she’s not mean and catty to Lizzie from day one. Well she probably was a little, but as she was the first to discover Lizzie’s diaries, she’s had to change her tactics. Being mean to Lizzie isn’t the way to win Darcy, making sure Lizzie hates Darcy IS the way to win Darcy.
I think it’s important to realize that even though many characters are aware of the videos, they don’t necessarily watch the videos (don’t really care, too busy, etc). I think we’ve made it clear that Collins doesn’t REALLY watch the vids, Wickham right now probably isn’t watching (right now it doesn’t concern him), Charlotte wasn’t because she was mad at Lizzie, for Mary and Lydia it’s a little grey if they are (and when they are), and right now Jane is probably way too busy or instead just gets her Lizzie news straight from the source.
Q: Hi! One of the things I love about LBD is the racial diversity in casting which really makes me happy. However what upset me was when we first saw Fitz in a preview there was a seemingly huge amount of “OMG Darcy can’t be black” type comments. What do you think of that?
A: Thank you, I’ve really happy with our diverse cast as well. Happy that their diverse, and ECSTATIC that they’re so talented in their craft. Our cast is amazingly talented, and they continue to execute at a high level, they just happen to be diverse :)
Every time we film episodes I always catch myself going “wow that was impressive” by the things our amazing cast continues to do.
As for the “OMG Darcy Can’t be black” comments, I think that’s unfortunate. In our story, the only definitive physical characteristic we know about Darcy is that he’s “tall.” So if Craig Frank was like 4’8” then I’d totally accept “OMG Darcy can’t be short!” comments.
Q: I feel like the show is getting better over time. The spin-offs and cross-media stuff seem richer, the characters more real, the acting and writing more compelling. Some of that might just be me getting more into the show, but I think it’s more than that. Have you heard that from anyone else? Do you think the show is getting better? If so, why do you think that is? Is it just that the story is starting to pay off? Or is there more to it than that? Whatever it is, please keep doing it. :-)
A: The show is maintaining a high level of quality since the initial run. I think our “worst” episodes were our first 8, and not that they were bad, but because we were trying to see what was working. It was our “test-pilot”/finding our voice and rhythm so to speak. After that we’ve just been at this high level ever since. Credit goes to everyone involved. Actors, Writers, Editors, Crew, Everyone.
Format wise, I think you could compare us to like a telenovela or anime series. (I’m sure there are other formats but this is all I got at the moment). In those formats, you spend a lot of time getting to know the characters before they go on their adventures and/or big life changing journeys.
I think our show is so much richer to you now because we spent all that time setting up our great characters in the beginning. In related to our currently, four hours of runtime, we really just took our time.
Comparing us to the other adaptations, it took us 27 episodes to get to Netherfield, that’s 90+ minutes - I think it took the 1995 miniseries 35 minutes to get Lizzy to Netherfield and the 2005 movie it took 17 minutes to get her there.
In the movie and TV series the audience only really cares about Lizzy.
In the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the audience cares about everyone, and thus I think our story experience is enriched in our own way.
Thanks for watching!
Showrunner and Head Writer,