Favorite Literary Based Web Series
One upon a time, 2013 actually, I stumbled upon a video on YouTube while trying to find something Jane Austen related to see. The video was actually the last episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I watched a couple of seconds of it and realized it was actually a series. So I read the description box and looked for information on it. Which is how I found out that it was a web series adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in which Lizzie is a 24 year old grad student that films vlogs in her room. Mind you, I hadn’t heard about the term nor seen one before. After reading that, I became intrigued, watched all the episodes in one day and fell completely in love with the format.
Since then, watching web series has become one of my favorite hobbies. I love waiting each week for new episodes to come out. Though when an episode ends in a cliff hanger, it becomes really hard to wait a couples of days for the next episode. But it’s all fun. Also, I really enjoy how some have made other ways to follow along with the story by creating Twitter accounts for many characters, blogs with information on the world the characters live in, and other social media accounts to compliment the series. When it comes to web series, my favorites are especially those that are modern adaptations of classics or are entirely newly written but have a theme related to books.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to start writing down all the web series I’ve watched to recommend them to a friend. Then I realized it would be a good idea to do a blog post about them. So without further ado, here are my favorite literary based web series.
5. Classic Alice
Created by Kate Hackett.
Classic Alice is about a college student named Alice who, after receiving a bad grade on an essay, decides to ask her friend Andrew for help in order to film a documentary about living her life accounting to classic literature .
I became interested in this web series because I was curious to see how she would actually live her life according to the actions of various characters in classic literature. To my surprise, she actually pulled it off. Obviously not everything went as planned in some instances, but I enjoyed watching her interactions with others while mimicking the actions of a character. I especially loved watching Alice and Andrew interact with each other. Not to mention, they had me frustrated for many months because of their none existent romantic relationship. But I enjoyed watching Alice and was happy every time she learned from her mistakes. Slowly but surely, she became aware of her actions and the effect it had on others. Becoming an example of how sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and reevaluated things.
I can’t wait for her to become that confident writer I know she can be. Or maybe she already is? I haven’t watched the new episodes that were published after the first hiatus. Honestly, I have a lot of catching up to do. But I’m not sad because now I can actually write about the series after I catch up.
4. Lovely Little Losers
Developed by The Candle Wasters: Claris Jacobs, Elsie Bollinger, Minnie Grace, and Sally Bollinger.
Lovely Little Losers is a web series inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost”. It follows the lives of four friends, Ben, Fred, Balthazar and Peter (Pedro) and the various situations that unfold while living together. If you’d like to know the back story of many of the characters, I would recommend you watch the web series titled Nothing Much To Do. Many of the characters come from that web series and continue on their journey in Lovely Little Losers.
I was so happy the day I logged into YouTube and saw that the first episode of Lovely Little Losers had been published. I was really looking forward to seeing if the stories of some of the characters from Nothing Much To Do would continue on in this new series. Luckily, many of them did. To sum up my experience watching this series, I would say that it showcased many weeks of emotional roller coaster rides, many instances of me being frustrated and annoyed with some of the characters attitudes, with the addition of lovely music and enjoyable happy times. I enjoyed watching some of the characters mature and develop into their own truth. And even though some of them still have a long way to go, I felt that at the end of the series, many were just starting the journey into developing their identity and maturing. And if I had to choose a favorite character, I would definitely pick Balth. Such a sweet, talented and lovely character is so hard to forget. Though there are many more that I enjoyed watching and still cherish.
Go watch this series if you haven’t. Become a lovely little loser like me. 😉
3. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Developed by Hank Green and Bernie Su. (Pemberley Digital)
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern adaptation to Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. As I said before, it’s about 24 year old grad student Lizzie Bennet who films vlogs in her room about her personal life and family.
I’m always looking for Jane Austen related content and what better than to stumble upon a web series of my favorite novel of all time. That’s what I call a great start. I really enjoyed watching the scenes in the book come to life through Lizzie’s vlogs. The interactions with her sisters, Charlotte, Darcy, among other characters really added to the development of each character and their relationship with each other. Not to mention, how Lidia’s character was showcased in a way that was really relatable. She has always been seen as the frivolous brat of the family, but in this series, there was much more to her being presented to the viewers. I also really loved the sisterly bond that developed throughout the series. Not only between the Bennet sisters, but between Lizzie and Charlotte as well. The way they were able to communicate and be there for each other in various situations throughout the series was very touching. Not to mention, the various awkward and cute interactions between Lizzie and Darcy. I became impatient while watching the series and wanted so bad to see the first confession scene. When it did happen, I watched it 3 times just to get a hold of myself. Lizzie was harsh, and I loved it. But it was worth it, because after that the interactions were even better. Did I mention Mr. Darcy is my favorite Austen male character? Did I also mention that Lizzie and Darcy are my favorite Austen couple? Well now you know.
Yet surprisingly so, my favorite character of TLBD was actually Jane. I really liked how she was portrayed in the series, and I loved how she developed into a strong, independent young lady who was still willing to believe in others. This despite the previous disappointments she experienced with other characters. She was still the sweet Jane everyone loved but with a bit of novel Lizzie’s strong will. I also really enjoyed Charlotte’s character. She was always such a great friend to Lizzie, and at many times, the voice of reason. Which is why I loved the friendship between the two. Did I mention I fell in love with her outfits as well? 🙂
When it comes to the books, I’ll always love Lizzie and Darcy, but this time Jane and Charlotte were my favorites. If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice you should definitely check out this web series. I personally didn’t really connect with Lizzie, but there are so many other points of view showcased in this series, that in my opinion make it worth watching.
2. The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy
Created by Kyle Walters and Shawn deLoache.
The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy is a modern transmedia adaptation of J.M Barrie’s novel titled Peter and Wendy. Wendy Darling runs the advice column, called “Dear Darling”, of her family’s newspaper the Kensington Chronicle. She runs the column by reading the questions people send her and gives them advice in the form of vlogs. In the series, Tinkerbell also films vlogs with Peter Pan. Through out these videos, we experience the situations Peter, Wendy, her brothers John and Michael, Tinkerbell and Lily are involved in and the inevitable consequences of growing up.
Since I was a kid, the idea of never growing up seemed more attractive than growing up just to have my own car. Of course, Neverland (disney) was part of the reason why I loved the idea of not growing up even more. So when I discovered this web series on YouTube, I quickly subscribed to the channel and enjoyed both seasons from start to finish. I loved being able to see the story from Wendy’s point of view through her Dear Darling vlogs. As well as being able to see things from Peter’s perspective thanks to the vlogs uploaded by Tinkerbell. What better than to experience many perspectives of a same story. Which only got better with time, as season 2 presented even more points of views.
Also, I enjoyed watching how the characters interacted with each other in various situations. How their struggles, worries, friendships and bond, were so genuinely portrayed and how each character was given the space to grow and change. Season 2 is a testament to that. Each character experienced change and dealt with it differently. And by the end of it, the characters had grown and changed so much that, even though in some cases it was bitter sweet, it made the characters relatable on so many levels. I can’t be the only one that finds it annoying when character development is no where to be found when reading a book or watching a series. Luckily this was not the case. Each of us deal with situations in on own way, and I know many must have felt identified with at least one of the main characters in season 2. And seeing how everything unfolded, there is still more change to come.
I haven’t read the Peter Pan novel, but I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed how many people found a liking to the series because of its loyalty to the original story. Which is why it has sparked an interest in me reading the novel. Imagine that. Watching an adaptation first and loving it so much that you have the urge to read the novel from which it was created. I know it usually happens the other way around but not this time. 🙂
1. Emma Approved
Developed by Bernie Su. (Pemberley Digital)
Emma Approved is a modernized adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel titled Emma. Emma Woodhouse, head of the match making lifestyle division of the developing Highbury Partners Lifestyle group, has decided to document in video her “greatness for when she receives her future Lifetime Achievement Award in lifestyle excellence”. Everything that goes on in Emma’s personal and professional life is seen through these videos.
Yes. A complete shocker. As I said before, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Jane Austen novel of all times. But when it came down to both adaptations, I had to admit that I felt more of a connection with Emma Approved. First of all, I was happy to see that Emma was an assertive young business woman in charge of a match making division at the company she works for. It’s always nice to see female characters that stray away from the typical damsel in distress. Diversity is always welcomed. Second of all, it was also nice to know that the series had a blog to compliment it. On her blog, Emma would write advice, outfit of the day and personal blog posts. I related to her in that way because I’ve always loved blogging. I enjoyed getting to know Emma through her blog posts, and her outfit of the day pictures were always so lovely. Not to mention, other characters were also featured on the blog.
When it comes to the series, I can sincerely say that I enjoyed watching Emma’s character grow. From the start, I always felt that Emma was a person that really meant well. She wanted to make people happy, but instead of listening to others, she would just do things her way. Because in her opinion, she knew what was best for others. At the beginning, it was more than obvious that her ego and lack of taking into consideration others opinions, would become a problem along the way. Nevertheless, she learned her lesson little by little. And the hardest one of all, helped Emma acquire a new outlook on life and inspired the most empowering change in her character.
On the other hand, what is a web series without its supporting characters. My favorites were Alex and Harriet. When it came to Alex, I was happy to see that he was about the same age as Emma. Personally, I was never a fan of the big age gap between them. But the web series fixed that. I also really liked the friendship between both Emma and Alex, and the way he always looked out for her by being the voice of reason and helping her even though she did things he many times didn’t agree with. My favorite scenes involving Alex were the famous scolding scene in which Alex reprimands Emma for her hurtful actions against another character, and the long awaited love confession. These are the reasons why Alex has worked his way into the number 2 spot of my favorite Austen male characters. A great friend and overall guy. Moving on to Harriet, I can say that she also made a big change from who she was when she started to work for Emma. She started off as a shy girl with little to no confidence in herself and her abilities to carry out tasks at work. But little by little, she transformed into a responsable, confident and self assured young woman capable of completing any task at hand. Emma constant encouraging was also a big part of that change. Not to mention, both were always wonderful, supportive and caring friends to one another. I was so happy to see their friendship grow throughout the series and was glad that it wasn’t ruined at the end when Harriet finds out that Alex is in love with Emma.
Is it too obvious I loved watching this web series?
Honorary Mentions Green Gables Fables Northbound Frankenstein MD
Those are my favorite literary based web series up to this point. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of them, and I hope those who haven’t seen them give each series a chance. Writing this blog post was tedious, but I had a lot of fun reminiscing about my favorite scenes. It’s a long post, but I hope you all enjoyed reading it.
Comment down below which are your favorite literary web series and if we have any in common. I’d love to get to know other web series worth watching.