How 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries' Won Over an Audience and the Emmys Jury
Ashley Clements plays the title character in 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.' (youtube.com/lizziebennet)
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a series in possession of an excellent cast and crew, a fresh vision, and great source material must be deserving of an Emmy.
This morning, the juried winners of the Creative Arts Emmys in Interactive Media were announced. While all the projects were excellent contributions to the world of digital entertainment, one stood out despite its name being perhaps the least well known among the winners: "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries."[Related: 'Top Chef's' 'Last Chance Kitchen,' 'Oprah's Lifeclass,' the Nick App, and 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries']
"LBD," as it is abbreviated most affectionately by the cast, the crew, and a legion of devoted fans, is the story of Lizzie Bennet (played by Ashley Clements), a grad student who is on her way to receiving a mass communications degree but not sure what the rest of her life will bring. The show places her in front of the camera, interacting with best friend Charlotte Lu (Julia Cho), sisters Lydia (Mary Kate Wiles) and Jane (Laura Spencer), potential love interest William Darcy (Daniel Vincent Gordh), and a host of other characters straight from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" (on which the series is based), albeit with a few modern adjustments.
But "LBD" is no ordinary addition to popular culture. Despite being made by independent producers and distributed at virtually no cost to its audience on YouTube, the show received tremendous success and is a sign of what the future holds for serial programming. Here's why "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" deserved its Emmy win and what it says about the future of entertainment:
Watch the first episode of "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" below:
1. Unknowns making incredible content.
One of the most remarkable aspects of "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries'" success is that it was the product of the minds of several relatively unknown individuals. While the other Interactive Media Emmy winners are the projects of major studios (Bravo, OWN, and Nickelodeon), "LBD" was an independent effort.
The idea was spawned when Hank Green (one-half of the YouTube-famous video-blogging ("vlogging" for short) duo the VlogBrothers) came up with the idea of adapting a novel into a vlog. Within the Internet-verse, Green is well known for his and his brother's streaming-video work (his brother is author John Green), as well as his band of loyal followers (who call themselves Nerdfighters), but his work is largely (and regrettably) unknown by the general public. However, "Lizzie Bennet" was a unique and inspired project that, with the help of some great producers and writers, turned into a really funny, smart, and engaging show.