BTS: Netherfield Questions

Filed in Behind the Scenes by on August 4, 2012

Syndicated from Bernie Su‘s Tumblr

Phew, that was an exhausting month for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Going from two videos a week to four is no easy task. I think about some of the YouTubers who do daily videos by themselves and I’m amazed. It’s a ton of hard work. Even if you say “well they can just wing it”, they still have to plan, record, and edit these videos and wow that is a lot of work no matter who you are.

Anyway as promised I’m gonna answer a lot of the submitted tumblr questions.
I’m going to split these into three posts. –

1. Questions about Netherfield
2. Questions about Lydia and Mary
3. Questions about everything else.

Oh and there are spoilers (that aren’t spoilers if you’ve read the book) but you’ve been warned.

First up Netherfield.

Q: Why did the Bennet sisters stay at Netherfield for a month as opposed to two weeks as it is in Pride and Prejudice?

A: This is one of those creative vs economics battles that show business has all the time. It’s a question of “if you’re gonna spend the resources to make X for the show, are you going to get enough out of that X to make the resources worth it?”

There were early discussions of whether or not we were going to cut the Netherfield trip all together since we’d have to go and find/build/get this new location. But this “arc” felt so important to the story it just needed to happen. Also a lot of iconic events do happen at Netherfield and we felt we needed to cover it over as many videos as needed.

Those of you who thought we went really slow through that arc kind of puzzled me. There was only one video that didn’t cover a specific event/interaction from the novel and that was episode 27 (getting us into Netherfield, which really sets up Caroline). Anyway, our answer is both creative and economical. We needed time to hit all the major scenes and we also wanted to get as much out of that set/location as possible.


Q: What do you think of the “Boo Lizzie” effect (mainly playing out over the video’s YouTube comments)?

A: I’m guessing this is coming from the comments that point out that Lizzie isn’t being very likable, or that they want her to be more likable. To be honest, I don’t mind this criticism at all. I think there’s this unrealistic expectation as to how perfect Elizabeth Bennet is supposed to be for many P&P fans. I mean that’s fine, she’s considered the most revered heroine in literary history, but the Elizabeth Bennet we’re interpreting is awesome but far from perfect.

1. In the LBD, we’re trying to make everyone seem as realistic as possible. As Lizzie Bennet is a “presence to behold” she’s also incredibly flawed. re: PREJUDICE 🙂 – Our Lizzie is a vlogger, she’s got a ton of opinions and she’s stubborn about them. You’re not going to always like her and that’s okay. Everyone in our lives, no matter how much we like them, do things we don’t like. That’s life and that’s human.

2. There was a lot of this criticism coming from the Netherfield arc and well there’s a reason for that and her name is Caroline. Re-watch the arc, listen to Caroline’s words to Lizzie, and what she encourages Lizzie to think and feel. She’s trying to rattle her, to make her “disagreeable” (especially to Darcy), and to keep Darcy and Lizzie apart. The more Lizzie rants and hates Darcy the better it is for Caroline, so her manipulations naturally drive Lizzie to this “ranty, unlikeable” place. Caroline also has the advantage of Lizzie being already uncomfortable being at Netherfield due to her mother’s mettling and that affects her personality and her judgment. Lizzie is vulnerable and Caroline exploits it.

Finally, I’ll remind you that since it’s a “break the 4th wall show.” So if you’re finding yourself liking Caroline and hating Lizzie (even just a little) well that is exactly what Caroline wants. 😉


Q: Why did the girls keep commenting on how much they missed Charlotte when they were only at Netherfield. I thought it wasn’t too far from their old house, so shouldn’t they be able to see her just as much as they did when they were at home?

A: To be honest, this was one that bugged us too. In the book, Charlotte doesn’t go to Netherfield, so having her there would have changed the dynamic a lot. Also, not having Charlotte and her voice of reason would keep Lizzie vulnerable to everything else, which is what we needed. My only logical explanation is that Netherfield is not super close, and Charlotte didn’t want to intrude. (it’s not great, but it’s all I got).


Q: Why didn’t you include Mrs. Bennet’s visit?

A: Didn’t feel like we needed it. We’ve already accomplished bits of Caroline and Bing observing the “embarrassing” family and we’ll include more later. We also hit Lydia getting Bing to “throw a party”. We didn’t see a reason for Mrs. Bennet to be there. We figured she wouldn’t want to get in the way of her own convoluted matchmaking plan (or risk Jane coming back with her, which she could do since Jane isn’t deathly sick in this version).


Q: What do you feel is the “point” of the Netherfield arc? What were the most important points/ideas/relationships you wanted to establish in Lizzie’s time there? Why?

1. Bing and Jane are perfect for each other. But Bing, though completely infatuated, has insecurities about whether or not he’s doing the right thing and if he’s truly winning her heart over. I’ve been in this exact situation and as a guy, this felt very real to me. You’re into someone so much that you do everything you can to make sure everything is perfect but you’re unsure and you misread/second guess anything and everything.

2. Hint that Darcy actually likes Lizzie but his “flirting” is being completely misunderstood by the very stubborn and prejudicial Lizzie.

3. Caroline driving/manipulating Lizzie away from Darcy and making her hate him more. To me, this is the biggest departure we’ve done from the book. If you don’t like this direction you can blame me, I pushed for this and pushed hard. The Caroline in this version is manipulative, covert, and deceptive and she’s really good at it. So good that Lizzie can’t see it and that even members of Lizzie’s audience can’t see it.

As for Caroline’s motives, if you’ve read the book, you know she wants to be with Darcy and wants Bingley (Bing) to end up with Georgiana (Gigi).

If Darcy saw Lizzie’s vlog, the “misunderstanding” part of his relationship with Lizzie immediately ends. If Bing saw the vlog, he knows that Jane truly likes him and that misunderstanding/insecurity immediately ends. The guys seeing the vlog is the absolute worst thing that can happen to Caroline and the BEST thing that could happen to Lizzie (but of course Lizzie doesn’t know this).

So Caroline strategically befriends Lizzie, gains her trust, and then convinces Lizzie into thinking what actually would be the best thing for her would instead be the absolute worst thing for her and that makes our Caroline the powerful adversary that I felt she needed to be.

“The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.” – Abraham Lincoln.

Read Part 2 – about Lydia/Mary is here

Part 3 – about everything else is here

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