#FirstImpressionFriday: The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet9:00:00 PM
The Lydia of this series, played by Mary Kate Wiles, is without a doubt my favorite version of this character to exist. In a family full of sisters, Lydia is the youngest and most starved for attention and guidance. Mostly left to her own devices, she gets into some pretty serious trouble in both Pride and Prejudice and "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries."
Wiles brought new life to the role and made a previously unlikeable character both humorous and sympathetic. Her storyline in "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" - a show that launched me, and thousands of other people, into the world of web series - does get a conclusion in the series, but many wished that Lydia would make a comeback, however brief, to bring some real closure to her story. The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet (at least, the first eight chapters of it) feels like that wish come true.
A bit of time has elapsed from the end of the series to when the book begins, enough to have given Lydia some distance and time to process what she's been through (with the help of a counselor) and try to move beyond it, while also dealing with her sisters moving away and her family treating her like she's about to break. She's also exploring her future and considering what she wants to do for the first time, and while she still feels like the Lydia I knew and loved on the show, its apparent that she's undergone a substantial amount of growth since we've seen her last, and I can't help but feel proud. It feels like she's making her way toward a version of herself she's proud of - one who can't forget what's happened to her, but who won't let it define her.
This isn't the first novelization of the web series - The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet being the first - but that doesn't make it any less exciting. I very much enjoyed The Secret Diary, which was more of a companion novel than a spin off, like The Epic Adventures appears to be. I'm hoping to get my hands on the audiobook because just as The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet was narrated by Ashley Clements, who played Lizzie, The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet is narrated by Mary Kate Wiles, who played Lydia. And as awesome as it was to read those chapters, it'll be even more fun to hear her bring this character (and the voices of many others, I'm sure) to life one more time.
If you haven't seen "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries," WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? The entire series is available for free on YouTube. Go watch it now!