A character who is not supposed to be in Pride and Prejudice turns up with intersting hair and all the characters fall in love with her, fucking up and ruining the beloved novel. It is something teenagers all over the world do when they learn to write. I myself, though no longer a teenager, indulge in writing fanfiction, fair enough the things I write are not your typical "But then Snape reaslised he did love [insert ridiculous Bratz-doll style name] even though she was only 16 and it turned out he was ridiculously hot and well endowed the end." I don't do that, well, not anymore...
The idea that someone can get their fanfic turned into a TV series starring a lot of really really good British actors is mental, isn't it? Fanfics are drivel, aren't they? Yes, they are. And essentially Lost in Austen is drivel, but it is so enjoyable!
I don't even like Jane Austen let alone Pride and Prejudice but I have watched Lost in Austen so many times! The Mary-Sue (Jemima Rooper's Amanda) is so likeable! She's not an uber-babe with a mysterious past, she's a normal girl who just happens to fall into her favourite novel. She swears and kicks people in the balls, she is ACE.
And the characters, they are as they are on the page! The Bennet sisters are all appalling! Lizzy is normal (cameo from Gemma Arterton) Jane the beauty is weird looking- pale and pointy, the kind of face that was considered beautiful back then! The others are just silly girls! Mr and Mrs Bennet are so well written, Hugh Bonnenville on excellent form! Alex Kingston playing it like Miss Piggy, fussing and fuming! Mr Bingley is an idiot and his sister a horrible cow! Darcy is gorgeous like Heath Ledger and Collins, well, Collins is unbelievably disgusting.
Played with such relish by Guy Henry, I liked him already but after seeing this, I adored him. He is utterly utterly vile as Mr Collins. In the Keira Knightley film he's played by Tom Hollander, who plays it pious and uptight but he is not physically repulsive! These girls are supposed to be revolted by the idea of marrying him and Guy Henry does it such justice.
I made my Canadian friend Katie watch this after we went to see Harry Potter, I had told her "Guy Henry's in it, he looks like one of your drawings; a long, creepy undertaker." And he does look long and weird, but he has a spectacularly beautiful face, maybe not shown off in the Potter movie and certianly while he gurns and simpers through Lost in Austen you don't see it often, but there are moments when his face is at rest that you can see those dark dark eyes framed by lovely long black eyelashes... sigh! He's one of my favourite actors.
I love Lost in Austen. Everything goes so wrong and Amanda tries so hard to fix it. Best thing ITV has done in 25 years.