Friday, December 30, 2011

Weekly Inspiration: Lost in Austen

Once again, Foreign Service Friday is a little light this week. All I can tell you is that we got really, really lucky, because apparently a bunch of people were just added to the register with incredibly high scores (must be a lot of people learning Arabic and Mandarin these days). Someone with a 5.8 is somewhere like 45 on the list, which means John's 5.575 would almost certainly not have gotten him called off the register for a very long time. I guess it was meant to be!

This week, John is in Italy with friends. Even worse, it was my idea. What was I thinking, you ask? Well, I was just coming off of my Cancun high, and I was feeling generous. As the departure time approached, however, I started to wonder what the hell was wrong with me. But it's actually not so bad being on our own. I get to watch all the bad TV I want when John's away, and I have a little more time to write. Speaking of TV, this week's inspiration comes in the form of a British miniseries I discovered on Netflix (desperate times, my friends - all of my shows should be starting again soon, thank goodness!). The series is called "Lost in Austen," and I'm in love with it.

I was a little late hopping on the Jane Austen bandwagon, at least compared to most women I know. The first Jane Austen novel I read was Pride and Prejudice, and that wasn't until the Keira Knightley movie came out I think. But thanks to a Jane Austen collection I got back when I used to work for a book distributor and got all my books for free, I read all of her novels at once, so I caught up fairly quickly. Since then I've watched almost every film version of every novel, but I'd never come across "Lost in Austen" until the other day. The thing that's so great about this show is that it's basically every Austen-loving female's fantasy. The main character, Amanda Price, lives in London with her lazy boyfriend and reads Pride and Prejudice over and over, wishing she could be a part of a world where chivalry and manners aren't dead.

Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price
One day, after her boyfriend proposes in a drunken haze, Amanda goes into her bathroom and discovers Elizabeth Bennett standing in her shower. Amanda then goes through a secret door in her bathroom wall and finds herself in the Bennet's home, Longbourn. Elizabeth locks the door from the other side, and Amanda is forced to stay in Longbourn while Elizabeth roams around 21st century London. Amanda finds herself right at the beginning of the novel, with Darcy and Bingley having just come to town.

Amanda does her best to keep things in line - Jane should marry Bingley, Elizabeth should marry Darcy, and Mr. Wickham should get what he deserves - but try as she might, Amanda can't seem to help screwing things up royally. And she can't help falling in love with Darcy, even though she knows he belongs to Elizabeth. I won't give away too much more of the plot, but I will say the series is funny, romantic, and surprising, which is pretty much as good as it gets in my book. There's also this:

Like I said, every Austen-loving female's fantasy.

Do yourself a favor and watch "Lost in Austen" this weekend (or give your wife/girlfriend/partner a few free hours to watch it). Happy New Year to all of you - see you in 2012!


J. A. Bennett said...

Totally watching this! Thanks for the heads up! Yummy looking Darcy :)

Mara Rae said...

J.A. - He is definitely yummy!! Hottest Darcy yet I'd wager. As Amanda says in the film, "Whoo, smolder alert!"

Anonymous said...

Hey Mara - we're not having any fun in Itally without you - we'd much rather be enjoying Lost in Austen... New year's resolution - lie less. Love - A, M, J

Mara Rae said...

Whichever one of you wrote this - and I suspect it was Mike - you have no idea what you're missing! Italy shmitaly I say! Happy New Year nevertheless :)

The Anderson Family said...

hooray for working at a publishing company and for getting boxes and boxes for free books!!! thank you AMS!