Lost in Austen Lost, Again

You can watch episode two here and a trailer of the third one here.

The series is so bad that I don’t even feel like ranting anymore, but there is some good news. According to TV Ratings published by Guardian:

TV chef Ainsley Harriott’s trawl through his family history helped BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are? beat ITV1’s drama Lost in Austen again.

The genealogy show pulled in 6.4 million viewers and a 29% share in the 9pm hour, while the second instalment of Lost in Austen attracted 3.1 million and 14% in the same slot.

Last week, Who Do You Think You Are? drew 6.2 million viewers and a 27% share, with the first part of Lost in Austen gaining 3.8 million and 17%.

Amanda and Darcy

Amanda and Darcy

Since the show started with 4.2 million viewers last week (several hundred thousand of them couldn’t withstand more than 15 minutes) it lost over million viewers so far. Guy Andrews might have missed one point about the book. There’s plethora of love stories all over the world. Austen was neither the first nor the last author to write one. What makes people appreciate Pride and Prejudice so much is not just the Beatrice&Benedick love-hate relationship or the Cinderella outcome. It’s the brilliant way in which Austen sketched her characters and let them reveal in front of us till we knew there could be no better suited couple in the world. Take the characters out and you have a mediocre story.

Andrews might have stuffed the plot with Benny-Hillish jokes about lippies and reality shows, but this series has nothing more to recommend it. There’s no couple to cheer, because, frankly, who cares for Amanda’s love life? The girl makes me cringe no less than their creepy Mr. Collins.

By the same Andrews took out Darcy, because, of course Austen’s Darcy, whose intelligence and taste we came to esteem so much, would never fall for Amanda, who seems a somewhat younger and more embarrassing version of Mrs. Bennet. Once this Darcy falls for what captured Mr. Bennet twenty years earlier I don’t even want to see him anywhere near Lizzy, and I could care less whether he ends up with Amanda. Andrews ruined the angst he hoped to build before we even got to this part of the story.

This show is a fanfiction, and a bad fanfiction at that, and with the characters missing there’s nothing more to keep viewers’ interest. With recognisable Darcy and Elizabeth in it we might at least reach to Austen to fill in the gaps.

Let’s hope that it’ll discourage other TV stations from following Andrews’s steps. Some lessons are more expensive than others, but sometimes someone covers the costs for us. Thank you, ITV!

Other related articles:

The Plot Thickens

A few false notes but entertaining froth from Lost In Austen’s second outing

Let’s get more Lost in Austens

Lost in Austen: fanfiction it may be, but…


Back to Austen

Lost in Austen at Factual Imagining

THURSDAY FLICK: Lost in Austen

Viewers’ comments at AustenBlog on: Episode One, Episode Two

sm-plusPosted by Sylwia

12 thoughts on “Lost in Austen Lost, Again

  1. Knowing that Lost in Austen was not trying to pass itself off as a classic adaptation, I am quite enjoying it! I still can’t bring myself to watch the updated Mansfield Park with Billie Piper since it seems to be attempting credibility, and failing (with what I’ve seen in previews). LIA, however, pokes fun at P&P and at itself and I find it amusing!

  2. Sure, it all depends on one’s expectations. LiA doesn’t fit my kind of sense of humour, so I find it irritating.

    I didn’t like the new Mansfield Park either. Edmund’s proposal made me laugh out loud. It was all so ridiculous. At least I laughed, but I wish I didn’t waste money on the DVD.

  3. the programe isnt trying to pass it self as the new pride and prejudice

    just telling you a story of Amanda price who trapped in there world

    a bit like life on mars when sam was trying to get home too

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but this program advertises itself as Pride and Prejudice with a new twist, in which we are to wonder whether Darcy ends up with Amanda or Elizabeth. That’s what I read in their press pack anyway.

    Yes, likely it’ll all end up as “Amanda had to learn a lesson, it was all a dream” kind of story, but until then she’s just a replacement for Lizzy in the romance. So till the second half of the 4th episode we’re watching Pride and Prejudice re-enacted.

  5. Sylwia, I guess you´re right. It will end up in a very poor moralising “Even timeless Romance isn´t like you wanted it to be so you better accept this dreadful boyfriend of yours” dream.
    It´s the only way this stuff makes any sense at all and explains the focus and nonsensical development (including the references to Beloved BBC Series). Thankfully the Tube will save many a person from buying this later on.

    I´m still angry they tried to get us in with claiming it was some P&P related show. They could have abused any other perfect story for this. And I wish they had…

    Greetings from Germany


  6. I look at it seperatly from p&p (i cant stand it when people take something thats meant to be loosly based on a popular book so seriously). I personally think its really good and funny. And i would like darcy and amanda to be together, id be dissapointed if they didnt :(.

  7. Well, Becky, I hope you’re happy then!

    I’m afraid that my dislike of the show isn’t so much a matter of taking it too seriously, as of its being a very bad show. If it weren’t based on P&P I wouldn’t watch even past half of the first episode.

  8. I loved it! There will be those of you that cringe at what I’m about to say – “I’ve never read P&P”, or any other Austen works.

    Let me explain. I’m probably a few years older than some of you here, and never covered these books at school – and never had the desire to read them out of school. The closest I ever came to literary art was a few chapters of Shakespeare and a movie based on Merchant of Venice.

    So, you see, when I say I loved it, this is because I have nothing else to compare it with. And, I have found a desire within to pop down to my local library and read P&P cover to cover. In fact I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it.

    So for all you Austen fans, I understand your concerns, but the program has done its job – made P&P interesting enough for people like me to become fans like you.

  9. So.
    Luckily not the feared dream sequence, but none the better. Ironically even this possible dream ending would have been better -sorry, less bad I wanted to write- since it would have left the story alone.

    I just wonder why i am so peed while so many of the rest liked it a lot. Might depend on the focus, I can´t stand having treasured things ridiculed. It´s way to personal.

    *keeps fingers crossed that no one at ITV NEVER EVER peeps into Jane Eyre*

  10. I have the same feeling, Dee. Poking fun at something by parodizing it is one thing. Thoughtless ridiculing it for commercial purposes is another. Thankfully it’s over!

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