For all of us Canadian viewers, who have patiently and faithfully waited VIVA to show us one episode at a time of Lost In Austen two months after its premiere in the UK, we have been short-changed last night! I knew Amanda Price would have to face some musical challenge in this episode. But I purposely did not try to find out what it is by reading others’ reviews. I want to see it first hand. But I was not given that opportunity. Why would VIVA cut out the most hilarious part of this second installment?
For those who don’t know what they have missed last night, here is the clip from YouTube:
Darcy’s “All ladies can sing.” is such a funny parallel to his statement in P & P: “Every savage can dance.”
I’m afraid though, the above may well be the few funny parts in this episode. And with VIVA cutting it out, we’re left with not much commotion. I admit that my earlier excitement from last week has died down. Without the Petula-Clark-inspired parody, this episode seems to have lost some of the initial lustre. There are still funny moments, and humorous lines, but the overall appeal seems to have waned.
I hope I’m not experiencing another version of lost in Austen. I find in this episode the screenwriter has taken us as far away as possible from the original P & P story just for the sake of gratuitous divergence. I was looking froward to seeing more of the LOL parody it has set up in Episode 1, more wild rides from the free-wheeling imaginary scenario. I was a bit disappointed to see its freshness replaced by banality. The slapstick humor makes me wonder what’s left in the bag of creative antics.
One more thing: I was most perplexed as to why the dress with the lowest neckline was being worn by none other than Mrs. Bennet, the mother of five daughters. Lady de Bourg would definitely have exclaimed: “Is she still out?”
However, all is not lost. I’m still eager to see how Amanda can right the wrongs and get out of the mess from her intrusion into the Bennet family. And if nothing else, this episode has at least achieved in making me love the original even more, not just JA’s ingenious creation, but the 1995 BBC production as well, yes, even Mr. Collins there. Further, last night’s episode just confirmed my view that nobody can do Darcy better than Colin Firth.