A day may come, in the far and distant future, when there will not be fourteen simultaneous adaptations of Pride and Prejudice being produced at any given moment, but that day is not yet. Pride and Prejudice adaptations are the only offering keeping Jane Austen sleeping in a quiet grave; without these yearly oblations, she would burst forth from her tomb in the unhallowed ground and swing a scythe of fire through the living, exacting her tribute from our very flesh. Her black eyes and her twenty-foot limbs would glow in fierce and terribly joy as she took her rightful place as Rictus Queen. Those of us unlucky enough to survive her grim reaping would be forced to gather around her emerald throne, reciting “Oh, but he really loves her” in an insane and chattering chorus until our tongues are worn to stumps and our minds have fled our ruined bodies entirely.
Every year over 4,000 Pride and Prejudice sequels are published by Faber & Faber on a curious old printing press shaped exactly like an inverted pentagram and covered in strange brown stains that never seem to come off, no matter how much soap you use when you clean it.
There is no point in fighting this phenomenon. The Lifetime Movie channel, together with Jennifer Love Hewitt, have been chosen by Austen’s dread spirit to act as vehicles for Pride and Prejudice‘s latest incarnation, a TV series named “Darcy’s Town.”
According to Salon:
Hewittâ€™s show is the second present-day Austen show slated for network TV. CBS recently bought a TV drama inspired by Austenâ€™s â€śSense and Sensibilityâ€ť by â€ťBoardwalk Empireâ€™sâ€ť Margaret Nagle.
Next, of course, FX will announce that Louie will return in the third season as a “twisted reimagining of Northanger Abbey.” We will have no choice in the matter; to resist or struggle is simply to waste precious energy. 30 Rock will return from cancellation as a “gritty reboot of Emma,” with Tracy Morgan as Emma, Harriet, and Mr. Knightley.
“Darcy’s Town” will be set in a small town in Virginia, which means that we can safely assume the following:
- Elizabeth Bennett will be a keen-eyed reporter for the town’s only newspaper.
- Failing that, she will be a blogger; the name of her blog will be a pun.
- There will be a murder within the first five episodes.
- Lydia’s only character note will be “texts frequently.”
- The town will celebrate every major occasion with a ball or a cotillion; at least one of these dances will be masquerade-themed. Another one of them will take place on Founders’ Day.
- Mr. Bingley will almost certainly be a Facebook millionaire.
- The writers will not be able to find a way to keep Elizabeth 20 years old and living at home and also ready to get married; she will most likely live in a detached in-law unit on her parents’ property. Since gender-based entailment is less common in modern Virginia than in Regency England, Mr. Darcy will be some sort of big-city real estate developer looking to bulldoze the family estate in order to build a roller disco or business building.
- Though why a real estate developer would be looking to make such a risky move in the middle of a recession is beyond me.
- Jane will be a teacher who also designs her own jewelry.
- Mr. Collins will drive a comically old and beat-up car that is constantly breaking down.
- The first hint that Charlotte has designs upon Mr. Collins will come when she happens upon him and his broken-down car on the side of the road and offers him a lift with a suggestive look in her eyes. We’ll laugh, but tiredly. So tiredly.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]