I wish we were talking about that awesome ’80s song, you know me…
But alas, no. We are instead discussing-Austentatious (2015)
Yes, I really, really do not like this show or how they portray the characters. But I started it, so I’ve got to finish it.
So Austentatious is the story of Elinor, Marianne, Emma, Elizabeth, and Mr. Knightley being friends in modern times. In the last episode Collins (Mr. Collins from P&P) was trying to get with Elizabeth:
Elizabeth is trying to find a home for the insufferable Mr. Darcy-like they right him really bad.
Emma hired Marianne temporarily and she is back to looking for a new job. But not doing well in that at all…mostly because they make her a dunderhead.
And Elinor got a promotion, had to deal with a mess at the office (she’s an accountant), and meet the handsome and fun Edward Ferras-IRS agent.
So in this episode Elinor, Emma, and Lizzie are hanging out at the coffee ship and Elizabeth lets Elinor have some of her smoothie-all I can think is no!! Never!!!
I never share drinks after I did with someone and they gave me a cold sore.
Lizzie is picking out colors for a family photo. Now is this really a thing? They always show people doing this in movies and TV, but my family only did it twice when I was a baby and the when I was sixteen. Otherwise our photos were just at weddings and events, etc. Did anyone have a family where they took family photos every year?
Elinor’s hair looks darker than the other episodes in the series, I wonder if she dyed it or if she wears a wig.
Marianne is applying but no one will hire her because of her lack of experience. Elinor acts like Marianne must be making this up to get out of working, but I remember it being like that. It’s hard out there.
But wait, Marianne does have some experience working for Emma and Darcy’s office. Why doesn’t she try a temp agency?
Elinor finds out that the cafe is hiring and grabs an app for her sister.
Lizzie mentions that they took a “jean on jean” picture years ago…first of all-yuck that has bad idea written all over it. And secondly, no flashback? Really? I know this didn’t have a humongous budget, bit still-now that you have said it I want to see it. Since we don’t have that I’ll gift you with this.
And why is Lizzie looking at paint samples? Is that how you really choose a background?
So every one in the Bennet family wants a different color and its up to Elizabeth to find a compromise. I have to say that one thing this show does right is name drop her sisters, we hear Jane, Kitty, and Lydia. A lot of retellings cut them out-making Elizabeth an only child, or just have one sibling. It just doesn’t work in my opinion, as anyone with a sister knows-you guys influence each other and make each other’s personalities.
Elinor is thrilled that she scored Marianne an interview at the coffee shop. Marianne is still asleep, the call waking her up.
Marianne is less than thrilled and asks about free milkshakes. Elinor is not amused, but I think it is a valid question and I would have asked the same thing. You know me and free…
Marianne thinks food service is a bit lame, but agrees to come. Okay so Marianne finally has cute outfit, yes, they were putting her in some weird stuff. Blue lace dress, small rope belt at the waist, and knee high boots-I’d wear that in a millisecond.
She plans to wear that to work and Lizzie isn’t sure it will work, but doesn’t say anything. I think she definitely should wear more comfortable shoes, but every coffee shop and cafe that I’d ever gone to, if they don’t have uniforms, their staff have worn all kinds of things. So it isn’t too crazy or anything.
The two are amazed at books that help you choose and coordinate colors and that people have “seasons”. I’m shocked they have never heard of this, I mean Marianne is supposed to be a fashionista girl. But I mean the terms “my color”, “having my colors done”, “what’s your season”, or “I’m a ___” are things people were saying before 2015. Although you know what I think:
And how could they have missed these with all the different shows on HGTV or WE or Lifetime?
Marianne is late for her first day and is all no big deal-really? Why do they always make Marianne so dumb.
And Elizabeth is over at Elinor’s at 3:30? Doesn’t she have a job and work to do? And why would she think 9 to 5 Elinor would be home at 3:30?
Elinor is trying to help Lizzie choose colors and patterns, but why? Didn’t we establish in the other episode that she has zero fashion taste? Why isn’t Lizzie asking Emma?
Maybe because she is the only one doing her job.
Lizzie is freaking out what color to pick and I’m just like go with Navy Blue. Navy blue is the best color that looks goos on everyone. I have never met a person that cannot pull of navy blue.
So we hear a bit about Lizzie;s sisters. Mary is conservative (gray turtlenecks), Jane classic and sweet (pastels), Lydia wild (neon, ’80s, and animal print), and Kitty slightly less wild that Lydia (a tamer version). I have to say good job writer’s, it appears someone read the book or saw a movie as this is spot on. I can imagine their modern-day equivalents wearing these.
Marianne bursts in, a mess and shares her day. She was told off by her boss, Eric, for being late, has to wear an apron, and messes up a lot. Well-jeez I don’t blame her. The guy didn’t even train her. Now I have never worked as a barista, but I think I would have a new employee come in early to show them how things are done and how to work the equipment. Do they just throw you into it? Can anyone chime in on this?
Eric rushes her again and again, which is odd as she just started. You think he would cut the new girl, on her first day, with no barista experience, a break. Seriously, I mean you saw her resume-what were you expecting?
Elinor is super controlling again and determined to make sure Marianne keeps her job and wants her friends to help. You can’t control the world Elinor. Bedsides, her boss Eric seems a bit of a jerk to me, he might just fire her.
Is Elinor sitting on the Smoothie Shop’s couch with bare feet. Ew-that’s not your couch. That’s a public one. And why ARE YOUR SHOES off in a CAFE??
Anyways, Elinor convinces Emma and Lizzie to come by everyday and, make Marianne look good so that she can keep her job.
So here we are and I’m thinking this has like zero to do with Jane Austen. Like why even make a show based on the characters of Jane Austen when it has like nothing to do with it at all. It’s amazing when you compare this to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and see how well done that was in a modern adaptation that kept to the source material. Even Fall For You went on some other paths, but they kept the heart of the novels in there. What does any of this have to do with anything.
And why do they make Marianne so dumb and lazy. Marianne was a young rich girl, who suddenly lost everything one day, She never had to do anything as they had servants and she does’t adapt as quickly as Elinor. She also was a avid reader and a talented musician and had brains in her head.
So back to the show, not only has Elinor got the girls into it she calls up George, uh no they changed the name to something else-Garrett? I think? Anyways Knightley comes too. How long has Elionr been sitting there? Doesn’t she have a job? I mean I know she was promoted but I thought that meant more responsibilities-like dealing with the IRS, not more time to sit shoeless in a coffee shop. Still not over that.
So in the next scene Elinor is finally at work-finally. She complains about Marianne all the time not working, but hey you’ve been living in a coffee shop. She wears a t-shirt to work. I would expect a newly promoted accountant to wear something more professional, or at least not jeans-but whatever.
Lizzie interrupts her with bunches of clothes-and I ask, doesn’t she have a job she’s supposed to be working at?
Elinor listens to Lizzie as she complains no one is listening to her and actually gives good advice to her friend. They picked Lizzie to be in charge so she gets to make the decision and all have to live with it.
Knightley discusses Elinor’s “great plan” with Emma and Emma wants nothing to do with it from moment one thinks its a bad idea but wants to support her friend, that’s sweet.
Knightley talks to Emma–and hey, why isn’t he at work either, he has a job doesn’t he? I’m sorry I know I keep repeating myself, but its because of Elinor. She is always harping about Marianne not working, and in the other episodes we saw them all at their jobs-that them not doing that is a hundred times more obvious and in your face.
Kinghtley asks Emma why someone who loves love so much would be working in divorce. That’s what I’ve been asking to! Out of all the thousand professions in the world they could have given her-why the heck a divorce lawyer.
She says she is good at it even though it thoroughly depresses her. So Emma admits that is one of the reason she likes matching people up. Well if you hate it, why’d you pick that area of law.
Knightly complains about all disastrous dates he’s been on and all I have to say is why do we get this flashback, but no jean on jean? I really want to see that now.
I’ll just to google it.
I have to say Knightley’s reasons for why he doesn’t like the women were pretty shallow-what a jerk. One’s hair is too big, one talked too much too fast, and one mixed up her authors-okay not going to lie that last one I couldn’t deal with. If I had to talk to someone about Darles Chicken, Clom Tancy, and Sparkiles Nicks, I would go a bit cuckoo.
Emma and Knightley argue over why Emma is looking for Knightley’s match…blah, blah, blah and all I can think is that on Emma’s computer are a bunch of videos as if she is on Youtube. Well call me Elinor because I’m going to say it again Is anybody working?
And before you say well they are just meeting up at work or whatever, these scenes don’t have to be shot at the office. These all would have worked way better at a home, or a coffee shop, or park, etc.
I can’t tell what type of video they are watching but one looks like a dog on a skateboard (but it looks more like an ad), another is something in a baseball field, and the third two people on a couch.
Next scene is Lizzie in the park, so see-they could have done this in the park! BOOM!
Lizzie starts looking at the color book and says you are more important than my job, rent, or food-just kidding. She keeps looking at it and then just gives up.
Back at the cafe, Elizabeth and Knightley are hanging out at the cafe. And Elizabeth asks Knightley fashion advice. Now I find it odd that out of all the people in this show she hasn’t asked Emma, Emma who loves to give advice and loves fashion. Weird choice writers, weird.
Knightley thinks Mrs. Bennet’s choices are weird. He then listens to Lizzie and actually asks questions about it trying to help. Liz asks Knightly about his day and he tells her he has been doing nothing but what Emma says. Lizzie ask him why he doesn’t say no and he says its because it makes Emma feel good.
She then asks him if he ever thought about asking Emma out- and I’m like writer’s 10 points for you. It was done in a great way. Good job. Its like boom, so obvious to everyone you like each other-but Lizzie is tactful in suggesting it. It’s funny, but it actually reminds me of that scene in Emma (1996) AKA the Gywenth Paltrow version when Emma is all after all we aren’t brother and sister and Knightley is all, yes we are not brother and sister. In this Knightley is all we are friends, and Lizzie is all well friends make the best romantic relationships. It’s not the same but still a cute nod, whether intentional or not.
And then Knightley admits that he is interested in Emma. Cute.
Marianne makes a smoothie for a customer and does a really great job, but then accidentally spills it on him. Eric is all mad at her-but the customer seemed cool and it was an accident. And it is only her second day. I don’t know-he seems extra harsh, but then again I have never worked food service so I can’t really say.
There is a cute moment where we have a horrified Marianne who feels so stupid at her mistakes and Elinor actually comforts her and shares a time about when she messed up on the job as a janitor and caused a girl to break her arm as she forgot to put up the wet floor signs. How awful! And I can’t believe she didn’t get sued for that!
Marianne tries to get her job back, but her boss is not buying it. Grant Kinghtley comes in and tries to convince the boss that Marianne is the best and should stay. Emma bosses Knightley around about how to “sell it” and they are so like in a relationship already. He really does “sell it” giving her $100 tip.
Lizzie shares how she picked the colors from the spilled smoothie on the guys sweater, and while she’s talking I noticed she looks really cute too-a blue and black gauzy shirt and her hair in a bun with front pieces curling. Finally! They had someone stepping it up on set with these outfits. You are on TV not radio, where what you wear matters.
Marianne comes bursting in excited that it worked and she has her job!
Grant tries to get his money back, but no dice.
He should just have Emma pay him back.
The cute guy Marianne spilled the drink on comes back as he thinks she is cute, and asks her out to dinner. Aw. But he’s not Colonel Brandon, so is he Willoughby?
If he is, then this show might get interesting-we have been missing a villian(s).
I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned…
For more Austentatious, go to I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious (2015)
For more Jane Austen film retellings, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)
For more Sense & Sensibility, go to The Smart One and the Pretty One
For more Pride & Prejudice, go to I Met Mr Darcy
For more Emma, go to Austen Avengers Assemble!