My Week With Jane

When I was in elementary school, my brother was in the army and stationed in Hawaii. We took a trip to visit him, but problems with the plane arose and the flight was delayed for a few hours. This was two years after 9/11 so we didn’t want to leave the airport and instead had to wait.

While we were waiting I noticed a lady across the way waiting with a big paper something. Of course being a curious child, I moved closer to look and saw it was a paper boy. Not a cardboard cutout, but like someone traced a boy and decorated it. I was trying to figure it out, when the lady noticed me looking and told me that it was Flat Stanley. A group of teachers had been reading Flat Stanley and passing him around taking pictures and when one had a friend going to Hawaii she asked if she could take him with her.

Wow!

I thought that was the coolest thing. For those of you who don’t know Flat Stanley is a book in which a boy, Stanley, is flattened by a bulletin board, becoming flat, and goes on a series of adventures. One of them is visiting his pen pal by being mailed in a giant envelope.

All I could think was what a great idea and how cool and fun to be a part of something like that.

Well…

Fast forward to Summer of 2020, everyone is glum about restrictions and most of us are not having fun.

When I saw that the Jane Austen Society of North America: East Washington and North Idaho (JASNA EWANID) was doing a Flat Jane.

Look at that!

After all:

They decided for the summer they would be sending Flat Jane about, she staying with the person who signed up for a week and then moving them onto the next home to visit. They then asked people on instagram if they wanted to sign up and I was like, yes please!

This actually became so popular they made several of them. My turn arrived and I was so excited and couldn’t wait to take her out on adventures.

Tea first!

 

Day 1) Sunday, January 3rd

What a Jane of a day! Today my friend gave me the Jane Austen adaption, Jane in Love by Rachel Givney, and then when I got home I checked my mail and inside was Flat Jane. I am so excited to start all our adventures.

It was great reading the Jane Austen Travel Log and getting to see all the adventures and things people had done. I couldn’t wait to add my own. Sunday I had my niece so I didn’t get a chance to do anything with Jane until later that day.

That night my sister and I did our usual #perioddramasaturdays It was my sister’s turn to pick and she chose Outlander, which I had read the first book but had not seen the TV show. For the occasion I made Blueberry Oat Scones (I’ll share the recipe later), that I had adapted from Plum Deluxe and we had Lavender Flowering Tea.

Flat Jane joined us for tea but declined watching Outlander. She was tired from her long journey from East to West and retired early. She espechially liked seeing the flower created from the tea leaves.

Day 2) Monday, January 4th

Ever since COVID19 Monday night has become Game Night! Jane and I played my new Pride and Prejudice game that I had received for Christmas. She won as I just couldn’t get the exact number to make my remaining half of the couple get to the church. I kept rolling over or under. I was planning to try playing Marrying Mr. Darcy with her, but I didn’t end up getting a chance to. I do plan to review this Pride and Prejudice game soon.

Afterwards, we played a singing board game with my sister, a sort of creating a song to a tune like in Who’s Line is it Anyway? When my turn came up I felt a lot like when Lady Catherine demanded Elizabeth play, as I don’t sing.

It was a fun game and hilarious as the game came with “lyrics” that were just too goofy.

Day 3) Tuesday, January 5th

Tuesday night Jane and I had pizza and watched Strong Woman Bong Soon, a K-Drama I recommend for any Jane Austen fan as it has elements that make me think of Jane Austen’s works.

Sooooo Mrs. Bennet

Jane loved the pizza (she definitely wishes they had that back in Regency England) and I think I swayed her to my line of thinking about the K-Drama…but she might have been humoring me.

Well…

Day 4) Wednesday, January 5th

Flat Jane joined us for our weekly Tea Party/Book Club/Bible Study on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I think she enjoyed it, although it was unlike any bible study she has ever been a part of.

For these chapters we visited the beavers and had: Chami Winter Apple Spice Tea, a loaf of Dutch Crust Bread, trout, chicken (for the non-seafood eaters [me]), boiled potatoes, and marmalade rolls. Of course I had to explain to her the joke about boiled potatoes.

I will be sharing the recipes as soon as I catch up with The Magician’s Nephew posts. 

Day 5) Thursday, January 6th

After the Book Club/Tea Party/Bible Study I thought Jane would be interested in going to a regular bible study. She enjoyed it and marveled at my cat pen, amazed at how it looked and wishing they had such easy things to use when she was writing her novels. I plan to show her an Austen adaption tonight, but am still trying to decide which one…should I show her one I love or one I hate so we can both make fun of it? Decisions, decisions…

Hmmm…

I finally decided to show her one I hate, Austentatious (2015)

This is the worst Jane Austen adaption I have ever seen. We started with the first one and then she caught up to me with the second to last episode. After we watched the whole thing she was very confused about the whole thing and how it even matched up with what she wrote. Same Jane, same. If interested, you can watch it on tubi or you can read my past reviews: We Are Family: Austentatious, Episode 1 (2015), Big Girls Don’t Cry: Austentatious, Episode 2 (2015), I’ll Be Watching You: Austentatious, Episode 3 (2015), Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Austentatious, Episode 4 (2015), Call Me, Maybe: Austentatious, Episode 5 (2015), Drive Me Crazy: Austentatious, Episode 6 (2015), Make Me a Match: Austentatious, Episode 7 (2015), Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious, Episode 8 (2015), and Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious Episode 9 (2015). 

After we watched the series, we had a cup of tea before bed. I had purchased two Jane Austen inspired teas from NovelTea TinsPride and Peppermint and Sense and Senchability. I had run out of Pride and Peppermint as I had used the last of it in the tea advent calendar swap I made for a friend, so we drank Sense and Senchability. Jane loved it and was amazed at all the different Jane Austen inspired products that we can purchase today.

Day 6) Friday, January 7th

Today was a shopping day as Jane went with me to visit a local Vintage/resale shop as I was on the hunt for a purple teacup for my friend’s birthday this month. I found this adorable claw-footed one under $10.

We then stopped off at the grocery store to pick up a few items and Jane was amazed at all the food for purchase and the prices! Plus we came upon many things she had never heard of before protein powder, lactose free milk, Greek yogurt, every kind of chocolate you could imagine, and more.

Day 7) Saturday, January 8th

Saturday turned out to be a shopping day as well, as my sister needed to visit Jo-Anns and Hobby Lobby in the next city over (we have a small Jo-Anns and we do not have a Hobby Lobby). I agreed as long as we stop at one of my favorite restaurants, the Tea Bar and Fusion Cafe. They have the best foods and teas. Jane loved the HoneyTea Latte I bought for her.

Afterwards we went to Hobby Lobby where we looked for fabric for a book sleeve I’m having made.

I was looking for a dark fabric, but Jane spotted this beautiful china blue vase printed one that I just couldn’t say no to.

We only visited a quarter of the store and Jane was amazed at everything they had there.

Afterwards we went to Jo-Anns and looked around the different fabrics and of course I had to show Jane all the muslin they had.

Mr. Tilney mentions purchasing muslin for 5 shillings a yard in Northanger Abbey and that was a good deal, but Jane was amazed that today she could purchase muslin for half the price he paid (converting how much 1800s shillings would be worth in our money).

Day 8) Sunday, January 9th

It was time to say goodbye to Flat Jane as I had her for the week and she is about to journey on to stay with another friend. I helped her pack up and will drop her off tomorrow for her journey to the East Coast.

As Jane is going to visit another Jane Austen fan I couldn’t resist sending one of my Quill Ink Jane Austen Inspired Magazine Cover Cards. If you are interested in getting some for yourself check out her Etsy shop.

If interested in having Flat Jane visit you then contact JASNA EWANID to signup. I recommend it as it is a lot of fun.

For more Jane Austen, go to Is Emma Jane Austen’s Only Mystery?

 

Achy Breaky Heart: Austentatious (2015)

I have a broken heart…

By watching this horrible show: Austentatious (2015)

But I pulled myself together to write this post.

So for those who haven’t been reading my posts or may have forgotten, this is the worst Jane Austen adaption I have ever seen. It is absolutely HORRIBLE!

On paper this sounds great, four of the Austen heroines (Elinor Dashwood, Marianne Dashwood, Elizabeth Bennet, and Emma Woodhouse) in modern times all being friends with each other. Mr. Knightley, Mr. Collins, Mr. Darcy, Colonel Brandon, and Edward Ferrars are in this as well. Should be fun right?

Majorly

The problem is that none of this has anything to do with Jane Austen, it is boring, and it does the unthinkable-it actually makes you hate Mr. Darcy.

Yes, this is truly, truly, truly terrible and I really regret ever watching it.

But I’ve started it and now I have to finish it. So here we go…

So, May 2020 was the last time I posted on this. My goal was to review one episode a month, but as you see-I didn’t try that hard to achieve that.

So Austentatious is the story of Elinor, Marianne, Emma, Elizabeth, and Mr. Knightley being friends in modern times. But as I’ve said before they don’t involve ANY Austen plots or subplots-in fact, besides names they hardly share anything with the original source material. Elinor is an accountant, Marianne a Smoothie Barista, Emma a divorce lawyer, Elizabeth a real estate agent, and Knightley/Grant I don’t know.

So in the last episode, Elinor had a huge crush on IRS agent Edward Ferrars, but she discovers him with a girl in the smoothie shop. She doesn’t know if they are together or nor, bur assumes so and I think this episodes title refers to her “broken” heart.

Elizabeth and Marianne bought a workout machine which Emma volunteered Grant (Mr. Knightley) to put together and then left to “work”, but really hang out with Elinor who is working on tax stuff at the Smoothie Shop. Marianne is supposed to be helping put the machine together, but instead goes to ask Emma dating advice as she is interested in nurse Brandon, Grant’s friend, the one she met in the episode where her skin was turning purple (I am not making this up).

It’s super obvious!

Elizabeth is the only girl who stayed in Elinor and Marianne’s apartment, but doesn’t help put the bike together, instead just talks to Grant (who is hardcore crushing on Emma). Grant is struggling with the bike and invites Brandon over, who is hardcore crushing on Marianne.

I really hate this show, words cannot describe it although I do try, and the only thing I like is Blake Webb, (Colonel) Nurse Brandon. I cannot wait for it to be over. But the problem is we just have this and one more episode but there are a loooot of loose ends and plot points to sum up. Maybe they thought this trainwreck was going to go on to more seasons? (In what dreamworld?) I don’t know, but here we go with this boring mess of Jane Austen’s work. She would be so disappointed in you writers.

They failed!

They took this off Amazon Prime and I was afraid I would actually have to buy the episodes in order to watch it:

Thank goodness, tubi has it.

So we start off with Emma in her office with a bunch of dresses. Grant stops by, why?, oh-as she called to ask his opinion on what to wear for a date. Emma is really into this guy, who turns out to be a former client (oh honey no) Patrick. Oh, sorry- my objection is that Emma is a divorce lawyer and it seems like bad idea to date your former client who was recently divorced.

She should not do that.

Why is she asking Grant and getting angry at his guy answers when she should have asked Elizabeth or Marianne. Seriously, who wrote this? Was this just a shallow attempt at furthering the story by having Grant be here sad and contemplate whether or not he should share his true feelings. What does Grant even do for a living anyway that he is was at Emma’s beck and call?

Elizabeth gets a call and then runs into the worst Darcy in the history of all Darcys.

Ugh…this guy

Wow, for once he is actually is nice and not calling Elizabeth names and saying he trusts her with finding his perfect house.  Hold up, I think he has been abducted by pod people.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Back at the Smoothie Shop Elinor stops by sad and depressed. We get a flashback to the last episode where she saw Edward at the smoothie shop with a girl. Elinor shares that ever since then she has been feeling awkward. Edward senses her very cool mood toward him, and tries to get at why, but Elinor is just an ice queen.

Marianne tries to cheer her and gives her a hug.

Or life…

Back with Emma, Grant stops by with coffee ad lunch. He also pumps her about he date and brings up some concerns-a former client is not a good idea. He’s totally just trying to sway her against it.

Except he also LIKES her…

Elizabeth and Darcy go to look at the house and Darcy likes it. He doesn’t say who it is for but as he is buying it for “her” and she plays piano, it is obvious who it is for:

Back to Elinor who is so mean, and such an ice queen. Edward is trying to be sweet, and Elinor shoots him down. There is actually some good acting here. Poor puppy dog Edward leaves and Elinor feels like a jerk.

She should not have done that.

Wait, Edward comes back! What?

Wow!

He tells her he felt friendship and maybe more? He throws all the cards down that he is involved with someone but didn’t want her to think he was leading her and to apologize if he is out of line, or crossed the line in anyway. Aw, that is such a cute scene. And all Elinor says is thank you, ouch.

Poor Edward looks so sad and after he leaves Elinor cries.

From The Wolf Man (1941)

Grant calls Emma to invite her to a movie, but  of course she still has her date. All I can think again is Grant what do you do? You need to stop obsessing about this and go back to work, or work on a hobby. Grant continues to grill Emma and try to dissuade her. Like dude, seriously dude, dude no. You are just looking like a crazy friend and going to push her towards him.

Darcy invites Elizabeth to lunch and acts like an actual human being. Will wonders ever cease?

Wow! from The Blob

At lunch Darcy asks her why she wanted to be in real estate and Elizabeth chose it because she wanted to be her own boss. Darcy went into law because “it pays well” but really likes to fix things, using law to resolve conflict…and he likes to argue. It is a cute scene but I think it would have been stronger and had a better connection to the source material if it was his family’s firm as you know Darcy is all about his family name and honor.

Emma goes on her date with Patrick (Frank Churchill, maybe? They don’t make this quite clear) and this guy is an arrogant jerk. Just schmoozing smugness and just ugh! Patrick is putting it on thick for Emma and I’m just like PUH-leeze.

Just prattling on about his divorce is amicable and it lead him to be introduced to an exceptional women.

So annoying

Elinor and Grant are hanging at the Smoothie Shop, both sad and down.

Or heartbreak smoothie shop

Elizabeth interrupts them when he comes in and shares her great news of Darcy wanting the house and not being a total tool. We flashback and this scene is actually really funny where Darcy is joking but Elizabeth takes everything seriously and admits “you are fine just the way you are”, I’m sure the writers were trying to echo Bridget Jones’ Diary.

The next day Grant stops by Emma’s work again (what does he do for a living?) and quizzes her about her date. Emma loved it and receives flowers from Patrick (Frank Churchill?). Man I wish this show was a little more clear on who everyone is along with actually copying things from Austen’s novels. Grant seeing the big bouquet, gets down and exits.

Later Emma and Elizabeth are talking, but Emma no longer seems enthused by the date. It’s now just fine instead of being “great” like she told Grant. Everything went perfect-the food was good, the talk was fun, he’s handsome, but…it is also a copy of the first date he took his ex.

Yeah, GIANT red flag!!!!

Yes, when he got divorced he shared a bit about his first date with his wife to Emma and those details match up exactly with what happened last night. Now Emma isn’t sure this is the guy to be with.

Good for you Emma, run far away from this bad relationship.

Back at the apartment Marianne got a persent for Elinor. It is a box of folded paper and when Marianne pulls one out it says “Oliver”. It turns out that all the guys Marianne knows she put in the box, and when Elinor draws a name she’ll show her a picture and if she is interested set up a date.

Awww, Marianne is so cute.

Uh, oh. I hope Brandon isn’t in there. By the way, where has he been this entire episode? He’s the only one who actually acts like he read the source material and he is by far the best part of this adaption. Marianne rejects Oliver and pulls out “H”,

This is funny and a cute thing for sisters to do, but I honestly thought it was just going to be cute guys in movies and they were going to do a movie marathon or something.

Anyways, “H” is a guy with a cute dog, H being the first initial on his credit card (H as in Henry Tilney? Will we be introducing Northanger Abbey in the last episode? No, that would be too cool and too interesting, This show is not that.) H turns out to be the kid of guy who drinks out of the same glass as his dog and Elinor vetoes him as well. Then episode ends.

Soooo yeah, I hate this show. This episode was actually the least awful so far in the series. It still doesn’t have a lot to do with Jane Austen, but at least it wasn’t a mouse killing party or having other dumb story lines like in the previous episodes. It is a waste of time, but at least I only have one episode left!

 

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN…

For more Austentatious, go to Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)

For more Jane Austen film retellings, go to Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe (2018)

For more Sense & Sensibility, go to Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride and Prejudice Card Game

For more Emma, go to Is Emma Jane Austen’s Only Mystery?

Take a Chance on Me: Austentatious (2015)

Almost done! It’s the final countdown,

Three more episodes left and than I am done FOOOOOOOREEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So if you have been following me you know that I hate this show. I really, really do not like this or how they portray the characters.

That movie

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. But they don’t involve ANY Austen plots or subplots. In fact, besides names they hardly share anything with the original source material.

So in the last episode Elinor and Edward were doing IRS stuff and she is smitten with him, Marianne accidentally dyed herself blue and met Knightley’s friend Nurse Brandon (he chose not to be a doctor big plot point in the previous episode), the friends set Emma up on blind dates to get back at the disastrous dates she paired them with, and Elizabeth had acrylic nails that she hated.

Yes…this is why I don’t like this show.

For the thousandth time

So Edward is back, and he and Elinor have finished getting their IRS stuff all together.

Elinor has a hoodie on, which seems really weird as we spent a large time with her being on Marianne’s case about being a good worker and professional, and she was promoted to be in charge-so why isn’t she dressing professionally?

Elinor is on cloud nine as she loves her IRS man (one of the few people who are happy to see and deal with the IRS). She gets home and Emma and Knighltley are at her house…or is it all their houses? They never make that quite clear and everyone is always in that one apartment.

Weird…

Emma is on break and Knightey is bored. What does he do for a living? He dresses nice but never seems to be doing anything at all…

Elizabeth and Marianne bought an exercise bike and brought it to Elinor’s apartment. So if it is Marianne and Elinor’s apartment why are Emma and Knightley over when she isn’t? Why don’t they go to their houses? I mean I must not be the only one who finds it weird that their friends hang out in their apartment when they aren’t home do I?

I mean if they were going to just use one location then they should have had them share an apartment or a house.

Emma is “working” and wearing a hoodie and ripped jeans? Like what is going on with the clothes today? This whole entire show Emma was a fashionista and as a lawyer always dressing professionally. What is happening here? I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone, more than ever.

Emma: [To Grant Knightley] “What’s the point of having all those muscles if you don’t help a damsel when she’s in distress?”

I actually like that line. One flake of gold in the whole program.

Emma and Elinor leave Elizabeth and Knightley to put it together as they head over to the smoothie shop to “work”. Emma is secretly reading a regular book instead of a law tome, as it turns out she lied to get out of putting the machine together. I knew there was a reason she wasn’t dressed in her usual wear.

Marianne goes to Emma for advice over Elinor and Elinor’s mad, but I don’t blame Marianne for thinking Elinor knows zip. She doesn’t have a great track record, I mean I saw the makeover/date episode.

Elinor complains that they are being loud and distracting as she is working. Well helloooo Elinor you are in a public shop-if you want quiet why don’t you go home and work in your room or go back to the office?

I mean for real!

Lizzie and Grant/Knightley are trying to put the bike together and are seriously struggling. Grant tries to convince Lizzie to get a gym membership like him instead, and Lizzie is surprised that Grant goes once or twice a week to the gym.

Okay that was funny.

Lizzie doesn’t want to go to the gym as they are gross and full of sweaty people, people hog the machines, creepy guys-I feel for you Lizzie, although I don’t have a gym membership as I don’t have time.

Emma can’t stop thinking about the exercise machine is freaking out about her weight and the cupcakes she is eating at the shop. But then she is distracted when Elinor accuses her of manipulating Grant Knightley and that Emma takes him for granted. (She does).

Back at the apartment Grant and Lizzie are talking but Grant is the only one doing anything while Elizabeth is just chilling. That’s how my sister would be.

Grant is struggling and he calls Brandon to help put it together, but doesn’t tell him that he needs his help to put a bike together…a bike that doesn’t even belong to him.

I mean for real!

Marianne comes home and Lizzie is all mad that Marianne bought a take and bake pizza. She’s all why buy a pizza and take it home to cook-well gee Elizabeth maybe I don’t want to take the time to do it myself, maybe I don’t want to travel with my cooked pizza getting cold on the way home, maybe I want to make it when I want to, maybe I want my house to smell of pizza and not pizza grease, maybe I like how it tastes, maybe I got a good deal-I could go on and on with different reasons. Pizza is always good.

It’s times like these I am like we are sooooooo far off what the plot was in any of the books. Like Jane Austen has soooo much for you to work with-and yet you decide to do acrylic nails, exercise bikes, and whether take and bake pizzas are worth your money.

I am so upset right now.

This is awful!

Brandon is so into Marianne, it is soooo cute. This guy, Blake Webb is saving this episode. I don’t know if he read the book or watched an adaption but he is the only one that got his character. You sure are going to make these last few episodes bearable, and I’d appreciate it if you could teach the guy who is Darcy how to act like his character.

Speaking of which there are only three episodes left (including this one) and we have yet to resolve the Darcy house issue, Brandon and Marianne need to get together, Elinor and Edward need to get togther, and Emma and Knightley need to match up. There are a lot of loose ends and only 50 mins until resolution (I paused 10 in and each episode is 20 mins). And what about Collin, is he coming back too?

Or plot!

So back to the Smoothie Shop Elinor admits to Emma she really likes Edward and all I can think is what about Lucy? In fact what about Fanny Dashwood, Lady Catherine, Mr. Wickham, Mr. Willoughby, Frank Churchill, Jane Fairfax, etc.? Where are the villains and character foils? Where is the drama? Where is the comedy? Where are the components of Jane Austen we love, her giant tapestry of plots and characters, and so on.

Where are the Austen things and characters I love??!!

I am extremely disappointed.

UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Like in the Jane Austen Academy they kept the issues from the books and transferred them to the story. Instead of losing her home-Anne lost her school that her ancestors had founded, Elizabeth is sparring with Darcy, Fredrick Wentworth is back in town, you know….

Elinor wants to date Edward but isn’t sure as they wok together-but they don’t, not really. I mean Elinor is an accountant and he’s with the IRS so you do not work together and it won’t be breaking any rules.

Seriously

Emma encourages Elinor, trying to get her to ask Edward out, but Elinor says she physically can’t. We then get a flashback of her being geeky and struggling. I think she looks cute with glasses on, glasses that we never ever see her wear again. Hello actors and actresses that’s not how glasses work. Even if you do wear contacts, you eventually have to wear glasses again or else you’ll mess up your eyes. And what’s wrong with having a character wear glasses. We defintely need more characters who wear them.

So Lizzie and Marianne are not helping at all, while the guys do all the work. Brandon is so into Marianne, still being cute. Grant/Knightley is like you don’t know that much about Marianne are you sure and Brandon is all I know her medical history (last episode). Whoever wrote his lines- you get a gold star, you are actually getting some laughs out of me.

Knightley/Grant is the one doing all the work, while Brandon is distracted by Marianne. Knightley/Grant is like dude just ask her out so we can get this torture machine put together and Brandon is all no, I need her to get to know me first. Awww, Brandon you are actually making watching this bearable. Too bad you weren’t here earlier.

Soooo cute!!!!

Grant/Knightley is all it’s better to ask someone out and be possibly turned down then to become a friend and stuck in the friendzone. Hmm…who could he be talking about?

The pizza burns as Lizzie and Marianne were too bust talking right next to it and didn’t notice, or smell it, and Lizzie is all that’s why you should never make or bake pizza at home. Whatever. How did they not notice it, being right next to the oven? How could they with the vast amount of choices and plots to use decide to focus on take and bake pizzas.

Back to the Smoothie Shop, Elinor “I’m working stop distracting me” Dashwood is going on about how she wants Edward to ask her out. Girl you have two episodes left, better get to asking.

Elinor can’t move in that but decides to flat out tell Emma Grant is into her.

Like that wasn’t your secret to tell Elinor. And Emma is actually shocked at this. Really?

I present Exhibit A:

And let’s not forget his massaging you, paying for the food, tipping Marianne and making her look good at work because Emma told him to, putting the exercise bike together as Emma told him too, etc.

Mr. Knightley loves Emma

Elinor gets all psychoanalyzing Emma and Knightley, but they are interrupted when Elinor spots Edward at the smoothie shop.

Look at that guy…

Emma encourages Elinor to not hide behind the couch but go ask him out. I’m going to pause here and say I do NOT get why in movies do they always hide behind or underneath things when they spot someone they want to avoid. Who really would hide under a restaurant table or other things in public where is it dirty and you are sure to touch something you would rather not.  Why not just make sure they only see the back of your head.

I mean for real!

Edward has like button up shirt and pants from circa 2005 there. Where did you get those, and put them back in their time machine please and thank you.

It’s not working for you. Those pants, that shirt…

Edward is there WITH A girl!!!

Is it Lucy? Are we finally getting some actual Jane Austen content???

Please, oh please!

Back at the apartment they are eating the burnt pizza, although I’m thinking why don’t they just order a new one.

The girls eat ice cream while the guys build the bike.

Poor Grant, he’s all sweaty and tired from doing 99% of the work. Poor dude. And all because you’ll do anything Emma tells you to do.

Poor Elinor is sad and depressed and Emma tries to cheer her up by saying maybe the girl is Edward’s sister and they are just creepy close. Really, Emma? Really?

Like HOW would that make her feel better? HOW? But this is so true, us women do this to each other all the time.

Grant Knightley takes a break and talks to Marianne, who decides to ask him for help with her guy problem. He tries to encourage her to not try to focus on making changes for guys but do changer herself only if she wants to do it. That instead she just needs to be herself. Aw, that’s cute. Even though I am sad/upset that there is no Fanny Price, Catherine Morland, Anne Elliot, Mr. Tilney, or Captain Wentworth I do like how Grant/Mr. Knightley is friends with everyone and counsels not just Emma but all the ladies. It is very cute and very well done.

How sweet!

The bike is finally put together, Emma tests it out, and it falls apart. Yes…that’s it. All that work for nothing. It’s supposed to be funny, but falls flat.

So where is the Jane Austen?!!! It’s like not even here, just a few drops. Why? Why? There is so much you could do, choose from, there is just so much…and this is what you came up with.

Why?

I can’t wait until I’m finally finished with this. Then I’ll be freeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Only two left!!!

For more Austentatious, go to Make Me a Match: Austentatious (2015)

For more Jane Austen film retellings, go to Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical

For more Sense & Sensibility, go to Rational Creatures: Elinor & Marianne Dashwood

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to NovelTea Tins’ Romance Sampler

For more Emma, go to Rational Creatures: Emma Woodhouse, Miss Bates, & Harriet Smith

Make Me a Match: Austentatious (2015)

So I have been seeing everywhere, “use this time to do things you have put off.” “I’ve done so many things I have been putting off.” Etc. So I have decided it is time to take care of something I have been putting off…

OH NO!

So if you have been following me you know that I hate this show.  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. But they don’t involve ANY Austen plots or subplots. In fact besides names they hardly share anything with the original source material.

 

Elinor and Edward were working together (she works for an accounting firm he is IRS) and get a flat then they bleh-IRS, Accountant, IRS, accountant, IRS, accountant, statistics, bills, blah blah blah blah blah.

Collin, their creepy neighbor, is trying to get with Elizabeth-even pretending he is looking for a house. Meanwhile, Darcy is absolutely horrible to Elizabeth-like there is no coming back from him.

Marianne did not that much, she worked at the smoothie shop-Emma didn’t really do much than be a friend.

Here we go…

At Marianne’s smoothie shop, the gang is all gathered together. Elizabeth has just gotten acrylics and can’t type or call. So complains how heavy they make her feel- like her knuckles drag on ground. What even is this plot?

Emma is bored and upset that they won’t let her set them up on a date. Where does she even know all these men, I never see her interact with anyone?

Hmmm…

Elizabeth, Elinor, and Grant (Mr. Knightley) want to set Emma up on a date as they want payback for all the awful dates she set them on.

Marianne is called over and they all exclaim that she is blue-I think she is a bit more purple, but she does look like Violet in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Knightley decides to call a doctor friend to check on Marianne, and I can’t believe she can’t see how purple she is with how much they say she spends in front of the mirror.

What the heck?

They agree to do Elizabeth’s match first, than Elinor, and then Grant (Knightley). After her date, Emma mets up with Elizabeth angry as her date was awful. She went on a date with a guy who dressed up like the genie and wants to boogie, taking her on a bicycle built for two.

Where did Elizabeth even meet this guy?

What is this?

It took three hours to get there, and all I can think is he must be in really good physical shape to bike the two of them 3 hours.

Wow!

Marianne makes cinnamon rolls, but she is still purple. Like this the dumbest thing ever-how can she not see that she is PURPLE!!!!

Elinor goes to see Emma after her set up date and they went to a drive-in movie and the truck has an emergency bunker. Too be honest-he doesn’t seem that bad to be super prepared as he would be doing really well right now. He went on about Jenny his ex-girlfriend which is a major no. But on a whole, he’s not that bad.

Emma is harshing on him for not liking the movie, but I’m with him. The romantic lead does not sound good, in fact this movie sounds bad to me.

Grant (Knightley) goes to the smoothie shop to see a still-purple Marianne, and brings Brandon [Colonel Brandon] a nurse. Why do they always put him in the medical field? And if they are going to do that, why not give him the background of a soldier?

Grant brings Brandon in, his basketball buddy. Brandon quizzes Marianne in public and right in front of Grant (Knightly) which to me I think is kinda rude.

Grant bows out and gets a call from Emma. She goes out on an ice fishing date, although the guy is wearing shorts in the snow? What? He goes by Stinky as that is how he smells. So all I can think is, where do they live? What state? What city?

Like, where did her friends find these guys? Seriously, Collin would be a better choice.

Back at the smoothie shop they are quizzing Brandon about being a nurse over doctor and he said he didn’t want to continue school as he wanted to help people now. You know guys, he also might not have had the money and or the grades. Like be respectful of the man’s feelings don’t embarrass him.

So meanwhile, Liz’s whole storyline is “I can’t handle acrylic nails.” Really?

Seriously…?

Ugh.

Ugh, not again…

This show is so dumb.

Brandon likes Marianne and asks about her, and Grant is like I don’t know more about her symptoms. Haha, an actually funny joke.

Emma is still on the date from hell, ice fishing with the stinky guy trying to feel her up and has a gun to shoot fish. Like who would really do that, and a grenade?-seriously you wouldn’t catch anything.

Grant comes in to apologize and gives Emma a massage…hmmm. Well gee Emma giant clues in your face.

Emma swears off set ups unless asked, yea right-we will see how long that lasts.

Marianne is no longer blue, and it turns out she never washed her new midnight blue sheets-that’s why she has been so blue.

And that’s the end. What the heck is this show.

Like, every time I watch this show I regret my review of The Jane Austen Academy as after watching an episode of this-all I can think is that book was immensely astronomically better at putting the stories of Jane Austen all together in a modern setting. I know it isn’t easy but seriously what does any of this that I just watched have to do with Jane Austen??!!!

Thank goodness I’m almost done. This only lasted for one season and it is easy to see why.

For more Austentatious, go to Drive Me Crazy: Austentatious (2015)

For more Jane Austen film retellings, go to The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

For more Sense & Sensibility, go to Rational Creatures: Elinor & Marianne Dashwood

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Pride & Prejudice: A New Musical

For more Emma, go to Rational Creatures: Emma Woodhouse, Miss Bates, & Harriet Smith

Modesto Jane Con: Defining the Definitive Darcy and Lizzie

So if you have been following me, you know I have been super excited about Modesto Jane Con. The past eight years I have seen pictures from different Jane Con’s and wishing I could go-but they were not possible for me to attend as it always came down to a problem of time, money, work, etc. Instead I had to be content with seeing pictures on social media.

YEEEEES!!!!!!

But then there was a light in the darkness! On my instagram popped up a post about a Jane Con in Modesto! Modesto! I could go to Modesto!

No horror-glee and happiness instead!

From January 10th-12th there were all kinds of workshops, activities, movies, an opera, and even a fashion show!

Your $30 ticket allowed you to attend the workshops (BOTH DAYS) and see one showing of Mansfield Park Opera (your choice of Saturday or Sunday).

That was it, I was going! And I convinced my book club + my sister to join me. I scrounged around for a costume (I’ll post on that later) and made sure to bring a notebook to take copious notes on the workshop and opera-to of course post on them later (as I am now).

So the first workshop of the day was Gowns & GroansAfter that you had your choice of The Definitive Darcy or Start You Own Book Club. 

Our group decided against the book club workshop as we already had one, although I am sure it was absolutely amazing, and instead decided to attend The Definitive Darcy. 

Ah, Darcy.

I was excited for this workshop as there are so many adaptions of Pride and Prejudice, oh this will be so much fun! I mean you have a ton of Regency Darcys to choose from:

AND a ton of modern adaptions (and yes I know the above has a picture of Darcy from Bride and Prejudice. I didn’t make the image):

And let’s not forget-we aren’t just looking at Darcy. We are also trying to define the definitive Elizabeth.

This workshop was run by Erin E. Connor and Melissa Ruzika:

Why is Mr. Darcy such a big deal and why are we wild about Lizzie? Join JASNA Central California executive committee members Erin and Melissa as they delve into Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, and its three most popular film adaptions. Bring your own opinions and take sides in a friendly debate as to who is the definitive Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

Erin E. Conor is a lifelong Jane Austen fan. She is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) and serves as member-at-large on the Executive Committee for the Central California region of JASNA. Her favorite Austen novel is Emma, and her favorite Austen inspired film is Austenland.

Melissa Ruzika is a long time JASNA member and Central California Region Executive Committee member. Her knowledge of Jane Austen and her works is deep, and Melissa is known for being an acute observer of JA in popular culture with solid textual backing for her opinions.

Debate you say? Okay:

I’m ready:

So one of the nicest things that Connor and Ruzika had with their workshops were handouts and a paddle with the Firth and Macfayden Darcys to engage the crowd in the debate in order so that everyone could be heard.

Connor and Ruzika started off with Historical Context, discussing what the Regency period was. You can click on the link above for more information, but a brief overview:

  • Crazy King George III (sorry I’m American) had to take a step down from ruling as he was suffering from a disease (believed to be porphyria) that made him mad, and his son had to become Prince Regent.
  • The Regency Period is believed to be 1795-1837, with the Prince Regent ruling from 1811-1820. When King George died in 1820, the Prince became King.
  • The Prince Regent was a giant fan of Jane Austen.
  • There was the Industrial Revolution in the North (Any North & South fans out there? It is set in the Victorian time period but shows the difference between the industrial North and the Countryside South extremely well.)
  • There was serious class division, with an emerging middle class (The Gardiners who reside in Cheapside
  • It was the Romantic Era.

From there we got a quick overview of the book Pride and Prejudice as Connor & Ruzika had provided a handout from Playful Paths to Love and one from shmoop to give us a better idea on how rich Darcy would be today. We (book club, sister, and I) really loved that as while I am the serious Janeite, the rest of the group isn’t. One member of our group had never even read the book or seen any of the movies, only having read The Darcy Monologues for our book club. I’m not sure about the rest of the crowd, but I am certain that there had to be some others who were grateful for the refresher.

And even if you know the story frontwards and backwards, it is one that I never get tired of hearing.

We then had a brief discussion of Pride and Prejudice (1940), but they didn’t spend that much time on it. They later explained that they felt that not that many people have seen it (or liked it), and I understand time is limited.

Aw, man!

But as we have time, I’m throwing the trailer in here. It may not be accurate, but still is a great film and the first P&P adaption I ever saw. Plus LAURENCE OLIVIER! *Sigh*

I wish we could have looked at all the depictions, but that would have taken too much time. Although I’d be down for it.

Anyways-we then moved onto the debate. Colin Firth versus Matthew MacFayden, Jennifer Ehle versus Keira Knightley, Simon Langton versus Joe Wright, BBC versus Universal, etc.

 

Fight, fight, fight! (from Jane Austen Fight Club)

So starting with the trailers:

Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

So now that we have seen the trailers, LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So after they discussed each facet they had us hold up our paddles to determine who won.

I’m in this photo.

Unfortunately, I didn’t write down who won each scene:

So I’ll just put my thoughts at the end.

Round 1: Mr. Collins, Tom Hollander Vs. David Bamber

So the group started off with the Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice (2005) the boiled potatoes scene. 

I know a lot of people love that scene, and I admit that I love Hollander’s stone faced delivery, however, it never really struck me as much as it does everyone else.

For Bamber they showed him trying to dance. But the scenes that really sell me on Mr. Collins is when they are getting ready for the ball and he runs into Lydia, and the Mr. Collins wave. Those scenes are priceless! 

IMO Winner: P&P (1995) David Bamber

Well-played!

Round 2: Sexy Darcy, Hand Clench Vs Firth in Bathtub & the Wet Shirt Scene

So the hand clench scene, I understand it but I don’t go crazy over it. First of all, as Doiel said in Gowns and Groans, they should have been wearing gloves. And not to be rude-but to me it always looks like his hand has a spasm. That’s just my view, if you love this scene then love it. I actually like this scene better.

For the 1995, they had the bath scene:

And the wet shirt/lake scene:

This had an obvious winner, I mean how can you resist Mr. Darcy in a wet shirt?

IMO Winner: P&P (1995) Bath Scene + Wet Shirt

Round 3: Meryton Assembly

So they started off with the Meryton Ball in 2005. Now I don’t really care for it as I am mostly distracted by how Caroline Bingley forgot to put a real dress on, she looks as if she is in a chemise not a gown. I never cared for how casual the Bennet sisters look as Mrs. Bennet most definitely would be wanting the girls to be more dressed up in order to snag a husband. It is lively, but I don’t care for the interactions between the characters:

Now the 1995 version is more subdued, but I like the costume choices better, and to me I like that it is concentrated on small scenes (Bingley & Jane along with Darcy & Elizabeth) with not so much going on in the background.

IMO Winner: P&P (1995)

Round 4: Romantic Aesthetic Vs. Accuracy

So Pride and Prejudice (2005) has a lot of romantic elements. You have these big scenic panoramas, Elizabeth on the cliff, Darcy and Elizabeth in the neoclassical building when he proposes (1st time), and the slow walk along the field in the early dawn (2nd proposal). This I personally don’t like, as Connor and Ruzika said, it is very Bronte-esque, but that is my biggest problem. Jane Austen is not Jane Bronte. And I really don’t like the scene where he finds her in the rain, as how did he know she would be there? And the field scene, they just happen to be there at the same time? Besides one of my favorite parts is at the end of the book when Mr. Darcy comes around with Bingley and Elizabeth is doing all she can to try and get his attention and figure out a way to talk to him, but is thwarted and unsure. And that longing and loss of hope-just gets me every time, will they get together ?!

And “Your hands are cold” I’ve always disliked that line as I feel it just kills the mood.

With me I love the accuracy of the mini-series, but of course there are things added in, like the Lake scene. But one of my favorite is when they are getting ready for the ball and the interaction between the sisters and Mr. Collins.

IMO Winner: P&P (1995)

Round 5: Bennet Family, “Behave Naturally” Vs. “Meet the Bennets”

So to get a view into the different relationships with the Bennet sisters, they used the “Behave Naturally” scene from P&P (2005). This is a great scene, even I love it.

The scene they chose from the P&P (1995) version is also a great scene. You really get the family dynamic in this one.

IMO Winner: Tie

Round 5: Darcy’s Flirtation, Sisterly Help Vs. Hungry Eyes

So with 2005, they chose the scene in which Elizabeth goes to Pemberley and meets Georgiana. It is a good scene as we get a new view of him from the servants, how he interacts with Georgiana, and that Darcy has been talking about her quite a bit with his sister. However, I have always hated Elizabeth skulking around and that peeping tom camera angle. I know it is partly because they had to combine different parts of the book for time limit, but her looking through the door gives me Norman Bates Psycho vibes.

For the 1995 version, they used a fan made video of Darcy staring and Hungry Eyes playing. That video is AMAZING but my favorite flirtation scene is when Darcy goes to see Elizabeth when she is staying at the Collins’ house, and Darcy comes to visit her and just stares or stares out the window because he doesn’t know what to say.

IMO Winner: P&P (1995)

So in my opinion there is a clear winner between Firth & Ehle versus Macfayden & Knightley:

But as for Jane Con? Everyone who had a paddle held it up and it came out to be 18-18

But then someone brought up the fact that not everyone had a paddle so they had us stand and count. The final result came out to be…………………………….

22-20 in favor of………

Yes Modesto Jane Con 2020 Declared Colin Firth as the Definitive Mr. Darcy.

So we all loved this workshop. They were fun, informative, interactive, and in the end we all could agree whether you love the 1995 or 2005 version, we all love Pride and Prejudice.

The only thing I would love more is if we looked at the other Darcy’s from films and TV shows, although I understand that wouldn’t be possible in one hour. I also would like to know who they think the worst Darcy is. I personally think it is the one in Austentatious (2015), which  ugh, I still have to finish watching.

For more on Modesto Jane Con, go to Modesto Jane Con: Gowns & Groans, A Costumer Looks at Regency Costumes on Film and Stage

For more Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more Elizabeth Bennet, go to YULETIDE: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories Audiobook

For more on Mr. Darcy, go to I Wrote Mr. Darcy a Letter

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe