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A Highly Scientific Analysis of Darcy Casting

William Darcy finally makes an appearance on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and not just as Jane in a newsie cap. What's the verdict?

A Highly Scientific Analysis of Darcy Casting

So it’s safe to assume we’re all watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries at this point, right? I mean, the rate at which you harass poor Megan about linking to it in the pro-tips every week, even though we’ve already talked about it multiple times, means that at least SOME of you are pretty rabid fans. And if not, well, here’s the whole playlist. Say goodbye to the next four and half hours of your life.

Anyway, the big news this week is that Darcy appeared on the show for the first time ever last Thursday. !!!!!!!! I know, right? And not even as Jane in a newsie cap! In case you missed it, here it is:

Darcy has also been passive aggressively tweeting up a storm since Thursday:

 

Clearly, a development as important as this deserves some Highly Scientific Analysis. Let’s dish.

Before we begin, someone very clever and thoughtful has already written a really nice letter to the actor portraying Darcy, who we now know to be a chap by the name of Daniel Vincent Gordh. To badly paraphrase this letter: haters gonna hate. Every Pride and Prejudice fan has a lot of FEELINGS about how Darcy should look, act, dress, talk, breathe, pick his nose, and dive into lakes in a state of semi-undress. So no matter how awesome DVG’s portrayal of Darcy is or isn’t, there will always be people on the internet to shit all over his performance. So don’t sweat it DVG, and as for the rest of us, play nice. So with that caveat in mind, what does everyone think about Darcy? Here are my initial thoughts:

Physical Appearance: 7

First of all, THANK GOD DARCY’S NOT BLOND. I saw someone in the comments on youtube saying they had pictured him with blond hair, and just... no. Why would you do that? In terms of overall physique, DVG is pretty close to how I generally picture Darcy. I was really holding out for a non-white actor, but I'll take whatever tall, non-blonds I can get. He loses 2 points for not looking exactly like Colin Firth and 1 point for being less attractive than Bing Lee, which should just never happen. Sorry, DVG.

Bing Lee, WHY YOU SO ATTRACTIVE?

Costuming: 4

Given that Lizzie describes Darcy as a “joyless, soulless newsie,” who enjoys “wearing scarves in the middle of summer,” I kind of expected the hipster vibe off of Darcy. But this is too much muchness, Darcy. Lumberjack check OR suspenders. Skinny tie OR skinny pants, Darcy. There’s too much going on here and you look like the flamboyant-yet-uptight Project Runway contestant who incorporates a lot of tulle and asymmetric hemlines into your designs, and then Tim Gunn comes up to you and says, “There’s a lot going on here. This looks like transvestite hooker went to Vegas and got mauled by one of Siegfried and Roy’s tigers. I have concerns about your overall concept.” Obviously your outfit is nowhere near as bad as the clothes you’re designing in my head, but regardless, TONE IT DOWN. And WHAT is with the guyliner on this show? MAKE IT STOP.

That said, if you go back and watch the first few episodes, Lizzie’s eye makeup is terrifying. Now, they seemed to have figured out a much better balance, so hopefully they’ll sort out Darcy’s costumes and makeup soon, too.

Demeanor: 5

I am extremely not sold on Darcy’s demeanor. He seems too rehearsed and stiff even for Darcy, but I’m willing to give DVG the benefit of the doubt for two reasons. First of all, Darcy is supposed to be pretty damn awkward. I bet he’s rehearsed this proposal scene like a million times in his head. Presumably he’ll come off less stodgy and rehearsed at a later date. Second of all, poor DVG has to deal with the fact that pretty much every other actor on this show has impersonated his character long before he rolled onto the scene. And those impersonations were universally ridiculous. It’s kind of hard to make a character NOT seem like a caricature, given the circumstances.

I like to view this an opportunity. For the first time ever, I’m totally with Lizzie at this point in the story. Darcy sucks. He’s a selfish, arrogant prick who broke up THE CUTEST COUPLE ON THE PLANET. And somehow, he has to come from behind and win Lizzie’s heart. So the fact that I’m not enamoured with DVG yet? Totally fine. In the words of Cher Horowitz, these grades are just a jumping off point to start negotiations. So,

Dear DVG,

Please bear in mind that Darcy is not simply trying to win Lizzie’s heart. Lizzie is merely an outfit that I, the viewer, can put on and wear while travelling through this classic story. In fact, I find Lizzie to be surprisingly irritating in this adaptation, but that doesn’t matter because I am her and she is me, just as she is every other viewer. I challenge you to melt the panties off of all of us with your impending hotness. It’s a tall order, but I trust that you were cast for a reason. So go on. WOO ME.

Sincerely,

Alix West

P.S. More immediately, please convince me that Darcy is not gay. At this point, it seems far more likely that he and Wickham had a sordid, guyliner-fueled tryst in the past rather than Wickham and Georgiana.

Plot Development Potential: 10

This is so exciting, guys, because the next part of the story can’t possibly exist in the way Jane Austen originally wrote it. So many problems to deal with!

1. How does Darcy feel about Lizzie hating on him on the internet for the past several months (WITH HIS REAL NAME OMG NO ONE WOULD DO THAT IN REAL LIFE)? And then slapping his rejection up on youtube without his permission? I imagine the answer is “pretty damn upset." Although, to be fair, who the hell doesn't google their crush in this day and age?

2. What are the writers going to do about Wickham? Darcy can’t very well go on Lizzie’s vlog and be like, “Hey peoples of the internet! You should all hate Wickham because he statutory raped my little sister!” I’m interested to see how this plays out.

3. As an extension of point 2, what are the writers going to do about Lydia and Wickham, when the time comes? Lydia is, strangely, my favorite character in this version, so I have serious concerns about what they are going to do her, and what she will or won’t know about Wickham in advance.

4. Darcy has never been able to see as much of Elizabeth’s perspective as in this adaptation. How will that influence his opinion of her?

The moment when Lizzie accidentally spills the beans about her videos is fist-pumpingly awesome. I cannot wait to see Darcy's reaction. Because I’m a hardworking graduate student who doesn’t even know the meaning of the word procrastinate, I immediately went back and watched every episode over again from Darcy’s perspective (well, almost every episode. I couldn’t stomach the Wickham episodes because I hate that douche and his douchey guyliner. But I do find it hilarious that he apparently has an OKCupid profile). Surprisingly, the thing that I find the most intriguing for future narrative is NOT Darcy’s reaction to Lizzie hating on him, or that hundreds of thousands of people on the internet have seen her reject and humiliate him. Rather, I’m very curious to see how Jane fits into the equation. Jane is the only person who consistently defends Darcy. Even Caroline is kind of a bitch about him, and she’s not-so-secretly in love with the guy. And now he has to watch Jane’s heart break on the internet in what, in my opinion, is the best acting on the show so far (mad props to Laura Spencer, the actress who plays Jane):

Good work, Darcy. Not only are you a total dick who (indirectly) made Jane Bennet cry, but she was also literally THE ONLY PERSON on your side. If you weren’t screwed before, you certainly are now. Also, In the book, Elizabeth never tells Jane of Darcy’s involvement in her breakup, but now Jane will presumably see everything on Lizzie’s vlog. Will that change the story at all? And is anyone else WAY more invested in Jane and Bing’s relationship than Darcy and Lizzie’s?

The next episode--the much anticipated “letter” episode--is going up in an hour, assuming I understand time zones properly (which I probably don’t. The UK changed to Daylight Savings Time before everyone else and it’s highly confusing for me). What are you looking forward to most on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries? What are your concerns? Will we ever meet Ricky Collin's "fiancée who lives in Canada?" And most importantly, what do you think of Darcy?

Update: The letter episode is up!

 

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Alix West's photo About the Author: Alix is an impoverished writer and illustrator living in Scotland. When she is not out on the wild, windy moors, she dreams of warmer weather, Park Sheridan, and days when she could still afford to buy champagne.
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