Three posts in, I think I should say that I really like webseries. Specifically ones based on, or relating to, books. Most literary webseries are told in a vlog style format, so the first video can honestly be a little awkward with all the exposition, but I watch them because the writers do some really cool things with the stories.
If you’re new to webseries, here are five of my favorites to start with:
1. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
LBD is the one that I think inspired many of the other popular series on Youtube. It’s Pride and Prejudice, where Lizzie is a grad student and Darcy is a socially awkward hipster that we don’t see until about halfway through the series (Darcy Day was a BIG deal among fans). The thing I love about this one is that the side characters are much more round than in the novel, and the big scandal is actually unexpected and scandalous. The LBD won an Emmy for the transmedia experience, and has its second book coming out sometime soon. Pemberley Digital became a real company that has so far made three other adaptations and hosted a fourth on its Youtube channel.
2. The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy
This adaptation of Peter Pan speaks to me. First season takes place in Neverland, Ohio, where Peter and Wendy are childhood friends. She does a “Dear Darlings” column for her dad’s newspaper that Peter contributes cartoons to (when he’s not playing video games with Michael). Tinkerbell is an actual fairy. I love that in this one, Wendy struggles with what growing up means and what leaving Neverland so she can pursue her dreams might mean. It’s a millennial Peter Pan, and the acting is so good that it breaks my heart (you’ll know what I mean when you get to Season 2).
3. Green Gables Fables
Okay, so I haven’t actually read Anne of Green Gables, but it’s a classic, and it’s on my list. This adaptation isn’t too different from the book, I think. Anne is a foster kid who ends up in this family (a middle-aged brother and sister) that originally requested a boy. Instead they get a very extroverted teenager who hates her red hair and just wants a good friend.
4. Classic Alice
This one is less of an adaptation and more… inspired by books. Alice is an English major who gets a bad grade on a paper, so she makes the really poor life decision to make major life decisions based on what characters in books do. Something about feeling the same things that fictional characters feel. She starts with Crime and Punishment, not realizing that it’s going to have a crime, and then goes from there. Her film major friend Andrew Pritchard films her as his own project because they’re besties and he’s in love with her.
5. A Tell Tale Vlog
Yeah, this one is nothing close to an adaptation. In this (short) series, Edgar Allen Poe tries to write poe-ems (yes he makes that joke) while he’s being haunted by a lady ghost who talks like a valley girl. Enough said.
There are definitely other webseries that I love, but I think these are good ones to start with. A fan made an LBD fanpage named Socially Awkward Darcy and then a general literary webseries one called Book to Tube, which is honestly where I hear about the new ones that keep popping up. There are so many good ones, and it can get hard to keep up, so I’ll catch up with my other favorites before I do a second recommendation post. Can’t wait? Ask me on one of my five million forms of social media, and I’ll find you a good one 🙂