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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

WebSeries: The Jane Games

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Janeite is always on the look out for new ways to experience Jane Austen's novels.

Laura Riley and Jennifer Teska's The Jane Games is a reality style webseries that gives one story line of each of Jane Austen's novels in a modern setting. Through the completion of certain tasks, the contestants are given the chance to win her soulmate, a month long vacation, and $100,000.

The contestants are: Pride & Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennett, Persuasion's Anne Elliot, Sense & Sensibility's Marianne Dashwood, Emma's Emma Woodhouse, Northanger Abbey's Catherine Morland, and Mansfield Park's Mary Crawford. The men that these lovely literary ladies have the opportunity of being matched with are: Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pride & Prejudice, Captain Frederick Wentworth of Persuasion, Colonel Brandon of Sense & Sensibility, George Knightly of Emma, Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey, and Edmund Bertram of Mansfield Park. But where would our heroines be without their male distractions? Riley and Teska chose to combine the men that we love to hate into two characters - Frank Wickabee (Frank Churchill of Emma, George Wickham of Pride & Prejudice, and John Willoughby of Sense & Sensibility - the charmers) and Elton Collins (Mr. Elton of Emma and William Collins of Pride & Prejudice - the socially awkward clergymen). The only male character names missing from that bunch are William Elliot and John Thorpe - the social climbers (maybe they'll be in the next season, if there is another).

I thought this webseries was quite entertaining. It's a new way to look at these stories that sparked my interest in creating and sharing stories. Riley and Teska stripped these ladies's story lines down to the essential parts of their love stories and presented them in a way that could possibly spark interest in the novels for those who have never dared to read an Austen novel.

One of my favorite aspects of this webseries was all of the side conversations that happened in banners at the bottom of the screen. They were labeled as "Jane Games Facts", but it was just more commentary of the characters than anything else. It was also criticism on one of the banner writers - Mark.

I liked how each character was portrayed. Lizzie and Darcy were at odds on a political stand point, Henry and Cat were college aged, online gamers - just to give a few examples of their modern transformation.

Seeing Jane Austen's frustration with how the characters were choosing their fates was funny.

Sometimes as a writer there is massive frustration when things are not going how you thought they were going to go. Yes, characters appear to choose their own fates at times, but in the end the outcome you, the author, desires does prevail. That is something we get to see with Jane Austen being the host of The Jane Games.

I recommend this series, especially if you enjoy all things Austen! It still holds all of Austen's quirkiness and sarcasm - they actually have something called #AustenBurns. So check it out and may good sense prevail!

Until next time... Kara

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