Pride and Prejudice and Adaptions

Grade: A

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that this line is probably one of the most well known in all literature.

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Aaah, the classics. Reading one makes you want to sit down in bed with a cup of tea on a window ledge while the rain comes down. OR sit in the middle of a field when the temperature is exactly 70 degrees fahrenheit with a picnic.

OR read it like me when you’re sneezing and coughing and lying with your only friends the water bottles and the tissues.

Yes it’s spring. Yes I didn’t get sick all winter. YES I’M SICK NOW.

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A couple of warnings before you might think about attempting to read this book. It is not for the faint-hearted: the sentences are super long and it’s like trying to translate Latin where the noun and the verb are basically 3 lines apart. Also you’ll begin to ship the characters hardcore. And if you’ve read it don’t deny that you haven’t shipped the characters. DON’T DENY IT

Anyways, enough warnings. LET’S GET TO THE REVIEW.

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Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth (Lizzy, Lizzie, Eliza, whatever) Bennet, who is a witty and relatively forward young lady of the 1800s in England. She is the second daughter in a very, very dysfunctional family with her 4 sisters as well as her two incredibly-bad-at-parenting parents.

Lizzy’s older sister, Jane Bennet, is the kindest soul on the planet – she literally loves everyone and can’t bear to think badly of anyone (it’s almost sickening). Lizzy’s three younger sisters are Mary, Kitty, and Lydia, who get progressively crazier as the age decreases. Mary is a stuck up girl who attempts to do everything and be wise and fails rather miserably. Kitty is weak-minded and follows Lydia’s crazy tramping. And Lydia… Between chasing after soldiers and screaming rudely at rich dudes I’m not sure if there’s anything other than cotton balls in her brain.

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(^kinda irrelevant gif but it’s my favorite gif of all time so whatever)

Lizzy’s mother is basically the older version of Lydia: foolish, gossipy, and only focused on getting her daughters married. Lizzy’s father is a truly terrible husband who basically hates all social customs and slows down the process of getting his daughters married off simply because he likes reading more than social events. #parenting101

Anyhow, the story begins with a rich young SINGLE man named Bingley who comes into the neighborhood where the Bennets live, causing a giant freakout because OH MY GAWD IT’S A RICH HANDSOME YOUNG MAN LET’S POUNCE ON HIM AND GET HIM TO MARRY OUR DAUGHTERS EEEEEEE.

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I’m not even kidding that’s basically how it goes down. Kind of. Not really. Whatever.

Anyways, Bingley and the Bennets attend this one dance (I forget who the host is) and Bingley brings his friend Darcy. Bingley and Jane really hit it off from the beginning, while Darcy completely offends Lizzy and causes Lizzy to hate him immensely.

Darcy eventually falls in love with Lizzy (good job man), and he tries to woo her. However, Lizzy still completely hates Darcy so it’s a giant mess. Oh yeah, she also gets like 3 other suitors in the meantime (all of which are either stupid or terrible people).

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MY THOUGHTS TIME!

Pride and Prejudice is a witty and hilarious book. It’s one of those books that you’ll really enjoy reading while looking like a literary BOSS at the same time. There are light and funny parts where you’ll laugh out loud (unless you’re dead inside), and then there are parts that are deeply profound. The main characters in the book, Lizzy and Darcy, both undergo intense changes where they are forced to confront their flaws of pride and especially prejudice (haha see? see? the title is relevant).

In a way, this discovery of the deep-rooted and flawed nature of prejudice is similar to the lesson of “imagining others complexly” in Paper Towns (you can read my review on it here). Elizabeth’s prejudice against Darcy due to a single phrase that he muttered causes her to be incredibly blind in her judgement of him, his actions, his family, and his relations.

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Elizabeth begins to imagine Darcy as a one-sided villainous character and (quite hilariously) misinterprets everything that he says and does. However, eventually Elizabeth realizes how mistaken she was about everyone and everything, and her belief gets shaken.

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Prejudice is dangerous – it clouds our judgment and perception. It hurts us and the people around us. Lizzy’s prejudice only affected a small number of people, but what happens when prejudice goes global? Well…

*cough* racism *cough* sexism *cough* classicism *cough*

Good books teach you a lesson. Great books make you discover yourself. The best books help you discover yourself AND change yourself to benefit others. TAKE THE LESSON THAT PRIDE AND PREJUDICE GIVES US.

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And now it’s time for my favorite adaptation of the book for people too lazy to read but who still want the nuances and wittiness of the book and who are okay with binge-watching for 24 hours… whew that was a long run-on sentence.

THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES!

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries are a web series on YouTube which makes Pride and Prejudice into a modern vlog-style adaptation. You’re probably like yeah, yeah, you probably only like it because it’s YouTube but LET ME TELL YOU A THING IT’S AMAZING.

First of all, the web series stays incredibly true to the book: I would go as far as to say it probably stays truer to the book than the 2005 movie (although probably not the 1995 TV series). Second of all, the actors are amazing and essentially flawless. Third, some of the more minor characters get fleshed out a lot more (which is actually very interesting FYI).

UGH it’s just perfect.

Now go forth and read or watch whatever you want.

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Why (the Rest of) This Year is Going to be TOTALLY AWESOME

It’s been half a year or something and I still don’t know how to properly capitalize the titles to posts.

Well. Anyways. HI! I’m here procrastinating right now and attempting to watch Star Wars for about the 10th time (I WILL DO IT THIS TIME). And that means that this post will probably make very little sense.

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However, as you can see from the title, the boringness that has been this year’s entertainment is almost over. I mean Supernatural and the Flash did sustain me somewhat. Also the attempt to catch up on Game of Thrones before season 5 started (I failed miserably). And yeah, yeah we’ve had Cinderella I guess. And Insurgent. And Kingsman I suppose. But none of that even compares to the total epicness that will be the next 2/3rds of 2015.

And now, I present to you: A HIGHLY BIASED LIST OF THE TOP 10 THINGS THAT ARE GOING TO HAPPEN (or are currently happening), which should probably be retitled as THE TOP 10 THINGS THAT I’M MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE REST OF THIS YEAR.

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10) Jurassic World – This is basically on my list only because I needed a #10. The special effects look kind of bad. Other stuff that could’ve replaced this movie include: Inside Out, Terminator Genisys, Pitch Perfect 2, Tomorrowland, and Pan.

9) Game of Thrones Season 5 – Okay I’ll explain: this is only #9 because it’s already happening. And if you’re a real fan, you’re probably already watching it. If you’re a fake fan like me you’ll still be stuck on season 3 (whoops).

8) Doctor Who Season 9 – I’m not actually sure if you should be excited about this or not. If it’s any bit as bad as the last season you might have to pull an Oedipus and gouge your eyes out. DON’T MARRY YOUR MOTHER THOUGH.

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7) Paper Towns – I really liked the book, but I’m kind of skeptical about the movie because how on earth is the movie going to capture the thoughts running through Q’s head all the time. Also John Green doesn’t seem as excited for it as he did for TFIOS. But still – I’m pumped.

6) Ant-Man – Well after Marvel trolled us for about half a year we finally got a semi-decent trailer. And, to be honest, it looks okay. It seems like a very light-hearted and funny film… which means that Age of Ultron is going to break our souls and Ant-Man is going to try to heal us (but that’ll never work).

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5) Fantastic Four – As if we needed another non-canon Marvel film. But anyways, REBOOTS FOR THE WIN! And apparently these guys needed it because their original movie sucked. Also please stop freaking about the fact that the Human Torch is black because I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE HERE.

4) Mockingjay Part 2 – I may have forgotten about this movie but let me tell you I am ready. I am so ready for the trailer. Give me a trailer. Or a teaser. Or even just a poster. JUST GIVE ME SOMETHING.

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3) Star Wars: Episode VII – After 30 years of waiting since the first trilogy for the old characters to return, 10 years of waiting since the second trilogy for Star Wars to Return, and one close plane crash of Han Solo who really should be adept with aircrafts at this point (too soon? nah he’s alive), the years of waiting have come to an end. For all you Star Warsians (what do the fans name themselves?) out there, if the trailer made me freak out then I can’t imagine how excited you guys must be.

2) Sherlock Christmas Special – After 2 long years of dedicated waiting (Star Wars fans ain’t got nothing against us), the time has finally come for us to break tumblr again. If you’re new to this fandom, you may not know that we broke tumblr in 2013. Well, we did. And there’s more of us now. So…

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1) Avengers: Age of Ultron – If you’ve stuck around with me since I’ve had this blog, you probably predicted that this was #1. To which I say HEY I’M NOT THAT PREDICTABLE. But anyways, get yourselves ready because by the looks of all 100 trailers and all 100 infuriating teaser clips, this movie’s going to be AWESOME! Also heartbreaking. Very heartbreaking. TOO HEARTBREAKING 😦

NOW GO FORTH AND MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

The Nerd Side of YouTube

It’s around that time of year when half the teenage population is freaking out over finals while the other half of the teenage population is preparing for summer vacation and the other half of the teenage population is bored as hell.

^As you can see, I clearly passed my math midterm.

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Anyways, whether you’re struggling to find study material that’s interesting or you just want to watch videos to seem smarter, I have compiled a list of YouTubers that you can effectively procrastinate to while watching.

Disclaimer: obviously I can’t even include half the amazing educational YouTube channels, but I mean if you’re interested then you’ll find a way to find all of them.

Alright, ALLONS-Y!

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CrashCourse: Everyone’s favorite. It’s probably the best channel to watch if you have to cram study for an exam or a test the next day. The channel started off with Hank and John Green (everyone’s favorite nerdy brotherly duo), but now it features such humans like WheezyWaiter (fun fact: he has clones). CrashCourse currently has videos on US government and politics, astronomy, anatomy & physiology, world history, big history (aka history of the universe), psychology, literature, US history, chemistry, ecology, and biology. So go forth and study! Or, if you just want to procrastinate efficiently, I suggest you start off with World History I.

Vsauce: This channel is not for studying (sorry exam-taking people); it’s a knowing-random-facts-so-you-seem-smart-in-trivia channel. Vsauce often starts off on one topic and then transitions to at least 10 more topics over the course of the video. Vsauce also has older videos that have nothing to do with being smart, but rather for finding weird things on the internet, like LUT or DONG or IMG. Okay yeah I know I sound like I’m spewing out random inappropriate words, but they are actual video playlists. Don’t watch them unless you’re really desperate to procrastinate (which, I mean, if you’re reading this post right now you probably are).

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MinuteEarth / MinutePhysics: These are technically two different channels but since they’re run by the same dude, I’m smushing them together as one. If you want super duper brief explanations about anything, these two channels are for you. Most of the videos are under 4 minutes long (yes, even the ones that explain dark matter or relativity). Some of the videos can help you in school, but some of them are just videos you can answer to look extra smart in trivia.

CGP Grey: He’s probably my favorite YouTuber but he never posts. Also if you want to study for an exam or something you probably shouldn’t watch his videos. But, if you want to know facts that you never knew that you needed to know (that sentence made 0 sense), then he’s the guy for you. Also, his videos always sound really sarcastic, which is definitely a plus.

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Kurz Gesagt – In a Nutshell: Again, a YouTube channel that never posts. But at least this guy (or these guys) has an excuse: the channel animates everything. Kurz Gesagt always takes complicated current topics like climate change or ISIS or measles or ebola, and manages to make everything simple. Not to mention that the animations are amazingly clear. So, if you have absolutely 0 idea what the world news means, Kurz Gesagt is the channel for you.

ViHart: Because I have yet to mention a YouTuber that deals with math… here’s ViHart! ViHart basically inspired me to draw Sierpinski’s triangles in math classes for the rest of my life. Not to mention that she taught me about Fibonacci numbers and parabolas and ellipses and cardioids and like a billion other things. If you don’t know her for being ViHart, then maybe you recognize her from that one tumblr post with her video How To Toothpaste. This video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecTZHtHPmio Yeah she’s crazy.

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Now obviously I didn’t include half the amazing educational YouTubers on my list because I would’ve taken up my entire day writing about them. But anyways, here are a couple more: Veritaserum, Numberphile, Sixty Symbols, Smarter Every Day, AsapSCIENCE, Scishow, and thebrainscoop.

Now go forth and watch all these YouTubers. I’m going to procrastinate for 10 hours.

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Fresh Off the Boat: ASIAN REPRESENTATION

Grade: A-

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This is the only comedy I make it my business to keep up to date on. As you guys probably know, I’m notoriously famous (not really) for disliking comedy.

You know Selfie? The last comedy show I reviewed? The last one I watched? Well yeah I forgot to watch the last episode and I’m too lazy to now because comedies.

I don’t even know why I dislike comedies so much. I think it might be because comedies never have story lines like dramas or whatever. They’re kind of just there to make you laugh for a bit.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? I HATE LAUGHTER.

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Jk. But I do dislike comedies.

Which is why you should probably watch this show, because it’s kind of impressive that I’ve kept up with it for such a lot time.

Or not because at the end of this review you’ll see that I have other reasons why I watch this show.

ANYHOW enough ranting on my part.

Fresh Off the Boat has an all Asian main cast, its racial casting being only the second of its kind. Other shows have tried to take similar strides forwards: Blackish, modern family (mixed races, LGBTQ representation), and of course who could forget disney’s dozens of TV shows featuring basic white families and no LGBTQ people for fear of enraging a group of terrifying mothers.

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THE U.S. IS ALL ABOUT EQUALITY!

FOB is based off the memoir of Eddie Huang, a famous chef nowadays. Eddie (in the show) is an 11-year-old who defies the expectations of his family and his society. He doesn’t do particularly well in school, and his taste in music is completely different from the rest of his family. His mother, played by the flawless Constance Wu, is the definition of a tiger mom. His father, played by the ever famous Randall Park, is obsessed with trying to make it in America. Eddie also has two brothers (Evan and Emery), one of whom seems to be doing amazingly well with his social life, and the other one who’s kind of just there. Eddie also has a grandma, who is notorious for cheating people out of money (like, she’s amazing at poker).

Yep, your typical Chinese family.

But for those of you who think FOB sounds racist, trust me on this: it’s surprisingly accurate.

And now for the great reveal: I. Am. Chinese. *LE GASP*

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Yeah okay I don’t think you guys were that surprised (or you guys probably don’t care) but whatever. And now you guys are probably like, “Oh, that’s why she likes the show so much.” To which I say: RACISM! But you guys are probably right.

Anyways, the show is pretty much on point about everything. It’s obviously exaggerated for comedy purposes, but other than that it’s very accurate. Tiger mom? Check. Non-Chinese culture responses to weird Chinese food like stinky tofu? Check. Constant need to appear more successful than family members? Check. Curling your hair to look successful? Yeah, check.

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The show’s display of the awkward clash between Chinese and American culture makes a lot of laugh-out-loud-for-10-minutes-straight moments. It’s especially funny when Constance Wu delivers totally straight-faced lines in her hilariously fake Chinese accent, complaining about white culture or reminiscing about her old Chinese friends…

(Yeah okay I’m a bit obsessed with Constance Wu. I mean, she was in Law & Order: SVU and she was even in Torchwood and she has the cutest bunny in the world and UGH.)

ANYWAYS, FOB isn’t just about the quirks and the weirdness of Chinese culture in American culture: it’s also about trying to fit into another culture while continuing to be true to your original culture. It’s about how much of yourself you should or should not change in order to fit in. And I mean, who hasn’t been through that struggle?

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To end this post (because I need to do other stuff now), I think it’s a bit unfortunate that it’s 2015 and FOB is still the “pioneer” of racially representative shows. I mean, I kind of hoped that it would be at least the 10th show to feature an all-Asian family, but no it is the second-but-first-successful-TV-show-to-feature-an-all-Asian-family-cast-thing.

And that means FOB has to be successful so there’ll be more shows like it. So whether you want to watch the show just for laughs or for relating or just because you need another show to binge watch, WATCH FRESH OFF THE BOAT!

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