The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, since the very beginning... I first heard about it on Mashable, and the idea of translating a classic novel into a modern vlog was appealing.
While I have a passing understanding of the story (from the general pop culture zeitgeist which is Colin Firth in a wet white shirt as well as one viewing of an alternative reality version of the story, Lost in Austen), I really don't know what's going to happen next and have managed to remain essentially spoiler-free thus far... so I'm essentially discovering this story for the first time as it plays out every Tuesday and Friday morning (Australian time).
What has kept me engaged for the last 55+ episodes are the characters (all of whom have a Twitter account and the show also uses Facebook, Tumblr, Pintrest, LinkedIn and OKCupid to flesh out the characters in the digital world) and the actors who play them.
Even rewatching her performance without sound earlier in order to take these screen shots made me a little emotional.
Except for one.
He's the only character that feels like a caricature or a cartoon of a real person when compared with the rest of the cast.
I get that Collins is supposed to be so incredibly pompous and full of himself that Lizzie wouldn't ever take his proposal seriously... I get that the show has a number of comedy elements, and I think Collins is supposed to come off that way... but he is essentially like nails down a chalkboard, and the character draws attention to how unrealistic he is ever time he turns up and starts spouting dialogue in a way that nobody I've ever encountered actually talks.
a moment that made me completely empathise with the character and understand exactly who she was and where she was coming from, and actress Mary Kate Wiles gave such a raw performance that she won me over and allowed me to forgive some of Lydia's excesses.
Glick hasn't been given a moment like that for Collins.
I can't fault Glick for that.
Although while he's embodying the character, I'm guessing, completely as written, it's just that what's being written for him combined with the way he plays it is so incredibly unlikeable and grating.
As I said, I'm unfamiliar with the source material so I don't know how he's written on the novel, but I can't help thinking that in a lot of ways the writers (who overall do an amazing job, don't get me wrong) missed an opportunity to make Collins unpalatable to Lizzie in a different way.
Maybe that would have seemed redundant next to the coming story arc with Darcy... I don't know (again, that lack of familiarity with the source material).
I mean I understand her motivations... but even in the "proposal" episode that the screen capture above comes from he never dropped his verbose persona and let the real person underneath show through.
And that's really what I'm looking for in Ricky Collins... for him to let his guard down and show us that there's a real person under all that relentless talking who's as three dimensional and human as the rest of the characters.