Okay, I’m procrastinating right now by writing this post. Sometimes procrastination is a negative thing, but sometimes you can procrastinate productively (blog post, anyone?). Seriously, though, sometimes you just need to take your mind off the task that is stressing you out.
My personal favorite way to do this is by watching YouTube videos. However, because I’m not watching cute cat videos or gaming channels I like to tell myself that this is a form of productive procrastination. I love watching web series that adapt classic works of literature into the format of a vlog.
I think this type of adaptation is great because it takes books that I grew up loving and translates them into a new medium, providing me with motivation to reread the book and giving me the opportunity to discuss their adaptation choices in the comments with other viewers.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite literary web series. If you are looking for an excuse to procrastinate, or if you just want to explore classic stories through the medium of online videos, I definitely recommend checking them out!
First off, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries: the vlog that started it all. This vlog is an award-winning adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. The cast is amazing (and super attractive too, just putting that out there). If you are familiar with the book this series is based on, you will be fascinated by this series’s take on both major and minor characters.
Emma Approved is created and produced by the same people behind the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. In the book, Emma is wealthy girl who enjoys managing other peoples’ lives; in Emma Approved, she’s lifestyle coach who is convinced she knows what’s best for her clients, her friends, and her family. I think the series’s choice to make Emma into a career woman is faithful to Jane Austen’s original character because it conveys her independence and intelligence in a modern way.
The Autobiography of Jane Eyre is another great adaptation. I’ve linked to the first episode, but I want to caution you that it has a very different feel than the rest of the series, so even if it doesn’t seem like quite your thing I would encourage you to keep watching. If you know anything about Jane Eyre, you know that it’s super dramatic with a lot of Gothic elements. This makes it a challenge to adapt to a modern setting, but this adaptation faces the challenge gracefully.
My most recent discovery is Green Gables Fables, which is an adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. If you want to know what Anne Shirley would be like as a modern teenager, look no further. This is an extremely faithful adaptation and should get a lot more attention.
All these web series have transmedia elements such as Twitter and Pintrest accounts that you can follow, which adds another level to the storytelling (and the procrastination) if you choose to follow it.