This particular viewing happened shortly after I saw North and South for the first time.
It was sitting there on Netflix and another friend had highly recommended it. For the record, it was wonderful. If you like Jane Austen and you don’t have a huge amount of hatred for Richard Armitage (like, unfortunately, my P&P friend does), you’ll enjoy this Elizabeth Gaskell novel-turned-four-part-miniseries.
As a result, this one is fairly littered with mentions of Mr. Thornton, the Darcy-like business owner in the northern town of Milton, and Margaret, the clergyman’s daughter who has to deal with her father’s hasty decision to move from the warm and sunny south to the bitter and industrial north. (Hence the title.)
Me: It’s that time again. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE BLITZ!
Me: Birds chirping, super awkward make-shift bridge crossing, laundry hanging, ducks pooping, big-balled pigs walking; how romantic.
Me: Also, Jane’s not great on follow-up. Lydia and Kitty run past her and all she does is, “Lydia. Kitty?” And then they continue running.
Me: Someone should keep those blasted girls in check.
Me: What if you had a St. Bernard as a father?
Me: “Mr. Bingley arrived from the north!” MR. BINGLEY IS FROM THE NORTH? He doesn’t sound like Thornton. Unless they’re so far south that “the north” is actually the Peak District.
Me: “Who’s got warts?!” – My favourite line.
Me: I wonder how often Mr. Bennet has a headache with all those stupid screaming girls. Oh, no. They’re spin hugging. Have you ever been so excited about a ball that you spin-hugged?
Me: “Humourless poppycocks in my limited experience” aka men are dweebs.
Me: Also, Jane checks her by saying, “One of these days someone will catch your eye and then you’ll have to watch your tongue.” And within seconds Darcy shows up at the door.
Me: You should really check my bad attitude more often if it means Darcy shows up at the door.
Me: Men are DWEEBS! They’re just all the worst and such! *looks to door*
Me: I wonder what Mr. Darcy is thinking. He looks absolutely disgusted. We want to think he’s thinking, “Damn peasants.” But maybe he’s thinking, “I wonder how I’m going to avoid falling in love with the morosely-dressed one.”
Me: “Officers as far as the eye can see” seems like an incredibly frightening concept. A sea of red coats? What if they’re also all gingers like Bingley? A SEA OF RED AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE.
Me: “Do you dance Mr. Darcy?” “Not if I can help it.” (I agree with you, Darcy.) Lizzy walks away and he is so embarrassed. Just like me after I am faced with social situations … I wonder if I’m Darcy.
Me: Also, why are Lizzy and Charlotte sitting under the benches? And what kind of a dance hall has bleachers? Are they in a community gym? When they don’t have dances, do they play basketball?
Me: Mr. Darcy skulking through the crowd, trying not to be touched.
Me: Wow. I’m Darcy. Does that mean I have to look for an Elizabeth? I mean a man version of Lizzy. And does that make you Bingley? #identitycrisis
Me: “I thought that poetry was the food of love.” – Aww, cutie.
Me: “So what do you recommend to encourage affection?” “Dancing, even if one’s partner is barely tolerable.” BAZINGA!
Me: So Lizzy and Jane share a bed. Sure. And they talk under the covers. Okay. But to what end? Does it mute their conversations from others? Because you can still see the light through the covers so it must be like a sheet. Or their bed is on fire.
Me: … Sigh. Remember when Mr. Rochester’s bed was on fire and Jane Eyre saved him and he was standing there pantsless? How romantic.
Friend: The director claimed the bed scenes were to show a shared intimacy. At the beginning they are little girls under the covers, by the end they aren’t even facing each other – signifying their maturity (apparently) to move into a husband’s bed.
Friend: I don’t remember that part of Jane Eyre.
Me: You know, your dad might be a St. Bernard. A snarly St. Bernard who says things like, “If he had any compassion for me he would’ve sprained his ankle in the first set.”
Me: Mrs. Bennet wants her daughter shacking up with a stranger who happens to be rich? This would not fly in our age.
Me: They’re washing ribbons. It seems they’re always doing laundry of some kind or another.
Me: I wonder how often Mr. Darcy wants to plunge a fork in his own eye when he has to keep the company of Miss Bingley.
Me: I think Darcy may be undressing her with his eyes. I mean Lizzy’s hair is already down. And her hem is six inches deep in mud.
Me: Speaking of undressing, Jane’s lying there in her underclothes, braless.
Me: PIG BALLS. CREEPY MRS. BENNET GLANCE.
Me: “Letters of business, too. How odious I should think them.” Darcy thinks, How odious you are, Caroline. You’re kind of the worst.
Me: I would like to slam a book shut and argue with a three musketeer.
Me: “Are you so severe on your own sex?” Yes. Yes, I am. We’re the worst.
Me: “Let us take a turn about the room.” What an excellent accomplishment, Caroline.
Me: Mr. Darcy. You’re so awkward. You attempt to make a joke about “admiring them much better from here” and your hand is shaking while saying it. And in the next instance he takes things way too seriously: “My good opinion once lost is lost forever.”
Me: Dude. You need to lighten up.
Me: He’s got a really long pen.
Me: I kind of hate how they changed the line attribution about how a ball is a perfectly irrational way of getting to know people. In the book Caroline Bingley said it, proving her idiocy. But in the movie they saddled Mary with it.
Me: Eeeeeeew! Not Mr. Collins!!!!!
Me: BAHAHAHAHAA. I just realized that he tilts his head down and looks through his eyebrows like HWMNBN.
Me: “My small rectory abuts her estate.” – Of course it does, you dirty bird.
Me: Those candle flames are dangerously large. Like … I don’t know how candle flames get that big. Is it to symbolize the passion between Collins and Lizzy? OUT OF CONTROL.
Me: You know, this would’ve all been fixed if Mrs. Bennet offered up Mary as Collins’ mate instead.
Me: Of course then Charlotte would be alone. Which would be sad.
Me: I’m so conflicted with Mr. Wickham. He’s a knobhead in this movie, but in Young Victoria he’s absolutely adorable.
Friend’s cousin: Wtf did you just comment on everything that happened in the movie, to yourself?
Me: Lizzy, you moron. Don’t listen to Wickham! HE’S GOT A PONYTAIL WITH A BLUE RIBBON!
Me: Also, you’ve made a huge mistake. This is what I do when I watch P&P. I comment on everything for [my friend’s] sake. And now you’re stuck in the notification vortex.
Friend’s cousin: I wish I had the free time you did.
Me: Yeah, you’re a sucker who got a real job.
Me: Mr. Collins almost stepped in horse poop. I kind of wish he did. I wish he stepped in it and slipped. It would’ve made his interrupted Mr. Darcy’s conversation so much better.
Me: Bingley: “I’m SO PLEASED you’re here.” Could you be any more obvious?
Me: Awww look how Darcy stalks her!
Me: Dear friend, I’m glad that when we see each other we don’t hold hands like Lizzy and Charlotte. Thanks for being a friend who doesn’t hold my hand.
Me: “I did not think you danced, Mr. Collins.”
Me: For some reason Mr. Collins, with his weird haircut, reminds me of a fish. Not a guppy, but maybe like a bass or trout or something.
Me: Also, there’s a chance I’ve never actually seen a fish.
Me: “It will be most inconvenient since I’ve sworn to loathe him for all eternity.”
Me: “I love this dance.” “Indeed, most invigorating.”
Me: Things I’ve learned from Pride & Prejudice and North & South: try to put myself in a situation that could be turned into a ___&___ story title. Accuse the man of not being a gentleman. Be as snarky as possible. Insult him on numerous occasions. Reject his proposals. Freak out when any physical contact is made – especially hand-holding. Be quick to judge based on first impressions and rumours.
Me: Have angry staring contests.
Me: Be sure not to get approval from his mother or mother figure.
Me: Be sure to let my family into situations where they are either mocked, teased or shown to be completely foolish.
Me: Also, have another man who is interested in me but is a complete boob.
Me: And be sure to reject him.
Me: Oh no, not the most awkward proposal. No, no. Collins, don’t do it! Don’t hold that wimpy little flower. You’re so embarrassing. They’re eating ham for breakfast! Let them finish their breakfast so Lizzy can vomit it up when you ask her.
Me: Dear Collins, I don’t think it’s a good sign when the woman you’re about to propose to you (a) attempts to have every member of her family stay in the room and (b) attempts to run away before you are “run away with your feelings.”
Me: One of his reasons for marriage is that Lady Catherine doesn’t want his congregation to think he’s a weirdo singleton.
Me: Story of my life.
Me: Awww. What a sweet St. Bernard. “Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins. And I will never see you again if you do.”
Me: I wonder if Mr. Bennet spent the night on the couch for that one.
Me: “Give my love to my sister! Try not to be a burden dear!” Dear Mrs. Bennet. Do as you say, please.
Me: Lizzy’s a really supportive friend, eh? “But he’s ridiculous.”
Me: Also, Lizzy should probably stop swinging. I mean, she’s been there for like six months. She should stop and eat something. She’s too thin as it is.
Me: I do love that Charlotte has a Collins-free room. Like a no boys allowed club. But it’s a no husband allowed.
Me: I want to snip that feather off the top of Charlotte’s head.
Me: “The rug costs up to three hundred pounds …” MR. DARCY SHOWS UP! MR. DARCY IS THERE!
Me: Lady Catherine just is awesome. I mean she’s a bitch. But according to Tina Fey, “Bitches get stuff done.”
Me: Also, her hair wins.
Me: NO! NOT THE PANTS! DARCY AND HIS AWKWARD PANTS! NOOOOO!
Me: Look at him looking at her. And then walking over, “coming in all his state to hear her.”
Me: “And no one can be introduced in a ballroom.” I don’t think I could be. I’m so Darcy! Blerg.
Me: Another thing that I’ve learned from P&P and N&S is that I should attempt to correct his character somehow but be absolutely unmoving in my own.
Me: He can’t even hold a pair of gloves, poor boy. He’s almost as awkward as a zombie. Wait. He’s more awkward. Darcy is MORE awkward than a zombie.
Me: “Which can be obtained only through intercourse … forgive me. Through the intercourse …”
Me: “WHO WAS THE MAN?” “His closest friend Conan O’Brien.”
Me: So I definitely have this movie memorized. I keep talking along with the dialogue without even realizing it.
Me: THE SCENE THE SCENE THE SCENE!
Me: “Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain and I can bear it no longer. These past few months have been a torment. I came to Rosings for the single object of seeing you – I had to see you. I have fought against my better judgment, my family’s expectations, the inferiority of your birth, my rank and circumstance all these things and I am willing to put them aside and ask you to end my agony.”
Me: Now that is a backhanded compliment.
Me: Also, did he run after her? Is it wrong that I find the idea of him running to be funny? Maybe Matthew Macfadyen can’t run. Maybe that’s why he walks so slowly at the end.
Me: “I love you. Most ardently. Please do me the honour of accepting my hand.”
Me: “Sir, I appreciate the struggle you’ve been through and I am sorry to have caused you pain. Believe me it was unconsciously done.”
Me: “Is this your reply? Are you laughing at me? Are you rejecting me?”
Me: “I’m sure the feelings you have told me have hindered your regard will help you in overcoming it.”
Me: “Might I ask why with so little endeavor at civility I am thus repulsed?”
Me: “And I might as well inquire why with so evident a design of insulting me you chose to tell me you liked me against your better judgment!”
Me: “MY SISTER HARDLY SHOWS HER TRUE FEELINGS TO ME!” If it was well timed, there’d be thunder.
Me: “It was the lack of propriety shown by your mother, your three younger sisters, even your father!” There’s the thunder.
Me: Darcy is very attractive when he’s pissed off. “Mr. WICKham.”
Me: “So this is your opinion of me. THANK you for explaining so fully. Perhaps these offenses might’ve been overlooked had not your pride been hurt by MY honesty in admitting scruples about our relationship.”
Me: “And these are the words of a gentleman? From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry!”
Me: Lean in. Almost kiss. They both think about it. “Forgive me, madam, for taking up so much of your time.”
Me: I wonder what book she picks up and laughs at. Perhaps Fordyce’s sermons.
Me: I wonder where Charlotte and Mr. Collins are and if they wonder why Lizzy walks around in her robe. And if they heard the door open when Darcy sneaks in to give her a letter.
Me: He’s riding a horse!
Me: If you ask me “Are you all right?” and I answer “I hardly know.” We’ll just say that’s code for the guy I thought I hated proposed to me, we argued, I rejected and offended him and he gave me an eloquent hand-written letter explaining the offense I had laid against him and making more sense than the blue-ribboned buffoon I thought I trusted before.
Me: I feel like we have more complicated dreams than Lizzy. She’s just standing on a cliff. If it was one of our dreams, there’s be about fifty more plot points happening in that 30 second span of time.
Me: I don’t like Lizzy’s dress in the scene when she spies on her would-be fiancé.
Me: Is this like Facebook stalking for the 19th century? Like instead of going online, you check out his estate under the guise of a tour with your aunt and uncle?
Me: But seriously. How does she lose her aunt and uncle so fast? And how do they just leave without her? This would not happen. Unless they knew Lizzy wanted to walk back after awkwardly running into Darcy and his sister.
Me: That awkward moment you’re in the house of the man you rejected and he catches you and chases you out of the house, or runs after you as you make a beeline for it. And then you talk over each other awkwardly. And get through some useless small talk before apologizing profusely.
Me: And then she just walks all over his property and hopes she knows the way back to the Rose and Crown.
Me: And he beats her there and arranges a visit with her aunt and uncle so that he can try to win her affections again because, unlike Thornton, he doesn’t make a declaration that “any foolish passion on my part is entirely over.”
Me: And then that further awkward moment when the two of you share some flirtatious banter and smiles and shared eye contact that doesn’t seem to break and everyone leans in and watches you as if you’re in a fish bowl.
Me: And right when you really start to like the guy, you get news that your stupid slutty sister has run away with the man who ruined the man you’re beginning to like’s sister.
Me: St. Bernard: “No man would take Lydia for so slight a temptation as 100 pounds a year. We need to pay him more than that because the burden of having her as a wife will cost more.”
Me: Everyone else is pissed that Darcy is there. Lizzy’s heart flutters and she can’t breathe. At any moment she’ll faint.
Me: They have a lot of ribbons just hanging out.
Me: I should try and have a pile of ribbons just out and about. Never know when I’ll need a ribbon!
Me: “Just a few weeks,” Bingley says, “for the shooting.” By “shooting” do you think he means shooting Jane with cupid’s arrow of a marriage proposal?
Me: “So soon.” Two words that have never meant so much. Also, I almost typed “meaned” instead of “meant.”
Me: “Well we must be going, I think.” Darcy looks at Bingley, like “WTF, dude! You were gonna propose, man.”
Me: Also, if I say ” I’ve been so blind” and then someone barges in to propose to you, tell him to shut up, your best friend has something she needs to say.
Me: There Darcy is. Stalking Lizzy again. So sweet.
Me: “Perhaps Mr. Collins has a cousin.” I’ll say it again. YOU’RE HIS COUSIN! The English are so weird.
Me: They hear a knock on his door and upbeat Mary says, “Maybe he changed his mind.” Good one, Debbie Downer.
Me: Lady Catherine is such a beotch. Wonderfully so. “The rest of your offspring, I presume.”
Me: “Are the shades of Pemberly to be thus polluted?” – Oh, ho, ho, if you only knew.
Me: “I have never been thus treated in my ENTIRE LIFE.”
Me: Wait for the walking.
Me: She’s walking.
Me: It actually takes her a while to get to the little bridge thing, too.
Me: She’s walking, she’s walking, she’s walking, she hugs herself. She looks up.
Me: THERE HE IS.
Me: He’s walking.
Me: He’s walking.
Me: His coat is all billowy.
Me: He’s still walking.
Me: Music builds.
Me: Still walking.
Me: Wait, he’s still walking.
Me: Walking, walking, walking, walking, walking.
Me: Walking …
Me: She’s looking.
Me: He’s walking.
Me: They meet.
Me: “You must know. Surely you must know it was all for you.”
Me: “If your feelings were still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed. But one word from you will silence me forever.”
Me: “You have bewitched me body and soul and I love, I love … I love you.”
Me: “Well then … your hands are cold.”
Me: OH! And both Margaret in N&S and Lizzy kiss the man’s hand.
Me: My dog is watching Pride and Prejudice.
Me: He’s looking at St. Bernard head and thinking, “I’ve seen him somewhere before. Perhaps the dog park. Or dog training.”
Me: Her head is the size of his frontal lobe. Why is Donald Sutherland’s cranium so huge?
Me: “You may only call me Mrs. Darcy when you are completely and perfectly and incandescently happy.” This feels like a trap.
Friend: Don’t worry, if any guy burst in to propose I’d probably already have yelled at him to back the hell off once, so I’ll silence him for good. (You can interpret what that means however you want).
Friend: So apparently your duplicated “He’s walking” comment was flagged as spam.
Friend: I fixed it though. Want everyone to know how much he walked. #NoOneWillEverReadThisThread
Me: Your cousin might! He doesn’t really have much to do. It’s not like he has a full-time job or anything.