I think regular readers of this blog will probably know that I love the Pemberley Digital web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries - a modern day web series adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries has now finished and Pemberley Digital are currently making a web series adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma which is called Emma Approved. That series got off to a rockier start than the LBD but it's now progressing very nicely and I'm really enjoying it. But there's yet another Austen book that I'd love for Pemberley Digital to take on: Northanger Abbey. In my opinion Northanger Abbey is Jane Austen's most underrated book and I think it could be adapted to the web series format brilliantly! If the PD creators haven't already considered adapting Northanger Abbey then they really should! I even have a few ideas about what they could do with it...
The semester then comes to an end and Henry invites Catherine to stay with him at his family mansion, Northanger Abbey, in New England. See what I did there? :D Then we get to the part of the novel where Catherine begins to suspect that General Tilney murdered his wife. However, I don't think it would be appropriate for Catherine to say that she thinks General Tilney is a murderer in a modern-day vlog adaptation. It's one thing for Catherine to think that General Tilney is a murderer but to accuse him of murder on a YouTube vlog would be awful. I think it would be best if Catherine begins to suspect that General Tilney is a vampire in a modern-day vlog since it would fit with the gothic literature/urban fantasy connection, and it could make for pure comedy gold! :D I'm still a bit hesitant about it though: would it make Catherine look stupid? It would have to be really well-written and handled for Catherine to not come across this way.
General Tilney then decides to send Catherine back home when Henry goes away for a few days. In the book General Tilney sends her away because John Thorpe told him that Catherine was a wealthy heiress and he's furious to find out that she isn't. I'm not sure what the General's motive for sending Catherine away should be in this version. Anyway, to really get across to modern viewers how awful it was of General Tilney to do this to Catherine in the book, I'd have Catherine spend three or four days travelling across the whole of America by bus. Catherine is convinced that Henry must have told his father about her suspicions and thinks that's why she's been sent home. She's heartbroken. When she gets back home she decides to make one last video in which she announces that she's going to give up vlogging for good - but as she's making the video there's a knock on her door. It's Henry! When he found out what his father did, Henry had a massive argument with him and instantly bought a plane ticket to Catherine's home town. He wanted to apologise to Catherine in person and let her know that he didn't ask his father to send her away. They then kiss. Catherine makes one more video to confirm that she and Henry are dating. The End.
I do have a few slight concerns about a Northanger Abbey vlog adaptation. Because Northanger Abbey doesn't have very many adaptations and is one of Jane Austen's lesser-known works it hasn't really got the large fanbase that Pride and Prejudice and Emma have. But then I suppose that those fans who loved The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Emma Approved would probably be perfectly happy to watch whatever adaptation PD chose to do next. Northanger Abbey hasn't really got enough of a plot for it to be stretched out into a year-long adaptation either but I feel it could make for a brilliant short series to tide the fans over while the PD creators are working on a lengthier adaptation.
I would reeeally love it if Northanger Abbey was the next Pemberley Digital adaptation! I'm guessing that Hank Green and Bernie Su will eventually want to start adapting works by different authors but they should definitely make an attempt on Northanger Abbey. I wonder if the two of them have a long-term plan on the novels that they want to adapt or if they're just making it up as they go along?