I’ve been trying to articulate the nature of my love for the LBD’s Lydia for a while now.
She is not a one-dimensional tweenage brat, not Austen’s social embarassment. She is not comic relief, designed to deliver well-timed abbreviations and WHAAAAATs. She is not petty. She is not dumb.
What the writers (particularly Rachel Kiley, who has written all the spin-off episodes) and MK Wiles have given us is a Lydia that is believable in 2012. She is unapologetically herself, fiercely loyal, nurturing, optimistic, and genuinely misunderstood. She roots for the underdog, because she is one herself. Lydia Bennet is the youngest of three sisters. She is the “problematic” to Jane’s “practically perfect in every way.” The world sees Lydia as it wants to see her - as a slutty wild child with no brain and no future - when at her core, she is just lost and confused. Where do people’s opinions of her end, and where does she begin?
This is not to dismiss her short-comings. Lydia is foolish, naive, often careless to the point of recklessness. She steals prescription drugs from her employers, spills drinks on attractive men, parties hard at Carter’s, skips class, and uses men like cell phone plans.
I fucking love this Lydia Bennet. Not because she is more likable than Lydias past or more entertaining or less flawed. I love her because she is the main character in her own universe. She refuses to play the supporting role to Lizzie’s heroine.
I hope that the eventual Lydia/Wickham catastrophe storyline is worthy of the Lydia we have been given. She is absolutely one of my favorite characters from anything -ever-, and she deserves all the heartbreak and self-improvement that Lizzie will no doubt get to experience in future episodes.