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5 Classics as YouTube Vlogs

Jessica Yang

Staff Writer

Jessica grew up in Silicon Valley, yet somehow ended up rather inept at technology. She dreams of reading luxurious novels all day in a greenhouse, and is guilty of writing puns for money. Majoring in Japanese and English literature made her both wary and weary of the Western canon. She can be bribed with milk tea. Follow her on Twitter @jamteayang.

It all started with Pride and Prejudice (doesn’t it always?). In 2012, web creators Bernie Su and Hank Green teamed up to launch the YouTube adaptation known as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I just so happened to be taking a Jane Austen class around that time, and ended up following the series from start to the 100th episode finish.

There were YouTube adaptations of classics before The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I’m sure, and there have been a few that came after. But LBD was the big one. It had high production quality, a diverse cast of actors, and snappy one-liners — all while keeping to the storyline of the much beloved Pride and Prejudice.

Since then, I’ve been keeping up a steady diet of YouTube adaptations. It feeds my tiny, caffeine-fueled English major heart. Plus, there isn’t the pressure and effort that comes with buckling down to read an actual classic novel. (I admit, I was a lazy English major.)

Years after The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’s massive success — it won an Emmy! — there are plenty of YouTube adaptations out there. It can be a little hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. So, here are my top 5 YouTube adaptations of classics:

1. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, based on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2. Emma Approved, based on Emma by Jane Austen

3. Carmilla, based on Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

4. Nothing Much To Do, based on the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing

5. A Tell Tale Vlog, a comedic imagining of Edgar Allan Poe

Are there any quality YouTube adaptations on your to-watch list?