GaryView: Pride and Prejudice (1995 BBC TV series)

Gary: So. That’s… good television, is it?

Lissa: Many consider it so.

Gary: But it’s just all weird dresses and weirder hats, and everyone finding fancy ways of being obnoxious or stupid.

Lissa: Truly, is that all you garnered from it?

Gary: Why are you talking funny?

Lissa: There is nothing peculiar in my… oh god. Bugger. Sorry. I reread the book after I loaned you the DVD. The language kind of soaks into your skull after a bit. It’s an easy rhythm to fall into. Did you really hate it that much?

Gary: I didn’t hate it. It was boring, that’s all. All those people pretending to be civil when they were just being mean. I had enough of that crap when I was alive, at school and … places. Even afterwards. There was this lecturer I had at uni, and he always managed to be so civil while being such a bastard I didn’t usually work out what was going on until after everyone else was laughing at me.

Lissa: That’s awful.

Gary: This was after… you know… and I’d gone back and was trying to keep up, and couldn’t. So. You know. Shows about people being clever and mean aren’t my thing.

Lissa: Oh. But… what about the romance?

Gary: What about it?

Lissa: Never mind.

Gary: Why do you like it so much?

Lissa: The language is beautiful. And it’s not all about people using language cleverly just to be mean. It’s also about how people can learn to change. And they can use language to be kind too. Elizabeth doesn’t use it to be mean, though she is a bit snarky. But I like her snark.

Gary: Yeah. Her… snark… is cool. Reminds me of you a bit.

Lissa: The snark.

Gary: Yeah. Oh, and the being smart and determined and stuff.

Lissa: But the snark too.

Gary: … Did I say something wrong?

Lissa: No. I did say I admired Liz’s snark, so it’s a fair call. Fine then. Well, going back to the vampire-themed stuff we usually watch, then – which of the characters do you think would have made a good vampire?

Gary: Wickham. Without a doubt. Self centred prick.

Lissa: Not Darcy?

Gary: [derisive] God, no. He’d never survive the change. He’s strong willed but basically he’s kind and generous and all that stuff. He’s not mean enough to change.

Lissa: Neither are you.

Gary: I’m no Darcy either.

Lissa…

Gary: Oh, and Mrs Bennett. She’d definitely make it.

Lissa: You know, I hadn’t thought of that, but I bet you’re right. Lady de Bourgh too. She’s a harridan.

Gary: And then that idiot Collins would let her eat him.

Lissa: You may not have liked it, but you were paying attention.

*For newcomers, the GaryView is a review of books/films/TV/entertainment carried out as a conversation between Lissa Wilson (librarian) and Gary Hooper (vampire) , characters from my book ‘The Opposite of Life’. Visit my website for more information.