Written By: Emily Graham
Out of all websites to lose yourself in when passing the time, YouTube is my kryptonite. Even though it’s not the conventional website to watch television and film, the variety of content and creators on this platform is endless. I will never tire of rewatching the same videos so I can absentmindedly recite the words.
But there’s a little niche on YouTube that often goes unnoticed: literary-inspired web series. While some have been mentioned in the mainstream media, further discussion is quite rare, and I don’t think that’s right! They are an excellent way of seeing the work through a modern lens, and they are often acted by lesser-known, highly talented actors who care for the source material as much as you. With all that said, here are some of my favorite literary-inspired web series. I expect you all to put them on your “Watch Later” list right now!
Arguably the first literary-inspired web series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is an adaptation of the quintessential Jane Austen romance, Pride and Prejudice. This 100-episode series stars our modernized, ever-feisty Lizzie Bennet, a graduate student just trying to balance love, life, and her sisters. In my opinion, what sets this show apart is how the plights of the characters have been updated to fit modern times; however, if you need any further convincing, it’s the first YouTube series to win an Emmy!
While these web series have a special place in my heart, Poe Party takes up the most space. When Poe tries to woo the enigmatic Annabel Lee, his ghost friend, Lenore, suggests that they do it at a whodunnit dinner party with some of the finest authors around. What they didn’t expect was actual murder to ensue! The cast is so unique and humorous, and character interactions have a lot of tongue-in-cheek nods to the great works of the authors mentioned in the show. As Oscar Wilde says, “You’ve invited some of the greatest authors to be in the same room. Something was bound to happen.”
Carmilla is a cult favorite, known for its diverse characters and rollercoaster of emotions. Inspired by the gothic novella, this series follows Laura, her strange new roommate Carmilla, and the weird supernatural occurrences at their university. Spoiler alert: Carmilla isn’t human… There are three seasons AND a movie, so you have plenty of content to binge on!
All for One is a gender-swapped version of The Three Musketeers, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. This show definitely flew under the radar, which is a shame because it is incredibly engaging and full of unexpected twists. Dorothy, the lead character, is charismatic and perfectly flawed, so you can’t help but root for her as she makes some not-so-good decisions.