The Autobiography of Jane Eyre 2013-2014
"I like tea!" - Jane
"And I can talk to her. No matter how bad it gets." - Rochester
" Among other things, I've learned how to let my passion and my reason coexist instead of letting one crush the other." - Jane
This web series has Jane, a 21 year old university student, working as a nanny for Mr. Rochester's daughter Adele. She vlogs about her life, and through the videos we get to meet all the people in her life.
I was really impressed by how close they stuck to the novel - adapting scenes that are often disregarded in other adaptations (granted they have a lot more time with this series) but also to make some scenes from the book modern must have been a great challenge. And I was really mostly happy with how they managed to make everything fit in their world.
I do have some issues with this as an adaptation though. Sometimes I lose focus on what some episodes are trying to adapt from the novel - it doesn't always flow well for me, and I had an issue with Jane taping people in the beginning without their consent. I mean she can accidentally leave the camera on, but she doesn't have to post it. But the reason why that bothers me is because Jane is supposed to have better sense than that. She can be a bit naive, but she always knows what's right and wrong. But then again, it is difficult to adapt this kind of story! The audience would want to see these people!
The actors were all really excellent in their parts. Jane of course was so endearing and quirky - definitely different from Jane in the book, but believably the modern version. Mr. Rochester had a wonderful sense of humor and it was evident from the beginning how much he cared about Jane. Their romance was so sweet and developed very well throughout the videos. The Rivers were also believable surprisingly - I mean especially when it came to the St. John character - now called Simon. St. John in the book would be very difficult to modernize I think - because he's so zealous and religious, selfless but selfish. They made Simon a little bit too dorky and cute, but he was also stubborn and unsympathetic to others which fit. There were some changes made when it comes to Grace that made the story work very well, and a new character - Suzana - would often steal the show with her sassiness.
It is disappointing that towards the end they had to recast the actor who played Rochester which leads to a sort of rushed and incomplete ending. I think they did the best they could, but for a series that has done such a wonderful job bringing so much of Jane Eyre to life, it's unfortunate they left out so much of the ending.
This adaptation had it's ups and downs for me, but I always felt there was a lot of love for this book in every episode, and the writing and the story planning was often exceptional in adapting the book. I was always happy to get a new episode and it was such a great experience getting a little dose of Jane's story every week.