Everyone who has ever read fanfiction must be acquainted with the concept of Mary Sue. Why fan fiction and not fiction? Because professional authors don’t have this problem! It’s something that happens to 13 years old home writers of Harry Potter’s mysterious encounters with Draco Malfoy.

Or so I thought before I looked through the iTV press release for their new mini series. It seems that one doesn’t have to be 13 years old to be a freshman and find themselves – no, not Lost in Warszawa – Lost in Austen!

The authors’ original idea about coming with an original idea by marrying original ideas of others (Austen’s DNA in conjugal bliss with Life on Mars) is already discussed by John Sutherland in the Guardian. I, however, would like to focus on their prime achievement: their ORIGINAL CHARACTER Amanda Price is a superior human being.

Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price

Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price

Don’t read further if you don’t want to have the Lost in Austen tv series spoilt for you. What follows is a list, the list, I should say, of characteristics that make Mary Sues all over the world blush in their inferiority.

You Know That You Created Mary Sue When…

  • …Mr. Bennet likes your OC so much that he doesn’t miss his favourite daughter
  • …Jane becomes your OC’s best friend
  • …Lydia and Kitty think that your OC is a hoot
  • …Mr. Bingley falls in love with your OC at first sight, and forgets about Jane altogether as he goes with your OC for a snog during the Meryton Assembly
  • …the only characters that don’t like your OC are Mrs. Bennet and Caroline Bingley, plus some rejected lovers
  • …Mr. Collins falls hard for your OC and proposes at once
  • …Wickham can’t keep his hands away from your OC
  • …Darcy softens to your OC as she sings Downtime a capella
  • …the negative characters are truly evil to your OC
  • …Lady Catherine thinks that your OC is great, even though she doesn’t approve of her nephew’s relationship with her
  • …your OC uses all of the best Lizzy’s lines from the book, so that Darcy could get with her to the lake point below
  • …Darcy jumps into his freezing lake (model Pemberley BBC ’95) in order to declare his undying love for your OC

I guess that some minor notions, like that your OC is both a romantic and spunky character, miserable and tragic too boot, and has to tell everyone around what to do, even though they don’t understand her and do mistreat her so much, goes without saying. Did I mention that everyone thinks her just like Lizzy and very beautiful?

Don’t worry that the sweet and irresistible Amanda is going to steal all of the novel’s characters. As a Mary Sue without fault, I’m sure she has all of the goodness and naivety in the world, and so all of the attentions are unwanted and unasked for. It is simply unavoidable that, since she is so wonderful and so ORIGINAL, everybody must fall for her. Once she has her way, she might even refuse the marriage proposal of the handsome and courteous Darcy, and graciously leave the leftovers of what was once the great dashing hero of British literature over to one Elizabeth Bennet. What a pity that not so dashing or great any longer, since one can’t seriously respect a man who fell for Mary Sue, can one?

Guess what the producers of Lost in Austen say about their Amanda?

Everybody is going to love her!!!

It’s the simplest, the most unassuming definition of Mary Sue I ever heard!

I am happy, truly happy for the authors’ self-confidence and contentment. There was no waste of their education. They earn their money the best way they can.

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