On Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice: The Reality Show

By Joyce Millman

ANNOUNCER: You’ve seen The Bachelor. You’ve seen Survivor. You’ve seen Joe Millionaire, but you won’t admit it. Now, from the creators of Sense and Sensibility and Fear Factor, comes a reality show that has as much romance, backstabbing and exhibitionism as those other shows–but with British accents, so you don’t have to be embarrassed about watching it! American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest hosts . . . Pride and Prejudice!

Week One

[A pretty young woman in a Regency-era gown and bonnet strolls in a country garden.]

RYAN SEACREST: [Voiceover] Bachelorette Elizabeth Bennet, age not above one-and-twenty, has a quick mind, a lively manner and a pleasing appearance. But she’s no society heiress, so her marriage prospects are looking dim. Lizzy’s really going to have to work that lively manner if she wants to hook up with somebody rich and hot. Otherwise, her mom will marry her off to the first boring old dude who’ll have her.

MRS. BENNET: [To the camera] I do not know what to do about Lizzy. She is so contrary! I am always telling her, “Lizzy, put down that book; no husband wants a wife who can read!” Am I not always telling her that, Mr. Bennet?

MR. BENNET: [Dryly] Lizzy is a horrid girl.

MRS. BENNET: [To the camera] Now, my eldest daughter, Jane, is much more obedient. And so agreeably weak and pale! I am teaching her how to swoon. “Jane,” I told her, “No gentleman can resist a lady when she’s unconscious!” She will be  …

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