For most people, ‘Holiday’ movies mean a certain selection of flicks: Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone. And these are great movies, don’t get me wrong. But I’ll tell you what, none of them hold a candle to the beloved BBC miniseries of Pride & Prejudice, first aired way back in 1995.
WHY am I including this in the cannon of Holiday movie fare? Not sure—but to me, P&P is now something I think of when this time of year rolls around… I’m not sure when it happened (but I have a feeling it first happened when I saw his beautiful grounds at Pemberly ( Jane Austen fans, that’s for you)).
But seriously, when else will you have time to indulge in 6 hours of glorious Edwardian-era parlour-politics and courtship but during the Christmas-New Year’s-Winter break period? As a teenager and college student, it became a yearly winter break ritual to cozy up on the couch with my sister and other loved ones maniacally sing along with the spritely piano-based intro theme song as we delved into several hours of Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth being totally hot and awesome.
If you’re not familiar with this particular version of Pride & Prejudice, and mistakenly think of the Keira Knightley version when I refer to the movie….GET OUT NOW. GET. OUT.
Sorry. Didn’t mean to alienate you guys…I just can’t with that version. It’s fine, it’s serviceable…but Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet is (as Elizabeth Bennett herself would say) insufferable. You haven’t seen a true incarnation of these amazingly written characters until you watch the BBC version. The six-part series captures the wit, intelligence, and nuance of the original book in a way that a roughly 120-minute Hollywood vehicle just can’t.
So, if you’re looking for something different to watch this holiday season…something engrossing, uplifting, amusing and witty (I have more fawning adjectives but I’ll stop there)…do give this series a try. It could become your next yearly tradition.