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Pride and Prejudice (1980) pt 3 of 25

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Back to Part 2!

Jane's bedroom. Jane lounges on the bed wearing a frilly nonsexy nightcap and a nonsexy nightgown, while Bets has let her hair down and is sporting a sexy, if probably wrong period, corset. I mean, the sort of dresses Elizabeth wears in this movie have high waists and décolletage(s?), so there's really no need for her to wear a waist-reducing corset at all. Long corsets were to promote good posture. I can't tell from the video if Bets is squeezing her in the middle or not.

Anyway, Jane gushing "Such ease ... such manners ... such perfect breeding!" I don't think that the Jaw is capable of breeding, what with his robot heritage. Oh, she's talking about Angry Sean Austin. The way he got her punch! The dances he danced some of the time with her! The angry words he angrily spat at the Jaw! Such perfect party-going!

Bets informs Jane that she doesn't find fault in enough people. "I always say what I think!" claims Jane. I can't live in a word where Bets is the most attractive person in the room. Take that horrible hat off, Jane. "That is the wonder of it!" Bets replies, and says she disliked the Bingley sisters, who were on screen for about three seconds. Jane reports that she warmed up to them, and she was so surprised by all the positive attention she got from the Bingley family. "That is the wonder of it," Bets says for the second time in the same scene. Bets sits on the side of the bed so we can get some hot Regency sister-on-sister-corset-action. Oh, lace me up tight so I can go to bed restricted and unable to breathe! They start talking about the Jaw randomly, and Jane calls him horrible, which disproves what Bets just said about Jane never seeing fault in anyway. Bets theorizes that Angry Sean Austin hangs around the Jaw hoping for his old-money aura to rub off on him. "The Bingley fortune, after all, has been acquired by trade, unlike [the Jaw's]," Bets says. How does she know this? Does she subscribe to Forbes? Jane points out that at least Angry Sean Austin is likable, whereas everybody fucking hates the Jaw. Somebody tells Jane that she doesn't find enough fault and she starts overcompensating.

After a retarded transition, we learn that the Netherfieldians are still up and playing cards. Presumably this is the same night as the ball. The Jaw states that none of his interest subroutines were activated during the entire night. Moreover, he only detected an average of 17% fashion sensibility in the Merytonians, 27% below the mean of Great Britain. It is beyond his processing unit to comprehend why Angry Sean Austin had what is known to humans as a "pleasurable time." And he must have hit his head or something, because his GPS navigation system is all messed up: "This place is the end of the world, [Angry Sean Austin]. And they retire so early!" The Jaw does not not believe in retirement. The Jaw will work until his gears wear down.

Angry Sean Austin defensively whines that he likes Craphole, Hertfordshire. "A man must have an estate of his own!" he says. Unlike a robot, which only requires an electrical outlet. Then Angry Sean Austin starts moaning over Jane, in direct parallel with the above scene because the screenwriter only knows of one way to write period dialog: "Such ease! Such manners! Such beauty! Such kindness!" Such teeth!

"She smiles too much," the Jaw says vaguely. "I'm sure I wished I smiled more, but at what? Life's so dull!" Miss Bingley whines. She has a bottle of champagne and a pistol in her bedroom. That's all I'm saying. Then the remaining Bingleys and Bingley in-laws recite the following lines in the same, hilariously bored tones:

Mrs. Hurst: She is a sweeeeeeeeeeet girl?
Miss Bingley: I quiiiiiite liiiiked her.
Mrs. Hurst: One must converse with someone I dare say?
[Mary Bennet: One coughs when one must, does not one?]
Mr. Hurst: That is soooooo. Especially when one is in the country-side.

The Jaw breaks into this circle-jerk of yawns and superiority to announce that Jane has been approved, by a majority of shareholders in Angry Sean Austin's balls, to be a "sweet girl." Angry Sean Austin is now allowed to think about her. "But not aloud," the Jaw adds, before Angry Sean Austin can launch into a speech about the virtues of the toothy maiden. No wonder Angry Sean Austin has such bottled-up hostility.

Longbourn. "What is a ball, if not to be talked over?" Kitty says. Wait, wait, I know this one! A writing desk? A raven? The Bennet girls, plus Charlotte, launch into a ReCrap of the ball. They don't really need to regurgitate the earlier scenes in such detail. That's what I'm here for. Rumors are swapped about the Jaw's increasingly exaggerated rudeness. Jane breaks in here to say that Angry Sean Austin told her that the Jaw is not programmed to be a big talker. "Jaaaaaaaaaaane!" everyone moans. Who let her out of the basement? Charlotte interjects that the Jaw, with such a fine pedigree and a shiny extended warranty, has a right to be a proud jerkoff. Bets has something to say about this, but I missed it because I was distracted by her neck-high lace-ruffed green-spotted dress. I had a nightgown that looked just like that! When I was six. I'm so busy puking that I also missed Mary's little speech here about bail bonds or whatever.

Lucas Lodge. Party. Charlotte and Bets sit on an ottoman or something, watching Angry Sean Austin flirt with Jane. I have to mention fashion here: while Bets is wearing a bright yellow dress that is sort of crazily pastel and makes her look like an Easter egg, she comes off better than Charlotte, who is wearing a pink, lace dress. Everything Charlotte's ever worn looks like it was designed for a three-year-old. I think the dress is also affecting her brains, because she is talking like Bets said that she tries to hide all attraction she feels towards men, which is totally out of character for Elizabeth and there's no way that the screenwriter wouldn't have understood this, right? Right?

Charlotte advises Bets to tell Jane to totally whore herself out to Angry Sean Austin, because men have no self-esteem and are put off by the smallest thing, so there's not chance of getting them to stick around for a long-term relationship without a little bit of play-acting. Charlotte is the smartest person in this miniseries. Bets is like, "Whatever, man, I don't even want a rich good-looking husband anyway. I'm going to sweep streets," and Charlotte is like, "Speaking of rich people who want to bone you, the Jaw has been stalking you all evening." Charlotte and Bets resolve to be mean to the Jaw.

So they walk up to him and Bets says, "Do you not think, [your Jawsomeness], that I expressed myself remarkably well just now?" "You were talking of dancing. That always renders a woman eloquent," the Jaw replies. Ha ha ha ha ha! He wasn't eavesdropping on them at all! Charlotte leaps in to announce that Bets has to play the piano now. "You are a strange creature by way of a friend, Charlotte! Always wanting me to play and sing before anybody and everybody! If my vanity had taken a musical turn, you would have proved in valuable! But as it is ... oh, very well. There is a fine old saying, Mr. [Robot], with which everybody is familiar: 'keep your breath to cool your porridge.' I shall keep mine to swell my song." How 'bout you keep your breath by NOT LAUNCHING INTO SPEECHES LIKE THIS! What was that, a full minute? Christ!

And, now - she sings! She plays the piano! She teases robots! Triple threat! The piano-playing is clearly faked, but the singing might be real. It's strange to see Bets try to sing and smile at the same time. They always told us not to do that in choir, because it distorts the sound or something. The Jaw slowly strolls around the room. After all, his figure appears to best advantage while walking. If the Jaw had been programmed to feel the sensation of pleasure, he would be feeling it right about now. Unfortunately, he is only programmed to feel the URGE TO END HUMAN LIFE!

Bets ends her song; during the applause, Mary skittles forward and begins to - but what's this? Guys, I don't believe. A bunch of people are just outside my dorm, with protest signs and little flyers - hang on a second, I can see it out the door.

Oh, they say "The Society for the Protection of Our Mary." Must be some Catholic group. Their logo looks like a pair of glasses and a book, and - no, it's not Catholics! They're pro-Mary Bennet protestors! One is holding a sign that says, "Mary Bennet Had Few Other Choices" and another one says something like "Lizzy is a rich [wife?]" but it's hard to make out. They're yelling "Volume I, Chapter 6, Paragraph 22!" It's not very catchy, but I just looked it up, and it obviously refers to this:

"Mary['s] vanity had given her application ... Elizabeth ... had ... not play[ed] half so well ... "

It looks like I am nefariously changing the meaning, but I swear I'm not. I just shortened it to make it clearer. The protestors are right. Mary should be a better player than Elizabeth, but she is clearly worse. Poor Mary just can't get a break, can she? Halfway through her song, a fiddle starts playing, which is just rude, rude, rude. RUDE!

When the torment is over, Sir William, who looks and sounds a little bit like a reanimated corpse, approaches the Jaw. He's like, "Dancing is awesome! And a sign of a polished society!" "Every savage dances," the Jaw contradicts. And they have natural rhythm. Sir William grabs Bets, and he's like "surely you can't resist with such an Easter egg before you!" Bets says that she doesn't want to dance, thank you, and Sir William gets stuck in some kind of loop where all he can do is yell out "Mr. Darcy!" and "Miss Eliza!" The Jaw is bored out of his positronic brain. He could be calculating nuclear strikes on third-world countries right now. What a waste of his processing power.

Miss Bingley runs up to the Jaw. She wants to play the "Guess what I'm thinking!" game with him, not realizes that as a robot, the workings of his mechanical mind can not be classified as "thoughts." So naturally she loses when she guesses that he's thinking about ways to destroy the Meryton village in under 3.5 seconds. No, he's thinking about the exact amount of pleasure that a pair of fine eyes would, theoretically, give him. It's 17 wookiees of pleasure. "When am I to wish you joy?" Miss Bingley cries. The Jaw rolls his laser beams and complains that girls always assume you're going to become woman and robot even if it's just a tiny inclination towards someone. Actually, Miss Bingley was inquiring when the Jaw would have his emotions chip installed, so the question was completely logical. Miss Bingley points to Mrs. Bennet: "She has fine eyes too! Or had." The Jaw turns away. He has just experienced what we humans call "nausea."
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On September 12th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC), cicipsychobunny commented:
I love how catty Miss Bingley is! Still no Anna Chancellor though.
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On September 12th, 2007 12:57 pm (UTC), redcoast replied:
Yeah, and she talks weird.
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On September 13th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC), cicipsychobunny replied:
Oh, and the actors are all scaring me because they all look familiar, but when I IMDB them I don't recognise any of their other roles. Curse the British!
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On September 12th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC), rowen_r commented:
Thank you for posting this! Work had left me tired, grumpy, and dangerously close to turning into Bernard Black, and this was just what I needed.
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On September 12th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC), redcoast replied:
What's Bernard Black?
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On September 13th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC), rowen_r replied:
Oh, he's this unkempt, misanthropic, wine-addicted bookshop owner off the tv programme Black Books. (Which is well watching, if you ever get the chance).
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On September 14th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC), redcoast replied:
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On September 15th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC), rowen_r replied:
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On September 15th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC), redcoast replied:
There's a JPEG of a statue of a woman in the search results.

Actually, I have a friend who uses a picture of him as an icon. I had no idea.
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On October 29th, 2007 08:27 am (UTC), revolution25 commented:
lol all this talk of robots makes me actually want to see an adaptation with Darcy as a robot. When Jane comes to London he could do that "Dave's (Bingley) not here..." It would be one of the weirdest things to see, a robot in Regency era England, but it would be so weird it would automatically be awesome.
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On October 29th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC), redcoast replied:
You know I think you're right. It would be, like, steampunkish or something.
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On April 22nd, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC), serenoli commented:
So... when's the next recap of this P&P coming up? Because I went and bought all the DVDs after reading your recaps :D and I enjoyed them a lot... in a snarky way...
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On April 22nd, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC), redcoast replied:

Well, to be honest, I was having some pretty severe mental issues and then my computer broke. (WRYYYY? NOT THE COMPUTER!!!) Well, now my brain is fixed but my computer is not, and I won't have the money to fix it until ... let's see ... there's a check "in the mail" and when I get that I can bring my computer to the store and they will have to order parts and then when they fix it I can finish the recap. So we're looking at like 2 weeks at least, because I expected that check like 2 weeks ago.

I am quite sorry about all this, but sometimes I have to prioritize to avoid complete insanity. I did write a parody of "Sweeney Todd" recently, maybe that'll tide you over?
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On April 23rd, 2008 10:30 am (UTC), serenoli replied:
Hey, hey, don't be sorry... I just wanted to make sure you hadn't got bored and given up the project altogether!

Glad to hear your brain's fixed (what a way of putting it!) and yep, the other recaps you did on the site ARE very good compensation. Hope you get your cheque soon, and kudos on all the good work...
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