I was craving to watch something like Sex and the Austen Girl and was thrilled to discover it on the Jane Austen Addict blog. The series appealed to me right away because it appeared to be a cute, Austen-Sex and the City-inspired series.
What: What if a Jane Austen fan from the 21st century switched bodies with a young woman from 1813 England? Each super short episode features a conversation between Courtney Stone and Jane Mansfield comparing the social conventions of modern life to those from Jane Austen’s time.
When: Courtney Stone is stuck in her family’s drawing room in Regency England and Jane Mansfield lives in a neighbourhood of Los Angeles in 2010.
Why: What would they find different or exactly the same about love, relationships, marriage and sex? What does it mean to be a woman now versus during Jane Austen’s time? What life is better?
Who: The web series was created by Babelgum Comedy and is inspired by the books Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. In the series, Courtney Stone is played by actress Arabella Field and Jane Mansfield is played by actress Fay Masterson.
Sex and the Austen Girl is great because the episodes are only around three minutes long, so you can get through the series very quickly. I love our ability to watch everything on the internet and on demand, so I would watch/listen to a couple of episodes before bed on my phone or put it on the laptop while prepping things in the kitchen (if kids weren’t around).
Courtney and Jane talk about everything from love, courtship, marriage to clothing, cleanliness and technology. All of the things that would concern a woman in either time period. The producers used a documentary-style format so sometimes the ladies spoke to each other and other times they spoke to the camera. I found their discussions amusing, but never laugh out loud funny. Sometimes it felt like their on-camera dialogue went on too long.
Overall, I liked the concept and the characters in Sex and the Jane Austen Girl. But while contrasting the two time periods is interesting, I think the audience would have a fair idea of what would be said and that is where my interest started to lag. It probably would have been more interesting not just to hear the characters talk about their experiences in a new time period, but to see them have these experiences. Isn’t that what makes a series like Lost In Austen so wonderful? I think the audience wants to see that fish out of water flapping around.