Series title: From Mansfield With Love
Created by: Foot in the Door Theatre
Starring: Holly Truslove
Elevator pitch: Frankie Price is just your average, everyday stuck-in-a-rut young woman with no idea what she’s doing with her life…until changes start happening and she realizes that she has to change too.
Features: epic character arcs, strong female characters, brilliant set, friends-to-lovers, learning to forgive, building confidence, montages, sibling relationships, humor, AMAZING leading lady, broken hearts, growing up, discussion about socioeconomic inequality
It took me an unbelievably long time to get into this show because I was intimidated by how many episodes there were. But a friend kept raving about it on Twitter and I finally decided to give it a shot. Almost immediately I was angry at holding out on myself; how could it have taken me so long to start this truly amazing series?! Frankie is immediately lovable, an awkward young woman feeling stuck in the same place day after day. Her fear of change means that she boxes herself into unhappiness, and it takes the video blogs to her brother Will for her to actually take a good hard look at her life.
After years of working at the hotel Mansfield Park, she’s become a part of the family, and what a family it is. Rebel drunkard and filmmaker Tom Bertram, yearning-for-an-adventure Julia, bold and blinded Rhea, and, of course, Frankie’s best friend: the future English teacher Ed. Ed’s character arc is one of the best alongside Frankie’s, because as she learns to stand up for herself he becomes aware of how many times he speaks for her and over her and actually attempts to change. The ensemble is a shining highlight of the series, as the audience sees both their good sides and their bad sides. Tom’s wild and creative friend Yates turns Mansfield Park upside down with his shenanigans. Rhea’s other half, the oblivious yet welcoming Rory, brings refreshing laughter to a family that can be quite argumentative. Henry Crawford and Mary Crawford both start out as dismissive, arrogant, and unwilling to see the affects of their actions on other people. Yet they too undergo serious character reflection and change.
There is something also to be said of how Jane Austen’s novel has been adapted. Not only have the characters become stronger (especially the woman) but in making Mansfield Park a business rather than a household, the creators were able to explain the presence of the Crawfords - representatives of Crawford Designs and in charge of construction of the hotel - and give Frankie a job rather than just having her inexplicably staying for years in one place. Since the series was filmed in England, the creators also got the chance to use some absolutely amazing indoor and outdoor sets.
This series will make you rethink your relationships and inspire you to stand up for yourself. Even if you are unfamiliar with or didn’t like the book, I highly, highly recommend this webseries.