Pride and Prejudice project: Charles Bingley / Bing Lee
Bingley is harder to do for me then Lizzie and Jane were, because I’m not really sure yet which one is my favorite. I’m hoping that writing this will help me decide which adaptation I like best. Mr.Bingley was played by Crispin Bonham-Carter in the 1995 series, Simon Woods in the 2005 movie, Tom Mison in Lost in Austen and Christopher Sean in TheLBD, where he has been renamed Bing Lee. This might contain a few spoilers.
Physically, Bingley is not really described in the book, other than the fact that he is quite handsome. On that criteria only, I guess we could say that all four of those actors fill the part well enough, though I personally prefer Simon Woods by far. I know that in today’s society Christopher Sean is probably the one most people would prefer, but he is just really not my type. Some more hardcore P&P fans could find it weird that he is Asian, but I really like what they did with his name so I don’t have a problem with it. Really, the only reason I have to say I like Simon best of them is because he’s ginger and I like that.
Personality wise, this is pretty hard for me, because I’ve never really noticed any great difference from one Bingley to the other like I did for the different Lizzies or the different Janes. The one thing that always bugged me about one of them though, is the very first time we see Crispin’s Bingley in the 1995 series, when he says to Darcy “She (Jane) is the most beautiful creature I ever behold!” I just don’t believe him. He almost seams angry or something and it just feels fake to me. Re-watching the series to do this, I noticed that it feels that way a lot. I don’t know if Crispin is a bad actor or if I just don’t understand what he was doing with the character, but I just can’t get myself to like him very much.
I’m not sure what I think of Lost in Austen’s Bingley. Since the story derives so much from the original one, we can only guess how the different characters would react to the events going on, so everyone can decide for their own whether they think Charles reactions are well done or not. I don’t really know how I stand on it. I think most of it is done well enough, but I really don’t think the ending is believable. As much as I found it really sweet that he would leave everything and go to America with Jane, I really don’t think Bingley would actually do that. I could be wrong, however, but we’ll never know for sure unless someone invents a time machine and goes back to ask Jane Austen herself. None the less, this is enough for me to say Tom isn’t my favorite Charles Bingley.
That leaves me with the tough choice of Simon Woods VS. Christopher Sean. I always loved Simon’s Bingley because he’s just exactly how I imagined that character. He’s kind of stupid, but in a sweet way and always so happy. I love how you can hear him giggle during the whole scene when Caroline makes Lizzie take a turn about the room. On the other hand, Christopher’s Bing Lee is really nice too. He’s really sweet and funny and just plain adorable. I also like that they made him a med student, which means he’s actually pretty smart, yet he’s still really naïve, which is so cute! And both of them are just so adorable when they do that thing where Bingley says something and then realises it sounds weird and tries to correct what he said, but just ends up digging himself deeper.
I really can’t decide which one of them is my favorite Bingley. If it’s about the one that’s more like I imagined him from the book, then Simon wins, but if it’s the one I personally like the best, I think I have to go with Christopher Sean. Can I call it a tie? OH! I know! I can say that Simon Woods is my favorite Mr.Bingley, but Christopher Sean is my favorite Bing Lee… Can I do that? No? Ok… Tie then.
So, I hope you enjoyed that! I’m so happy that these things are being well received. I was thinking that the next one would be about Lydia, but I might do Wickham instead in honor of him being back in town in TheLBD. I do have a lot more to say about him then about Lydia anyway.