My wife and I spent the last two Sunday evenings watching the BBC dramatization of P.D. James's Death Comes to Pemberly, which, as you probably know, is both a murder mystery and a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I haven't read the book, and it's been a long time since I read P&P, so I can't comment on the success or failure of James's work. The TV version was enjoyable, though if you think I sound slightly unenthusiastic, you're right.
But there was one scene that struck me as unforgiveably bad and out of place. I don't know whether it came from James or was inserted by the BBC folks. I'm pretty sure Jane Austen would have been horrified. Elizabeth and Darcy are talking intensely. They move closer to each other. Suddenly Elizabeth begins to tear at Darcy's clothes, then he at hers, and down they go onto a handy sofa.
I laughed out loud, and it was completely spontaneous. A scene like this seems to be as essential to modern television and movies as a gunfight was to a Western, and has become even more predictable and dull. Somehow seeing it inserted into what we were supposed to think was Jane Austen's world struck me as very funny. It could not have seemed more out of place if Elizabeth had lapsed into teenage-girl-speak. Which, come to think of it, might be even funnier, except that it would probably be impossible to render the complex thoughts of Austen's characters in a deliberately moronic argot.