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Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's (Benjamin Whitrow and Alison Steadman) five unmarried daughters (Susannah Harker, Jennifer Ehle, Lucy Briers, Polly Maberly, Julia Sawalha) after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley (Crispin Bonham-Carter) and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth. The New York Times called the adaptation "a witty mix of love stories and social conniving, cleverly wrapped in the ambitions and illusions of a provincial gentry".
Critically acclaimed and a popular success, Pride and Prejudice was honoured with several awards, including a BAFTA Television Award for Jennifer Ehle for "Best Actress" and an Emmy for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Costume Design for a Miniseries or a Special". The role of Mr. Darcy elevated Colin Firth to stardom. A scene showing Firth in a wet shirt was recognised as "one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV history". The serial inspired author Helen Fielding to write the popular Bridget Jones novels; the screen adaptations featured Firth as Bridget's love interest Mark Darcy.