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Which Mr. Darcy Is the Best Mr. Darcy?

This post was originally published in February 2016

I recently saw the marvel of cinema that is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and let me tell you, there was no shortage of kickass ladies in corsets firing muskets at the undead. There was, however, a shortage of adequate Darcy. Personally, I just didn’t believe this Darcy. He wasn’t Darcy enough for my liking. I was able to look past it because I was sufficiently distracted by the fact that Cersei Lannister was playing Lady Catherine and the Eleventh Doctor was playing Mr. Collins, but it got me wondering: who is the best Mr. Darcy to ever have Darcied? When was Darcy at his Darciest? We’re going to go look deep inside ourselves to examine four interpretations of Mr. Darcy, and none of us are leaving until we’ve reached a verdict.

Darcy #1, from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016 movie)
Fitzwilliam “YOUR BANGS ARE BANGIN'” Darcy, played by Sam Riley

– Related: he looks like he should be in Fall Out Boy.
– He sounds a little bit like he is gargling gravel.
– Can confirm: he only smiled once over the course of this entire movie. I know Darcy as a character is not exactly jaunty, but even when he was kissing Elizabeth I got the sense that he was secretly thinking, “THIS IS SUCH A WASTE OF TIME, I COULD HAVE BEHEADED AT LEAST SIX OF THEM BY NOW.”
– Bingley calls him Fitz, which isn’t his fault, but I like him less because of it.

– Can kill zombies. Major plus. Will take this into consideration.

Darcy #2, from Pride and Prejudice (2005 movie)
Fitzwilliam “SAD PUPPY MAN” Darcy, played by Matthew Macfadyen

– The look he was going for here is called “the saddest puppy in all the lands.”
– When he’s professing his love to Elizabeth out in the rain (and risking ALL MANNER OF ILLNESS REQUIRING BED REST), he looks like a puppy that somebody left in the gutter. This makes me incredibly unhappy.
– I want to give him a biscuit.
– Just looks kind of droopy, y’know what I mean?

– Somehow still pulls off the “strong and silent” thing. How does he do this.
– His penmanship is excellent.
– Does he even know how to button up a shirt? I hope not.

Darcy #3, from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
William “SUSPENDERS” Darcy, played by Daniel Vincent Gordh

– Is he too perfectly handsome? All logic points to maybe.
– Kind of stiff.
– Looks like someone who Google image searched “hipster” and dressed accordingly.

– Not actually a slimy, unfeeling, sociopathic robot. Nice.
– Tall. He is a veritable skyscraper of a man.
– Seriously, his cheekbones are like finely chiseled marble.

Pride and Prejudice (1995 TV mini-series)
Fitzwilliam “THE OG” Darcy, played by Colin Firth

– ???

– He sure knows how to wear a white blouse.
– Sideburns.
– Can jump into a pond like nobody’s business.
– I like a man who’s soaking wet and wearing knee-length breeches.
– His mouth says “She’s not handsome enough to tempt me” but his ocean-deep bedroom eyes say “LET ME LOVE YOU, LIZZIE.”
– Did I mention iconic?
– He’s Colin freakin’ Firth.
– I want twelve of him.

The verdict: Colin Firth wins, as he tends to do. That said, I think the ideal state of Darcy would be an almost unholy hybrid of aloof hotness combining the zombie-killing prowess of Bangs Darcy, the penmanship of Sad Puppy Darcy, the cheekbones of Suspenders Darcy, and the soaked pantaloons of the OG Darcy.

What say you, Sparklers? Which Darcy strikes your Darcy fancy?

Image credits from top down: Lionsgate, Focus Features, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries/Youtube, BBC1