Thursday, September 18, 2014

Web Series Review: Emma Approved

Series: Emma Approved
# of episodes: 72
Rating: 4.75/5 stars- I think might love this more than LBD??!!

Synopsis (as found on the Pemberly Digital page):

Pemberley Digital presents Emma Approved, a full-­length adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic Emma.  The series follows the iconic Emma Woodhouse, re-imagined as a young brilliant entrepreneur who runs a life coaching and matchmaking business with her business partner and lifelong friend Alex Knightley.
As Emma’s elaborate schemes to make everyone’s lives better lead to unexpected dramas and revelations, she learns to listen to the people around her and open her own heart to the possibility of love.


*this review comes to you from a girl who is only halfway through Emma. Therefore, comparisons between the book and series will not be made. 

Going into this series, I obviously had high expectations, because of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. (Emmy worthy need I remind you) 

My impression when I watched the first episode that there was a lot of room for character growth. Emma, while I loved her sassiness, had a couple things to learn. (Like those khakis were actually pretty hot *cough)

Over the weeks, I grew to love this wild and confident character who was unnervingly loyal to her friends, and tries to do the right thing, even though her ways may be a little twisted.

Joanna Sotomura plays Emma with such earnest and honesty. I loved her portrayal of Emma, and she and Brent Bailey had some serious chemistry. (Probably because they became a real life couple halfway)

Speaking of Brent Bailey, his portrayal of Knightley was AMAZING. Of all the characters, I think he had the most realistic feeling to him and one of the most enjoyable adaptations of Knightley.

The story arc was pretty well done, with the hiatuses timed in well with the storyline. I liked how we had a set arc for each month and how everything came together, the transmedia (I was kind of on and off on the transmedia side of things though) and the characters.

If you guys know, Emma Approved is set in the same universe as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and the little shoutouts to the series is great, and a character from the Lizzie Bennet Diaries returns to make a forceful impact to this series. I think that story arc where that character returns is probably my favourite because I feel like that created the most character growth.

In terms of transmedia, personally I really enjoyed Emma's blog. I think it emphasized her "lifestyle excellence" side of her character and it was really cute and fun. It's also a really great way for some fans to be able to purchase what those characters wear. (because sometimes you see a character on TV or wherever wear a shirt you want SO MUCH but you have no clue where to find it)

I feel like Emma Approved being a series coming after The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was bound to have them compared. While I think Emma Approved maybe not be as widely everybody's cup of tea as The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was, I personally enjoyed Emma Approved a whole lot more. Maybe it was just really good casting, but I feel like the bonds between these characters are much stronger and there's so much more humour in this series. The characters are also much more unique. Aside from Lizzie, most of the other characters are very similar to the original novel (and yes I have read P&P shocker, I know) and it was very much just simply a modern adaptation, which of course made it successful because who doesn't love faithful adaptations. I think Emma Approved was more risky and creative, and for me, it really paid of, because Emma has a lovability in this series that I don't feel in the book (as least as far as the book I've gotten) and Alex is like 50 times more interesting.

As for Harriet and B-Mart I really liked them as well, although Harriet's character was sometimes so timid that I actually wondered how she's managed to not get taken advantage by other people all this time... but she did become a stronger character, and while her character growth was a bit slow, it did happen.

This series was much shorter than The Lizzie Bennet Diaries but it was just as enjoyable, if not more in my opinion. I think it's definitely worth checking out, and if you're a little put off by Emma's character at the beginning, I really encourage you to stick through and see it unfold. I hope that a continuation will continue (it's in the talks from what I've heard) and I would probably leap for joy if it did.

(Also, no need to wait until episode 98 guys... hehe)


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