So, it’s Friday and like always, if a person cannot have fun on a Friday, then when can we, right?! This leads into today’s post in which I ramble about the two Austen-inspired web series, Emma Approved vs. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
If for some odd reason the pop culture phenomenon of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries somehow escapes showing up on any of your social media timelines, let me then introduce you to Emma Woodhouse. No, not the Emma you may think you know. This Emma is a contemporary woman, driven and set on documenting her greatness. On the Internet. Yes, you guessed it, she is the newest Austen heroine whose world the creators of LBD have invited us into.
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Emma is one of the most frustrating characters (who winks in this – a lot!) Jane probably ever wrote. She’s lovable and cute and fun but underneath that, she has a meddlesome personality that the wrong sort of person wouldn’t understand. This web video throws many of the normal relationships upside down while maintaining a semblance of familiarity that is easily recognizable. Emma is a now a matchmaker extraordinaire at her father’s company where Mr. Alex Knightley is in charge of the day-to-day business. Documenting her “greatness” is Emma’s latest fad which is where the series begins. Through Skype calls and web conversations, we meet Emma.
This past summer, you may remember that I also admitted to finally watching the first ten episodes of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and needless to say, I sufficiently gushed about the webisodes. Since then, I’d not gone back to watch the rest and only recently did
I gather all 100 episodes to put together and over two weekends, I actually got through them all. After that I watched all nine of the so-far Emma Approved episodes and it’s got me thinking: Which series do I like better?
From a production standpoint, “Emma” wins. We get different angles and new perspectives in Emma’s world as well as a warm albeit professional setting. The wardrobe is also “better” which makes perfect sense considering the differences in not just personalities but social classes. It’s clever how each character has been introduced (Annie a.k.a Mrs. Weston is a friend; Harriet as Emma’s loyal, hard-working assistant – seriously I do love this girl, she’s good for Emma’s ego which that girl does not need; Frank Churchill as a brother instead of son) though unlike Darcy, Knightley’s intro is very anti-climactic – something that makes perfect sense considering he’s a present part of Emma’s life.
This then leads me into the personable nature of each web series. Hands down, I think the LBD have that won in spades. Lizzie’s diaries were much more relatable and also had a simple, easy-to-like quality to them. If there is one thing that did surprise me, it’s Darcy’s intro. After so much build-up, it seems a tiny bit “flat,” however that didn’t stop me from grinning like a fool while viewing the pivotal episode. (Plus, come on, any girl who gushes over Doctor Who will not be able to resist Darcy’s bow-tie adorableness.) Of course, I like how his reintroduction into Lizzie’s life was filmed (way to tease us, LBD!) as well as Gigi’s appearance. Jane, Lydia, Charlotte, Bing and Fitz are also irresistible in their own way; and I seriously love Lizzie’s personality as well as the ending. Naturally something we love makes us sad to see go, however this “tacked-on” ending was too cute. Emma Approved just doesn’t have that same sparkle.
For anyone who hasn’t seen either one of these yet or hasn’t tried Emma Approved because of feelings for LBD – so far, “Emma” is much cleaner. I’ve a feeling that perhaps it won’t stay that way however thus far, there has been very little objectionable content. To be fair, Emma hasn’t had a chance to prove herself to the fullest extent yet considering she hasn’t even met LBD halfway. Here’s
hoping that Emma’s personality shifts and begins to work for the good rather than the meddlesome. Fortunately for us, the loyal YouTube followers, we have an inside scoop that with maturity she does indeed change; and get a happy ending of her own. Take a peek at Emma Approved, episode one – “I am Emma Woodhouse.”