Smitten: Emma Approved

knightley emma approved


knightley emma approvedI owe it to reading Emma with the NovelTea Book Club to give me the nudge that I needed in catching up with the latest Jane Austen webseries adaptation from Pemberley Digital. Fans of the hit Lizzie Bennet Diaries will recognize the video blog-style webseries format, but for those of you new to Pemberley Digital, let me explain.

Emma Approved is an adaptation of the Austen classic, Emma. It’s not a straight adaptation, however; Emma Approved brings heroine Emma Woodhouse into the modern era as she chronicles her career as a life coach and matchmaker through a series of video diaries. All of your favorite characters make an appearance in the modernization as well. And the best part? It takes advantage of transmedia storytelling — that is, telling the story across different forms of media — to add more depth to the main storyline.

I have a confession to make: I don’t enjoy Emma Approved as much as the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (nor do I enjoy Emma as much as some of Austen’s other works), but I do love seeing the progression of new media techniques and transmedia storytelling. Series like these reminds me of all of the quality content that can be found outside of traditional media like movies and television, and that you can create some incredibly creative adaptations of classic (and contemporary!) works.

Sure, there are plenty of Austen adaptations out there, even Emma adaptations specifically, but — what can I say? — I’m a sucker for new media.

Have you watched Emma Approved? How does it stack up to the LBD?

  • I also first watched LBD first and felt that Emma Approved didn’t quite match that level. I generally like Emma as a story, so I was a little disappointed (not that it stopped me from marathoning the whole show through). I’m tempted to start watching the other Pemberley Digital shows now too 😀 Especially now that they’re expanding outside the Jane Austen novels.

    • I really love what Pemberley Digital does (perhaps that should’ve been the topic of this Smitten instead!) and while I wanted to love Emma Approved as much as LBD, it did fall a little flat for me too. Didn’t stop me from powering through it though 🙂 How do you like the non-Austen stuff?

      • I’ve only been watching the March Family Letters (Little Women adaptation) out of the non-Jane Austen ones but I’m liking it so far 🙂 Frankenstein seems tempting as well.

  • Emma

    I keep hearing great things about Emma Approved and LBD. This has given me the push to give them a go when I get home from work later. They sound right up my street.

    • LBD seems to be the favorite, but Emma Approved is certainly a treat, too 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what you think!

  • I’m 100% with you. Emma Approved is not NEARLY as good as LBD. I re-watch LBD constantly, and haven’t found the desire to go back and watch too many EA episodes. I do love Brent Bailey (Knightly) though, and squeal every time I see him in a commercial (he’s in a LOT lately.)

    That being said, I did love Emma Approved too. And did you know Johanna (Emma) and Brent (Knightly) are dating in real life? I love that.

    • Is he really in a lot of commercials!? I clearly haven’t been paying attention, haha.

      And seriously!? You are full of fun facts! That’s so adorable 🙂

      • I might sometimes (always) stalk the PemDig stars… their instagrams are awesome. Now I just need Ashley Clements and Daniel Vincent Gordh to get together.

        i know he’s done a few Clorox commercials, and has a Corona one coming out? And the girl who plays Caroline Lee was in a Buick commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

        • I need to stalk…wow, that sounds bad. But I’m off to Instagram!

          (Also, I apparently did not retain any information about the Super Bowl commercials, or at least wasn’t very observant)

          • I looked up from my book (that’s how I roll) and screamed, CAROLINE LEE! And then made my husband rewind.

          • That is an often heard situation around this house too 🙂

  • I really enjoyed Emma Approved! Also not as much as LBD since there’s something so raw and open about LBD that was missing from Emma Approved, but I still liked the characters and how the story played out. Brent Bailey is an awesome Mr. Knightly!

    • There was a rawness with LBD that I don’t think Emma Approved has. Not that EA doesn’t update the story’s situation, but LBD struck a personal and emotional chord.

  • I tried to watch Emma Approved, but I could never get into it as much as I did LBD. ( I <3 LBD so much that I backed the DVD Kickstarter.) Perhaps it's because I'm not as familiar with the story? Regardless, I think I should give it another try. I do love the Pemberly Digital model.

    • Pemberley Digital is just doing such awesome things; I can’t help but support a media company pioneering innovative stuff with stories I love!