Tuesday, October 8, 2013

THE BANISTER BUZZ 10/08/13 - A TREAT FOR AUSTEN LOVERS


My fellow Janeites, I have exciting news! The creators of last year's internet phenomenon, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, are back with a new web series called "Emma Approved," which debuted online yesterday! I've already seen the first episode, and I'm happy to report that it exceeded my expectations for awesomeness! I really can't say enough good things about how clever the writers of these Austen updates are. They have been able to reimagine Jane's characters in the most fun and interesting ways. For instance, our new Emma Woodhouse is an entrepreneur who runs the "Matchmaking & Lifestyle Division" of Highbury Partners' Lifestyle Group. Her motto is "I Make Your Life Better, and I Never Fail."


Emma introduces herself to us in this first episode of Emma Approved and huge kudos to actress Joanna Sotomura for bringing to life everything about the character that readers have always loved and found infuriating. Emma was Type A long before that was a thing, and in her current incarnation she continues to try and micromanage the lives of others via her job. Emma knows best (She sports fabulously fashionable ombre-colored hair, doesn't she?), and she will fix whatever's wrong with you. Need a man? Need a makeover? Emma's your girl. At least, she thinks she is. We'll have to wait and see how things go horribly awry for Emma in this new series. The first ep ends with a bit of a cliffhanger (Maybe one of Emma's perfect matches isn't so perfect after all?)

I should mention that in the first ep we, also, get to met Emma's business partner, Alex Knightley, who's in charge of "Boring Stuff" at Highbury. I was delighted and relieved to see Knightley on the scene so early. Anyone who's watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries knows that Darcy didn't show up until about six months into the series. I can't imagine how torturous the wait must have been for people who were watching the eps in real time (I didn't discover LBD until the series was almost finished, but I was still wondering where the heck Darcy was as I binge-watched the episodes.) I'm already loving the playful relationship between strait-laced Alex and the vivacious Emma, and I can't wait to see where they go with it. I mean, I know where the two of them will end up, but the fun part is in seeing how they get there. 


P.S. The actor playing Knightley is Brent Bailey, and he is Tracie Approved. <wink>

One of the best parts of watching these modernizations of Austen classics is guessing how the writers will reenvision the characters. Darcy's cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, became his best friend, Fitz, in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and Fitz was African-American, hilarious, and gay. My very insightful friend, blogger/author Laura Chapman, is already predicting that Emma's soon-to-be-hired assistant, who was referenced in Episode 1 of Emma Approved, will turn out to be Harriet, which is nothing short of brilliant! Harriet was taken under Emma's wing in the book, so it makes perfect sense that Emma would be her boss/mentor in the 21st century. This got me to thinking about what the new versions of other Emma characters will be like. We already know that Emma Approved's Mr. Weston is a 35 year-old CEO, which means that Frank Churchill can't be his son as he was in the book. As they have different last names, I'm thinking that Frank could be Weston's younger step or half-brother. Maybe Weston tries to bring Frank into the fold at his company, Cuddly Cupcakes? What about Mr. Elton? He was looking for the right woman to marry in Emma, so I could see him being a client of Emma, the matchmaker. That still leaves Jane Fairfax and the Bates ladies. Will they be included in Emma Approved? If so, how? 

And now I give you the first episode in what is sure to be another very entertaining series from Bernie Su & Co. Watch it, because I said so, and I'm bossy like Emma. I haven't steered you wrong yet, have I? Looks like new eps of Emma Approved will debut on You Tube on Mondays and Thursdays at 9AM P.S.T. If you want the full Emma Approved experience, be sure to check out her blog, where she posts pieces about fashion, romance, and how amazing she is. She's, also, got a Twitter account.


 
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the first episode once you've watched it, so leave me a comment below. And let me know what some of your favorite Austen adaptations are. Do you love Clueless aka "Emma Goes to High School" or are Lost in Austen and Austenland more your speed?

12 comments:

  1. Gotta admit, I spent the bulk of my morning commute thinking about how the Bate ladies will factor into all of this. Particularly in creating a wedge between Emma and Mr. K.

    Fab buzz as always, Tracie B.

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    1. So, what direction do you think the series will go in with the Bates ladies, Laura? Would love to hear your thoughts!

      I'm so glad we have another Austen web series to discuss and squee about! :)

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  2. Maybe I'll try watching these (I never watched the LBD) when the hubs is working late nights. Thanks for the head's up. Another great Buzz!

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    1. I think you'd enjoy it, Jackie. And it's only 8 minutes of your life every week. I'm really excited to see what happens with Emma Approved!

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! :)

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  3. I keep saying I'm going to watch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but I never get around to it. Now I'm really excited to watch Emma Approved. Alex Knightley is a big motivator. And I saw Austenland last weekend and loved it. Not a big fan of high school Austen adaptations, but I think it's just because I don't relate to that scene. Another great Banister Buzz, Tracie!

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    1. Well, it's intimidating when you have to catch up on a whole series from the beginning with almost a hundred webisodes! At least you can get in on the ground floor with Emma Approved! And Knightley is a very big motivator. ;)

      So jealous that you (and everyone else I know) got to see Austenland in the theater. Looks like I'll have to wait for DVD or On Demand! ARGH

      Thanks for reading the Buzz, Brea! :)

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  4. I absolutely adored it! Its, how do I say it, "Elizabeth Approved". I can't wait until the 16YO gets home to show her. I love Mr. Knightly! Thanks for taking me on another adventure!

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    1. My pleasure, Elizabeth! So, what did your daughter think of Emma Approved? Is she on the Knightley Love Train with the rest of us? :)

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  5. Oh no! I STILL haven't watched the LBD (I know... it's definitely on my to-do list!) Emma Approved sounds great and that Brent guy is adorable!! Awesome Buzz! :)

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    1. I have no doubt that you will love both series, Cat! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Emma Approved. And yes, Brent is adorable! There are already several Tumblr accounts dedicated to him and Knightley! :)

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  6. I absolutely adored it, already! Emma is one of my favourite Austen novels, and I think the casting of this is so good already! I can't wait to see more, and to see who will be involved character-wise!

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    1. I adore Emma, too, Elle! She's one of my favorite Austen heroines. Glad to hear that you're enjoy Emma Approved!

      Thanks so much for reading the Buzz and leaving a comment. :)

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