As I went into each show...
I'm pretty sure that Emma is the first Jane Austen movie I ever watched. I grew up watching the 1996 Emma with Gwyneth Paltro, and I fell in love with the story. Yes, Emma is a bit bratty in how she tries to run everyone's life, but she has the best intentions at heart. She grows a lot, and she & Knightly have such a cute relationship. So, for the sake of childhood nostalgia, I was really excited to watch Emma Approved. On the other hand, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is one of my most favorite stories of all time. I love the novel, and I pull out different lessons each time I pick it up. I love the movie adaptations, and I've always found myself identifying with Lizzie a lot. Plus, she and Darcy have a splendid hate-love relationship going on. Hence, I was pretty stoked for LBD.
Both of these shows modernize their respective Jane Austen work, and this is done quite cleverly. For instance, in the novel Emma, there is a significant event that happens while on an outing at Box Hill. For EA, Boxx in the Hills is a restaurant, where-at the opening-significant events happen. In LBD, we have Pemberley Digital, the company that Mr. Darcy owns. As I mentioned earlier, in LBD, the Lydia arc is so well-done, and it really pulled at my heart when she had her big run-in with Wickham. I love how LBD is full of drama, hilarity, romance, and is really easy for the viewer to relate to-who among us, like Lizzie, is looking for direction and purpose in life? Who isn't doing this? EA has a great, lighthearted story, and it's just plain fun. It did take me several episodes to get really invested in this show, which is probably due to the fact that it has a very different feeling from the LBD. Unlike LBD, which is a personal diary that Lizzie posts on the internet, EA follows Emma Woodhouse as she sets up video cameras in her office to document her greatness-she eventually plans to turn these videos into a documentary of her business!
The casting for both EA and LBD was very well-done! I love how in LBD, Ashley Clements plays Lizzie very well, but she also portrays other characters in a hilarious manner! "Costume Theater" is a big part of Lizzie's set of video diaries as she re-enacts different events and scenarios, and seeing her portray a huge range of characters was quite a treat. Daniel Vincent Gordh plays a very socially-awkward and aloof Mr. Darcy, which is quite enjoyable. I find it fascinating that in LBD, Darcy doesn't make an appearance until episode 60-when the series is over halfway through! (Prior to his appearance, we just see how he acts through Lizzie's re-enactments) As wonderful as Darcy & Lizzie are, though, my favorite character in LBD is Lydia Bennet. Played by the talented Mary Kate Wiles, Lydia undergoes hugely awesome development throughout the series, and we really get to see how her actions affect her deeply.
|From Pemberley Digital.|
EA also has amazing actors & characters. As opposed to LBD, we get to meet a wide variety of the cast early on in the show. Brent Bailey does an incredible job as Mr. Knightly, and Joanna Sotomura plays opposite him as Emma. They are adorable! These two actors actually met through this show and eventually started dating while they were filming (and according to recent reports, it looks like they are still together), and this really adds much cuteness, and authenticity to the show. The other actors did an amazing job, and I really love how James Brent Isaacs portrayed Mr. Martin in particular, as the geeky, poker-playing, bird-watching IT guy. Oh, and don't get me started on Maddy Bates, played by Nikea Gamby-Turner. She is hilarious, lovable, and does an awesome job!
The Romantic Plotlines:
|From Pemberley Digital.|
I honestly don't know if I can pick a favorite show between these two. They are both so well done, so amazing, and feel so different! For the overall story and feeling of the show, I think I would pick LBD, but for the romantic plotline of Emma and Knightly-which basically spans the entire show-I would pick EA. So really, the only solution is to just watch and fall in love with both shows, then spent gobs of time re-watching all of my favorite parts, finding any kind of behind-the-scenes videos out there, and falling in love with both shows even more. If you haven't seen these shows and are interested, I really recommend that you check them out! Each episode is anywhere from 3-7ish minutes long, so they can totally be watched in small chunks. I also did some multi-tasking, and cut out papers for my parish while watching the shows. You know, volunteering while binging on epic youtube shows is a great way to live! :)
Here's episode 1 of LBD!
And here's episode 1 of EA!
I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts about these shows! Enjoy your last week of the liturgical year!