Adaptation #98: Emma’s Approved Improvements

header098Back to discuss another Pemberley Digital creation, the hosts get in depth about Emma Approved, a modern day interpretation of Jane Austen’s Emma. What translated well, what was shaky and who do we find ourselves loving even more? Have a listen and find out!

Don’t forget to listen to our discussion of Jane Austen’s Emma here!

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For a similar discussions, check out our episodes on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, The Fault in Our Stars, Sherlock (the series) and our commentary on The Princess Bride


Music: Theme tune from Emma Approved


The Boxtrolls

-Sep 26 (US), Sep 12 (UK)

-Based on Here Be Monsters! By Alan Snow

The Equalizer

-Sep 26 (US and UK)

-Based on the television series

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2

-Premieres Sep 23

-Based on the Marvel comics

Bones Season 10

-Premieres Sep 25

-Based on the book series by Kathy Reichs

Main Discussion

Emma Approved

-Created by Hank Green and Bernie Su (Director)

-Written by Bernie Su, Tracy Bitterolf and Kate Rorick

-Starring Joanna Sotomura, Brent Bailey, and Dayeanne Hutton

Personal Notes (that I took while rewatching and are largely unedited)

Characters: Emma, Alex, Harriet, Annie, Bobby, James Elton, Caroline Lee, Maddy Bates, Jane, Frank Churchill, Ryan, Izzy

Annie’s Wedding Jitters

-Do you think Emma is more concerned with business success than Annie’s happiness?
-She finds out about the gift swap, but forgives Emma (indulgent?)

Harriet’s hire and “transformation”

-she’s so eager and worships Emma (which Emma loves)
-starts off good, Harriet shouldn’t take the blame for thingst that aren’t her fault, more confidence
-BMart and their adorable awkwardness
-Again, what is Emma’s motivation for separating them?
-Some of Emma’s sneakinessis  disguised as trust in Harriet
-the music club, even her singing get s more confident as she goes along

Senator Elton’s matchmaking

-celery soda story- never admits faults, selfish
-Harriet’s impression’s are wrong, he IS “campaign-y”
-is Emma blinded by her own plan not to see how smarmy he is?
-Harriet’s song (the painting), he thinks Emma’s being “circumspect”
-The holiday party… how does she not see it? and how does James not see her pulling away?
-is her ignorance about not wanting to be wrong, or does she really think she’s right?
-their confrontation: does he really want an equal relationship or is he looking for someone to ‘take care of his life’?
-he calls Alex, Alec

Izzy and John an Joshua Tree

-Emma knows something’s wrong, but is reluctant to get involved
-Emma correctly identifies the problem, but over does the solution
-Alex and Emma agree to communicate more bc he believes in her (she was right)

Maddy’s Benefit

-Emma really pushes helping when Maddy says Jane is coming (goes above what Alex suggests)
-Since Maddy is like a mother to Emma, is her jealousy sibling-like?
-Alex says Jane does the things Emma only talks about doing
-Does anyone else kinda want to try Maddy’s preserves?
-by combining the party Emma wanted to have with one for Maddy, is she being selfish?
-won’t even accept help from Jane when they are down to the wire
-Emma and Frank meet, each sizing each other up and saying what the other wants to hear
-Emma agrees to go over finances after Maddy says she’s one of her favorite girls
Frank Churchill
-I actually really like him… mostly. he and Emma’s flirting is pretty great

Elton engagement

-when he comes back he contradicts himself saying the Emma is great at what she does
-Why do they come to Emma? who’s idea was it?
-she seems to have changed… she’s dressing more… political…
-and wants to laugh at Harriet WITH Emma, brings up that emma is helping her, emma says H doesn’t need any more help
-Emma says C will bring out the worst in Elton
-C steps on Emma’s toes with fashion and matchmaking for Jane
-Alex points out that Emma is just like Caroline, but is she?
-when C give her the check, it’s almost belittling
-Emma sees the difference btwn helping good ppl and selfish ppl, redirects company

Bachelor Auction/Human Rights

-Frank’s so weird and confident… and I love it so much, he’s nice to everyone, treats them all like they are important
-he and Emma are SO alike, Alex and Jane are so alike, it makes it all work
-but he is very mean about Jane behind the scenes
-it IS controversial, but is that a bad thing?
-it seems like Jane is good at getting ppl who want to save the world to give money, but Emma is good and getting ppl who don’t really care to give money
-the fake meeting,
-Frank’s almost admission is just as confusing here
-Annie’s teasing about it is the best

BOXX/baby shower

-don’t see Harriet getting awkward around Alex til now… but shouldn’t it be after the Elton party?
-Jane seems REALLY happy now… bc Frank is back?
-the jams
-Emma DOES over schedule herself- couldn’t Annie’s shower wait?
-Emma can’t help getting involved with Frank/Harriet, BUT much less than before
-Frank slips up with the Pitt/BOXX info
-the Frank/Jane Q&A was the best. Tea or coffee? Hehe
-Emma misses the baby shower (Jane and Emma bond over Caroline hate)
-Frank encourages Emma’s bad qualities
-Emma doesn’t realize what happened at Boxx until she’s told
-Is Jane quitting solely about Emma? Or is she projecting from Frank?
-Alex confronts Emma about Maddy
-“Please don’t leave me”

Emma’s growth

-the Emma wink and snap
-failure with Elton leads to taking some time off, she takes it really hard, OVERLY positive
-she feels horrible, but tries to hide it, goes off the rails doubting herself, tries to learn, but falls back on old ways
-when Emma falls apart she REALLY falls apart
-Harriet brings her back from the brink, she’s her own client
-apologizes to Maddy, really humbles herself
-apologizes to Annie, promises to treat her like a friend not a client or vendor
-Annie drops the Frank/Jane bomb, she was protecting her career
-Emma immediately feels bad for Jane, apologizes again


-”Snarky” Knightley, banter about running the business, but he’s proud when she succeeds
-their bets on her abilities
-him getting upset over Emma’s interference (Harriet, etc.)
-she hates him being upset with her, even if she doesn’t admit it (He admits to her he hates when they fight)
-Emma’s realization that she loves Alex
-she calls B Mart, kinda humbling, but does she secretly want him to bump into Harriet?
-Bmart/Harriet are SO ADORABLE
-Emma doesn’t turn on Harriet, she tries to be okay
-ALEX RETURNS, worried about Emma being upset about Frank
-who’s happiness matters most? Alex’s happiness
-the admission

Wrap up

-Frank comes back and takes credit for Alex’s move
-he sold his shares of Richmond for her
-Emma and Frank are still hysterical together
-Emma tells Harriet, she knew, they make up
-Emma asks to be told when she gets carried away, she listens
-Harriet’s romantic gesture, THEY ARE SO AWKWARD
-Alex will leave if her dad has a problem
-Frank and Jane videos

Next episode: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Previous episode: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

2 thoughts on “Adaptation #98: Emma’s Approved Improvements

  1. Pingback: Adaptation #99: Gone Crazy on You Girl | Adaptation: A Podcast Dedicated to Film Adaptations

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