Emma Woodhouse, Jane Austen‘s heroine in the aptly title novel Emma, is introduced as “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich”. In her world, Emma Woodhouse is the queen bee. She thinks that she knows everything about everything. Emma Woodhouse is in for a shock.
In 2013, the YouTube web series,Emma Approved (2013-2018) transferred the world of Emma from regency era England to modern-day. Emma Woodhouse (Joanna Sotomura) is a lifestyle coach and matchmaker. She is completely confident that she can help her clients to achieve their personal and business goals. Her long time friend and business partner Alex Knightley (Brent Bailey) is tries to burst Emma’s bubble as gently as he can, with a hint of sarcasm.
Emma Approved was the follow-up to the successful Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Though it was not as well received as LBD, I enjoyed Emma Approved with the same level of enthusiasm that I did LBD. Last year, Emma Approved came back for a short revival, which to my mind was just as enjoyable as the original series.
Not only did I appreciate the color blind casting, I personally think that it’s adorable that the two lead actors are together IRL.
Pride and Prejudice remains a favorite book of many a bookworms for multiple reasons. This love opens the door to new and different variations on Jane Austen‘s classic tale of class, money and will they/won’t they.
In 2012, Pride and Prejudice entered the digital world when The Lizzie Bennet Diaries (2012-2013) premiered on YouTube. Told vlog style in 5 minute long episodes that were released every week, Lizzie Bennet (Ashley Clements) is a grad student living at home. When her sister Jane (Laura Spencer) starts hanging out with the new boy in town, medical student Bing Lee (Christopher Sean), Lizzie is forced into the presence of businessman William Darcy (Daniel Vincent Gordh), Bing’s best friend.
Needless to say, love at first sight is hardly the way to describe the initial relationship between Lizzie and William.
I adored and still adore LBD. It was funny, it was charming, it was entertaining and it was enough cannon Pride and Prejudice to appeal to the most loyal fans.
Pride and Prejudice at it’s heart, is a very simple boy meets girl story. The beauty of this book, is that despite being set in rural Georgian era England, is that it is a human story. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy can put in another time and place and still be the same characters we know and love.
The last 11 years have give Jane Austen fans three very different and interesting modern interpretations of Pride and Prejudice.
Cast: Elizabeth Bennet (Kam Heskin), Will Darcy (Orlando Seale), Charles Bingley (Benjamin Gourley) and Jane Vasquez (Lucila Sola)
Pro’s: This modern day reboot takes place in Utah. The screenwriters and director did not make any major changes to the plot, except for the older generation is heard of, but not seen. This movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a nice change from the stiff upper lip adaptations that usually come from the Brits.
Cast: Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), William Darcy (Martin Henderson), Balraj (Naveen Andrews) and Jaya Bakshi (Namrata Shirodkar)
Pro’s: This Bollywood adaptation is colorful and full of life. Director Gurinda Chadha has a nice balance of traditional elements of Bollywood films while staying true to the novel. What makes this movie stand out for me is not just the class difference, but the cultural differences between American William Darcy, his British Indian friend Balraj and the Amristar raised Lalita and Jaya.
Cast: Lizzie Bennet (Ashley Clements), William Darcy (Daniel Vincent Gordh), Bing Lee (Christopher Sean) and Jane Bennet (Laura Spencer)
Pro’s: This youtube twice a week webisode series bring Pride and Prejudice to the youtube generation. The producers were also very smart to have a very diverse cast of characters and actors. Despite knowing the book inside and out, it was a riveting series that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last episode.
And the winner is…. I don’t know. I’ll let you choose.