Reactions to KCET's Emma

Ok, so.... We've watched the first show and are reading the book. So, what do you think about Masterpiece's new Emma?

To inspire you, here are some reactions we've collected from the knowledgeable fans at and from the Twitter Party during the show last weekend.

bc-motif-hdr2.gif From the discussions on
Written by Laraine (1/25/2010 12:08 a.m.)

It wasn't as bad as I feared it might be. It dumbed my favorite novel down, but then pretty much everyone has.

I still don't think that Romola Garai is right for Emma, but I can't blame her for anachronistic attitudes and dialog [that] Welsh and the director often gave her to express.

Why did anyone think that mischievous describes Emma? She might have been that way as a little girl, but as an adult, it doesn't describe her. Headstrong, mistaken, conceited, yes--but Emma isn't naughty (which is what that word means to me and a lot of other people).

I loved Robert Martin. Harriet was OK, but I can't say that that I found her charming, exactly.

Mr. Elton was very good, IMHO. And I liked Michael Gambon--although I thought the writing was not his friend either.

Johnny Lee Miller was quite good. I think he was the right mixed of smart, playful, and just slightly lovestruck. Again, some of his dialog left much to be desired, but I did think that he gave us a nice performance.
Written by Sandy W (1/25/2010 12:08 p.m.) in consequence of the missive, Well..., penned by Laraine

It reminds me a good deal of E1 with a lot of the same dialogue (naturally). However, I find the actors in E1 better suited for their parts. There have been a few changes that have been interesting. But I think you all have it right, Emma isn't cast right and it's throwing the whole thing off. (Although there are others who don't seem quite right either.) I was able to get a lot done while it was on instead of being rivited to the television. I would have rather had it the other way around. It seems like they are all just going through the motions instead of really getting into what Emma was all about.

And from the Twitter Party:

ORPrep @queenie_nyc Yes, but other Emmas hid the selfishness from the outside world. Only Knightly knew her mind. This one an open book. #emma_pbs

geekmum Watching #Emma_PBS again today... loving this version... and thoroughly LURVE the soundtrack!!

JLS_Murmuration Friggin' lurved #emma_pbs last night. Using the sort of 'horribly awkward' style comedy that Britain has excelled at over last decade.

LOL! RT @HighburyFeed: Dumbledore's not dead! He lives in Highbury! #emma_pbs

And from the KCET Book Club just before the show:
Diane | January 24, 2010 3:36 PM | Reply

Regarding Emma being spoiled.... for me, Ms. Austen put it in our minds in the first two paragraphs of her description of Emma - "rich living in a comfortable home, little to distress or vex her, the lady of the house from early on, has an indulgent father, the power of having too much her own way and a disposition to think a little two much of herself." Most know the storyline, but since we're talking only about Part 1, its easy for some of us to feel this way. :))

LOL, the more I read and the story comes back to me, the matchmaking is a hobby for Emma. I feel she does it with kindness and love in her heart.

I feel that Mr. Knightley is the male version of Emma. Him feeling that the friendship between Emma and Harriet "is a bad thing" sounds like something Emma would say.


Now's your turn!

How did you enjoy the production?
How does it compare to other versions of Emma that you have seen?
How does it compare to the book?


Which Gentleman from Emma would be your Match?


Let's Talk Emma! Part III

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I'm enjoying this production of EMMA in many ways, although my feelings about it are mixed in that I think the screenplay and characters are written from a somewhat "appeal to the 21st century" mindset, in that Emma is portrayed as apparently thinking and saying things that either don't exist in the real novel or have a more - what can I call it? modern tone to them. I think Johnny Lee Miller is really handsome but, I feel, too much so for the character of Mr. Knightley as Jane Austen describes him. I also feel that Mr. Miller is too young in appearance for Mr. Knightley's character. Mr Miller looks to be in his mid to (at best) late 20s and Mr. Knightley was supposedly in his mid 30s. I realize that's not a lot of difference in age but somehow, I don't find his appearance jars with a supposed age difference (between Emma and Knightley) of 15 years.

I love Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse - well characterized. Christina Cole is also nicely cast as the odious Mrs. Elton and plays the character in a way that almost makes her behavior as a character fun to watch.

I think the cinematography and costumes are beautifully done.

Overall, this is not my favorite version of EMMA - I prefer the one made with Kate Beckinsale and also the BBC production from about 20+ years ago. I'll probably still look at eventually purchasing this version on DVD, though, because the positives of casting of the supporting characters, the costuming, the cinematography, and artistry of production outweigh, for me, some of the character/script "flaws" I note above.