Thursday, October 8, 2009

For Janeites outside of the UK. . .

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You can now watch the first episode of Emma on Youtube OR on the Tudorphiles Ning group. Enjoy :-). (Edit - to try to stop it being taken off YT, I am no longer giving a direct link. If you'd like the Youtube link, please email me!)

Here are some of Your's Truly's thoughts on the first episode. . . sorry this isn't very polished, I just jotted it down in a hurry on a forum. . . 

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Okay - I watched it yesterday and - I have to say - I can only be lukewarm about the first episode (let's hope the series improves in later episodes). It's not shockingly bad, but it's not that good either. At least, I didn't think it was. 

I liked the first five minutes - very interesting and original to give a brief glimpse of Emma's, Jane's and Frank's childhoods. I don't think any other Jane Austen adaptation has done this - aside from Mansfield Park, of course.

As for the following 55 minutes - it would have worked so much better if Sandy Welch had used at least some of Austen's dialogue! I'm currently rereading the book, and I'm guessing that only 15-20% of the dialogue in episode 1 is actually from Austen.

Romola Garai as Emma is okay - ditto JLM as Mr. Knightley. If Emma's character seems slightly distorted, it's probably the fault of the director and screenwriter, not Romola. Only - I think they're taking the "modern" gestures and mannerisms too far here. They seem to have forgotten that a girl like Emma would have been taught to deport herself properly, walking, moving, and speaking with grace.

The only real standout from the rest of the cast was Tamsin Greig as Miss Bates. The other cast members were all perfectly adequate in their parts, without any real passion or brilliance.

It just seems like a rather soul-less adaptation so far. However, it will probably grow on me, and I'm sure the next few episodes will be better.

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- But don't let that put you off from watching it! Watch it, then let me know what you thought!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sooo want to watch it now, but I also want to wait for it to be shown on Masterpiece Classic! It's so hard NOT to watch it. Well, maybe I'll see a little, teensy, weensy bit....The temptation! Nooooo!!!!

Anyway, thanks for alerting us all to this. You put up the links even before the Jane Austen Today blog did (if it ever does). Thanks!

~obsessivejaneite

The Editrix said...

LOL, no problem! Yeah, I sometimes can't decide whether to watch something online or wait til it's on TV or DVD. But if it's Austen, I usually can't resist. :P

Miss Jen said...

Oh... dear thank you for letting us know! *hugs* I am looking forward to watching it... although I am slow to believe that anyone can be better than Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam.. hehehe *sigh*.... Yes, I am a hopeless loyalist!!

With Much Love~ Jen

Theresa said...

hehe, I just finished watching it. I've been checking on youtube even before it aired in the UK - stupid time differences!
I thought it was ok, I'm really looking forward to the next episode though. I actually really like Mr Knightly in this one, and I also think that Miss Bates is AWESOME!
Yup! Exciting times, I wish I had a time machine and could transport myself to next week tuesday!

Livi said...

Oh yay!! I'm just about to watch so I'll tell you what I think of it when I'm done!!

The Editrix said...

Theresa - LOL, I jumped out of bed on Monday morning and got straight onto the internet - however, I had my time differences wrong! Emma had just started, rather than just finished, as I thought. So, yes, I was also caught looking on YT before it had even finished on TV. . .

It was cool being early, though, because I was able to read people's reactions on Twitter as they watched.

Robert said...

I received this link from JASNA that has a some thoughts on the new Emma
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00mz4yd

It will only be available for 2 more days.It runs from 28:00 to 35:00 min.

Anonymous said...

Finally gave in and saw it, but I don't want to say too much just yet. Lots of miniseries tend to get better as the episodes go by, so I think this'll get better, too. The story just needs to pick up a bit more.

So far, though...I really liked it! It's Emma! However, it seems that the director and writer were perhaps trying a little bit too hard to make it accessible to viewers who aren't used to costume dramas, what with all the gestures and simplified language. The modernizations didn't really bother me here as much as they did in the '05 PandP--it really disturbed me when Keira Knightley yelled at her parents in one part.

Anyway, I guess I've written a lot, despite what I said before. Thanks again for the links! Like you said, just can't resist Austen!

~obsessivejaneite

The Editrix said...

However, it seems that the director and writer were perhaps trying a little bit too hard to make it accessible to viewers who aren't used to costume dramas, what with all the gestures and simplified language.

I absolutely agree. . .

I'm glad you enjoyed it! And yes, I should probably also refrain from whinging about its faults before the series is finished. . . we Janeites are so good at jumping onto our soapboxes too early. :P

Livi said...

I LOVED it!!! I don't know what else to say, it was just too cool!