Less fun than a barrel of monkeys, but not bad at all.

Mindful of that March 9th deadline for catching the recent television adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma online, I finally sat down and watched it*. And while I spent most of the time bemoaning the fact that beautiful Blake Ritson chose to play shudder-inducing Mr. Elton (WHY, BLAKE RITSON, WHY?), this lively miniseries was more fun than I'd expected.

Romola Garai and Johnny Lee Miller made an appealing Emma and Mr. Knightley, and their slow-brewing shift from a sibling-type relationship to a romantic one was cute. The supporting cast was hit-or-miss: Jodhi May as Miss Taylor and Louise Dylan as Harriet Smith were charming, but Laura Pyper's Jane Fairfax seemed more nervous than reserved, and Rupert Evans conveyed all of Frank Churchill's smarminess but none of his charm. Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse and Tamsin Greig as Miss Bates were both rather one-note, but appeared to be having tremendous fun with their roles.

I should note, however, that Emma ties with Sense and Sensibility for the title of Julia's Least Favorite Austen Novel, which might explain my indifference to this adaptation's historical inaccuracies, character (mis)interpretations, and missing lines/scenes/etc. There were plenty of 'em; I just didn't care. This miniseries was well-cast, well-funded, and a whopping four hours long, which allowed the writers and actors sufficient time to do Austen's story justice. The end result might not have been perfect, but its heart was in the right place.

*With all of eight minutes to spare, too. I'm organized like that.
Posted by: Julianka


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