So, I’ve gotten interested in something lately: Youtube series…es. Multiple web series. Not sure how to write that. Oh well.
The start of my intrigue was last year, when I was introduced to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It was a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice through the medium of biweekly Youtube videos. It went on for roughly a year, and it even followed along in the holidays and seasons of that year. It was interactive through Facebook and Twitter, and it gained a loyal following of people who refer to themselves as Seahorses.
I can’t really recall why though. Fandoms are like that.
Anyway, it was the highlight of my workday when I could sit and watch the latest 3-8 minute episode on my lunch break. Even though I was thoroughly familiar with the story, it still evoked an emotional response. And it was a lot less predictable than I expected, which is funny because, like I said, I knew the story.
The “company” (which is more like a group of enthusiastic creators) is called Pemberley Digital (hence, the category) and they’re into the thick of their latest web series, Emma Approved, which is about, you guessed it, Jane Austen’s Emma.
Now, I’ll be totally honest, I was not convinced that there was a good way to retell the social-class-obsessed story in a modern setting. But… they’ve done pretty well.
The setting is a “consultation” company run by the young, vibrant Emma! She fancies herself a matchmaker, event coordinator, and all around “making life better” expert! So, when Harriet arrived, the setting actually made sense when Emma decided to take this “underclass” girl on as her personal project. She’s training her, just as she did in the book, to be a high class woman. In my opinion, Pemberley Digital is writing a story that follows Austen’s intentions decently so. Not perfect, but when you are comparing today’s world to Austen’s, you can’t really achieve that.
I’m looking forward to the character development of Emma, because she has a good heart, but she’s very arrogant. In the book, you get annoyed and hate her very quickly, but it’s not so with this adaptation. Her plot-changing interaction with Mrs. Bates is something I am interested in, because I’m really not certain that it will have the same impact in this series. But, I’ve been wrong before!
Moving on, I definitely think web series have a place in media, a much more important place than other media. Why? Because there are no “experts” or “professionals” deciding what makes the cut. People shamelessly upload whatever they want on the internet, and it either bombs or goes viral. The audience gets to decide if they like it, not the higher-ups in the media industry. So anyone can become famous now, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Granted, there is a lot of no-good videos out there. But we need them too, because that’s a part of free speech. And as much as I think we should be spared from wasting our time with awful media, I would at least like to decide for myself. Because if someone decides that I don’t like something and takes it down, that someone might also decide I don’t need to see something that I probably should see. And if it’s the government, you can bet there are LOTS of things that we “don’t need to see.” So, it’s important for everyone to be passionate about keeping the government away from this!
Secret’s out, I’m a libertarian. Tangent over.
If you’re interested in some of my favorite series, go with these:
and, if you find that you really want to help a series get started, contribute to Muzzled, The Musical‘s Kickstarter!
You might also notice that I tend to follow the same web actors. What can I say? Once a fan, always a fan!
Have a great weekend!