We celebrate Emma Approved with our favourite 10 episodes. Spoiler: It isn’t all Emma/Knightley swooning.
Hypable’s resident Emma Approved fans Marama Whyte and Donya Abramo have each chosen their five favourite episodes (with only minimal fighting over the episode with the Emma/Knightley kiss). Make sure to tell us your favourite Emma Approved episode in the comments.
Episode 1: ‘I am Emma Woodhouse’
The episode that started it all. Barely coming down from the high of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the newest venture from Pemberley Digital. But from the moment Sotomura’s Emma appeared on my screen, I knew I was hooked. She was a wonderfully modern interpretation of the Emma that I’ve come to love, slowly, through most adaptions — and if I hadn’t fallen for the series through her own virtues (and pitfalls), the first exchange between Emma and Knightley would have sealed it. The banter and conversation between them was easy, and loaded with just the right amount of tension, which boded well for the rest of the series. – Donya Abramo
Episode 8: ‘Being a Great Friend’
This episode doesn’t really pack an emotional punch, like most of the others I’ve chosen, but there’s something about the little “gloating” moment between Emma and Knightley that just gets me every time. I find myself coming back to watch the charades scene more often than I can count. “And you have really shiny hair, and great teeth,” never fails to have me descending into fits of laughter. It also gave us a bit more of a tease as to Frank Churchill’s character, as his real gift shows up at the Emma Approved offices. Not quite the thoughtful, food-related one that Emma passed on to her best friend under the guise of being from Frank. Instead, he chooses a flashy and expensive piece of jewelry. It also poses the very foreboding question at the end that echoes through the rest of the series. What is more important to Emma, being a great friend, or a great matchmaker? – Donya Abramo
Episode 24: ‘Vingt-et-un’
I enjoyed the first 23 episodes of Emma Approved a lot – but episode 24 was the one that sealed the deal for me. For the first time we are shown Emma in a truly vulnerable state, when her perky, perfect facade completely falls. This episode demonstrated that this show was going to do more than present another GIF-able OTP couple for Tumblr fans to salivate over; it gave me hope that one of my favourite books was in truly safe hands. The two sides of this episode are as important as each other for Emma’s development and the overall story arc. Emma is totally blindsided by Elton’s confession (played wonderfully by Paul Stuart), and for all of her intelligence, her naivety is exposed when she realises that she doesn’t know Elton as well as she assumed. Simultaneously, we as the audience see that Alex knows Emma much better than she herself realises. It is a difficult thing to get right, but the three cast members found the perfect balance. – Marama Whyte
Episode 47: ‘Plus One, Minus One’
The gang was all together for the final drama in the Elton wedding saga. Emotions were heightened, and each character was almost an exaggerated version of themselves – Emma was clever and cutting, Alex chivalrous, Harriet completely clueless, and Elton at his meanest and pettiest as he tried to stop Harriet from attending the party. The possibility of a relationship between Alex and Harriet was nicely set up without clobbering the audience with it, while the strength of Alex and Emma’s friendship continued to shine. Elton was a fantastic character (to hate), and this episode gave him the exit he deserved. And Emma’s celebration that the happy couple would be together, “For better or worse, until they die,” remains one of the best delivered lines of the series. – Marama Whyte
Episode 64: ‘Boxx Hill’
Heartbreaking though this episode is, it serves as the catalyst for the final stretch of the series, and it was executed to near perfection. The tension that was fraught between Emma, Jane, and Alex, exacerbated by Frank’s careful manipulations, came to an explosive head that had been a long time coming. This was an episode that had you holding your breath until the final seconds trickled by. Sotomura played Emma’s shell-shocked reactions to Jane’s resignation beautifully, and watching her crumble under the barrage of Alex’s “home truths” made me tear up just as much as Emma did. You feel for all of the characters involved in the Boxx Hill disaster, and though Emma is by no means innocent in her behaviour, her broken and tearful chasing of Alex at the end of the episode is painful. Emma is a difficult character to toe the line with, and it can be so easy to make her entirely unsympathetic, but this episode truly highlights her flaws in a very human and real way. – Donya Abramo