Tag Archives: Harriet and Martin

Emma Approved, Episodes 68-72: FINALLY


By Jennifer Abella

Previously on “Emma Approved” … Emma was in a Very. Bad. Place.

Episode 68 (The Boy Is Mine): Emma feels awful she has to break Harriet’s heart again by breaking the news about Frank and Jane. Harriet’s like: No big deal, it’s cool. Emma is surprised —  but Harriet is more surprised that Emma even thought Harriet was in love with Frank. Harriet says she needs someone less intimidating … like the guy who saved her from embarrassment at the Elton engagement party. Who was Alex. RUHROH. Harriet says she’s pretty sure Alex returns her feelings. I like the body language here, with Emma physically drawing away from Harriet. Emma says maybe he’s just being nice and it’s Harriet’s turn to get mad at Emma. Turns out Alex asked if Harriet was seeing anyone right now. WHAAAT. Which is what Emma is thinking too. Harriet takes the high road and hopes Emma will be happy if Harriet and Alex work out. Alone again, Emma’s freaking out, saying she can’t believe it. She can’t see him with anyone, well, anyone except …  oh hello lightbulb, my name is EMMA. And just like that Emma realizes what we’ve all be pushing for since time immemorial.

Episode 69 (Strange Days): Emma is desperate to avoid Harriet. So desperate she calls in B-Mart as a diversion. YAY, Bobby! He and his floppy hair fix Emma’s computer in a jiffy. He goes to check Harriet’s computer “unawkardly” since she’s out but things indeed get awkward (although cutely so) when she returns. She asks him to lunch, but he demurs. Emma apologizes to Harriet about Alex and Bobby and generally ordering Harriet around, even though it kills her to say it, she says she will accept Alex and Harriet together if they happen. Alone with the camera, Emma comes to a tearful conclusion: She’s in love with Alex. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Just as she finishes saying that and moves on to other things (she’s going to start paying attention to people around her), Alex — yes Alex — comes through the door, unbeknownst to Emma and walks right back out. WAIT WHY DID YOU WALK AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY, ALEX? WHY?

Episode 70 (At Last): Emma is being a responsible adult and doing hourly consultations again even though she hates them. Alex walks through the door and she immediately hugs him. She’s in tears. He says he came down because he knew the Frank and Jane news would upset Emma. I love that as wrong as she was about everything — Harriet/James, Frank/Jane, etc. — Alex is wrong in this case, when it matters the most. Everybody’s blind. She says she was never in love with Frank, which makes Alex so happy. He apologizes for the way he left, adding that didn’t make sense for him to leave when … there was someone in the office he cared about so much and he was miserable being away from her. (AWWWWW) Thinking immediately of Harriet, Emma plays it chipper and quickly changes the subject. Clearly disappointed, he mopes out of the office. Emma knows he wanted to tell her about him and Harriet, and she’s determined to be professional about it. So she goes to his office to face the music “as his friend,” she says. He asks if that’s what she wants. He realizes she has no idea what he’s talking about. He gets up and brings back flowers for Emma. She realizes: Flowers are romantic. He confesses he’s in love with her: If I loved you less, I could talk about it more. querioregfsdngmk;byt. Oh sorry I couldn’t see the keyboard through my HAPPY TEARS. Emma asks him about the business and their families and their friendship. And then they kiss and I just literally can’t right now.  HUZZAHHHHHH. She declares their kiss “very Emma Approved.” I concur. But then he asks what she was so worried about before. And it takes her a second to remember. HARRIET. Oopsie. 

Episode 71 (A Little Less Conversation): Now that we’ve got Alex and Emma settled, what to do about poor Harriet? Emma’s practicing her speech for Harriet when Alex comes in. He says she might not have to worry about it — and is interrupted by a very cheerful Frank, who’s there apologize to Emma. Frank even says Alex might not have made a move if Frank hadn’t come into the picture. Emma looks SO HAPPY, y’all. Frank fills us in on the Jane situation: She’s thinking about things and starting her own foundation. Frank explains why he sold his company: because Jane was angry his company had done something to hurt one of her causes. He’s obviously still in love with her. While Frank and Alex go off to have coffee, Emma breaks the news to Harriet about Emma and Alex. But Harriet already knows, and she’s taking it really well actually. Emma says she was wrong about everything and that Harriet she should do whatever feels right to her.

Episode 72 (After All): Here it is: the last episode. Harriet and Emma are affixing something to the ceiling of Harriet’s office — they’ve got some scheme cooked up, it seems. Aww, and Harriet is wearing a lovely dress with birds printed on it — nice costuming choice. Harriet startles when Bobby enters. Turns out somethings “wrong with her computer.” He can’t find anything, though, and gets up to leave; she panics to get him to stay. He’s looking at her like a http---makeagif.com--media-1-01-2015-bPDf0dcrazy person. Then she asks him for a second chance to go on his quest (the cranes, remember?). He’s surprised and happy. She asks him: If you got your wish after fulfilling your quest what would you wish for? AND THEN HE KISSES HER. Gooooo, Bobby! And suddenly a thousand paper cranes fall from the ceiling. [Side note: Many of the cranes were made by “Emma Approved” fans at an online-video convention.]  Meanwhile, Alex has to hold Emma back from going to Harriet’s office to peek. Alex asks if she’s told her father about her and Alex yet? He says he’d be willing to leave the business if that’s what Mr. Woodhouse wants. He’d rather he be her partner in life than in business if necessary. Harriet comes in to take off with Bobby. And it’s all YOU get a happy ending! And YOU get a happy ending!

At the end of the last video, Harriet discovers footage of Jane and Frank, so if you watch more videos, I recommend theirs, which show their interactions at her desk.

Final thoughts: Overall, “Emma Approved” really grew on me over time, even if it took me a while to love it. I wish we had seen Mr. Woodhouse, and the Isabella arc seemed like filler, but I thought the modernization of the novel (the workplace setting, the Boxx restaurant opening, etc.) worked well.


Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow @nextjen on Twitter. And remember to like Jane Austen Summer Program on Facebook and follow @JASPhotline on Twitter.

Emma Approved, Episodes 33-37: Party on, Emma

By Jennifer Abella

Previously on “Emma Approved” … Emma started over with a perfect record.

Emma just loves when Maddy talks about Jane Fairfax.

Episode 33 (Back in the Saddle): So now that Izzy’s happy, Emma can get down to bidness. She is officially Unstoppable. First up is throwing a party for prospective clients. Alex of course worries about $$$; dude probably set up his retirement accounts when he was 10. But savvy Alex sees an opportunity here: He asks Emma to help Maddy Bates, who has some great ideas about how they can be more efficient. Maddy could use the business. She’s going through a rough patch, and Emma’s habit of canceling their lunch dates isn’t helping. And if, in the process, Emma learns some financial best practices from Maddy, well, hey. Emma reluctantly agrees.

Episode 34 (Attitude and Gratitude): Before Maddy (who was once Emma’s Dad’s “Harriet”) arrives, Emma orders Harriet to interrupt the meeting after 10 minutes. That’s just about when Maddy will start raving about her niece, Jane Fairfax: the Oxford grad, Rhode scholar, Carnegie Hall performer(!?), social-policy master’s degree holder and all-around Perfect Girl. Also Emma wants to avoid the gross jams that Maddy makes with flavors like: Peach-guava-turnip. Okay, Emma’s got a point there. Ew. Anyway, Maddy’s warm and friendly if a bit loquacious. And … cue the Jane rave. Jane is heading a charity for inner-city youth in London; Jane is running the Surrey half-marathon (fun little shoutout to the book’s setting!); and most important Jane is coming back to town to help with Maddy’s business soon. Maddy is SUPER EXCITED, y’all. Emma is less so. She volunteers to help with Maddy’s business. As agreed — albeit a little late — Harriet interrupts, saying Emma has a phone call from um, er, uhh, the queen of England. That cements Harriet’s bright future in improv.

Alex Q+A: Blahblahblah I’m Alex Knightley. The answer to all the questions is: WHO CARES? ALEX IS PERFECT.

Bobbys back
Look who’s back!

Episode 35 (Flies to Honey): Alex surmises that Emma is helping Maddy in an effort to one-up Jane Fairfax. Maddy comes with yet more gross jams. Holier-than-Jane Emma works with Harriet to plan the company’s party and help Maddy gain clients.

Episode 36 (Internal Troubles): Emma tells Alex they’ve come up with a win-win: Maddy is going to sponsor a charity fundraising event with a celebrity guest. But Emma doesn’t know the venue. Or the charity. Or the celebrity. Ooooo-kay. Good plan! Meanwhile, Harriet’s got other things on her mind. Namely, Bobby, who has just shown up, still as cute and awkward as ever. Before he leaves he reminds her to back up all her files —  “Don’t want to lose something important to you.” Fairly sure he’s not talking about her data.

I feel like not much has happened in these episodes — lots of planning but not much doing. So here’s one more:

Episode 37 (Cinderella in the Making): Ruh-roh, 10 days to the party and the team’s in the weeds. Harriet can’t find a venue. Emma assumes they can fall back on the Coles’s ranch — but Harriet hasn’t heard back from them. Emma is flabbergasted: They’ve wanted Emma’s business for years! And on another front, she has to tactfully stop Maddy from bringing her jams as party favors, and Maddy says Jane can find a celebrity because lady’s got connections. Of course Emma refuses. Then Maddy drops the bomb: JANE’S COMING TO THE PARTY! I’m excited to see this Jane Fairfax, who’s always been a little flat to me, in every adaptation. She always seems so perfect yet kind of lifeless.

So this is about halfway through the series at this point. I found it dragging most when it veered from the canon. As someone familiar with the novel and other adaptations I just kept waiting for the story to get going — especially with Annie storyline. After that it gained traction until it stalled again when Izzy showed up. There’s a brief bit in the book about the Knightleys vacationing by the sea, but expanding Izzy’s involvement into a story arc was tedious to watch. At that point we knew already that Emma would do what she wants and that eventually Alex would either comfort her or get frustrated (or both), so nothing came as a surprise. Still, for a viewer who isn’t familiar with the story, it reinforces Emma’s modus operandi.

Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow @nextjen on Twitter. And remember to like Jane Austen Summer Program on Facebook and follow @JASPhotline on Twitter.


Emma Approved, Episodes 14-18: Presenting State Sen. James Elton

By Jennifer Abella

Previously on “Emma Approved” … Bobby Martin charmed us all (except Emma).

tweetEpisode 14 (Hashtag Miracle Worker + Martin’s video): As you can see, Ryan basically gave Emma a political endorsement on Twitter. But Alex doesn’t believe it will spur Elton to call Emma. So Emma and Alex make a bet: Elton calls and she gets to set Alex up on a date (Me: With me!). If Elton doesn’t call, Emma finally has to have lunch with as-yet-unseen Maddy Bates, who’s been inviting her out forever. Emma is like, UGH, fine. FYI: When Alex leaves, Emma is smiling the smile of someone who’s in love but doesn’t know it yet. Then Harriet rushes in with a video from Martin, He spins a yarn about making 1,000 paper cranes to get a wish. He’s made a blue one for Harriet’s eyes, a red one for her heart, one made of a map for the adventures they could have. Then he asks if she’ll join him in his quest to make the cranes so they can share the wish. That sound you hear is the world going, Awwwwww.

Episode 15 (Ambition and Fruition): Martin’s video has discombobulated Harriet, who asks Emma for advice. Emma, of course, demurs. But the final result is — wait for it — Harriet decides to turn him down. Because apparently Martin doesn’t have goals. Harriet, listen: Calm down. Yes, Martin’s video was a little intense. But he is not asking you to marry him (in this version at least), you just have to have dinner.  Jeez. Emma’s reward for her “good” advice: One sad Harriet … and a phone call from James Elton.

Episode 16 (Giving Thanks): Emma’s on a “James Elton is my client” high, while Harriet mopes about Martin. Speaking of, he stops in to say bye, because his job is done at Emma Approved, and Emma at least has the heart to look a little sad about how hangdog Martin is. Alex comes in, and Emma can’t wait to set him up per their Elton bet, but he quickly changes to subject, along the lines of, “I know something you don’t know: Harriet and Martin sittin’ in a tr –” But Emma stops him cold: She says Harriet already shot him down. And whoa, Alex is … not pleased. I like this fiery Knightley. Not afraid to tell Emma off and not in a lecture-y “I am better than you” kind of way. He says he’s having trouble even looking at her right now and stalks off, leaving her visibly upset. Good.

Episode 17 (First Impressions): After Thanksgiving, we finally meet the smarmily handsome James Elton. Emma wants to find him his “forever someone,” and in her mind that’s Harriet, whom she prompts to offer James some “celery soda.” Ew. Emma says Harriet introduced the office to the drink, which James of course is into as well. And … begin phase one of this matchmaking scheme.

Vicar State Sen. James Elton

Episode 18 (Practice Date): Alex and Emma have reached detente, neither apologizing for their spat over Harriet and Martin, but the fight is over by the episode’s end. Emma makes James go on a “practice date” with mopey Harriet as the volunteer. James brings up his likes: cacao nibs, boutique hot sauces and Icelandic yogurt. If you hadn’t lost me by virtue of being Elton, James, you lost me at Icelandic yogurt. Ick.  The two discover a mutual love of musicals, and Harriet mentions she plays the ukelele (side note: There’s a whole “Harriet’s Music Club” set of videos that I didn’t bother watching, but feel free). At the end of the date James compliments Emma as his instructor.

Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow @nextjen on Twitter. And remember to like Jane Austen Summer Program on Facebook and follow @JASPhotline on Twitter.