ea criticism

The Emma Approved/ Pemberley Digital fandom

Quickly addressing things in the fandom that’s happened over the past 72 hours.

There was a compiled list of criticisms in LBD/PD/EA land and I address them in this hangout here.

and more organized in this google doc here.

To clarify: because I’m seeing some claims that I had asked for compilations to be crowd sourced, that is untrue. It was originally intended to be an offline private one to one discussion.

But since the compiled lists were put together by concerned fans, I took the time to address and acknowledge them.

I think the most immediate thing to note is that Emma Approved will be going on hiatus at the end of month. There will be no EA episodes in January. No decision has been made on expanded content. Also this break is not a vacation… it is time for the team to reorganize. The hiatus was not in response to fan criticism, but a response to us being totally overwhelmed keeping the show going.

In general, if you don’t find my answers or actions satisfactory in the doc (or hangout) at this time, I am sorry, I tried. I feel I’ve done everything realistically possible for one person living a completely unhealthy and unbalanced life (100% toward his work) to do regarding this. 

Will there be changes? yeah there will be. Changes, adjustments, etc. Will you like them? Well that will be up to you when they happen. I’d rather the changes be reflected in actions rather than words so I’m not going to list out any “plans of action." 

I’ll be stepping back out of the fannish spaces after tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

I do appreciate all of you who care about the shows. It’ll probably be the death of me, but I do try to please everyone — which is impossible.


#thanksbioware for all the krem transphobia comments made by the inquisitor

#thanksbioware for all the ableism directed at anders in DA2

#thanksbioware for the alienages and not letting us improve them

#thanksbioware for making the dalish forget how valuable magic is to them in DAI despite it being valuable to them in DAO because we needed to oppress the mages more

#thanksbioware for not giving Cullen an actual redemption arc in DAI, and instead just glossing over his issues.  AND not giving us the option to call him out on his bull shit in DAI if you WERE going to just leave him as a mage hating asshole on purpose

#thanksbioware for never letting us actually help the mages, and continuing to put the circles back via a poc woman mage in trespasser

#thanksbioware for hawke’s clearly ooc moments concerning merrill, blood mages, and anders in DAI

#thanksbioware for straight and white washed Cassandra Pentaghast

#thanksbioware for GREAT options like putting the mage hating seeker in the seat of divine, or giving Fenris back to Danarius, or killing Anders, sacrificing alienage elves for a blood magic ritual in DAO with Morrigan’s approval, killing the chargers and killing Bull, letting Celene live after what she’s done

#thanksbioware for not including the actual ending in DAI and making it dlc that people had to pay for, AND making it so ps3/360 players couldn’t get it anyway

#thanksbioware for making the rivalry trope in DA2 so prevalent all game, instead of actual good character development

#thanksbioware for not making Jowan recruit able in DAO like he was originally supposed to be

#thanksbioware for not making Nathaniel a companion in DA2 as was originally planned, despite there being a clear set up for him to be a companion in DA2 since Kirkwall doesn’t have a warden base

#thanksbioware for making Solas straight when he was originally supposed to be bi

#thanksbioware for all the wonderful healthy w/w side relationships in DA such as: Leliana x Marjorlaine, Briala x Celene, and Branka x Hespith

#thanksbioware for making it not so apparent that Wade x Herren are official, and having one of your writers tell everyone they were a couple on a website INSTEAD of making it apparent in the game

#thanksbioware for Sebastian Vael’s writing

#thanksbioware for Harvester Orsino

#thanksbioware for Isabela in the comics and drowning slaves

#thanksbioware for a comic named ‘mage killer’

#thanksbioware for white washing Zevran in DA2

#thanksbioware for making Loghain who was previously a hero, into a fucking SLAVER in DA:O

#thanksbioware for rivalmances

#thanksbioware for forgetting an entire fucking moon in DAI (there’s fan theories on why it’s not there but I’m still saying they forgot it)

#thanksbioware for lack of actual character development everywhere concerning companions in DAI

#thanksbioware for the fade mission in DAI, and emotional blackmail against Alistair fans and making them change their canon

I’m sure there are more, but I hope I covered this.

Emma Approved criticism - Google Drive

Yesterday, Bernie Su suddenly wanted to know what was bugging me about EA, prompted by this tweet. As my criticism usually involves passive-aggressive glitter text, I wasn’t the best person to ask, so I opened it up to my Twitter feed and the fandom at large.

This document is the result.

A couple of EA drama thoughts

Related to this and this.  

  1. While I realize Bernie Su asked for input and wanted to know what the criticisms have been, it does make me uncomfortable to criticize his artistic choices to his face.  As much as I don’t agree with some aspects of the adaptation and characterization, and as much as I think the quality of the writing is not as good as LBD, if this is his artistic vision it’s his artistic vision.  And it’s putting someone in a really difficult position to make them defend their artistic vision/abilities in the midst of an ongoing project.  (I also have faith that the PDig team is in fact looking to create a diverse cast, even if it doesn’t always happen, and even if I don’t necessarily have faith they’ll be able to deal with issues of race very well in-script.  Never mind other kinds of diversity.  looooooooooool)  So, I’m not going to touch any of that here.  
  2. I don’t necessarily mind that there are product placements, as long as they don’t get in the way of what else is going on.  I also don’t necessarily mind the show being on iTunes.  My problem here is the lack of transparency.  When people started to notice that Emma Approved was on iTunes, fans were confused and concerned.  We had no idea that this was even in the offing.  Many people were concerned that the Pemberley Digital team was planning to transition off of YouTube to iTunes and make us pay for the content – and maybe we wouldn’t have been so quick to jump to that conclusion if there hadn’t been the advertising/product placement, which led to EA reading as much more of a consumer product than LBD.  The thing is, I know that PDig is understaffed, but if there had been just *one little announcement* to let us know this was happening and that no one was planning to charge us to see EA, everyone would have been much happier.  
  3. Yeah, I don’t think anyone is super pissed about EA going on hiatus?  Anyone?  I think we, as people who have jobs and school and commitments, understand the value of taking breaks and not doing too much and getting burnt out.  Is there something going on that I don’t know about, because Bernie Su seems to think this is a thing people are upset about.  
  4. Also: as overworked as PDig peeps might be, I think we’ve determined that typos and errors are kiiiiiiiind of a dealbreaker for a lot of people in this fandom.  (hashtag, things that happen when you market your show to educated women who love Jane Austen and spend a lot of time writing about their feelings on the internet.)  
  5. Yes, Bernie Su is correct in his definition of the term “transmedia” and pointing out that EA is, in fact, doing it.  However, it seems to me that fans are really, really missing the interactive aspect.  You could argue that more fans need to get pinterest; I’m going to argue that Emma’s blog posts should be more engage-y, give people something to say to her on twitter that she can respond to (and also, maybe refer to “in my own office” or “as my assistant said the other day” or just generally included things that are interesting narratively rather than just a vague impression of things that are on Emma’s mind, because NO ONE READS THE BLOG POSTS ANYMORE).  And also, more interaction between characters who already have twitter wouldn’t be amiss.  
  6. Upshot: I think we would all prefer videos that come out less often, but a higher quality of writing, more interaction between the characters on social media, etc. 
  7. Re: the featurettes being online, I’m glad that was clarified and I wish the intention (to only release a couple of the 15 on the DVDs to kickstarter supporters only) had been made clearer in the beginning, which comes back to: transparency.  
  8. Not even touching the DVD delays, because things happen, but if people hadn’t already been so pissed about the LBD edition of P&P (foreward? fucking FOREWARD??? HOW DID SO MANY PEOPLE MISS THIS) and other things, we might have come into Emma Approved with a better taste in our mouths.  

Just my thoughts.  

imaginarycircus replied to your post: I literally do not understand anything happening…

Me neither. I think we need to apply chocolate and alcohol steadily.

They are a universal balm.

I think my problem at this point is that it doesn’t recognizably feel like an adaptation yet? Other than the character names and their relationships, I’m not sure what shape the story is taking yet–I’m not saying Emma Approved needs to or should be a chapter-for-chapter faithful telling, because that’s not going to happen for this format. But by the end of episode one of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (I’m sure they’re going to get super frustrated by the comparison but one of the things that I fell hard for in the LBD was its strength as a modern adaptation), we were already on the path to the greater story through the introduction of Netherfield being sold and Mrs. Bennet’s overweening interest in it. Or, to go from another Emma adaptation, Clueless starts with an introduction to Cher’s life and jumps into her plan to improve her grades through hooking up her teachers and adopting Tai–and that’s a story where the Taylor/Weston wedding doesn’t really happen until the end, if you think of Miss Geist and Mr. Hall as being half of the Taylor/Weston story (Dionne and Murray being the other half). So if you’re starting with an upset to the story that doesn’t appear anywhere in the novel, that’s fine, I have no problem with that, but it has to DO something and so far all Annie’s calling off the wedding has done has made Emma look like a person without empathy or sweetness but blinded by the consuming need to reach her own goals. I understand changing up the story to provide a fresh take on the characters, but so far, throwing a wrench into the marriage that starts the novel has only served to make most of the characters unsympathetic and hard to root for. 

to me. I mean, I don’t believe even Austen is sacrosanct, but if you’re doing a wholesale adaptation that just takes the ideas of the characters and runs with it, go for it but it still has to be a story with recognizable bones and narrative that goes somewhere. Even if, at this point, all the videos are supposed to do is character and world building, that still has to contribute somewhat to the plot. 

There’s a lot of potential with these actors and the world they’re creating but so far I just don’t get this story. Their Emma is not Austen’s Emma, certainly (I mean, novel Emma had a one track mind but she wasn’t like fuck all y'all this is about my master plan). Which is fine. But their Emma is also someone who doesn’t make any sense as a person to me.

Harriet and Annie, I like. I’ll say that.

Today's EA Episode

I keep holding out hope (why? I don’t know) that EA is going to improve, but I think I’m ready to just be done. There were so many problematic things in this episode, but my biggest issue is with the characterization of Emma. Even if we ignore the fact that this is supposedly an adaptation, as a stand alone story the writing has major problems. This arc with Izzy hasn’t moved the story along, in fact it’s taken any sort of character development Emma had from the Elton arc and moved it ten paces backward. It’s just feeling so repetitive. I’m not sure why they’ve had to villanize John either. Sure, make changes from the book, but what purpose does it serve to make the Knightley marriage problematic if it’s only going to show how very wrong Emma was, yet again.

did bernie su really just compare disney releasing a scene from frozen to selling emma approved on itunes?? dude, no. this is a really fucking shady thing to do, charging people money to watch something that is freely available to watch on youtube. you’re taking advantage of your new viewers who may not know about pd and tlbd, and that’s really not fair.

I mean, if it really bothers you that much stop watching. From what you wrote it's more than just Alex physically restraining Emma that you have a problem with, so why not stop watching? Idk. You seem to have a problem with the show as a whole, not just little things, so it's useless continuing to watch it.

Anonymous asked: I mean, if it really bothers you that much stop watching. From what you wrote it’s more than just Alex physically restraining Emma that you have a problem with, so why not stop…

“If “don’t like? don’t watch” works for you and makes you happy? I understand. I respect that. Would you consider returning that respect? That I am allowed to critique and explore a show I find highly flawed based on my favorite novel?”


The evolution to present day Emma Approved is that the writing team is actually smaller while the interactive team has grown and is now larger. There is more going on in EA non-video wise on a week by week basis so we’ve grown the team.

There is more going on in EA non-video wise on a week by week basis

There is more going on in EA non-video wise on a week by week basis

There is more going on in EA non-video wise on a week by week basis



Critica e constructivă, dar eu nu am nevoie de ea, nu vreau sã critic un suflet nevinovat făcându-l să se simtă prost, doar ca eu să scot ceva din asta..