A Parent’s Guide to Emma (TV Series) (2009)

WARNING: Reading this article may give away things in the story ranging from unimportant to plot turners.

Emma (2009) by Jim O’Hanlon (Director)

Type: Classics, Romance

Basic Plot: Emma Woodhouse is a young woman who believes exactly who her friends should marry. Not only might she hurt more than she helps though, she may also miss her own potential love interest.


Plot: 3½/5 Above Average: This story has some things about it that are both good and bad. One of my favorite things is that it makes it very clear what is happening in the story. Many movies based off books only talk about what happened, rather than showing it, even in series. This series made sure to show scenes that allowed those who have never read the book to clearly understand what was going on, though I do think it was poorly done in a few areas. Another thing the movie did was that it showed some of the more serious sides of the story. Emma is often showed with lots of wit, cheekiness, and humor, the events often speaking for themselves on how bad it is to meddle. The writer takes special time in the story though for the characters to face the consequences of their actions, something I really enjoyed. Finally, I have to say that it was a pretty accurate portrayal. There were some things left out, very slight changes, and scenes added for clarity (albeit sometimes unnecessarily), but was overall consistent.

Acting: 4/5 Well Done: The acting is realistic in its portrayal, staying true to the character’s personalities and having rich voices. The chemistry was lacking a little, but actors and actresses individually do a good job at portraying their characters.

Costumes and Scenery: 4/5 Well Done: Costumes and scenery were realistic without being boring, something I really liked.

Music: 3½/5 Average: While there is not a whole lot of music, what is there is a pretty classical style.

Moral: 3/5 A Good Moral: The moral of the story is the one of not meddling in other people’s affairs, especially for our own amusement. Not only is this shown by the events that occur, but the writer took special care to show the loneliness and sadness this might have caused Emma that often are not shown or even thought of.

Overall: 4/5 Well Done: Overall, I will say that though this is not the best adaption I have seen of this book, I definitely liked certain things about it. It was well acted, had a good moral, and clearly explained. I would recommend it for girls starting at the age of twelve.

Moral Content

Sexual and Inappropriate Content: 1/5 Light Suggestive Themes: A married couple kisses once, and unmarried couples two times. A man carries his wife, and an man carries a woman he isn’t married to because she faints. Men kiss women’s hands. A woman yells at a man when he holds her hand. Women wear dresses that show some cleavage, at least once also in a picture, and once a woman is shown in a quite low nightgown. A small statue, of what I believe is a man, can be seen shirtless in the background. Unintentionally, the string of a woman’s bra can be seen slightly in a few scenes by the viewers. A man lays his head on a woman’s lap. An engaged man flirts with another woman.

Violence: ½/5 Brief Playful Violence: There is some playful violence such as hitting each other playfully with sticks.

Swearing and Using the Lord’s Name in Vain: 1/5 Brief, Light Cursing: God’s name is taken in vain once.

Emotional, Intense, and Disturbing Content: 1/5 Some Light Dramatic and Emotional Content: A dead woman is shown in a coffin. A man is a paranoid hypochondriac after the death of his wife and constantly worries how people could get ill if they are not more careful. It is mentioned in speech that people die from diseases and that people are sick. A woman was saved from death because a man caught her before she fell from a cliff. A woman faints.Characters cry over relationship problems. Things pertaining to death are used for descriptive purposes.

Religious Issues: ½/5 Brief Mention: “Ghost” and “written in the stars are” used for descriptive purposes.

Magic: ½/5 Brief Mention: “Fairyland,” “magical,” and “nymph,” are used for descriptive purposes.

Others: Beer  is mentioned in speech and drunk. Card playing is mentioned. Characters dance and talk about it in speech. Emma reads John Milton.

Overall: 1½/5 Almost All Ages Appropriate: This movie is pretty clean, with less cleavage and naked statues than a lot of other Jane Austen movies, though it is still good to be aware it has it’s few, slightly immodest moments. I would morally recommend this to children of any age, unless seeing a woman briefly in a coffin would scare them.


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