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  #1  
Old July 31st, 2010, 4:29 pm
Melaszka's Avatar
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Sherlock

This may be a small and select thread, as I know it's only airing in the UK at the moment, but judging by the response when I mentioned this on the Fans of British Shows thread, I'm not the only one watching the new modern adaptation by Moffat and Gatiss, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

I haven't got this excited about a TV programme for a long, long time.

What do you think of it?


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  #2  
Old August 2nd, 2010, 9:00 am
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Re: Sherlock

Yes! I was hoping a thread for this would exist!

I thoroughly enjoyed episode one. It's just brilliant. The dynamics between Holmes and Watson are spot-on and it's just great to see them in a modern setting. And casting Rupert Graves as Lestrade was ingenuous. Love him! And let me gush about Benedict Cumberbatch. He's a fantastic Sherlock and deserves lots of superlatives.

Episode two, however, was a bit of a let-down.

Spoiler: show
What happened to practical, military-trained Dr. Watson? I'm sorry to say this but he was a total waste of space this time. He didn't react to signs of struggle, his doctor instincts didn't kick in when Sherlock wheezed after almost being strangled to death, he sucked at hand-to-hand combat and he's no good at the wrong end of a gun. Seriously, Sarah was more stoic in the face of certain death than veteran!John. And what was up with him running after Sherlock in the museum, leaving the target unprotected, and then standing around for minutes listening to the sounds of fighting? So very helpful and strategic. Not.

Lestrange and Anderson, they should have been there. The replacement was flat and nondescript. Didn't like. For pete's sake, it's a three-parter. Can't you get Rupert Graves to stay for all three parts?

The humour. It wasn't all there.

The plot moved at a snail's pace. So did Sherlock's ingenuous brain. Maybe he should eat every now and then. Just saying.

I did like it though. Loved Cumberbatch's Sherlock, his manipulative ways (complimenting Molly, that sneaky scoundrel!) and how he tries to hold on to his only and very first friend. The scene at the bank with Sebastian was incredibly telling and a bit heartbreaking. Such a lonely man.

Which is why I loooooove Sarah's character but not the fact that she turned up already. John and Sherlock aren't actually friends yet, they're getting there. Sherlock cannot be sure of John's loyalty and affection, so his latent paranoia is entirely understandable. Yet he doesn't come off as dependent on John, it's rather the other way round. This episode's John Watson seems to need someone, not necessarily Sherlock. And this is why the trio's dynamics didn't quite work for me. Sherlock and John aren't the dream team of the books yet. At times, I thought that Sarah would make a better partner for Sherlock than John. o_O

Okay, here's to hoping that next week will be up to the brilliance of the pilot!


And let me get into the issue of -isms. It's been discussed elsewhere that this new modern Sherlock isn't great when it comes to portraying race, gender, class and disabilities. What do you think?

Spoiler: show
Although I agree that the show is problematic in regard to all these isms, I object to seeing Sarah especially as a damsel in distress and nothing more. She prevailed around Sherlock and didn't let him intimidate her. In the fight, she did better than John, who has a military background (which they conveniently forgot in episode two). At times I thought she'd be a better partner for Sherlock than John, as she was animated and observant yet grounded.

To be honest, I don't think male characters - apart from John and Sherlock - get better treatment. Unlike last week's murderer, the female villain got away, which really rankled Sherlock. She was eventually murdered but unbeknownst to Sherlock. The new CI (or DCI?) is a walking stereotype and completely incompetent. Probably moreso because he's not like Lestrade and willing to admit to it. Come to think of it, the entire police are incompetent. Sebastian from the bank comes across as an arse and not very bright, either.

The only men who are fleshed out and complex are Watson and Holmes and what we learn about their lives is pretty sad and a bit depressing, no? If Watson was a woman, wouldn't we be outraged at her portrayal? She comes back from Afghanistan with a psychosomatic limp (it's all in her head!), despite her qualifications she cannot support herself financially and takes on a job for which she is overqualified. She fails at everyday-life in general. On top of that, she's immediately enthralled and dependent on a verbally abusive sociopath who disposes over her time and controls every aspect of her life (even her computer).

If Sherlock was a woman, well...She cannot sustain meaningful relationships with other women (Mrs Hudson, Molly etc) and sees them as a threat to her relationship with John. She needs a man in her life, mainly to bounce ideas off him because her brilliance alienates her from the rest of society. Also, she's asexual and a workaholic. She gets her kicks on weird experiments, is rude and condescending, takes other people for granted and her jealousy borders on paranoia. She follows her friend John on his first date, determined to keep an eye on him.

I very much doubt that these two female characters would have any fans.


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  #3  
Old August 2nd, 2010, 9:52 am
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Re: Sherlock

Yay! Another fan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
I thoroughly enjoyed episode one. It's just brilliant. The dynamics between Holmes and Watson are spot-on and it's just great to see them in a modern setting. And casting Rupert Graves as Lestrade was ingenuous. Love him! And let me gush about Benedict Cumberbatch. He's a fantastic Sherlock and deserves lots of superlatives.
I loved episode one, too. I did have complaints - some of the updating was a bit crass (e.g. I thought the Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! texts were OTT), the police were a bit too slow and the plot (understandably, given that it was a first episode) was a bit of an after-thought to the characterisation. As has been much pointed out in reviews/on other forums, it took Sherlock an improbably long time to work out
Spoiler: show
it was the cabbie
.

However, the characterisation and the chemistry between Sherlock and John was unbelievable. Freeman was very good and they might as well just give Cumberbatch the BAFTA now - no-one's going to top that.

Quote:
Episode two, however, was a bit of a let-down.
I thought so, too, albeit for different reasons:

Spoiler: show
Quote:
What happened to practical, military-trained Dr. Watson? I'm sorry to say this but he was a total waste of space this time. He didn't react to signs of struggle, his doctor instincts didn't kick in when Sherlock wheezed after almost being strangled to death, he sucked at hand-to-hand combat and he's no good at the wrong end of a gun. Seriously, Sarah was more stoic in the face of certain death than veteran!John. And what was up with him running after Sherlock in the museum, leaving the target unprotected, and then standing around for minutes listening to the sounds of fighting? So very helpful and strategic. Not.
Yep. Guilty as charged. And what makes this especially disappointing is that what was so good in episode 1 was that the relationship between Holmes and Watson was far more equal than it's usually portrayed

Quote:
Lestrange and Anderson, they should have been there. The replacement was flat and nondescript. Didn't like. For pete's sake, it's a three-parter. Can't you get Rupert Graves to stay for all three parts?
Agree. Well, I didn't think this week's inspector was too bad, but it's a series, and it's early in the series, and we should have had some continuity of characters. I'm assuming there'll be a second series (Cumberbatch has said that it's a when not an if), but Lestrade needs to be established now.

Quote:
The humour. It wasn't all there.
I thought it was OK - not as funny as last week's, but some good lines. ("Can I use your balcony?" and "Biscuit with that?" both made me laugh out loud)

Quote:
The plot moved at a snail's pace. So did Sherlock's ingenuous brain. Maybe he should eat every now and then. Just saying.
I actually thought it was an improvement on last week's in terms of plot and Sherlock's brain speed. Still not great, but better.

Quote:
I did like it though. Loved Cumberbatch's Sherlock, his manipulative ways (complimenting Molly, that sneaky scoundrel!)
See, I didn't like that. My biggest complaint is that they don't seem to have worked out whether they want him to be a sociopath or have an autistic spectrum disorder. In episode 1, I felt he was very much the latter and I liked that - it made him seem oddly vulnerable and you could see why he needed Watson, to be able to explain the mystifying aspects of human relationships that were beyond him. It was one of the things that made their relationship more equal. He clearly didn't understand Molly fancied him in episode 1 (which made it amusingly ironic when he also misread John's signals and thought he did fancy him, when he didn't, and also fitted in with that superb blooper "But her baby died ages ago - why would she still be upset?" - this guy just does not understand how relationships work or pick up on how other people are feeling), so it just seemed inconsistent and wrong that he now very much knows how she feels and is slickly using it to his advantage (same with him sweet-talking the woman in the flat above Van Coon's, although I could just about stomach that one, as his voice sounded slightly stilted, like he'd learnt how to do that kind of thing by rote, without really understanding the psychology of it).

Quote:
and how he tries to hold on to his only and very first friend. The scene at the bank with Sebastian was incredibly telling and a bit heartbreaking. Such a lonely man.
Ah - I totally missed that. I'm going to have to rewatch on i-Player. (ETA just have and - wow! - poor baby!) See, I love the vulnerability of the character and the sense that, underneath the coldness, he does form intense attachments - that's why I don't want them to turn him into pure sociopath.

Quote:
Which is why I loooooove Sarah's character but not the fact that she turned up already.
Yes!

Generally, I thought they didn't have enough of the characterisation and relationship-building that made episode 1 so special.It was like a so-so Sunday-night detective programme. Not bad, but nothing special.

I did think the Chinese circus scenes were really creepy, thought, and we began to get some of the tension that I felt was missing in episode 1.

I think Mark Gatiss has written episode 3, so hopefully it will be truer to Moffat's pilot.


Quote:
And let me get into the issue of -isms. It's been discussed elsewhere that this new modern Sherlock isn't great when it comes to portraying race, gender, class and disabilities. What do you think?
I heard some criticisms of the "homophobic" humour in episode 1, but I thought it was OK - to me, it just exemplified that John has the ambivalence a lot of modern men have towards homosexuality - he thinks it's "fine", but still has a kneejerk fear of others thinking he might be gay. To me, John's repeated "this is not a date" comments suggest a character flaw that he is going to have to work through, rather than an uninspired writer making cheap gags about gay people.

I thought John's Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Sherlock's "sociopathy" were portrayed a bit sloppily and stereotypically, but Sherlock's acknowledgement that people usually tell him to **** off and the police officer's use of "freak" to describe him did begin to look at how people with "invisible" disabilities are unfairly marginalised by society.

As for gender, it's got the usual faux-feminist, lots-of-women-in-the-second-tier-of-importance problem. It's difficult to see how they could have got round this, given that it's based on a source where almost all the significant characters (apart from Irene Adler and Mrs Hudson) are male. I do think they could perhaps have made Lestrade female, though. (Although, having said that, it will be interesting to see who Moriarty turns out to be - there's been widespread speculation in fandom that "more than a man" might be a hint that "he"'s a woman, perhaps even someone we've met already, like Mycroft's BlackBerrying babe or Molly)

I thought the "scrubbing his floors" line was cheap and misogynist, though. And Soon-Lin's line about "some things shouldn't be shut away behind glass, they need to be handled" made me cringe. Much objectifying, or what?

Class I need to think about.

Spoiler: show
Quote:
Although I agree that the show is problematic in regard to all these isms, I object to seeing Sarah especially as a damsel in distress and nothing more. She prevailed around Sherlock and didn't let him intimidate her. In the fight, she did better than John, who has a military background (which they conveniently forgot in episode two). At times I thought she'd be a better partner for Sherlock than John, as she was animated and observant yet grounded.
Yes - I thought she was great and then got really annoyed when she ended up being the stereotypical girl tied up with a gag in the denouement. (Although, having said that, Watson was also a bit of a damsel in distress in that scene)

Quote:
If Sherlock was a woman, well...She cannot sustain meaningful relationships with other women (Mrs Hudson, Molly etc) and sees them as a threat to her relationship with John. She needs a man in her life, mainly to bounce ideas off him because her brilliance alienates her from the rest of society. Also, she's asexual and a workaholic. She gets her kicks on weird experiments, is rude and condescending, takes other people for granted and her jealousy borders on paranoia. She follows her friend John on his first date, determined to keep an eye on him.
I was thinking about this the other day, too, and you just don't get female characters like this. I so wish we did.


As I used to live in Central London, the setting is a bit of an unwanted distraction for me - I keep spotting restaurants I've eaten in or pubs I've drunk in during the chase sequences, and lose track of who's doing what to whom and why.



Last edited by Melaszka; August 2nd, 2010 at 6:44 pm. Reason: Realised I'd broken a rule I just told someone else off for breaking
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  #4  
Old August 2nd, 2010, 6:27 pm
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Re: Sherlock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
However, the characterisation and the chemistry between Sherlock and John was unbelievable. Freeman was very good and they might as well just give Cumberbatch the BAFTA now - no-one's going to top that.
I'm okay with Freeman but I can't help thinking how awesome it would have been if they had cast John Simm for the role.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Spoiler: show
See, I didn't like that. My biggest complaint is that they don't seem to have worked out whether they want him to be a sociopath or have an autistic spectrum disorder. In episode 1, I felt he was very much the latter and I liked that - it made him seem oddly vulnerable and you could see why he needed Watson, to be able to explain the mystifying aspects of human relationships that were beyond him. It was one of the things that made their relationship more equal. He clearly didn't understand Molly fancied him in episode 1 (which made it amusingly ironic when he also misread John's signals and thought he did fancy him, when he didn't, and also fitted in with that superb blooper "But her baby died ages ago - why would she still be upset?" - this guy just does not understand how relationships work or pick up on how other people are feeling), so it just seemed inconsistent and wrong that he now very much knows how she feels and is slickly using it to his advantage (same with him sweet-talking the woman in the flat above Van Coon's, although I could just about stomach that one, as his voice sounded slightly stilted, like he'd learnt how to do that kind of thing by rote, without really understanding the psychology of it).
Spoiler: show
I wondered whether he did know about Molly fancying him but played dumb because he didn't want to confront her, seeing that he needed her. He made the comments about her lipstick at very opportune moments for someone who was completely oblivious. I think Sherlock being a sociopath and being able to manipulate people doesn't mean that he's sociable. He needs John for the awkward situations in which he is utterly callous in the face of human feelings.

I'd compare him to Dexter. He observes humans and he's very good at that. He knows how to imitate appropriate common behaviour. But he doesn't feel the way others do. John is Sherlock's Debbie, who explains to him why people do what they do. Before meeting John, Sherlock didn't have any friends, which explains why he never even considered the possibility of people suffering for years after losing a person they loved. It's not something he could observe, as most people don't share these feelings with a total stranger, and an arrogant and antagonist one at that. And he never experienced such a loss himself, so he can't imagine what it's like.

I wish they had emphasised his emotional dependence on John more in episode two. Instead of introducing a rival for Watson's affections already.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I heard some criticisms of the "homophobic" humour in episode 1, but I thought it was OK - to me, it just exemplified that John has the ambivalence a lot of modern men have towards homosexuality - he thinks it's "fine", but still has a kneejerk fear of others thinking he might be gay. To me, John's repeated "this is not a date" comments suggest a character flaw that he is going to have to work through, rather than an uninspired writer making cheap gags about gay people.
I agree. And I thought the awkward restaurant scene was marvellous. Sherlock showed a rare vulnerability. He's still wary around John and expected to judge him and label him as a freak. I also found it delightful how John defended Sherlock during the raid and was completely stumped when Sherlock told him to shut up because he did have drugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I was thinking about this the other day, too, and you just don't get female characters like this. I so wish we did.
I'm not sure this would work in today's society. There is a new series called Body of Proof which is going to air this fall, in which the main character is something of a female Dr. House. I'm very curious whether this is going to be a success. Unfortunately, women have very high expectations for acceptable female characters and we judge them more harshly than male characters.

Quote:
As I used to live in Central London, the setting is a bit of an unwanted distraction for me - I keep spotting restaurants I've eaten in or pubs I've drunk in during the chase sequences, and lose track of who's doing what to whom and why.
Oh, I'm going to be in London again in September. Any tips?


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  #5  
Old August 3rd, 2010, 3:49 am
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Re: Sherlock

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
there's been widespread speculation in fandom that "more than a man" might be a hint that "he"'s a woman, perhaps even someone we've met already,
Maybe a hermaphrodite.

I'm not sure I'll catch this when it gets here though. I'm not a fan of classics dumped into contemporary settings for no particular reason. Holmes was Holmes because he applied modern policing techniques in an era when they were new and unique.


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Old August 3rd, 2010, 7:09 am
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Re: Sherlock

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Maybe a hermaphrodite.

I'm not sure I'll catch this when it gets here though. I'm not a fan of classics dumped into contemporary settings for no particular reason. Holmes was Holmes because he applied modern policing techniques in an era when they were new and unique.
Honestly, I was surprised how well it worked in a modern setting. You should give it a try.


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Old August 3rd, 2010, 9:03 am
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Re: Sherlock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Maybe a hermaphrodite.

I'm not sure I'll catch this when it gets here though. I'm not a fan of classics dumped into contemporary settings for no particular reason. Holmes was Holmes because he applied modern policing techniques in an era when they were new and unique.
That's true to an extent and I have read criticism that the whole "amateur helping the police" idea doesn't wash in an era of modern forensics. In RL, he'd never be let within a 50m radius of a crime scene. It's not exactly the most naturalistic of programmes, though, so I willingly suspend my disbelief.

I don't think it's been "dumped into a contemporary setting for no reason", though. It's been strongly argued by the series' creators and others that most Holmes adaptations have now been so shrouded in atmospheric Victoriana that you lose the sense of how modern they were in their time. They just become whimsical heritage TV, not the cutting edge thrillers they were when they were written.

And ACD himself was apparently totally unprecious about his creation and allowed all sorts of liberties to be taken with him when he was alive - when asked by a stage adaptor "May I marry Holmes?" (i.e. give him a wife in the stage version), he was said to have replied "Do what you like with him - marry him, kill him off, if you like". So I don't think it's being irreverent to the author's intentions (even if I believed we could know what those were or that they mattered, which I don't).

Like Moriath said, I'd give them a try. Although you may hate them - judging by the reviews and message boards I've seen, they're Marmite (or should that be Vegemite? )


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Old August 3rd, 2010, 3:41 pm
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Re: Sherlock

I was wondering if there was a thread for this!
Episode 1 was really good and episode 2 was awesome with the ciphers!

Spoiler: show
But i do kinda agree about john not being as 'Military combat at the ready' sort of guy in episode two. Although it was awesome when his date whacked the guy in the back with the stick! Ultimate date!


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Old August 4th, 2010, 8:38 am
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Re: Sherlock

About sociopaths:

Spoiler: show
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
I wondered whether he did know about Molly fancying him but played dumb because he didn't want to confront her, seeing that he needed her. He made the comments about her lipstick at very opportune moments for someone who was completely oblivious.
I hadn't thought of that, but, yes, that's very possible.

Quote:
I think Sherlock being a sociopath and being able to manipulate people doesn't mean that he's sociable. He needs John for the awkward situations in which he is utterly callous in the face of human feelings.
I'm a bit hamstrung here by not knowing much about sociopathy! The one confirmed sociopath I have known in RL was very, very sociable - needed people around him all the time, not because he cared about them in any way, but so he could get a kick out of manipulating them and playing games with them, and he was incredibly charming - the life and soul of the party. I accept that not all sociopaths are like that.

It seems to me, though, that Sherlock feels too much for a sociopath (his obvious hurt at his brother spying on him, Sebastian bad-mouthing him and Watson insisting he's a "colleague", not a "friend", could all be put down to sociopath's narcissism, but not the loyalty with which he protects Watson from the police investigation at the end of episode 1). And he also can't be that good at manipulating people if everybody at university "hated" him, the female police officer thinks "he doesn't have friends" and is a "freak", people frequently tell him to "**** off" and Watson is wary of calling him "friend". He's coming across to me as a lonely man who desperately wants approval and friendship, but lacks the skills to get it, whereas I imagine a sociopath would know all too well how to make people like him/her.

But, as I said, I don't know much about sociopathy. And I suppose deep down I want him to be someone who gets intensely attached to people and cares about them, so I'd rather he wasn't too sociopathic and manipulative. It's the old "seeing what I want in the character"!

Quote:
He needs John for the awkward situations in which he is utterly callous in the face of human feelings.
I loved the "Not good?"/"A bit not good" exchange in Episode 1.

Quote:
I wish they had emphasised his emotional dependence on John more in episode two. Instead of introducing a rival for Watson's affections already.
I know - my thoughts exactly.

Quote:
I thought the awkward restaurant scene was marvellous. Sherlock showed a rare vulnerability. He's still wary around John and expected to judge him and label him as a freak. I also found it delightful how John defended Sherlock during the raid and was completely stumped when Sherlock told him to shut up because he did have drugs.
Cue for me to descend into burbling, meaningless Cumberbatch squeeing.


A valid criticism which I have heard made of the series is that, in both the episodes so far, despite Holmes's supposedly prodigious deductive skills and the amount of running around and chase sequences that happen, the investigation gets precisely nowhere until the villain shows up at John and Sherlock's flat of his own volition and says "Hello! It's me!"

Also, I would like to officially publish my guess that Moriarty is the mutual friend who introduced Sherlock and John (in the original, Moriarty was a Professor - this guy lectures at a medical school). Although I'm also intrigued by the possibility that it's Molly. Or Harry. Or Mycroft's assistant. Or Mycroft. And I'm rubbish at predicting, anyway (:cough: McGonagall, Death Eater :cough: )



Last edited by Melaszka; August 5th, 2010 at 8:54 am.
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  #10  
Old August 5th, 2010, 8:03 am
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Re: Sherlock

About Sherlock, antisocial personality disorder aka sociopathy.
Spoiler: show
I visited wiki for signs and symptoms:

Characteristics of people with antisocial personality disorder may include

* Persistent lying or stealing
* Apparent lack of remorse[3] or empathy for others
* Cruelty to animals[4]
* Poor behavioral controls — expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper
* A history of childhood conduct disorder
* Recurring difficulties with the law
* Tendency to violate the boundaries and rights of others
* Substance abuse
* Aggressive, often violent behavior; prone to getting involved in fights
* Inability to tolerate boredom
* Disregard for safety


Okay, Sherlock doesn't feel remorse, especially not about pickpocketing Lestrade, he isn't only cruel to animals, he beats up corpses with a riding crop. He definitely displays erratic behaviour and sudden mood swings, violates Watson's boundaries and rights by breaking into his computer etc., abuses drugs, is utterly incapable of tolerating boredom and gets his kicks out of life-threatening situations. Looks like a fitting diagnosis. Researchers allegedly also put emphasis on including typical psychopathic traits such as a lack of empathy, superficial charm, and inflated self appraisal. And apparently there are numerous subtypes of sociopathy, which explains why your acquaintance is so very different from Sherlock's character.

I think Sherlock is totally fine without company most of the time. And he would probably consider charming others too easy and a waste of time because they're all so stupid compared to him. And since his particular obsession is to analyse others and use his methods of deduction to expose their secrets, I'm not surprised that he doesn't have any friends.

On the other hand, he called Sebastian 'Seb' and I think he made very sure to present John as 'his friend'. I suspect that there may have been something between Sebastian and him at university, which didn't end well but entitled Sebastian to send him a rather intimate email. Sherlock is able to connect with others but he doesn't exactly make an effort. I think in the beginning he kept Watson around because he didn't react like everyone else did, which made him interesting. Then John saved his life and Sherlock protected him in return. It was a reaction to unprecedented loyalty towards him, I think.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
A valid criticism which I have heard made of the series is that, in both the episodes so far, despite Holmes's supposedly prodigious deductive skills and the amount of running around and chase sequences that happen, the investigation gets precisely nowhere until the villain shows up at John and Sherlock's flat of his own volition and says "Hello! It's me!"
So very true. And Moriarty has apparently nothing better to do than stalk Sherlock. So if he turns up in the final part, he's probably going to sit in Sherlock's comfy chair.


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Old August 5th, 2010, 9:00 am
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Re: Sherlock

Spoiler: show
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
Okay, Sherlock doesn't feel remorse, especially not about pickpocketing Lestrade, he isn't only cruel to animals, he beats up corpses with a riding crop. He definitely displays erratic behaviour and sudden mood swings, violates Watson's boundaries and rights by breaking into his computer etc., abuses drugs, is utterly incapable of tolerating boredom and gets his kicks out of life-threatening situations. Looks like a fitting diagnosis. Researchers allegedly also put emphasis on including typical psychopathic traits such as a lack of empathy, superficial charm, and inflated self appraisal. And apparently there are numerous subtypes of sociopathy, which explains why your acquaintance is so very different from Sherlock's character.
OK, you win! And I suppose it is very unlikely that the writers would include the line "I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research!" if they hadn't done theirs.


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Old August 6th, 2010, 10:45 pm
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Re: Sherlock

Apparently, Moriarty will be revealed on Sunday! And they're still in talks about whether there'll be a second series and, if so, what format it will take:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-rad...s-moriarty-bbc


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  #13  
Old August 7th, 2010, 1:31 pm
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Re: Sherlock

Hurray, Sherlock fans!

I've been avidly watching the new Sherlock series. I did experience some trepidation at the idea it was set in
modern 21st Century London, and consequently might lose the Sherlock Holmes spirit that attracts me to the character and story. There's a definite style and substance to the program, while giving the show its own unique quirks without it being jarring and alien to the whole Sherlock Holmes environment. I like the dynamics between Holmes and Watson, the dark depths and humour.

In the first episode, on occasions I found the on-screen-type odd and unneccessary. It struck me the on screen descriptions, for example the items at the murder scene and text message, was a disservice to the actors. In Benedict Comberbatch's case, it seemed to deprive him a chance to interact with the other cast, and show Sherlock's thought process through actions, conversation and scene selection as representation of his mind's eye. Benedict Comberbatch was perfectly capable of acting this aspect of the character because he accomplished it spot on later.

In the second episode they discarded the on screen type, except with providing a reminder translation for an ancient number system. On this occasion it didn't feel intrusive and, I think, they achieved the perfect balance this time round. The rest of the mystery was unravelled through the actors, and well-crafted scene editing to show Sherlock's memory and thought process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post

Spoiler: show
What happened to practical, military-trained Dr. Watson? I'm sorry to say this but he was a total waste of space this time. He didn't react to signs of struggle, his doctor instincts didn't kick in when Sherlock wheezed after almost being strangled to death, he sucked at hand-to-hand combat and he's no good at the wrong end of a gun. Seriously, Sarah was more stoic in the face of certain death than veteran!John. And what was up with him running after Sherlock in the museum, leaving the target unprotected, and then standing around for minutes listening to the sounds of fighting? So very helpful and strategic. Not.
Spoiler: show
Jeremy Brett's performance captures the epitome of Sherlock, for me and by a mile is my favorite still. Another reason is because David Burke and Edward Hardwicke act Watson with intelligence in the field of his profession and life experiences. He wasn't shown as the slow-witted sidekick. Seeing Watson clueless about a wheezing Sherlock, instantly made me remember a Brett episode called The Cardboard Box, iirc, where Sherlock was pretending to be suffering from virus symptoms to trap a killer and wouldn't permit Watson anywhere near him; he respected Watson's intelligence and knowledge in guessing the truth. It's a shame this Watson character wasn't extended a similar recognision in his observation/doctor skills in the second episode. I liked the equal vibe in the first episode: one's skills substitutes/helps where the other is lacking.

As for leaving a murder target, yes, I thought at the time: he might as well have delivered her on a silver platter.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
And Soon-Lin's line about "some things shouldn't be shut away behind glass, they need to be handled" made me cringe. Much objectifying, or what?
The objectifying did catch my attention too, and it got me wondering if the structure of her chosen phrase was a prelude to some life experience the audience would later discover. Something that had left an emotional mark. I'm fine it, as long as there's a strict point within the context of the character's storyline (either gender), its interwoven with their life experinces or emotional/physical struggles, etc. Not just an offhand thing.

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Apparently, Moriarty will be revealed on Sunday!
I'm very intrigued by what direction they'll take Moriarty in.



Last edited by Annielogic; August 7th, 2010 at 2:59 pm. Reason: clarify
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Old August 7th, 2010, 7:31 pm
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Re: Sherlock

Quote:
Originally Posted by optimus_pie95 View Post
I was wondering if there was a thread for this!
Episode 1 was really good and episode 2 was awesome with the ciphers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annielogic View Post
I've been avidly watching the new Sherlock series.
Yay! More fans!

Quote:
In the first episode, on occasions I found the on-screen-type odd and unneccessary. It struck me the on screen descriptions, for example the items at the murder scene and text message, was a disservice to the actors. In Benedict Comberbatch's case, it seemed to deprive him a chance to interact with the other cast, and show Sherlock's thought process through actions, conversation and scene selection as representation of his mind's eye. Benedict Comberbatch was perfectly capable of acting this aspect of the character because he accomplished it spot on later.
I'm in two minds about that. I thought the whole text messaging thing at the press conference was a bit naff, but I quite liked it when he was examining the body because it added a touch of irony when he was being so sarcastic and derogatory to Anderson and Lestrade for thinking "Rache" might be a message in German, as we knew that that was also the first thing that had occurred to him, too.


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Old August 7th, 2010, 9:48 pm
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Re: Sherlock

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I'm in two minds about that. I thought the whole text messaging thing at the press conference was a bit naff,
Yes, also the one where Holmes was dictating a text message to Watson. Between them, iirc, it was repeated whole twice, and the location thrice, so it felt unnecessary seeing it typed up on the screen in full. It probably sounds silly, but it felt like the screenwriter wasn't trusting me (the audience) to remember or take onboard the information, and I needed to be spoon fed. I'm just someone who loves books and programs that get my mind racing, and only need a clue doted here and there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
but I quite liked it when he was examining the body because it added a touch of irony when he was being so sarcastic and derogatory to Anderson and Lestrade for thinking "Rache" might be a message in German, as we knew that that was also the first thing that had occurred to him, too.
Yes. I was thinking more in regard to the ring description. I'm not adverse to it in all forms, not by any means. There were times when it was unintrusive and fitted snugly into the spirit of the program, like the one you mentioned above and the ancient translation. It probably took them a trial episode to settle down and find their footing on what's too heavy-handed and what's a quirky helpful addition.



Last edited by Annielogic; August 7th, 2010 at 9:55 pm.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 8:40 am
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Re: Sherlock

Ah, where to begin! Both the plot and Sherlock's brain moved at such a mercurial speed this week that I'm going to have to watch it at least one more time before I attempt a coherent analysis, but initial thoughts:

Spoiler: show
Definitely the best episode thus far. Makes last week's seem even more turgid and pointless. Loved it.

Liked:

*The script. My favourite lines were probably:

Quote:
John: There's a head in the fridge
Sherlock: Well, where else was I supposed to put it?
and the horribly politically incorrect

Quote:
John: So it's "They scratch your back and..."
Sherlock: Then I disinfect myself
*The relationship between John and Sherlock just got better and better
*I felt Mark Gatiss, whom I found too much of a caricature in episode 1, settled into the part much more
*It was great to have Donovan and Lestrade back

Disliked:

*Even the sight of the achingly lovely Mr Cumberbatch in his dressing gown could not entirely distract me from the fact that he was overacting something chronic in the "shooting at the walls" scene. I found myself yelling, "No, Benedict, no! That's stage acting. You're on the telly now, remember?" at the screen.
*More casual sexism - John sarcastically calling Lestrade and Sherlock "Girls" when they were squabbling particularly rubbed me up the wrong way
*Moriarty - it was like watching a third-rate actor do a fifth-rate impersonation of how he thought Johnny Depp might have played the character


Mixed feelings about:

*That little moue of jealousy that crossed Sherlock's face when he saw Molly and Jim together in the split-second before he identified Jim as gay.
*While it was fabulous to have cameos from those fine actors John Sessions and Haydn Gwynne (although the latter could have used a few sessions with a dialect coach, to be brutally honest), it only served to demonstrate how either of them would have made an infinitely better Moriarty than the one we got
*That cliff-hanger ending



Last edited by Melaszka; August 9th, 2010 at 8:50 am.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 8:44 am
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Re: Sherlock

Slightly flaily and incoherent review of The Great Game.

Spoiler: show
So much better than The Blind Banker! The beginning alone was COMEDY GOLD. Sherlock correcting a dumb criminal's grammar, so awesome! Of course he was going to be hanged, I'm sure Sherlock would have ensured it just to save the world from his English, heh.

ALSO! Shooting the wall out of boredom! In pyjamas! And being all huffy and hurt that John's opinion of his intellect isn't entirely favourable. Sherlock turning around and rolling up in a little huffy ball of huffiness was the cutest thing ever. Of course he didn't want John to leave, he was his intended audience. Being all mopy is no fun when one has to do it alone, right? Not even the severed head in the fridge could make up for John being gone.

And then John slept at Sarah's but not with Sarah. ♥ And he dashed off to make sure his boyfriend was okay after the explosion. So much slashy goodness! I loved Mycroft and Sherlock immediately analysing John's night out. As if there was nothing of major importance going on.

SHERLOCK AND THE VIOLIN! Oh, the Cumberbatch has the most beautiful hands. And yes, I am shamelessly objectifying him here, ahem.

As for the case(s), they were so much more interesting than last week's. And the old woman repeating what she had to was the CREEPIEST THING EVER. I was properly freaked out when she got emotional. It was like staring death in the face. Well done, Gatiss! I saw her death coming though. She had that vibe.

Loved the Vermeer part and the ongoing debate about useful and superfluous knowledge. Sherlock getting his kicks out of this - it had never been clearer. And we got lots of Lestrade, which made me ridiculously happy. I missed him so in episode two. And of course they all read John's blog. ♥

Incidentally, turning John into Sherlock's moral conscience worked well this week. It really depends on the script, I suppose. Martin Freeman's acting was more subtle and touching here.

I knew the moment I spotted the parka that John was wired and dressed in a bomb vest. But Sherlock's face at the potential betrayal! Just for a second he really thought John had played him and his face slew me. Oh, but the Cumberbatch wasn't done impressing me yet. His intense worry for John which was reflected in his voice - oh my heart!

And then we clapped eyes on Moriarty - knowingly for the first time - and inwardly I was underwhelmed already. The actor may be fine in other roles but he was clearly not up to the job. He couldn't hold his own against the Cumberbatch. Their rather crude attempt to draw parallels to the Doctor and the Master failed because this guy looked and sounded like the Simm!Master's illegitimate child on drugs. I didn't find him menacing. At all. His swiftly switching accents and his madly pitching voice annoyed me. This is the mastermind behind everything that's been happening, really? I was disappointed.

HOWEVER! When Sherlock opened the letter he remarked that the writer was OBVIOUSLY female. I have still hope that this was another one of Moriarty's deceptions and that it is really Molly. Because she and her pink blog are so much more menacing than this random kiddo.

But the culmination was still to come! With hopefullyfake!Moriarty out of the door, Sherlock could get to stripping John off the bomb vest. And he nearly pushed him into the pool, he was so eager to get him out of it. And Martin Freeman almost buckling over, it hurt in all the right places, oh yes. And then Sherlock thanked him for almost sacrificing himself, calling it 'good'. Ahahahaha, Sherlock, you emotionally stunted sociopath, I love your emotive inadequacy. ♥ So just when they were about to kiss and make up, Moriarty was back. With apparently very unsteady-handed snipers. Wow, these red lights went wild on Sherlock and John!

The cliffhanger, well, I've seen worse. And better. I'm very confident that we're getting a second series, so I'm not too bothered. Maybe it was once again Moriarty's overdone madness that put me off. Can we please get a recast? Someone who can be properly insane yet brilliant? Jeez, I was surprised this guy wasn't frothing around the mouth.

All in all, it was a spectacular finale and I cannot wait to rewatch the whole thing. The boys were fantastic. Mrs Hudson was great. As was Lestrade.


Probably over a year until we get more. Hold me!


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Old August 9th, 2010, 8:54 am
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Re: Sherlock

Spoiler: show
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
The cliffhanger, well, I've seen worse. And better. I'm very confident that we're getting a second series, so I'm not too bothered. Maybe it was once again Moriarty's overdone madness that put me off. Can we please get a recast? Someone who can be properly insane yet brilliant?
There's already speculation in fandom that there may be a cunning twist that he wasn't really Moriarty (the theory, I think, going that Sherlock initially thought Moriarty's note had been written by a woman, in fact he was convinced of it)*. While I'd love that to be true, I'm not holding out too much hope - Moffat wrote a piece in the Guardian last week asserting that the Moriarty they revealed on Sunday would go down as one of the greatest small-screen villains of all time. As Sherlock would say "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!"


* Sorry, I've just realised you already said that. I'll read your posts properly the first time in future.



Last edited by Melaszka; August 9th, 2010 at 2:55 pm.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 9:04 am
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Re: Sherlock

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Spoiler: show


There's already speculation in fandom that there may be a cunning twist that he wasn't really Moriarty (the theory, I think, going that Sherlock initially thought Moriarty's note had been written by a woman, in fact he was convinced of it). While I'd love that to be true, I'm not holding out too much hope - Moffat wrote a piece in the Guardian last week asserting that the Moriarty they revealed on Sunday would go down as one of the greatest small-screen villains of all time. As Sherlock would say "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!"
Obviously wrong.


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Old August 9th, 2010, 4:15 pm
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Re: Sherlock

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I didn't find him menacing. At all. His swiftly switching accents and his madly pitching voice annoyed me.
I've watched it again and I found him less bad the second time (if you watch it with the sound on mute, his acting is pretty good), but the sing-song voice is doing my head in and is what stops me believing in him.

The accent, I have been informed, wasn't actually switching from American to UK - it was a type of Dublin accent that can sound a bit like American (particularly, I imagine if you slap a stupid sing-song intonation over the top). I think the only intentional switches were between Irish and the slightly Cockney accent he did for his cover as the IT assistant as Bart's. But it was just annoying.

I've heard some people defending him, saying that people who didn't like him were just unimaginative and wanting the clicheed, middle-aged, calm but cunning villain. I admit my idea of the ideal Moriarty probably is a bit close to the cliche, but I would have been happy to see something different and I would have welcomed a young man, a capricious, twitchy, mood-swinging, flippant, manically psychotic young villain, as long as I could believe in him. But I couldn't.


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