perihadion: ("La Morfinomane")
[personal profile] perihadion
First, here is some seemingly-irrelevant information -- think of this as the Chekhov's gun of this post: in late June BBC4 aired a John Lennon biopic starring Christopher Eccleston named Lennon Naked, which I happened to watch -- and I deemed the actual worst thing about this biopic (which had some serious rough spots) the casting of an unknown-to-me actor named Andrew Scott as Paul McCartney. I really hated this guy's performance; I actually had a really long conversation with [livejournal.com profile] radioreverie about just how awful he was -- and I'm pretty critical of things but typically bad acting doesn't illicit that level of response so you can tell I thought he was really bad. He was bad in every way. This is important information. So.

Sherlock.

I had said to a few people that my desperate, delusional hope for this episode -- something which would retroactively have made the entire show amazing -- was that Moriarty would be revealed to be a woman. In fact, I specifically wanted Molly (the morgue technician with a crush on Sherlock) to be Moriarty because if that were the case then the show would actually have made quite an interesting point about the hints of covert sexism in Sherlock's interactions with women. In the first place, I wanted the show to acknowledge that there is indeed such a thing as an intelligent woman; in the second, Sherlock's random sexism really wound me up in "The Blind Banker" and I really want a woman to put him in his place; in the third, I really wish that Molly specifically could put Sherlock in his place; in the fourth, I just want this show to have one interesting, important female character -- just one.

What they did instead was so boring that people actually predicted it last Sunday. Like, because 'Jim' apparently popped up on one of the tie-in websites and literally everyone assumed that he would turn out to be Moriarty as Moriarty's first name is James -- it was in literally every prediction that I read for this episode, and the only reason I dismissed it was because it just struck me as too stupid: I just thought it was too obvious a 'twist' that they would introduce the character on a tie-in website with the same name and I expected something more interesting from the show. Because it's barely even a twist: it's barely even a twist to introduce a character with the same name as a villain and within the episode have that character turn out to indeed be that villain. But I made the mistake of wanting this show to be more interesting than it actually is.

For the record, here is a list of things they could have done which would have been better than what they actually did:
- Molly could have been revealed to be Moriarty.
- Moriarty could have been revealed to be any woman.
- Watson could have been revealed to be Moriarty.
- Moriarty could have been the Mr Hyde/Tyler Durden-esque alter-ego of Sherlock himself.

You know what? It would even have been better if they'd done a ridiculous 'double twist' and revealed Mycroft to be Moriarty. There's an alternate-universe version of me who's writing a post right now about how terrible the reveal that "Mycroft is Moriarty, after all" is -- and she just doesn't get that of the two of us she actually got the more interesting twist. (I so desperately want to live in the universe where Molly was indeed Moriarty, on the other hand.)

The real salt in the wound, though, is the fact that the guy they cast to play Moriarty was just a terrible actor. I actually tweeted that the "worst part" of the episode was this guy's acting -- because what he was choosing to do was all wrong for the character (I like my Moriarty sinister, not campy and ridiculous), it didn't work with the tone of the show, it didn't work with the way Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock, and he wasn't even doing a good job of it; it was embarrassing to watch. But what I didn't realise at the time, and what I actually didn't realise until earlier this evening, was that I already hated that guy as an actor even before he was on Sherlock -- because he was indeed the very same Andrew Scott who had previously played Paul McCartney in Lennon Naked. I can't even -- I can't even describe what this revelation did to my worldview.

- - -

I just want to point out that I don't think there's any reason why a supernova which was only visible in the sky for a limited period of time would be painted into a fake of a famous painting -- surely, if you were faking a painting, you'd just copy the original rather than painting your own night sky from nature? Did I miss a line which made that revelation plausible or is it as nonsensical as I think it is? Also, I get that it tied into Mark Gatiss' running joke about how Sherlock didn't know that the Earth revolved around the Sun (which is something which could have stayed in the books, honestly), but "knowledge of the solar system" wouldn't have aided in that particular deduction; knowing something about astronomy in general, and knowing that specific piece of astronomical trivia -- sure, but the solar system? No.

EDIT: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] evemac for explaining what was actually going on here. This is what I get for not rewatching before I wrote this post.

- - -

I didn't even understand what the significance was of the insanely tall guy who tried to choke Sherlock (this show is obsessed with choking). Like, was he one of Moriarty's henchmen? He just seemed like a really round-about contrivance to get Sherlock to the planetarium so he could gain the necessary information to prove that the Vermeer painting was a fake. That fight scene was like a bad drug trip, too. I don't even know what was going on.

- - -

There was some character stuff that I liked, though. I've said to a few people that the idea of Sherlock Holmes as a sociopath never rings entirely true to me because I don't understand why, if he is indeed a sociopath who is motivated by a desire to alleviate his own boredom, he operates exclusively on the side of good -- that actually makes no sense; if Sherlock Holmes is literally incapable of feeling any warmth or affection for people then there is nothing stopping him from being a Moriarty himself and I like that the episode acknowledged that.

I sometimes get to thinking -- because I'm quite insane, and I think about stuff like this -- about how Sherlock Holmes' methodology is actually very similar to scientific methodology and wondering why it is that "a Sherlock Holmes" wouldn't be interesting in pursuing a career in physics and this episode actually kind of, inadvertently, touched on that by having Sherlock declare that proof was just a detail. Of course, once you know you're right, proof is just a formality but this is the reason why Sherlock Holmes can't get along with "the system" -- the police system, the scientific method: he can't do the boring bits. I enjoy that.

- - -

Whatever, you know I'm going to watch it if it comes back for another series. I feel like Sherlock is now playing the role that Smallville used to play in my life: it's the show I don't especially like but that I quite desperately want to like, and that I think I could like if they would only make a few changes (like introducing just one amazing female character and treating her right -- honestly, that's all most shows need to do to make me love them).

Date: 2010-08-10 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-spiderbite.livejournal.com
-or if Moriarty had been ANYONE but a white male.
Seriously, how predictable. It would have been so epic if it had been Molly. But I knew that was too good to be true. It also would have been lovely if he had been of a minority race (although then they might have messed that up with some sort of awful stereotype).

-I thought of something today, what stopped them from making Mycroft a woman?
If Touchstone can remake The Tempest, and turn Prospero into Prospera (and have her played by the wonderful Helen Mirren), then there is no reason they couldn't have given Sherlock an older sister instead of an older brother. female!Mycroft would have been so epic too!

-I did appreciate the fact that Sarah wasn't sleeping with Watson. Classy lady. Kidnapping, thats a deal breaker!

I definitely loved the first episode the most, and then my love went down. But I still thought it was very well done, at least visually and plot wise, and really do hope they make more. Just this time with an awesome female character.

Date: 2010-08-10 11:38 am (UTC)
ext_34962: (Françoise Hardy (l'origine))
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
Seriously, how predictable. It would have been so epic if it had been Molly. But I knew that was too good to be true. It also would have been lovely if he had been of a minority race (although then they might have messed that up with some sort of awful stereotype).
Yeah, I don't know if I trust this writing team with a villain of colour. That really is another thing this show needs, though: more people of colour.

-I thought of something today, what stopped them from making Mycroft a woman?
What stopped them making Sherlock a woman (or a person of colour), honestly? There no reason why Holmes and Watson have to be white men. There's no reason why any of these characters have to be white men.

I did appreciate the fact that Sarah wasn't sleeping with Watson. Classy lady. Kidnapping, thats a deal breaker!
LOL, yes.

Yeah, I did enjoy "A Study in Pink", and all three episodes definitely had moments where I was into it. Honestly, right now I'm like, "Argh, fuck this fucking show. No, DON'T TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME." To be honest, all they need is a River Song -- just have one awesome female character (preferably a woman of colour) who sweeps in from time to time, puts Sherlock in his place, and sweeps back out again. That would make the show so much more fun.
Edited Date: 2010-08-10 11:40 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-08-10 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-spiderbite.livejournal.com
I do understand them wanting to keep Sherlock and Holmes both male. But why does it have to be such a boys club? Lestrade, Moriarty, the other detective in the Blind Banker, Anderson, Mycroft. All men. Why? Am I missing something about sexism in the workplace in present day London? Are women incapable of being detectives or high up government officials.

There really are no excuses, especially from a team that wrote River Song. They should have written in a legitimate female character, bottom line. They had plenty of opportunities.

"Argh, fuck this fucking show. No, DON'T TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME."
LMAO. my thoughts exactly.

Date: 2010-08-10 06:14 am (UTC)
ext_22618: (Default)
From: [identity profile] bewarethespork.livejournal.com
I haven't even gotten around to watching the first episode of this show yet, and between the fandom's horrendous fail and your clever meta that highlights all the problems I probably would have with the show if I watched it, I'm not sure I want to.

But I have to say that, without even having seen even a couple of minutes of the show, I really want an AU fic where this Molly girl you mentioned is actually Moriarty. That would be kind of kickass.

Date: 2010-08-10 11:25 am (UTC)
ext_34962: ("The Vampire")
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
between the fandom's horrendous fail
Oh, has the fandom been failing? What a surprise. I haven't even bothered trying to have this conversation anywhere outside of my personal journal (I briefly considered cross-posting my last post about this show to the general comm -- and then I was like "No, Mary: that's insane.") Sigh.

Date: 2010-08-10 11:30 am (UTC)
ext_22618: (Default)
From: [identity profile] bewarethespork.livejournal.com
There's been a lot of sexism!fail surrounding fans hating on any woman who might potentially get in between the Holmes/Watson pairing - to the point where people were apparently wishing that some woman who was dating Watson would die a horrible death. I'm not in the fandom at all, but I saw a link via a friend's LJ and immediately decided that this is one fandom I can do without joining.

Date: 2010-08-10 11:43 am (UTC)
ext_34962: ("Les Comediens")
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
Oh, I actually did [vaguely] hear about that. I just rolled my eyes from not-surprise and decided I had better things to do with my life than get involved with that. (I don't even really understand why people slash this particular Holmes and Watson, because I don't think they have any chemistry.)

Date: 2010-08-10 11:48 am (UTC)
ext_22618: (Default)
From: [identity profile] bewarethespork.livejournal.com
Not having seen it myself, I can't say whether or not this Holmes and Watson are slashable, but the awful Die-For-Our-Ship hatred of female characters the slashers have been bandying about has made me even more determined never to ship them, even if I do eventually get into the fandom. I have quite enough rampant misogyny to deal with in my active fandoms, thanks.

(Speaking of fandom - you know, I don't believe you ever wrote up a bio for the [livejournal.com profile] metatardis profile? If you have time to do a quick blurb about yourself for me to post on the profile, that would be very much appreciated.)

Date: 2010-08-10 11:54 am (UTC)
ext_34962: (Default)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
To be honest, I don't tend to get involved with slash fandoms -- there's something about the kind of misogyny which is peculiar to slash fandoms that I just can't deal with (whereas I have a little more patience for the kind of misogyny in fandoms with more of an even keel or which are dominated by het shippers); I think what it comes down to is the fact that, while I hate the "acceptable female character" phenomenon, at least in het fandoms there is such a thing as an "acceptable female character" -- whereas the prevailing attitude of a lot of slash fandoms is that, if there have to be women, they should be in the background at all times. So. They certainly throw in a lot of jokes about this Holmes and Watson possibly being gay, but I don't know, it just doesn't do it for me.

(Speaking of fandom - you know, I don't believe you ever wrote up a bio for the metatardis profile? If you have time to do a quick blurb about yourself for me to post on the profile, that would be very much appreciated.)
(Ha, I'm sorry -- I've been meaning to for ages, but it's turned into one of those things where every time I remember to do it I'm like "I'll do it in ten minutes," and then it never happens. But I will do it now!)

Date: 2010-08-10 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evemac.livejournal.com
I think the deal with the painting was that a real version never existed, not that it was a copy? Because it was supposed to be a 'lost' Vermeer, that no one had ever seen. I think.

I agree with all your points, though, I am kind of disappointed in myself that they don't bother me as much as they do you --at least, while I'm watching the show. I had totally forgotten about Jim, and have no touch with the fandom so I didn't know about the tie-in website, so I supposed I helped my gullibility. I do, however, completely agree with you that Molly should have been Moriarty. Or any woman. And that this show needs a River Song-type. :)

Andrew Scott, however, what the fuck? I haven't watched Lennon Naked yet, but um, at least in that he's not attempting an American accent? That was supposed to be an American accent, right? I mean, I've heard a lot of bad American accents but that was quite possibly the most hilariously bad one I've ever heard. And you're right -- he should be sinister, NOT CAMPY. Maybe if he'd been more like John Simm's Master it would have been better? Campy-insane in an, oh my god, he could kill everyone at any moment? I'm not sure. All I know is that wow, seriously, he took me out of that scene as soon as he entered it.

Date: 2010-08-10 02:46 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Alice)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
I think the deal with the painting was that a real version never existed, not that it was a copy? Because it was supposed to be a 'lost' Vermeer, that no one had ever seen. I think.
Ah! I think you're right. I felt like I must have been missing something.

I agree with all your points, though, I am kind of disappointed in myself that they don't bother me as much as they do you
Well, everything has problematic elements, you know? It's always just a question of how much they bother you or whether you can get past them and enjoy the show, and I really think that if Sherlock had been a two-part miniseries with just "A Study in Pink" and "The Great Game" I probably wouldn't have been as bothered by my issues with "The Great Game" as I am; it's just that "The Blind Banker" put me in a negative place with respect to the show and I really wanted this episode to prove me wrong. Like, I do feel like I enjoyed the show, and that I was entertained by it -- I was just also really annoyed by it, hah.

I do, however, completely agree with you that Molly should have been Moriarty. Or any woman. And that this show needs a River Song-type. :)
I don't know if you watched Luther, but there's a female genius sociopath character on that show called Alice -- and I keep thinking about how amazing it would be if the Moriarty on this show were essentially that character. It would be amazing. But even as things stand if they had a River Song-type I wouldn't even care about Moriarty -- I would love the show anyway.

I think that was his native accent -- he's Irish. He attempts a Liverpudlian accent in Lennon Naked and it is just the worst thing. It is just the worst thing ever. I think that he was going for Simm!Master but the thing is I don't think that even that would have worked that well -- Simm!Master worked as a counter-point to the Tenth Doctor because David Tennant also plays things quite absurdly over the top, but Benedict Cumberbatch goes for a more still, more realistic thing with Sherlock, which is why they especially should have got someone dark and sinister to play off him. Right now it's like, "I don't even buy this guy as a serious threat to Sherlock, and I'm embarrassed on Sherlock's behalf that he had as much respect for him intellectually as he did."

Date: 2010-08-10 03:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evemac.livejournal.com
I really think that if Sherlock had been a two-part miniseries with just "A Study in Pink" and "The Great Game" I probably wouldn't have been as bothered by my issues with "The Great Game" as I am; it's just that "The Blind Banker" put me in a negative place with respect to the show and I really wanted this episode to prove me wrong.

I completely agree with that; The Blind Banker was problematic from the beginning. I think sometimes I am very gullible and easily swayed as a viewer -- if there are enough great performances and the story catches me, I don't realise the glaring issues until after the story is over. But TBB was just too much, what with all the Asian stereotypes, and Sarah's lot in the story.

I haven't watched Luther yet, though it's on my list! Especially if there's a female genius sociopath character.

Simm!Master was the first thing I thought of when he started being kooky, but you're exactly right, it just doesn't work against BC's Sherlock. Especially not a low rate version of it. I don't even know why the director let him get away with it. Like I said in my comment below, I wasn't quite awake yet as I watched the last 30 mins of the episode, so maybe it was that, but seriously, I mean, I'm an actor and a total accents & dialects geek, and I just kept listening to his voice and his vowels/consonants and going "Whaaaaa?" He was trying to be so vocally quirky that my gut (asleep) instinct was that the whole thing was just fake. Great job, guy.

(Will he ruin Lennon Naked for me? I really wanted to watch it...)

Date: 2010-08-10 03:12 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (John & Yoko)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
Right -- I was willing to cut the show a great deal of slack when people started criticising it after "A Study in Pink" but "The Blind Banker" just broke me.

I enjoyed Luther quite a bit -- particularly Alice, who's quite a complex and interesting anti-hero/anti-villain (and who makes me feel like a terrible person because I ship her with the main character). It has issues of its own but I think it's worth a watch.

I just don't even understand how Andrew Scott got cast in the first place; it is incomprehensible to me that he could have been the best person to audition for the role. His performance just completely clashes with the whole tone of the show and with what everyone else is trying to do. I don't get it.

(Nah. He's in maybe ten minutes of Lennon Naked; it's just that he was quite memorably bad in those ten minutes.)

Date: 2010-08-10 02:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evemac.livejournal.com
Wait, sorry, wasn't quite awake whilst watching the end of the episode or writing the comment...upon rewatching him, it was just his TERRIBLE CAMPINESS disorting his natural Irish accent?

Seriously, it just sounds like he's taking an accent ride around the former British Empire.

Date: 2010-08-10 02:48 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Default)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
I think it is indeed his TERRIBLE CAMPINESS. I wasn't sure where he was from either until I looked him up.

Date: 2010-08-13 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sailorandme.livejournal.com
I've been away from the computer for a few days and all I could think was how I had your review of "The Great Game" to enjoy when I got back and had the time to read it - heh.

...and I don't really have anything smart or insightful to add. I agree with a lot of what you've said here and other than that I mostly found myself confused and a little bored by this part - I've never really liked it when instead of one big mystery you get many smaller ones (it's why I don't read some of the Poirot books, like "The Labours of Hercules" and it's one of the things that went wrong with the third season of Veronica Mars) and the reveal of Moriarty was pretty much a huge letdown (I'd let myself believe it could be a woman).

The cliffhanger only angered me - but I still want Sherlock back, I think I have a higher tolerance level for British shows than American...

Date: 2010-08-13 05:58 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (The Tell-Tale Heart)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
I quite like a selection of smaller mysteries; the pay-off for each isn't as satisfying but they give the story a more frenetic pace. I also think that Mark Gatiss was trying to make this episode something of a character study of Sherlock (and his relationship with Moriarty), and the grand overarching mystery doesn't really lend itself to that.

the reveal of Moriarty was pretty much a huge letdown (I'd let myself believe it could be a woman).
Yeah, really. I'm still disappointed about it.

The cliffhanger was really profoundly stupid. I didn't think about it at the time but here's the stupid thing -- Sherlock arranged the meeting and the place, so why was it a surprise to him that Moriarty staked it out with a thousand snipers? Have a little foresight, Sherlock. Idiot.

but I still want Sherlock back,
I know, me too. Steven Moffat said that it was definitely getting a second series and I got a little bit excited and then I just was like, "lol, what is wrong with me?" Sigh.

Date: 2010-08-13 05:59 pm (UTC)
ext_34962: (Default)
From: [identity profile] penumbra.livejournal.com
In fact, Sherlock, everyone knows that when you meet someone face-to-face for the first time you should choose an open space with a lot of people. That should go double when you're meeting a dangerous arch-criminal.

Profile

perihadion: (Default)
Mary

September 2010

S M T W T F S
   1 2 34
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Style Credit

Page generated Jul. 28th, 2017 06:54 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags