Friday, January 6, 2012

Still not dead and Sherlock Holmes

Cripes. Once again it's taken way too bloody long to post, and I do apologise for that. My fanfiction is now up to 32 chapters, and doing well, but let's talk about something far more interesting.


 Being that I've been spending my time in Washington (It's just as grey, foggy, and almost as chilly in the winter as London is, as far as I can tell, so why bother leaving for a place I won't recognize after I've time-travelled over a hundred years into the future?) I can't yet watch season two (unless I trick my computer, which I fully intend to.) I'll just talk about season one for now.

 BBC'S Sherlock is a beautifully done modern-day reworking of Sherlock Holmes. At three episodes per season and about ninety minutes each, they're not hard to catch up on, and completely worth the time. While many might think a modern-day version of Sherlock Holmes sounds like a silly idea ("What, a handlebar moustache on Watson in the modern day? Will this be like Sherlock Holmes in the Twenty-Second Century?" You might ask) it's actually quite brilliant.

 Sherlock Holmes judges John Watson by the state of his phone, rather than the state of his pocketwatch, rattling off details about how no sober person would leave gouges in the charging port, and how because it's engraved to someone by the name 'Harry Watson', it must be John's brother's phone, and that he recently broke up with his wife, etcetera. What truly makes it modern, though, is the modern thinking that goes into it. ("You were absolutely right, Harry and I have never really got on." "But?" "But Harry is short for Harriet.") Sherlock and John (Referred to, in this series, mainly by their first names instead of going by "Holmes and Watson") are almost constantly mistaken as a couple by restaurants, passers-by, and even their land lady Mrs. Hudson. I will attempt to avoid spoilers to a point, but I assure you, there is enough hilarious dialogue to keep you occupied for hours laughing. One of the best scenes is the one where Sherlock and John are talking in a restaurant...

 J: "So, do you have a girlfriend?"
S: "Dating, Not really my area."
J: "...Do you have a boyfriend? Which is fine, by the way."
S: "I know it's fine. No. I don't."
J: "Oh. So you're unattached then. Like me."
S: "....Listen, John, I consider myself married to my work, and as such I'm not looking for any..."
J: "NO. No. I'm not- I was just-... No. I was just saying... It's all fine."
S: "I know. Good."
J: "Good."

Cue Sherlock giving John a suspicious look, and an awkward ensuing silence.

Did I mention that is the restaurant where the owner thinks they're dating and offers to bring them a candle "because it's more romantic"? Did I mention that Sherlock does absolutely nothing to confirm or deny anything? Did I mention this happens in the first episode? It's absolutely hilarious, but at no time does anyone seem bothered by it (except maybe for John, but if enough people mistake your irritating flatmate for your significant other, you'd be pissed off, too.) Now I'd like to delve into the characters a bit, and how they're written. Warning: I will try to avoid spoilers, but one or two may come out. Mostly minor ones, but still.

  Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock is tall, lanky, has gorgeous black curly hair, sharp and piercing eyes, and is quite possibly the most canon a modern interpretation of Sherlock Holmes can get. He shoots the wall when he's bored, takes nicotine patches instead of smoking ("It's almost impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London these days. Bad news for thinking." "Good news for breathing." "UGH! Breathing! Breathing is boring!") which implies that he did smoke at one time. (Possibly with Lestrade, who is also on the patch). He claims to be clean, but Lestrade at one point organizes a drugs bust to get Sherlock to cooperate with him on a case. ("So you organized a pretend drugs bust to bully me?!" "It stops being pretend if they find anything." "I am CLEAN!" "Yeah, but is your flat? All of it?") So there are implications that perhaps Sherlock was a bit less honourable in the past.
Speaking of honourable, Sherlock in this series does not give one iota to what the police think, so long as it solves his case. Lestrade begrudgingly seems to allow this, but does his best to make sure it happens by the book (with the aforementioned drugs bust being to get a key piece of evidence from Sherlock, and telling the detective he can only allow him a few minutes of time on the crime scene). Sherlock calls himself a "High-functioning sociopath", and therefore doesn't honestly care if he offends someone (Outing a female friend's boyfriend as being gay in front of her, and being bewildered when she runs off crying, or after finding out that the victim wrote the name of her dead daughter from fourteen years previously on the ground, asks "But why would she care about that? That was AGES ago!" and looking a bit confused when the rest of the room falls silent. "...Not good?" "A bit not good, yeah." ) unless it serves his purposes, such as purposefully pretending to cry about a dead victim, and then giving false information about him to the victim's fiancée, so that she would correct him ("People always love to correct you.") or only ever complimenting Molly (who works at the morgue and has a clear crush on Sherlock) when he needs something from her, otherwise telling her to get him coffee. Sherlock's relationship with John is fascinating, as no matter when Sherlock calls or what about, John comes running, or at the very least begrudgingly does his friend's bidding. This gets to ridiculous extents in one scene:
[Phone beeps] 
S: John. Phone. 
J: [looks around] Where is it? 
S: Jacket pocket.
John then walks over to Sherlock and removes the phone -from Sherlock's pocket- to check it for messages.

  John Watson Aside from John's begrudging acceptance and toleration of Sherlock, John is a very good character in this series. While he doesn't contribute in large ways to Sherlock, we get the feeling that without John there, Sherlock would be much worse off. John tolerates him, gets the shopping done, makes sure at least -one- of them has a proper job (as Sherlock doesn't care to get paid for his work), and for some ungodly reason he protects Sherlock, and even tolerates getting kidnapped quite well. Twice. Nearly blown up? Just another day for John Watson and Sherlock Holmes. Not just a foil for Sherlock, though, John is a very unique and interesting character on his own. He was injured fighting in afghanistan, and was sent home because of an injury to his arm. He has a psychosomatic wound to the leg, though, and walks with a cane. His hands shake when he's calmest because he honestly can't stand to be without action. We get the strong impression that John sticks by Sherlock just because he desperately needs Sherlock's knack for getting into ridiculous amounts of trouble to avoid his own life being miserable. He even forgets about his limp entirely a good portion of the time, but sometimes even when the stress is too great, his leg clearly pains him (such as in the final scenes of episode three, which I refuse to spoil).

  Moriarty If you're wondering why there's no first name for this one, then by the time you've finished watching episode three, you might know why. Jim Moriarty is, at first, the most infuriating character ever. You may even hate his actor's portrayal of him at first, but if you do, then you have missed the point entirely. This portrayal of Moriarty has a sing-songy voice and a smug attitude, overacts and even has a bit of scenery as an appetiser, on first watch. After a few more watches, however, you'll grow to realize that it's that sing-songy tone and supposed overacting that makes him so absolutely excellent.
"Do you know what happens, Sherlock, To you, if you don't stop chasing me?" "Oh, let me guess, I get killed?" "Kill you? *tsk* N-no... Don't be obvious, I mean I'm going to kill you anyway, someday. But I don't want to rush it. Oh no no no, I'm saving that for something special. If you don't stop following me... I will burn you. I will Burn. The HEART. out of you."
It sounds like it's overacted, and to a point it is. Moriarty's facial expressions are kind of extreme. Why? Because they're mocking. Moriarty knows he's won. He probably won before Sherlock even knew who Moriarty was. Now he's finally letting the detective get a taste for who he should be going after, and who is really behind all the tricks just so that the detective will be all the more defeated when he loses the round. Not just a round, though. Moriarty promised to burn the heart out of Sherlock, and he knows better than the detective that there is a heart somewhere deep down in Sherlock's prickly exterior. He will find that heart and slow-roast it just so that the detective suffers all the more for it. Why? Because that's what happens when you get in Moriarty's way.

There's something absolutely wonderful between Moriarty and Sherlock, a mutual respect and hatred between the two, best summed-up here:
"Nobody ever gets to me. And no-one ever will."
"I did."
"You've come the closest. Now you're in my way."
"Thank you."
"Didn't mean it as a compliment."
"Yes you did."
"Yeah, okay, I did. But the flirting's over, Sherlock, Daddy's had enough now~!"

It's all just a game to Moriarty, and he wants to play it with Sherlock, the only good challenge in London. Sherlock wants to play, too. In the books it was theorized that Moriarty's crime made up at least fifty per-cent of the crimes in London, or at least fifty per-cent of the crimes Sherlock took on.

If Sherlock is married to his work, and Moriarty is at least fifty percent of Sherlock's work...
Food for thought.

Hope this makes up for all the time I've spent not-attending to the blog. I just wanted to make sure I had something of interest to write!