So, yea, you guys! The Hobbit opens this weekend! And I’ve heard it’s really, really long. Like super-long! Like why-did-they-split-it-into-three-movies long!
And that’s great because it means three times as much Watson, it does! (Or, you know, Martin Freeman, whatever.)
Now, being a person who only read The Hobbit once in high school and didn’t particularly like it at the time, I don’t know much about Hobbits except that this song is still awesome. So I was expecting to learn great things from the trailer. And I totally did.
Like Ian McKellan is still the bestest ever, and I want him to be in all the movies all the time.
Other than that, though, I’m not sure.
(I think the trailer was counting on me to be smarter than I am?)
What I could glean, though, is that Bilbo Baggins, who will grow up to be Ian Holm, is visited by Gandalf the Wizard and a whole bucketload of dwarves and maybe a guy who’s supposed to be a human or something? (He seemed taller than the rest, but I didn’t see any pointy ears, but I have to say that he had a lot of hair all over the place, so there might have been pointy ears hiding somewhere.)
And somehow, they talk Bilbo Baggins into going on an adventure of some kind, to claim mumble mumble, part where I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying. And I have to say: More power to them! Go adventuring, you dwarves, wizards, Hobbits and possibly humans! And on the way, I hope you learn the power of proper enunciation!
Also, there’s giants who want to eat Bilbo Baggins, like, don’t they know he’s famous now?, and a scary cliff crossing and that horrid, horrid Gollum is back.
Anyway, long story short: Making a long story short is something Peter Jackson can’t do. Making a short story long?
Because do I really have to explain?
On to the battle!
(Seriously, I don’t think I really have to explain.)
Physicality. If you put Benedict Cumberbatch and Simon Pegg in a room together and told me I could only have one of them, I would curl up on the floor in the fetal position and weep, unable to choose. In the end, though, I’d remember how much I love really tall men, and take the modern-day Sherlock home with me. (I’d put him on my collectibles shelf, of course.) Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch, by virtue of being taller than Simon Pegg. Er, I mean, Sherlock Holmes.
Loves his work more than anything else, except for one special person? Sherlock Holmes lives for the thrill of solving crimes, the more interesting the better. He doesn’t much care for the human race (like, who does, right, bunch of 50 Shades of Grey-loving bastards that they are anyway), except for his bestest buddy of all: Dr. John “Hobbit” Watson. Sgt. Nicholas Angel doesn’t exactly live for the thrill of solving crime, but he sure enjoys everything being all neat and orderly and, you know, solved. He got dumped by his fiancee because he loved his job more than her, and was destined to a life of lonely police work until he met that one special person, Danny Butterman. Winner? It’s a tie.
Is more badass? Until Sherlock Holmes bends a fire poker with his bare hands on Sherlock, I wait with bated breath for an action sequence better than the ones in the second episode of Season 1. On the other hand, Sgt. Nicholas Angel can do flips over fences and all sorts of wonderful stuff and I love him soooooo much! Winner? It’s a tie
Now please enjoy one of my favorite movie scenes ever:
Knows how to drive? I have seen no evidence that Sherlock Holmes knows how to drive, what with most incarnations of him living before there were such things as “cars,” and his most current incarnation taking cabs everywhere (I mean, if they even call them cabs in London, right? Ha, ha, ha, those funny Brits). Sgt. Nicholas Angel, though, can drive, and often does so. Winner? Sgt. Nicholas Angel.
Flips his coat lapel up frequently? You know who does such a thing frequently? Sherlock Holmes frequently does such a thing. I’m not sure Sgt. Nicholas Angel’s coat even has lapels. This doesn’t seem fair at all. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Defeats an evil cabal of town elders? Unfortunately for Sherlock Holmes, London is much too large to be under the control of an evil cabal of town leaders, which is a shame, because I think he’d have fun with that. Sgt. Nicholas Angel, however, SPOILER ALERT I guess, totally does defeat an evil cabal of town elders. And then the jail explodes. Winner? Sgt. Nicholas Angel.
Is a bit, shall we say, nit-picky? Sherlock Holmes once traveled all the way to, I don’t know, Belarus or someplace, to correct a criminal on the proper tense of death by hanging. However, Sgt. Nicholas Angel carries two pens with him at all times, God I love him, and insists on calling cops police officers and does all sorts of stuff by the book, because he is the best and I love him. Winner? It’s a tie.
Faked his own death? Sherlock Holmes faked the hell out of his own death, what with pretending he’d died in a plummet from Reichenbach Falls and all, fooling the world, his own best friend, and all of Arthur Conan Doyle’s readers. Mostly this is because Sir Doyle really did kill off Holmes, and retconned him back into existence, but faked his own death it is! Sgt. Nicholas Angel didn’t actually fake his own death, but he pretended to be dead when Danny stabbed him, so that kind of counts, right? Winner? It’s a tie!
The ultimate, tie-breaking question: Who has a cuter sidekick/BFF? Awww, jeez, this is rough. I mean, Dr. John Watson is so Martin Freeman-y, what with the cute blonde hair and that face — but Danny Butterman is the adorable Nick Frost, who is just so cute and I love him and I can’t decide!!! Winner? It’s a tie-ish?
Um, overall winner? Hah, I’m just kidding. The winner is Sherlock Holmes, because he always wins these things.
Dear Dr. John Hamish Watson,
I have various and sundry reasons for loving you, not the least of which is because you are Sherlock Holmes’ best friend, and Sherlock Holmes is a god among fictional characters, making you, like, the Jesus of fictional characters or something. (The analogy kind of ran away with me there.) Also, you’re loyal, good with a gun, apparently irresistible to women and on occasion you look like Martin Freeman or Jude Law.
In addition to that, you’d satisfy my mother’s desire that, since it appears I won’t be making a success of myself, I marry a doctor, while at the same time annoying my mother because, really, you’re not that successful of a doctor, plus you’re always off gallivanting around with that consulting detective fellow.
In any case (heh, case), I’d like you to consider my proposal seriously, for these reasons:
1) I promise not to be jealous of the time you spend with your best buddy Sherlock Holmes as long as you promise to get me his autograph;
2) Or maybe, instead of his autograph, we could all three hang out? That would be nice;
3) Or if you’ve got something else to do, I’m amenable to solving crimes with the man while you’re busy;
4) And if that’s not cool, then could you just pretend not to notice when I follow you guys around London?
And 5) and most importantly: I will never, never write any slash fiction about you and Sherlock Holmes. I promise that so hard, Dr. John Watson, you just don’t even know.
Please consider me as a candidate for your second or fifth or whatever bride, Dr. John Watson. I do love you. Really. Just not quite as much as Sherlock Holmes.
Ehhh, like you were expecting me to hate the second season of Sherlock or something, right?
Anyway, thanks to the advice of some of my lovely readers (who directed me to the Sherlock streaming videos), I was able to watch two and 1/3 episodes of Sherlock (Season 2) last night before falling asleep and drooling all over the computer keyboard.
So here’s my thoughts on the first episode, because I was still mostly awake by then.
A Scandal in Belgravia is, of course, based on the (in?)famous first Holmes Story: A Scandal in Bohemia. Featuring none other than Irene Adler, whom I have an irrational hatred for, thanks to everybody but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle trying to make her into Holmes’ romantic interest. So, knowing she lay ahead (hahahaha, that could totally be a double entrende, right?) (no, you can tell it’s supposed to be funny because I wrote out the sound of laughter), I went into the episode with mixed expectations.
And? I still hate Irene Adler. I’m irrational like that. But it sure was fun to watch her make Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock squirm for a good hour and a half.
Anyhoos, my favorite bits were:
Moriarty’s ringtone is “Stayin’ Alive!” because of course it is. Right then, I fell a bit in love with Moriarty. Also, when he threatened to skin someone and wear them as shoes.
“Irene Adler? She’s known as ‘The Woman,’” because nice callback to the original canon, you guys!
And, of course, everybody running around naked or in bedsheets, especially Benedict Cumberbatch, huzzah!
Also, when Holmes asks Watson to punch him in the face and he won’t do it, so Holmes punches Watson and then Watson totally tries to kill him.
Ooh, ooh, and when Sherlock throws that guy out the window for assaulting Mrs. Hudson, like, when I saw that he’d hurt her, I was like “Kill him, Sherlock! Kill him!”, but I guess maiming is OK too.
And the bit with that poor, put-upon morgue girl who’s got the crush on Sherlock, like, how low is her self-esteem that she can’t just give up on that jerk already? (And I thought when he was saying all those awful, awful things about her lipstick and the present and then it turned out to be for him, that she was perhaps like, “OK, you know what? I’m finally done with him, it’s over, he’s a wanker,” but then he apologizes and kisses her on the cheek (!), so you know she was like, “Well, he does have his sweet side,” and she’s just ruined for life.) (Oh, and didn’t you just feel terrible for her when Sherlock identifies the nude body at the morgue and she says to Lestrade, “Why did he recognize her … from not her face?”)
And Watson getting dumped by his girlfriend (Sherlock, trying to remember said girlfriend’s name: “Who came after the boring schoolteacher?” Girlfriend: “No one.” Sherlock: “Jeanette!”) after she tells him what a great boyfriend he is. “Sherlock is very lucky,” she says.
Plus, Mycroft Holmes’ elegant solution to exploding airplanes: Load ‘em up with corpses! That’s brilliant! The terrorists think they’ve accomplished their whatever, it hides the British government’s inside sources and nobody gets blowed up who wasn’t dead to begin with! Everyone wins, except people who wanted their loved ones’ remains!
Also, the parade of potential clients and Watson’s ever-expanding blog: “The Geek Interpreter,” “The Speckled Blond” (Please, please tell me the third season’s going to have The Case of the Speckled Band, because that one is totally my favorite!)
And, of course, Benedict Cumberbatch in a deerstalker. I never knew that was a fetish of mine, but I guess I know now. So, thanks for that, BBC!
Now when does the third season start?
It’s a battle of Sherlocks!
In one corner, we have the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock, who’s all lanky and sociopathic and grey-eyed and stuff!
In another corner, we have Robert Downey Jr., who is not really any of those things, except for maybe the eyes, because I’ve never really looked at them closely.
Which Sherlock will come out superior? Let’s get ready to rumble! (Or something.)
Physicality. Now, as I’ve noted before, repeatedly, Sherlock Holmes was never intended to be an attractive man. However, the world at large doesn’t want to watch movies or television shows about unattractive people, probably because they run into enough of them out in the world. So both Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. are rather good looking. But Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite, plus he looks more like a Sherlock Holmes to me, so he wins. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch.
Gets into half-naked street fights? The BBC’s Sherlock has only done one season, which had no shirtless street fights and more’s the pity. From the trailers for Sherlock Holmes, it’s clear that there is at least one scene where Holmes isn’t wearing a top and is fighting. Probably in the street. Winner? Robert Downey Jr.
Has a better sidekick? Both Sherlock Holmes(es) have John Watson(s?) for a sidekick. One is Jude Law, who is a very pretty man. The other is Martin Freeman, who totally murders some jerk to save Holmes’ life, about 24 hours after meeting him. That’s some pretty badass sidekickery. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes.
Leads a life filled with romance? Well, obviously Sherlock Holmes shouldn’t lead a life filled with romance because he hasn’t got time for that sort of thing. So Benedict Cumberbatch and the BBC are right. Huzzah for them! Stupid Guy Ritchie had to insert stupid Irene Adler into Holmes’ stupid (nonexistent) romantic life. Winner? Robert Downey Jr. (Losers? Holmesians.)
Is in a show that I could actually sit through because it wasn’t so godawful wrong? You know what movie I couldn’t stand to watch? Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is a movie I couldn’t stand to watch because everything in it was wrong except maybe the character’s names. On the other hand, I’m working my way through third viewings of every episode of the BBC’s Sherlock because it’s just that good, that’s why. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch, the BBC and me!
Is more like the literary Sherlock Holmes? Duh. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch.
Has a larger audience, because people like stupid movies and, apparently, dislike reading? Winner? Robert Downey Jr.
Has an archenemy? I don’t know if Moriarty shows up in the (wretched, horrible) Guy Ritchie movie because I could only watch seven minutes before throwing up in my mouth and crying a bit. But I do know that BBC Sherlock has not only Moriarty to contend with, but also Mycroft Holmes, who is much thinner than expected. Winner? BBC Sherlock, aka Benedict Cumberbatch.
Lives in the correct time period? Wow, the Sherlock Holmes movie got one whole thing right. I love the idea of a modernized Sherlock Holmes, but for accurate time periods, the movie wins. Winner? Movie Sherlock.
Just an all-around more awesome Sherlock Holmes? Now, I’ve got nothing against Robert Downey Jr. I think he’s a gorgeous man and a great actor, and in the few minutes of the Sherlock Holmes movie that I managed to watch before having a freakout about what the hell is Irene Adler doing at his office, I was very impressed by his performance. I thought he did a marvelous job of portraying a man who sees everything, who notices everything, and can’t help himself. He gave the role a bit of pathos, and I liked that quite a bit. But I love Benedict Cumberbatch more, because his Sherlock says snarky things and totally doesn’t get basic rules of human behavior and is more like some mythical crime-solving being. Winner? Benedict Cumberbatch.
Overall winner? Yeah, like my bias wasn’t going to be obvious in this one. Benedict Cumberbatch takes it all! Huzzah! Cookies for him!
So, lately, you’ve been dating this guy. You know he’s not a robot or an Egyptian mummy, but there’s something a little different about him. You know who’s a little different? Sherlock Holmes! Sherlock Holmes is a little different! Perhaps you’re dating him!
Let’s find out by using this handy 10-step guide!
1. Is your boyfriend a genius? If your boyfriend is a genius, sure that’s great and all, but there’s plenty of geniuses who aren’t Sherlock Holmes.
2. Is your boyfriend a detective? Now if your boyfriend is not only a genius but also the world’s only consulting detective, things are looking brighter.
3. Is his best friend a doctor? And is that doctor named “John Watson”? If he’s not named “John Watson,” then you’re definitely not dating Sherlock Holmes, because Holmes only has one friend and that one friend is Dr. John Watson.
4. Did your boyfriend used to do a lot of cocaine? And did he only stop doing all that cocaine when his best friend Dr. John Watson convinced him it was an unhealthy habit?
5. Does he say things like “it’s a three-pipe problem” or, if you’re dating the modern Sherlock, “a three-patch problem”? Today’s modern Sherlock Holmes is trying to quit smoking. Good on him!
6. Do people describe themselves as his “archenemy”? Really, it would be only one of two people, because no one else can match up to Holmes: Either the evil genius Moriarty or the evil genius Mycroft Holmes. I’m not actually sure how evil Mycroft Holmes is, but he works for the government, so pretty evil, right?
7. Does he live for the high of solving crimes? The weirder the better?
8. Are you Irene Adler? It wouldn’t matter if you were. He never dated her, anyway.
9. Does he live at 221B Baker Street? Can you steal me a piece of wallpaper and see if he’ll autograph it?
10. Does he not know or care that the earth revolves around the sun? “If we went around the moon or round and round the garden like a teddy bear, it wouldn’t make any difference!” he might say.
If you have answered yes to most or all of these questions, then whatever. You’re still not dating Sherlock Holmes because he doesn’t date.
In conclusion, go to hell, Guy Ritchie.
Dear Sherlock Holmes,
Everyone knows I’ve loved you for a long time. I am the only person I know that read your biography. (That is, an actual biography of Sherlock Holmes, not Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.) But my feelings have always been more about obsessing and less about, you know, lust.
But thanks to the BBC (God bless the Queen!), that’s all changed.
(As an aside, to my readers who don’t share my Sherlock Holmes obsession, I apologize for the recent spate of posts about Sherlock and can only assure you that more will follow.)
Yes, thanks to the BBC, I love you in the way a woman loves a man. Or, more specifically, the way a fangirl loves a character as portrayed by the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch. (Let me assure you, Sherlock, fangirls got a whole lotta love in them.)
I love the way you investigate crime! I love the way you shoot your apartment wall when you’re bored! I love the way you keep severed heads in your refrigerator and won’t ever get the groceries! I love the way you play the violin instead of interacting with your older brother! I love the way you’re mean to that poor morgue worker who has a crush on you!
In short, Sherlock Holmes, I love your misanthropic sociopathical nature.
In shorter, Sherlock Holmes, I love you.
(Also Benedict Cumberbatch a bit, because there is no possible way he is a worse human being than you, unless he tortures puppies.)
I know you’re not interested in women (or men, or fluffy kittens), but if anything ever happens to Watson, please consider ringing me up. I would so help you avenge his death, you don’t even know.
So, my friends who recommended the BBC series Sherlock will be happy to learn that I finally watched the first episode. And it was exactly as good as they said, if not better.
For those of you who didn’t recommend Sherlock, here’s the gist: Take Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, toss ‘em in the 21st Century and call it a day.
I know. Doesn’t sound like it should work, does it?
But it does. Oh, how it does.
For Sherlockians such as myself, there’s all sorts of fun little tidbits, like: “It’s a three-patch problem” and “I’m not his date.”
And most importantly, they got Holmes right. (I am glaring in your general direction, Guy Ritchie.)
I mean, sure, I’m the first to complain when Sherlock Holmes is attractive, and Benedict Cumberbatch is awfully attractive. But he plays Holmes so ugly. It’s just brilliant.
When another character calls him a psychopath, he’s offended.
“I’m a highly functioning sociopath,” he sniffs.
God, that’s so right!
And then everyone thinks Watson and Holmes are a couple, because of course they do! There is such a chemistry and a bond between the characters that what else could you think? There’s even a fun little bit where Holmes thinks Watson is coming on to him and he turns him down politely, because he’s “not interested.” Nor is he interested in dating women, thankyouverymuch, show!!!
The mystery itself was interesting, with a string of suicides that are actually murders that are actually suicides, and the name Moriarty is dropped. Also, Watson shoots someone and is awesome.
Speaking of Moriarty, they totally tricked me with the whole Mycroft thing, because I was like, “Oh, well, that’s clearly Moriarty because Mycroft Holmes is fat,” and then later, Holmes is like, “Have you gained weight?” and I was like “You fooled me!”
So, anyway, yeah, I loved it, but I did have a few complaints:
1. Holmes and Watson kept calling each other “Sherlock” and “John,” because I guess we go by first names in the future, but it just seemed unnatural to me. I’ll have to suck it up and get used to it.
2. The music was a little too “creepy carnival in town” for me, but we can’t all be Bear McCreary, I suppose.
3. I figured out who was behind the murders before Holmes did. And it was something so obvious that I just wanted to slap him when he gave up the lead so quickly because he had made a wrong assumption. I’m not smarter than Holmes. I don’t want to be smarter than Holmes. I’m only letting this slide because (I’m hoping) Holmes’ giant ego had such a hard time accepting he was wrong that when the solution was right in front of his face, he was flummoxed.
4. At the climax, when Holmes sits down with the murderer, who offers him the choice of two pills, Holmes just assumes one is poison and one isn’t. I kept thinking: “Haven’t you ever seen the Princess Bride, Sherlock? For goodness sake.” But maybe the killer hadn’t either, I don’t know.
So those were my main issues with the show, but everything else was just so perfect and right that I can let them slide and eagerly wait for evening, when I can watch the second episode.