You guys, I really wish new Sherlock episodes would start airing soon.
Anyway, here’s a fictional character battle between two criminal masterminds, because while the boss’s away, the mice will update their blogs.
In one corner, we have Lex Luthor, the nemesis of Superman, a super-powered alien being who happens to look like a person. In the other corner we have James “Jim” Moriarty, the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, a regular human being who has the superpower of being a crime-solving machine.
Who shall win? We’ll find out … once I come up with some categories.
Let’s rock and roll!
Physicality. Lex Luthor is a very, very bald man. I have nothing against very, very bald men, unless they have funny-shaped heads, I guess, but then I’d still blame that on a tiny birth canal or an overeager doctor with a nasty pair of forceps. Still, Lex Luthor is super bald. James Moriarty is sometimes an evil old man in disguise as a math professor, and other times he’s a flamboyant, well-dressed kind of freaky-looking guy.
Winner? Ummmm … Moriarty?
Has a superior nemesis? You’d think Lex Luthor, the guy with the super-powered alien being to … is there a verb form of nemesis? Nemesate? … anyway, you’d think the guy going up against the invincible superhero would have a leg up in the “superior nemesis” portion of this competition, but here’s the thing: Superman is no Sherlock Holmes, am I right?
Is more evil? Lex Luthor is pretty evil, although he’d never admit it. Well, I guess he might, if it was one of those campy Superman comics from the olden days. He does all sorts of evil things that I can’t think of because … I don’t really read Superman comics, I guess. Oooh, but in one of the Superman movies, he wants to flood half of America so he can sell beachfront property in Arizona or someplace. That’s pretty evil. Moriarty also is rather evil, because Sherlock Holmes told me so. He calls him the “Napoleon of Crime,” even! Now, that’s either a dig at his height or he’s a 19th-century supervillain.
Winner? It’s a tie.
Gets elected president? I’m pretty sure, in some story arc, Lex Luthor gets elected president. Also, they don’t have presidents in England.
Winner? Lex Luthor.
Has a cooler ringtone? I don’t know what Lex Luthor’s ringtone is, but I can’t imagine it’s cooler than the Bee Gees, amiright?
Faces his nemesis in mano-a-mano battle and dies? The thing about Superman is that he doesn’t kill people.
Sherlock Holmes hardly ever does it either, but he does seem totally willing to toss you over the side of a waterfall if that’s what’ll stop your evil works.
Winner of this oddly specific category? Moriarty.
Balder? Hey, have I mentioned that Lex Luthor is a very, very bald man?
Winner? Lex Luthor.
Overall winner? Yeah, I gotta wrap this thing up before the boss comes back. The winner, by virtue of proximity to Sherlock Holmes: Professor Moriarty!
Dear The Future,
I love you!
You don’t realize how awful it is, living here in the 1990s, and liking things like Japanese cartoons and indie rock bands and Sherlock Holmes and nobody in Britain is making a brilliant series starring my perfect man about him! I mean, every store I go to has (at most) three anime titles and they’re on a shelf marked “Japanamation” because someone once thought that would be a clever portmanteau, little realizing how absolutely wrong they were.
And don’t get me started, The Future, on how hard it is to find decent music in the 1990s. It’s like if I don’t like (insert popular song from the 1990s), then I have to go to the local record store, special order The Wrens newest album and then wait 15 years for them to record another!
It’s hard living in the 1990s, The Future! And that’s why I love you.
Because you’re coming in to save me, with your iTunes and your Amazon and your eBay and your YouTube. Everything I could possibly want or care about is right at my fingertips! Also, that thing I said earlier about Sherlock Holmes!
You have everything, The Future, except for hoverboards and flying cars, and I want you to know that’s OK. It’s not true love without a bit of disappointment here and there. And it’s not like I want you to change, but if you want to change (and get me some hoverboards and flying cars), then that would be OK too.
Thanks for everything, The Future. I mean it.
So, it looks like Season 3 of the BBC’s Sherlock probably won’t start airing until 2014 because Benedict Cumberbatch and Morgan Freeman are all of a sudden the boys everyone wants starring in their movies. Which is understandable, because they’re both awesome and I love them, but WHYYYYYYY with the waiting for Sherlock???
I AM TOO STUPID TO FIGURE OUT HOW HOLMES FAKED HIS DEATH I NEED ANSWERS NOW GAAHHHHHH.
So today is picture day at my daughter’s elementary school. As we pull into the parking lot, I happen to notice a car with a vanity plate: PCTRGUY.
Using my brilliant skills of deduction, I inferred, then, that the picture guy was already at the school.
“Whatever, Mom,” said my daughter.
Man, that Lucy Liu sure is pretty.
Really! That was the first thing I noticed about CBS’s new Sherlock Holmes procedural, Elementary, other than that the opening sequence sure was stylized in a way as to be reminiscent of another, superior Sherlock Holmes series.
The second thing I noticed was that however pretty Lucy Liu is, she sure jogs ugly.
And then we met Sickboy!
I mean: Sherlock Holmes! Now, one of my many complaints about the current crop of Holmeses is that Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. are just much too handsome for the character, but I forgive them because I love beautiful people. However, that won’t be a complaint with Sickboy. (And, yes, I will be calling the actor by his character’s name from Trainspotting throughout, because I just don’t care what his real name is.)
So boom! The first thing we learn about Sickboy Holmes is that he enjoys sex with tattooed women who are most likely prostitutes. Coincidentally enough, America already has a Holmes archetype who enjoys sex with prostitutes, and that is Gregory House. So Elementary is culling influences from all over the place.
This Sherlock Holmes, like pretty much all the Sherlock Holmeses ever, is a recovering drug addict. However, this one is being supported by his mysterious father while he lives in New York City, because God knows Americans wouldn’t want to watch a Sherlock Holmes in his native environment, except for the millions of us who enjoy that BBC show.
And that, I think, is going to be the main problem with this little drama. Everything has been Americanized. Watson is not only a lady, she’s an American lady. Sickboy Holmes is living in NYC, helping NYC cops, and he seems mysterious because he sniffs murder victims’ carpets and has an accent. Also, he seems a little short to be a Sherlock, but whatever.
Anyway, on to the mystery. A redheaded woman is brutally murdered in the opening sequence, and then Holmes and his babysitter-to-the-addicts Watson join the police at the scene and figure things out from there. Sadly, the mystery is not only a bit pedestrian, it’s a bit … well … senseless. I mean, even more senseless than murder usually is. First off, Holmes figures out it’s the work of a serial killer because a trophy was taken. And then he finds the serial killer’s first victim, a lady who isn’t dead at all and who appears to be the serial killer’s only prior victim, making him not a serial killer at all.
Then there’s this bit where it turns out the murder victim’s husband actually tricked the “serial” killer into murdering the wife because he wanted all the moneys (and he even gives Holmes a hypothetical where he basically admits this), but why did he want his wife killed? He never says he hated her, or was having an affair, or whatever. And considering he was able to talk this woman into getting plastic surgery so she fit the profile of the “serial” killer’s standard victim (you know, that one lady from before), she was clearly enough in love with him to get plastic surgery so he’d like her better. So this guy has his wife murdered, but the audience never gets the satisfaction of understanding why.
In the meantime, Sickboy Holmes raises bees (His Last Bow reference alert!), wrecks Lady Watson’s car and annoys people at the opera, just so we can see that Holmes is a grating personality type.
And we do see it. Boy, do we see it. But, where a stronger show demonstrates the immediate bond between Holmes and Watson, this one just kind of leaves you wondering if maybe Sickboy Holmes’s dad gave Lady Watson a huge bonus to keep her hanging around, because there is really nothing redeeming about this guy at all.
On the bright side, though, Lady Watson is a disgraced surgeon who can remember things like somebody had a bag of rice in their cupboard. So there’s that.
So, I saw the TV spot for The Watch, starring three guys who annoy me and one guy I’ve never heard of before, and I had no idea there was supposed to be evil aliens killing people in it. (Or hungry aliens, I suppose.)
It just looked like your standard Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn/Jonah Hill/Some Guy I’ve Never Heard Of Before fare, with a bunch of lazy jokes that are supposed to be carried by the “charm” of the leads. (Maybe they’re counting on Some Guy I’ve Never Heard Of Before to be charming?)
And, since it’s a movie starring Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn/Jonah Hill/Some Guy I’ve Never Heard Of Before, I kind of suspect we’re not in for a The Thing revival here. Especially since the The Thing prequel couldn’t even manage it. (The lesson is don’t mess with classic ’80s films, Total Recall.) Using my awesome powers of deduction –
– I suspect we’re in for … well … your standard Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn/Jonah Hill/Some Guy I’ve Never Heard Of Before fare.
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.
So the other night I went on a bit of a Billy Idol kick, listening White Wedding, Rebel Yell, Eyes Without a Face and even Cradle of Love, and then I thought: “Huh, whatever happened to that guy, anyway? Also, does he still sneer, like, all the time?”
So I decided to do a little research today, otherwise known as typing the words “Billy” and “Idol” into Google and reading the stuff that came up. Sherlock Holmes would be so proud of me.
Anyway, I learned many things about Billy Idol, like that he totally isn’t dead, which kind of surprised me, and that his real name isn’t Billy Idol, which kind of didn’t surprise me at all.
Billy Idol was born on Nov. 30, 1955, as William Michael Albert Broad, a more British name you couldn’t possibly find anywhere. I mean, there’s at least two princes thrown in that name and possibly a third, but I don’t pay much attention to the monarchy, so who knows? (Other people, that’s who.) Apparently, he came up with the moniker “Idol” after a teacher described him as “idle,” which sounds a bit like bullshit to me, because they have two completely different meanings and it seems like he would know the one is closer to “superstar” than “gadabout.” Also, I just used the word “gadabout.”
At age 2, Idol moved with his family to New York, but after four years, they moved back to England, probably because American kids mercilessly bullied a boy named “William Michael Albert.” Back in England, Idol attended the Ravensbourne School for Boys, which sounds like it has got to be covered in ivy and possibly the blood of whipped English boys. After finishing up at the School for Boys, Idol went on to major in English at the University of Sussex, but dropped out after a year to pursue his true calling: Stalking the Sex Pistols.
In 1976, Idol joined Siouxsie and the Banshees, which wasn’t called that at the time, but Wikipedia didn’t seem to know what it was called, so that’s as good as you’re going to get. Unless you’re friends with Siouxsie Sioux; then she can tell you. So apparently, Idol had some musical experience by that point or, possibly, like many of my friends who started punk bands in their late teens, a guitar from a pawn shop. Idol didn’t last long in the band with no name, and went on to join Chelsea (a band I have actually not heard of before) in 1977. Shortly thereafter, Idol and a bandmate left that band and started Generation X, beating out Douglas Copeland by several years.
Generation X released three albums, which is three more than I knew existed, before disbanding, and Idol embarked on his solo career. By this point, he had moved back to New York, because schoolchildren don’t make fun of a guy named Billy Idol (probably).
1981 brought Idol’s cover of Mony Mony, which I hope brings up as many bad junior high gym class memories for you as it does for me and if it doesn’t, have I got a stupid dance to teach you! Anyway, Mony Mony, the bane of junior high students everywhere, was actually quite popular (if horrible), and paved the way for much better work, like those songs I mentioned earlier and can’t be arsed to type the names of again, except Eyes Without a Face, just to point out it was on the penultimate episode of Fringe’s fourth season as elevator music right before the nanites started killing everyone.
On Feb. 6, 1990, Idol was out riding his motorcycle and ignoring stop signs when he got hit by a car. Wikipedia describes the incident as a “motorcycle accident,” but anyone with a journalism background who has seen Hot Fuzz knows that is a “wreck ” for sure. Anyway, the wreck nearly cost Idol his leg and definitely cost him his role as the T-1000 in Terminator 2, which is OK, because I can’t imagine anybody but Robert Patrick playing that role anyway.
In 1998, Idol had a cameo in The Wedding Singer (theme song: White Wedding, of course), back when we all still wanted Adam Sandler’s characters to find love and be happy. Also, he had a small part in the movie The Doors, which probably happened before The Wedding Singer, like playing with former Pink Floydian Roger Waters at Berlin in 1990.
At this point, Idol didn’t drop off the face of the earth, like I kind of thought, but made an experimental album in 1993 called Cyberpunk, because it was made on a computer, I guess, so why not call it that?
In 2000, Idol voiced the character of Odin in the animated film Heavy Metal 2000, which disappoints me because Odin is not the classic Norse god I was expecting, but is actually, like, an alien or something.
And this post is getting long, so brief highlights:
- 2005: Idol released Devil’s Playground. I haven’t heard of it either, so don’t feel bad.
- November 2006: Idol released a Christmas album called Happy Holidays. That makes me unhappy, for various reasons.
- June 24, 2008: A new greatest hits album is released, “Idolize Yourself,” because how did it take him 50 years to make that joke?
- I’m tired of typing now.
To wrap things up: Billy Idol! Listen to Rebel Yell right now! You know you want to!
So, I’m sure you’ve all been waiting and wondering: “When is Lokifire going to complain about the upcoming CBS series, Elementary, which takes Sherlock Holmes and puts him in modern times?”
Yes, I know, it sounds really familiar, doesn’t it?
Like, someone at CBS saw that the BBC’S Sherlock was big and successful and wonderful and thought, “Hey! I can ruin that!”
And, you know? I can’t fault them for that. I mean, Sherlock Holmes and Watson and all their acquaintances (I was going to say friends, but Holmes only has one friend and Watson … well … also seems to have only one friend) are trapped in public domain hell, so it’s not like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle can come back from the dead as some sort of malevolent zombie (is there any other kind?) and say: “Get your hands off my property! Also, braaaaains.”
So, anybody and everybody is free to do whatever they want with Sherlock Holmes. (See: Ritchie, Guy.) And if they want to set the action in the modern day, well, fine. It’s not like the BBC has a copyright on the present or anything.
And they’ve cast Sickboy as Sherlock Holmes! I totally forgot Sickboy existed after Trainspotting. (Coincidentally enough, my obsession with Irvine Welsh ended shortly thereafter as well. [I could only take so much Scottish dialect, people.]) Apparently, he was on Dexter or something, but I can’t bring myself to watch a show about a serial killer and his friends who swear a lot, so I didn’t know that. (And you don’t need to tell me how awesome and wonderful Dexter is, and how I would love it. People have told me already, and I believe them, but it’s just not for me. Thanks for the recommendation, though!) So, yeah, it’s nice that Sickboy is getting (more) work, even if I don’t really care that he is.
And what’s this? Watson’s a lady? How terribly clever, CBS. And modern! Because ladies can be sidekicks nowadays! Huzzah! Sadly, though, as awesome as Lucy Liu is (and she is awesome), you’ve just opened yourself up to a whole world of no gay couple jokes. People are just going to think they’re a regular couple, and that isn’t clever at all.
In fact, CBS, that sounds exactly like every other procedural drama you’ve got going on.
Which is why I hate you.
Because, yes, a brilliant detective solving crimes from week to week does sound like the perfect recipe for a procedural drama, and I’m sure it will be exactly that — a perfect procedural drama — which is why it’s going to suck. Because Holmes is much more than that.
He’s a damned icon. He’s the epitome of all detectives, anywhere, ever, and he deserves better than a weekly procedural on CBS.
Also, I just want you to know I’m not going to complain about the title, because, although Holmes never once did say “Elementary, my dear Watson,” in any Sherlock Holmes story, he did proclaim things were “elementary,” and besides, what else were they going to call it?
Now that my car’s license plates are affordable (whoo for being over 10 years old, car!), I want to get vanity plates that read 2221-B.