Sherlock Series 4 started yesterday! But I didn’t see it, because PBS has decided to stop working on my television, and I didn’t get around to streaming the new episode in a totally legal manner, so I decided to review last year’s Christmas special instead.
I probably should have reviewed last year’s Christmas special last year, but why don’t you get a blog and I’ll tell you how to run it.
Anyway, the Sherlock Christmas Special is called “The Abominable Bride” or somesuch, because I can’t be arsed to look it up. It’s set in Victorian England, because Holmes has gotten his hands on a time machine. Alternately, he did a lot of drugs and is in his mind palace, which is a conceit that is really beginning to wear on me.
So in Victorian England, Holmes and Watson are trying to solve the case of the suicidal bride who kills her husband after she’s already dead. Along the way, we meet the Victorian England versions of our favorite Sherlock characters. Lestrade has some incredible mutton chops. Molly Hooper, the cute morgue girl, is disguised as a dude, and Holmes totally can’t tell that she’s not a dude, because he is the worst Best Detective Ever ever.
Mrs. Hudson is Mrs. Hudson is a retro dress, and John’s Annoying Wife is still there.
The dead bride keeps killing dudes, which is spooooooky, except it turns out it’s a conspiracy of ladies, and then that whole plot line of STOP IGNORING WOMEN DAMMIT gets totally dropped.
Then Moriarty shows up and is annoying, and then he and Holmes fight on a waterfall, because why not beat The Final Problem like a dead horse, and then Holmes jumps off the waterfall and it’s totally the end of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and then we’re back in London and sexism is solved, forever.
In this corner, it’s one of my absolute favorite fictional characters.
In the other corner, it’s one of my absolute favorite fictional characters.
OH GOD WHO WILL WIN????
Onward to the battle!
Physicality. Sherlock Holmes isn’t supposed to be handsome, but lately he’s been played by these attractive actors, like Basil Rathbone (lately?) and Benedict Cumberbatch. Han Solo, on the other hand, looks like Harrison Ford. Winner? Han Solo. Because he looks like Harrison Ford.
Better sidekick? Sherlock Holmes’s sidekick is the ever-faithful, ever-ignoring-his-clients Dr. John Watson. Han Solo’s sidekick is Chewbacca the Wookiee, whom Spellchecker hates. Chewie is an 8-foot-tall hair monster who rips off people’s arms when he loses at space chess. He says “Ahrrr” a lot. Winner? Han Solo, because Chewbacca is awesome.
Is an interstellar space pilot? Sherlock Holmes lives in the 19th and early 20th century, where space travel was nothing more than a mad pipe dream. Also, he didn’t even know the earth was round, so he’d probably be just terrible at space piloting anyway. Han Solo, however, is an interstellar space pilot. Winner? Han Solo.
Comes back from certain death? Sherlock Holmes was dead for 10 years after being tossed over the edge of the Reichenbach Falls (spoiler alert: he never fell). He came back. Han Solo? … Not so much. Winner? Sherlock Holmes, because suck it, death.
Doesn’t have a damn wiener son who ruins everything? You know who has a damn wiener son who ruins everything? Leia Organa Skywalker Solo, that’s who. Also, her baby daddy, Han Solo. You know who doesn’t have a damn wiener son who ruins everything? Sherlock Holmes. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Solves more crimes? Han Solo is a smuggler. A smuggler in space! He is definitely not solving any crimes. Committing them, sure. Solving them, not so much. Sherlock Holmes is a genius detective, the likes of which the world has never seen. He solves crimes like *insert cliche here*. He is a crime-solving machine. Winner? Sherlock Holmes.
Has a cooler love interest? Sherlock Holmes doesn’t like ladies, or love, or anything except John Watson and cocaine and solving crimes. Han Solo fell for the ultra-badass Princess Leia, who is now a badass general. She is the coolest. Winner? Han Solo.
Has a light saber? Haaah, this is a trick question. Luke Skywalker has a light saber. Han Solo just has a laser gun. Winner? Nobody.
Wears a more iconic costume? True story: When I was in college, I dated a guy who idolized Han Solo , and wore cowboy boots and vests for years of his childhood in an effort to match his hero’s unique style of dress. That’s pretty iconic! Also, a really lame anecdote. But Sherlock Holmes has the deerstalker cap and cape! Winner? It’s a tie.
Is winning this fictional character battle? Han Solo, barely.
Is that a surprise? Well, Sherlock Holmes always wins these things. But Han Solo is Han Solo, you know?
So he’s going to come out ahead? … Maybe?
Overall winner? I know this is going to be hard to believe, fellow Holmesians, but … Han Solo. Han Solo is the overall winner. I … think I might cry.
Because screwing up Holmes in Elementary (which is probably a perfectly fine show, but I’d like it better if it was called The Adventures of Sickboy and Lucy Liu, because that is not Sherlock Holmes) wasn’t enough, CBS has now decided to
youthen youngen de-age (none of these things are words, because the dictionary agrees that THIS SHOULDN’T HAPPEN) Miss Marple so that they can have a young Miss Marple show, godDAMN, CBS, what is wrong with you????
Mr. Holmes finally showed up in my town this weekend, and I was so excited! So I dragged my daughter to the movie (it was PG, after all), and we got some popcorn, watched some terrible, terrible trailers, and then we watched the movie.
As to be expected, Ian McKellen was brilliant.
The little boy playing Roger was brilliant.
The movie was … sad.
I went in expecting it to be a film based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writings (of which there were, indeed, a few about Holmes as an elderly man), but it turned out the movie was based on a novel by some other guy, which is what happens when your popular character hits the public domain, I guess.
Anyway, it’s a story about Holmes trying to remember his last case (which ended in failure), dealing with his memory loss and learning to love. So it’s not really about Sherlock Holmes at all. It’s about some old guy who used to be a detective, and now he raises bees and he thinks this kid is awesome.
But Ian McKellen was brilliant.
Last weekend, Mr. Holmes opened.
But not here. Not in my town.
So I gave it another week, just in case.
AND IT’S STILL NOT HERE!
Lately, you’ve decided you want to fight crime and battle evil, but you know you haven’t got the chutzpah to manage solo. Luckily for you, there’s a whole, wonderful world of sidekickery to satisfy your vigilante needs!
So who should you team up with? Well, good news! I’ve made a list of heroes who tend to work in duos or would, at least, be amenable to that sort of thing.
1. Batman. The Dark Knight seems like the kind of guy who’d prefer working solo, so he can brood and stuff, but it turns out he doesn’t mind spending time with pubescent boys! The plus side is you’d get to work with Batman. The negative side is he’d want you to wear that outfit.
2. Sherlock Holmes. Another loner type, it turns out Holmes is happiest when he has someone stupider than him hanging about so he can show off his marvelous intellect. Luckily for Holmes, everyone is stupider than him, so it’s not like he needs to slum. The plus side is now you’re John Watson! The negative side is if you’re not actually John Watson, you don’t really get to spend time with Sherlock Holmes.
3. Captain America. Captain America had Buddy, which, as a superhero sidekick name, is even worse than Robin. The plus side is Buddy totally turned evil, so Captain America is absolutely in the market for a new sidekick. The other, even better plus side is that Captain America looks like Chris Evans now. The negative side is there is no negative side. Run to him! Run to Captain America!
4. Green Arrow. Green Arrow is like Robin Hood, but he wears even more green than a man trying to blend into a forest landscape. He’s worked with Speedy and, apparently, Speedy II, because why shouldn’t sidekicks have sequels, right? The negative side is you’d probably be stuck lugging all his arrows around. I can’t think of a plus side.
5. The Green Hornet. The Green Hornet is another guy who wears green to fight crime. I’m not sure why this is a thing. I don’t know much about him, except that Bruce Lee was really great. So, actually, I don’t know anything about the Green Hornet, except that Kato was his sidekick, and Kato was great. The plus side is you’d be the new Kato. The negative side is we live in a world without Bruce Lee.
6. Superman. I know it seems like Superman works alone, because, seriously, who can keep up with a demigod who has all the superpowers? But you’re forgetting the plucky Jimmy Olsen, who is absolutely useless, but never gets laser-visioned by Supes! The plus side is you’d probably never be in danger because of your association with Superman, as you would be like a gnat compared to the monstrous villains he faces. The negative side is gnats get squished.
7. Archie. I’m just putting Archie here because I found Jughead on a list of sidekicks. They probably fight crime sometimes, I don’t know.
8. Iron Man. Iron Man is a guy who wears, like, a robot to fight crime. As War Machine, you would also get to wear a robot, and you would have an even cooler name. The plus side is those things I just listed. The negative side is wearing a robot sounds heavy.
9. The Flash. The Flash’s sidekick is Kid Flash, although I think maybe Kid Flash is the Flash now, and has a new Kid Flash? Also, doesn’t it seem like Speedy should be the Flash’s sidekick, and not Green Arrow’s? The plus side is you’d get to move at speeds that are fatal to most mortals. The negative side is you probably have to have some kind of mysterious accident, like getting struck by lightning while petting a cheetah, to gain that ability.
10. Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman doesn’t need a sidekick. Wonder Woman works alone. Wonder Woman is an Amazon goddess, and she can kick ass all on her own, unlike the boys here. The plus side is that Wonder Woman seems nice, so she’d probably let you hang around and pretend like you’re sidekicking. The negative side is seriously, kid, she can handle this on her own, so why don’t you just step out of the way?
So I dreamed I was on this romantic date with John Constantine from Hellblazer.
When I woke up, I was all like, “Huh — what? Like I’ve got some sort of thing for unpleasant British men in trenchcoats?”
Anyway, even after the demons attacked us, it was still the best date I’ve been on in quite a while.
Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes!
Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes!
Good news, everybody! Sherlock is over its second-episode slump, pulling out a Series 3 second episode that — dare I say it — was even better than the first episode!
It had the greatest best man speech ever and a cool murder mystery and Sherlock didn’t hook up with the horny bridesmaid, so everything was OK in the end.
But sadness because there’s only one episode left.
Yea Sherlock Series 3 premiered in Europe yesterday and thanks to the magic of illegal downloads on the Internet, I have watched “The Empty Hearse.” Disappointingly, there were no empty hearses in the episode, outside of a group of conspiracy theorists calling themselves such, but I guess not every television show can have shoutouts to my profession.
(I work at a funeral home, if you forgot, so every time someone dies on TV, they are speaking directly to me.)
Anyhow, to SPOILERS ALERT all over the place, “The Empty Hearse” opens with an explanation of Holmes’s faked death so ridiculous that I screamed “STOP KISSING MOLLY EWWWWW NOOOOOOO!”
Luckily, shortly after I found a paper bag to breathe into, it was revealed that the whole scenario was completely made up and hadn’t happened at all.
Then some Serbians capture some hairy shirtless guy and they’re torturing him, and I was like, “Hmmmm, those slightly-sloped shoulders look familiar. Haven’t I seen them in Sherlock Series 2 Episode 1?” And it was Benedict Cumberbatch, shirtless, and I had to find another paper bag to breathe in because BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, SHIRTLESS.
(I just got so many hits to this post, you don’t even know.)
Then John Watson and his ridiculous mustache show up, and there’s this cute bit where Holmes tries to reveal himself to Watson and it doesn’t work at first, and then it does, and then I was like, “Punch him, Watson, punch him!”, but Watson settled for a nice throttling instead. Ooooh, and then he headbutted him.
And then Holmes teams up with Molly, and I was all like, “NOOOOOO STOP HANGING OUT WITH MOLLY YOU ARE HURTING MY IMAGINATION,” and then it turns out Molly is engaged or something, so it was all okay.
And then some bad guy kidnaps Watson and Holmes commandeers a motorcycle to rescue him, with Watson’s fiancee Mary holding onto his waist, which is totally my Sherlock Holmes fantasy, except I’m driving the motorcycle and he’s holding onto my waist, and we cruise through the streets of London together and fight crime and everyone tells me how pretty my hair looks.
Later, they save Watson and then reveal how Holmes really faked his death! He was in on it with Moriarty! And then they kissed, which I totally called.
Except that’s also a fakeout!
And then there’s a guy that disappears from a subway train in London! And an underground network! And Mycroft Holmes being so cute and uptight, you just want to pinch his little cheeks!
And then the Holmes Srs., whom I thought were an aunt and an uncle, and not the folks! And then a bomb! And then Holmes explains how he really faked his death, which is actually just as implausible as the fakeouts!
Then we meet Molly’s new boyfriend, who is Sherlock’s long-lost fraternal twin brother, and then Holmes puts on a deerstalker cap and then I smoked a cigarette because it was just that good.
Anyway, welcome back, Sherlock! I’m glad it didn’t take you 10 years to return!