Log in

No account? Create an account

therapeutic thump

i like your moxie, sassafras!

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Sherlock series three, writing round-up, Sherlock Remix
compelling, pushing my buttons, walk the line, intent
Hi, everybody!

I was asked by a friend what I thought of the new series of Sherlock, and it ended up being so long that I thought I might as well post it. I have seen the first two eps of the third series of Sherlock and while some bits have been lovely, I'm really disappointed.

* "The Empty Hearse" solidified the characterization of Sherlock as a complete asswipe - first playing at his disguise and joking about John's mustache, brushing off John's wet-eyed grief, making no rational explanation for why John wasn't told, and, of course, the trick with the bomb at the end. Why does Sherlock need to hear John's "best and wisest man" declaration again when he confesses to having already heard John say it at his grave?. Because he's selfish, and it's not important to him that John truly suffered. It's like a test of loyalty, except that it seems that Sherlock's doing it more out of amusement than any worry or fear that John will walk away for good. Though I did like Mary for the most part, and found the bonfire scene genuinely disturbing.

* I thought "Sign of Three" to be much better, though it also cemented my reasons for being disappointed in the show. The things that bothered me about the episode itself: no Harry, Bill, Mike, squaddies, or Clara at the wedding. Who were all of those people, if Mary said her "side" was sparse? Also, John DOES have an international reputation! - he's Three-Continents Watson! But I loved seeing John loved publicly by Mary and praised publicly by Sherlock for being the very decent, steady, good-hearted man he is both by nature and by training. It makes a difference to so many people that John is around, and I was glad to see that celebrated. (Also, I liked that the resolution - John with beloved wife and child on the way, stating openly that he loves Sherlock and will keep a place for him in his life - was basically what I wrote in "Picardy Third.") Plus, the soldier that John saved was incredibly beautiful.

* Here's what has disappointed me - that the writers are not doing any of the work that fic writers have done. Fic writers worked with what we had, followed things through to their natural conclusions, and had considered the consequences of all of the actions we'd been shown in series 2. The writing team for Sherlock apparently did not, which is becoming a pattern (getting John and Sherlock out of the pool with the "Staying Alive" call was bad enough, but then we have this series, which has taken ignorance of its own crises to a new low). It's actually not even ignorance, it's cherrypicking, which pisses me off even more. Lestrade says that Anderson and Donovan caused Sherlock's death, but then we open "Sign" with Sally having an easy, professional (possibly flirtatious?) rapport with Lestrade. Now, I adore Sally and was glad to see her, but how has she not had any consequences to deal with? Where is Kitty Riley? How much time has passed between TEH and SOT, that after that horrible train-bomb trick, John can not only unequivocally state that Sherlock is his best friend but that he loves him? (Note that this is not helped by some confusion within the show - the invitation gives the wedding date as 18 May, but John's blog seems to put it in August - WHAT ARE YOU DOING, SHOW.) I just can't shake the feeling that the writers saw the corners they'd painted themselves into and said, "Ugh, I don't want to do any of the work - I just want to write the good parts!" The Sherlock/Moriarty kiss in "Empty" made me SO ANGRY not because it was mocking fandom - though it was - but because Sherlock and Moriarty were so gleeful, pulling their strings while John was being tricked into his heart's death. That's what it is - the whole thing felt cheap.

I liked Amanda Abbington very much. Lestrade has done nothing for me in this series. I can't tell who to blame for Sherlock - if it's Cumberbatch overacting, if the writing is just ridiculously tone-deaf, or what - but he genuinely cannot hold my interest. It's only Martin Freeman and his John Watson that I'm watching for, and to be totally honest, his decision to forgive Sherlock for the train trick shook me badly, but in all other things, he remains the one I'm watching for and loving.


Because I'm so behind on everything, I still have two lists to put up: my 2013 writing round-up and my July-December theater excursions. I can only do one tonight, so it's going to be the former.

Double Cherry: Elementary/Twelfth Night (Porn Battle)
First Sip: Cold Comfort Farm (Porn Battle)
Diamond Life: Daniel Craig James Bond films ([profile] picfor1000)
This Old House: Elementary (birthday)
not a damn thing posted
Chips and Sweets: Sherlock
Amphibians: Jane Austen's Persuasion/Sherlock (gift)
Redrawing the Maps (the Handle This Remix): Sherlock (Sherlock Remix)
Immediate Assignment: Sherlock (Sherlock Remix)
Clerestory: Sherlock (Sherlock Remix)
Admissions: Sherlock (Sherlock Remix)
Together in This Place: Sherlock (Sherlock Remix)
Pepperwood's a Snappy Dresser: Pushing Daisies/New Girl ([community profile] intoabar)
Picardy Third: Sherlock
This Must Be the Place: New Girl
Cornstarch and Coconut: Middleman (birthday)
Teach Me How I Should Forget To Think: New Girl (Help Syria)
Countdown: New Girl
The Same Bit of Carpet: The Office (UK) (birthday)
Dressing Up, Dressing Down: New Girl (birthday)
Answered with a Question Mark: Sherlock
Compromising Positions: Elementary (Holmestice)
Totally Nectar: New Girl (Yuletide)
Doilies All the Way Down: Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Yuletide)
Like honey dripping to a waiting mouth: Goblin Market (Yuletide)
What's Good for the Goose: Better Off Ted (Yuletide)

I was surprisingly productive this year, and I had a wonderful time writing. After so many fallow periods, it feels undeniably great to be in the swing of things, and I let myself be adventurous, trying new fandoms and new ways of telling stories. I tried a poem, for the first time in way too long ("Like honey dripping to a waiting mouth"). I wrote (half) a story entirely in 221Bs ("Answered with a Question Mark"). I wrote in a fandom I knew very little of, despite a lot of canon material being available ("Diamond Life"). I posted some totally off-the-cuff fics ("What's Good for the Goose" & "First Sip"). I wrote several stories for a single new-to-me fandom, New Girl. I wrote a lot more fusions and crossovers than before, including one that seemed to be a hit not just with its intended recipient ("Amphibians"); people really like head-casting Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in Jane Austen adaptations, I guess. I continued one of my Sherlock series, the String of Pearls series ("Chips and Sweets"), and hope to write more of it in 2014. And nearly three years after I began it, I finished my Elastic Heart series, which clocked in at 176,393 words, according to AO3. I think it's the best thing I've written, particularly the last story, "Picardy Third."

What did I learn about myself and my writing in 2013? That I should take chances more often and let myself be adventurous. That I should write what's clamoring to be written and be surprised what shows up on the screen. That I love the work of writing original characters, and that putting them into fannish contexts, interacting with fandom characters, hits my sweet spot. That I shouldn't be afraid of writing something that has the same summary (say, post-Reichenbach musings) as umpteen other fics by other authors - we're all going to do it differently, and that's great. After all, I do love to read.


Also on the Sherlock tip: I've gotten a few pokes asking about whether there will be another round of sherlock_remix. Chime in if you like - I haven't made any decisions yet.


I hope you're all having a wonderful 2014 so far! Long may it continue!

This same entry also appears on Dreamwidth, at http://innie-darling.dreamwidth.org/434833.html.

  • 1
I did see Sherlock being nervous in the restaurant, but I can't cut him slack for it - he's just said to Mycroft that John could not possibly have had a life in his (Sherlock's) absence (as if John were just hanging around in stasis, waiting for a dead man to return to life), he's gleeful that he has such an upscale setting for the reunion, and he's very conspicuously smirky as he makes his preparations (stealing the accessories, etc.). The disguise is from ACD, but there was no need for Sherlock to interrupt what was clearly a private and important moment for John.

he tried deflecting with humour - ill-conceived as it was - I guess partially because he and John always were able to laugh at inappropriate stuff. I take your point - it's a good one - but I would ask: why does he need to stage a reunion in public at all? To put it another way, what is he "deflecting" (as you put it) from?

And the thing with the bomb - I think until he went into his mind palace, he honestly didn't know/remember how to diffuse it, and thought they would die. He also knew that John wasn't good at expressing feelings, and that there were still things that he needed to say to Sherlock - and what better opportunity than when you think you'll die? So after he'd turned it off, he acted as if the bomb was still a threat. I don't think he was aiming for the "best and wisest" speech per se, but just provided a space for whatever John needed to get off his chest.
I didn't see anything in that scene that indicated that Sherlock was thinking of John's emotional health at that moment. I can buy that he got stuck trying to figure out how to defuse the bomb. What I can't buy is that Sherlock found it acceptable - let alone therapeutic - to allow John, who's been through war and the supposed suicide of his best friend and is still carrying the scars from both, to believe that they will be dying in a matter of moments. John's confession of caring still felt absolutely forced, and it didn't help that Sherlock started laughing at him. That laughter was, to my mind, the cruelest thing Sherlock's done, and it has a lot of competition.

I didn't feel it was maliciously making fun of fans, more like a friendly wink and nudge to the fandom and the copious amounts of slash that's out there. The Empty Hearse Club with Anderson, of all people, leading it... Ha!
I know I have a low tolerance for fanservice in canon, and I'm squeamish about official creators taking over/alluding to fannish work. In this case, especially so, since, as I said in my post, WE the fans did the work that the official creators evidently felt was beneath them.

I am glad that you've enjoyed these two episodes, and I wish I could enjoy them more. I do very much like Mary and what she's brought to the show, and my dissatisfaction with BC's Sherlock started when "Scandal" aired. At the end of the day, for me, it's all about Martin Freeman and his John Watson.

  • 1