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Sherlock series three, writing round-up, Sherlock Remix
compelling, pushing my buttons, walk the line, intent
innie_darling
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.

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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.


JANUARY:
Double Cherry: Elementary/Twelfth Night (Porn Battle)
First Sip: Cold Comfort Farm (Porn Battle)
Diamond Life: Daniel Craig James Bond films ([profile] picfor1000)
FEBRUARY:
This Old House: Elementary (birthday)
MARCH:
not a damn thing posted
APRIL:
Chips and Sweets: Sherlock
MAY:
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)
JUNE:
Pepperwood's a Snappy Dresser: Pushing Daisies/New Girl ([community profile] intoabar)
Picardy Third: Sherlock
This Must Be the Place: New Girl
JULY:
Cornstarch and Coconut: Middleman (birthday)
Teach Me How I Should Forget To Think: New Girl (Help Syria)
AUGUST:
zip
SEPTEMBER:
nada
OCTOBER:
Countdown: New Girl
The Same Bit of Carpet: The Office (UK) (birthday)
Dressing Up, Dressing Down: New Girl (birthday)
NOVEMBER:
zilch
DECEMBER:
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.

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Wow, RachelIndeed, you are exactly right. I hadn't thought much about Ep 3 because I need to rewatch it and am just not in the proper frame of mind to do so. But that is so terrible to do to Mary, isn't it? They've made her basically a terrible person. And they've made John this person who HAS to be lied to for his own good. I don't like this John-is-a-delicate-flower business. Or John accepting it. I don't think John would accept it. I think he'd be highly suspicious of the two violence-prone, lying people in his life. No matter how much he loves them. At what point does it become abusive?

And innie_darling...
I just read something positing that with only three episodes a season (however long each ep is), there's no room for a day-in-the-life type of episode, where we get to see Sherlock and John in their down time, which would go far toward humanizing Sherlock and giving Cumberbatch's performance some quieter notes and a solid underpinning.

YES! And this we did see in the first series, didn't we? Dinners out, spats in the flat, it was all part of what made the whole thing work. John pacing his first flat, struggling with the chip and pin machine, Sherlock's experiments. I missed that sort of thing tremendously this series. Would have been nice to have the entire bomb plot excised from the first ep and simply shown us John and Mary being together / Sherlock angsting over his reunions / Lestrade having to put his career back together and so forth.

Remember the scene in The Blind Banker where John and Sherlock spend all night in 221B with a bunch of books and charts and stuff? And then when Sarah was there? I think something like that would have been beautifully quiet and inclusive of Mary, and would have pulled Sherlock and John back together by showing their strengths. I felt a bit of whiplash in what was transpiring this time.

I didn't think I had anything to say about Sherlock S3!!!

Hey, you! Oh, thank you for supplying such wonderful examples - the chip-and-pin machine is a great one (though even then, Sherlock was battling a Muslim warrior for some reason), and the up-all-night-decoding scene was another. Give us real emotions - show, don't tell! That whole period of time between the revelation of Mary's past and John's speech pulling a veil over it - she says that it's been "months of silence," but what does that mean? Were they living together, or did he go off to 221B or to his sister's or someplace else? Was she trying to win him back? WHAT THE FUCK?

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