rockinlibrarian: (sherlock)
There was a time, back in the day, when a) this blog Happened more often, and b) when it happened, it wasn't just Deep Philosophical Thoughts. I'd ALWAYS be willing to share my thoughts about the latest installment of whatever exciting media series I'd just gotten my hands on. And right away, too! It was exciting! Maybe because people used LiveJournal as an actual social media kind of platform and actually left comments! So we could banter and debate back and forth about all the little details and WHAT THEY COULD MEAN!

I get the feeling that sort of thing is happening on Tumblr now, but I've yet, after over a year, apparently (so Tumblr tells me), figured out how people actually hold DISCUSSIONS in that format. Most of the time in order to comment on something, you have to reblog it, and even if you do, there's no guarantee other people will see your comment, and you can't favorite comments OTHER people make, just the whole thing, only once, and... well I just find it superbly inconvenient for conversation. I mean, it's nice for posting PICTURES, but other than that I'm not altogether sure why FANDOMS like it so much as a virtual watering hole.

Plus, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, the Fandoms of Tumblr kind of freak me out, anyway. It's more than just me being old. There's an actual dark undercurrent that rears its head far too often in Internet fandom, and I explored it further than my original post by, ironically, reblogging this very long Tumblr post on Fandom vs. Creators, made up of very long comments by at least five different people, so it takes awhile to get to what I wrote, at the bottom, but it's still interesting, darnit! Anyway, those aren't the sort of fans I want to befriend. But I WANT to talk about the things I fan over. It's FUN. It's just a matter of finding the where and the who that works.

Let's look at something that happened in Internet-Fandom-Land this weekend that covers both sides of this spectrum. It can be summed up in the entirety of this link to The Mary Sue-- actually this link goes directly to MY comment on the post, which sums up what I have to say.... Anyway, look at the thing as a whole. JK Rowling made some comments in an interview that maybe, she wondered, marrying Ron and Hermione together might have been a mistake. So this Hypable website takes those comments out of the context of the interview and proclaims "ROWLING ADMITS HARRY/HERMIONE SHIPPERS ARE RIGHT!" which, incidentally, she hadn't even said, and suddenly it's a HUGE DEAL, like a SHOCKING REVELATION THAT SHE HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE TO REVEAL... the same sort of thing happened around her "announcement," which was really just her answering an interview question, that Dumbledore was gay (which I had reacted to with "Oh. I thought everyone knew that already," while the headlines went wild)-- to this day people still refer to that as if it was a publicity stunt on her part, all cleverly orchestrated to get a reaction, when she'd JUST ANSWERED A QUESTION IN AN INTERVIEW. It drives me nuts, that the poor woman can't say anything without PEOPLE REACTING LOUDLY, and yet...

...check it out. Currently as I'm typing this there are 157 comments on that post. That's about 15 times the number of comments that show up on a Mary Sue article on average. Clearly, we all still DO have strong feelings about the relationships in those books. And it's been a long time since I've actively "shipped" anybody, but the long-dormant Ron/Hermione shipper inside me roared to the surface this weekend, anxious to defend one of my favorite fictional couples of all time.

So when you think about it... it's actually kind of cool. Most of us ARE adults, but these books mean a lot to us. WE DO CARE. ABOUT FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. What ALCHEMY is a story!

So anyway, last night Sherlock Season 3-- or Series 3 as they say where they made it, which in this case actually makes more sense. They're not SEASONS. They're RECURRING MINISERIES. Anyway, last night it wrapped up again 'round these parts (or as much of fandom says, it's "back on hiatus." But that's misleading, considering these are recurring miniseries and not seasons! You don't say a movie franchise has gone on hiatus when there are a couple years or so between movies!). And I'm too high on adrenaline to fall asleep right after, and when I get up this morning I'm still antsy, like I want to be back there-- like I wanted to TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT IT. But if you actually seek out People Talking About It, you find Heavy-Duty fandom, and I, on one side, do not ship Johnlock and also couldn't care less about Benny's Cheekbones (sure, we can talk Martin all you want though), and on the other side, I'm not a huge Conan Doyle fan and don't have the BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE to go into it nitty-gritty. I'd rather just talk with average folks who enjoy the show. Like, my friends who've seen it. Where can I do that? OH, that's right, I HAVE A BLOG. I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE LATEST INSTALLMENT OF THIS SERIES I LIKE ON MY BLOG, LIKE A TRUE OLD-FASHIONED LIVEJOURNALER.

As I said in that post I linked to already that I wrote at the BEGINNING of Series 3 (here's the link again in case you missed it the first time!), I don't know if I count as a huge fan of the show itself as much as a stupidly huge fan of Martin Freeman, who is most certainly at the top of his game in it. (Who am I kidding. He's ALWAYS at the top of his game. When he's acting at any rate. He's abysmal at not-having-a-dirty-mouth. And I can't speak for, say, his cooking skills. But he's always at the top of his ACTING game and the making-me-instantly-smile game which is an important game that not many people care about besides me). I'm not proclaiming its superiority over all other shows (everyone knows that honor belongs to Firefly. Or Freaks and Geeks. Or Sesame Street. Depending how much violence you're looking for). I'm not immune to its faults.

So say I. But then, in the midst of actually WATCHING a new series again? I am THOROUGHLY enjoying myself. EVEN IN SOME JOHN-WATSON-LESS SCENES. Guys, this was just so fun. The first episode was weakest, but I was glad to be back. The second episode I am fairly sure is my FAVORITE EPISODE OF THE ENTIRE SHOW EVER. Last night's episode was not so perfect as the second, but had me thoroughly enthralled and loving it (and it was still funny, even if it was also a whole lot darker certainly than Episode 2).

So let's talk stuff. Like I said, I'm not a huge Conan Doyle fan, needing to devour everything Sherlock Holmes-related. I'd read Hounds and Study in Scarlet back in the day, then revisited those and added the collection The Adventures of S.H. just after I'd seen the first series of Sherlock, the Robert Downey Jr. movie, and read Nancy Springer's Enola Holmes series all within like a month of each other. I also discovered, since Study in Scarlet had annoyed me enough on first reading (huge BLOCK of weird pseudo-Mormon-pioneer story in the middle that is NOT NARRATED BY DR. WATSON? What was he THINKING? Yes, I've always been thoroughly attached to Dr. Watson. The cartoons never gave him enough credit. And much as Martin is both my Imaginary Husband AND the Greatest Watson Ever, I have to say Jude Law's Watson was just downright friggin' sexy, too. WATSON FOREVER) that I'd tossed it aside after I'd finished and failed to notice (or at least remember after I'd tossed it) that my copy actually doesn't JUST have Study in Scarlet in it, but has got The Sign of Four in there right after! And what a good discovery THAT was. I LOVED Sign of Four. It was a rollicking good time-- much like Sherlock the show in that way. And my dearest Dr. Watson got all love-struck in it, which was fun because a) it certainly solidified him as my #8 Literary Crush; b) omg you could totally tell he ENJOYED just BUGGING Holmes with all that EMOTIONAL stuff, which he'd opened the book with Holmes complaining about beforehand; and c) it introduced a strong female character in a series that dreadfully lacked them. Okay, not that Mary was really IN the stories much BESIDES in Sign of Four, but that was enough to get her thoroughly on my good side.

So again, I found myself vehemently defending fictional characters on the Internet, thank you, because too many people leading up to the new series were like "Ugh, I'm glad Mary DIED in the stories, she'll just get in the way," and I'm like "First of all, have you NOT read Sign of Four, and second of all, she did not just up and DIE IMMEDIATELY, give her a chance, seriously." And then we're given the delightful little in-joke that they'd given the part to Amanda Abbington, aka Martin Freeman's Real Wife,* which COULD have been a bad thing if that had been the ONLY reason she'd been given the part. Like if someone cast me to play Jason's wife just because I'm Jason's wife and hah hah I'm kidding I'm a way better actor than Jason is so the argument's meaningless. But even though I'd never actually SEEN her act in anything, I follow her on Twitter, and there's something about her that captures the EXACT sort of person I'd always imagined Mary to be, so I felt fairly confident about the casting.

And YES! She turned out even MORE AWESOME THAN IMAGINED! Also freaking adorable. I was flattened with an OMG-my-Imaginary-Husband's-RealandImaginary-Wife-Is-a-Million-Times-More-Awesome-Than-Me-I'll-Go-Die-Now inferiority complex in the light of her! And I think... wait, now we're getting into Huge Spoiler Territory...

OKAY. AFTER THIS POINT ARE HUGE FREAKING SPOILERS FOR EPISODE THREE! AND THE REST OF SERIES 3! FOR PROBABLY THE REST OF THIS POST! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! I did put a cut in, but I know cuts don't show up if you click here directly, which I'm pretty sure everyone does, because, you know, nobody reads LiveJournal.


ANYWAY. So I ALSO STILL think Mary is awesome in the light of the revelations of Episode Three. I know from a storytelling aspect, maybe it would have been better-- MORE AWESOME-- for someone that awesome just to be a normal person NOT trained in being a superspy-- a way to say "YES! Normal people can totally stand up to Sherlock Holmes!" But I don't care. I still love her. I love her because she loves John, and no amount of being a "liar" changes the truth of that.

So Mary is the biggest change in the show this time around, but let's talk other stuff. Is Sherlock's complete social ineptitude inconsistent and annoying? I don't know, and don't particularly care. I'm sure it's annoying to some people, but I've always found Sherlock Holmes to be obnoxious-though-endearing so I don't really expect better of him. But I'd like to point something out in regards to Sherlock's personal growth. Sherlock's Mind Palace used to be a cold place full of words and diagrams. But did you notice? This series? He's gone and let PEOPLE into it. Not just people he's interrogating. People who GIVE HIM ADVICE. He's opening up! He's gained a bit of humility! Good boy!

But I know many people are kind of agog that he STOOPED TO COLD-BLOODED MURDER (not cold-blooded. There was a BIT of emotion involved, can't deny it. Lukewarm-blooded) AND APPARENTLY GOT AWAY WITH IT. But me, I'm waiting to see how it ACTUALLY pans out. It happened at the very end of the show. There's still loads of time for ramifications to keep ramifying.** So I'm withholding my opinion on that until next Series.

...presuming there ARE still ramifications in the future. I'm still not entirely sure we ever actually found out how he survived the Fall, this season.

I'm also withholding my opinion on the Message from Moriarty bit. Well, no I'm not. I don't think he's alive. I think someone else is using his reputation. But I'm just going to wait and see how that plays out before I make any serious judgement calls on the thing.

So anything else we should talk about? Tell me in the comments! Let's talk! Also, it goes without saying that Martin was Awesome, which is why I didn't say much about that. No really, I didn't. I could have said much more. It's just that it would have amounted to "Martin is awesome" over and over.

And now it's totally past my bedtime. So, I'll go do that, then.

*(TECHNICALLY, they're not legally married, but I find that a stupid clarification. First of all, marriage is way more than one single public "I Do," and second, when's something count as a Common Law Marriage, anyway? Pretty sure they've hit that point. Anyway, anybody whose relationship can survive raising two kids of a particular-age-I'm-familiar-with are totally SOLID).
**WOW. I'm shocked. Spellcheck says this is totally a real word.

Date: 2014-02-04 06:27 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
And I can't speak for, say, his cooking skills.

Of course he can't cook! He's British! (Just kidding, as far as I know.)

I agree with you on how Tumblr is great for pictures but terrible for discussion. I've occasionally discussed things there, but it's a definite rarity. I don't know where people discuss fandom things now that newsgroups, e-mail lists, online bulletin boards, and LiveJournal are all pretty much dead.

Date: 2014-02-06 04:29 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I feel like, when I respond to something on Tumblr (whether through reblogging-with-additions or through an actual comment feature which happens sometimes), that my comments are just getting lost in the ether. And then on odd occasions someone WILL actually respond to my response, and it's always a little shocking. I don't know, it seems like a sort of NOISY concept, Tumblr, like people are just throwing their thoughts out into the world and people are passing them around without really slowing down and taking any of it in. I guess Twitter's even worse in that respect, but at least there you can actually have a back-and-forth conversation.

I think maybe people FIND like-minded people on Tumblr, and then they just communicate directly? Maybe? No, maybe not? I have no idea where people discuss things, either.

Date: 2014-02-07 02:41 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I agree with your thoughts on Mary, definitely - she's still awesome, just not awesome in the way I thought she was. So I was a little disappointed - not in her, but in the storytelling, because I LIKE ordinary-people-being-amazing much more than amazing-people-being-amazing.

I found Sherlock committing a murder not much of a stretch, actually. It reminded me of the Star Trek: TNG episode where Data actually reasons himself into almost committing a murder. Or the moral ambiguity of Agatha Christie's Curtain. When you take human emotions/gut/instinctive morality out of the picture, you can reach the point where logic dictates murder is the only reasonable answer. (It also raises a fascinating moral question - if Magnussen had been pointing a gun at John and Mary, no one would have questioned Sherlock shooting him to protect them. Just because the weapon was intangible, was it any less of a threat? Especially to someone like Sherlock, who DOESN'T see the world the way others do?)

So yeah, I loved the episode for how it made me think, and for showing us more of Sherlock's brain, and because JOHN oh my goodness he was awesome, and because while I am a little let down over Mary, she's still fantastic. And I like that we're getting to see more of Mycroft's character, as well. Oh, and more of the Holmes parents! They're awesome also! As for my thoughts on Moriarty ... well, I think that's a red herring to distract us from Mycroft's casual little mention of "remember the other one," referring to his brother. Another Holmes brother, this one immoral instead of amoral?

Whew. I have a fairly major blog post myself brewing from this episode.

Date: 2014-02-08 12:25 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Ooo, you have lots of good thoughts! (your "Fascinating moral question" and the mysterious other brother, particularly). And because you said "because JOHN oh my goodness he was awesome" and you're not a pathetic fangirl like me. I tell you what, this year they'd BETTER give him an Emmy for this part. Let alone another BAFTA. I don't know how he keeps getting better at it every episode, when he started OUT awesome, but I HONESTLY THINK he has!

But back to the point, looking forward to your post!

Good Words

Date: 2014-02-15 07:02 pm (UTC)From: (Anonymous)
First of all: LOL ramifying!

2: Argh fandom. Ok, you know I was quite into the Star Trek fanfiction thing (particularly slash) in the day, but I just CAN NOT get into any type of shipping or fanning that involves the fans saying that the AUTHOR or SERIES is going wrong by not putting their people together! For me it was never like "These two people should REALLY be romantically involved in the canon of the show," but rather "In my weird but personally enjoyable fantasy life about the show, these two people explore their sexual chemistry, and probably their hidden emotional issues and past traumas too because that's the kind of weird I am." I am madly fanny about this webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court, in which relationships do happen, and shippers abound who continually post in the comments about how the creator of the series is getting it wrong by having or not having any two characters get together. I'm like, Dude! It's THEIR SERIES. Sorry you would rather see some other characters get together besides the ones who are getting together, but that doesn't mean it's WRONG! The JK Rowling thing reminded me of that.

Re Sherlock -- also I delight in the chemistry (sexual-ish?) between John and Sherlock and between Moriarty and Sherlock. And I delight in knowing that there are people out there writing slash fiction about it. But to me it is more in the territory of Mulder and Scully: it built up SO MUCH that now it could never be resolved in a realistic seeming way, so it just has to ... can't think of the right word here ... sublimate? Still so delightful and a big part of why I like the show.

I'm not in love with Watson but I always love the doctors on every show. So I still love him even though I'm not "in love" with him. LOL (btw inferiority complex -- I totally get that.)

I agree, Sherlock's personal growth is lovely and heartwrenching! Oh man, that scene in the tower with chained-up Moriarty was SO GOOD. WOW. So believable and such an interesting window into Sherlock's, shall we say, heart! I loved it! (It's been like a week since I watched the show so I probably won't remember most of the things that I thought were super awesome at the time, but I will try.)

I don't have a need for any of the characters in this story to be "normal." John is weird in his way -- adrenaline addicted and not exactly fitting in with regular society; just because he doesn't have a superpower doesn't mean, to me, that he's not who he is because of his special extraordinariness. In fact I kind of like that pretty much every character is slightly-to-extremely ill-suited to regular society, either because of bizarre talent, criminal past, or whathaveyou. I guess I take the created world of Sherlock on these terms, so Mary's revelation just seemed perfectly in line with this. But what I REALLY loved about that situation, and what I thought was rather deep, was the claim about John choosing her because he is drawn to danger -- he loves it, in fact. That she didn't betray him -- he purposely chose her even though he didn't really realize what he was doing; and now they can go on to have a life that makes much more sense to me than him just getting together with a nice, quirky, regular sort of gal. It seems much more in character for someone like THIS to manage to become his love post-Sherlock, than an "ordinary" person. What I REALLY love about it is how much it resonates with real human relationships. I didn't find it nearly as believable before this revelation; in fact I found it rather annoying. (He left SH for this chick??? Why??? Or like in Arrested Development: "Her?") Now I'm happy. ;-)

Continued in second comment because I apparently overshot the word limit ... not surprised ...

Good Words part 2

Date: 2014-02-15 07:03 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] angela gayan galik (from
(Oops, I forgot to not be anonymous on Part 1. Sorry! That was me...)

Ok, I don't usually like fan conversations that much (like you were saying about the Tumblr culture) but I DO like pop culture artifacts like T-shirts or whatever ... So I have a Sherlock wallpaper on my computer right now (The one that says "Why can't people just THINK?"). It's my work computer and let me tell you, when I go into my office after a bizarre work conversation, I often do look at Sherlock and say "I know, right???" My good friend who introduced me to the show came in and I showed her the wallpaper and she was like, "Yeah, man, gotta love those cheekbones!" I seriously did not even know that was a thing! The effect is lost on me. I just really don't care. I'm not attracted to him in that way.

Also I love the line, I forget which episode, where John said Sherlock just turned up his coat collar to look cool. I totally resonate with that. Now when I put my sunglasses on to go into school even when it's not really that sunny, I know why I'm doing it. And I wish I had a coat collar to turn up to make myself look cool.

And re the whole season/series thing, THANK YOU! That's what I am always saying to Sam when he's bitching about how can any show go for two years without any new episodes, and what's with having only three episodes in a season. (IT'S NOT A SHOW.)

And finally, the cold-blooded murder thing. For some reason I did not find it shocking at all. (I mean, yes, in a plot development way, because what happens next??? But not in a moral/ethical way.) Like I said on FB, I do not understand the distinction between this and other types of crime-stopping killing. How is that cold-blooded??? Like you said, maybe lukewarm -- because the whole point was to spare Mary and thus John, unless I read that completely wrong. It was certainly emotionally motivated. I don't want to be seen as not being for justice and democracy and what-all, but honestly, can we admit that those processes are flawed, as currently in place in America and the UK? Is it better to follow the law just because it's a law? (I'm asking rhetorically, not challenging you, Amy!) Is it better to get a lot of police officers, soldiers, innocent bystanders, etc. killed to do something the sanctioned way? I'm not saying whether it is or it isn't; I really think it's a false distinction. One might be more appropriate to a particular context than another, but I sincerely hope that solving that question isn't the end of human moral/ethical evolution -- I would rather move on from "what's the right way to stop/punish murderers" to SO what can we do to create a world in which people are not so often moved/driven/encouraged/inspired to commit murder? (And whatever other crimes against their fellow humans' happiness and well-being.)

Ok, I really believe that that is it for now. That was the longest comment ever. Instead of writing about Sherlock on my blog, I wrote about it on your blog LOL -- but I agree -- after watching series 3 I wanted to talk about it, and in a fun conversational way. So thank you for providing the forum!

Much love!

Re: Good Words part 2

Date: 2014-02-15 09:38 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
This icon here is one of the only Sherlock fandom-made* things I use-- it's such a very useful quote! (I HAVE admittedly got several Martin-related computer wallpapers, but they're mostly all Hobbit-related instead. :) And one from The Voorman Problem, ( because he's just so cute in glasses. OKAY. I AM AS SHALLOW AS THE CHEEKBONE PEOPLE). My sister has gone full Cumberbabe recently, and admittedly I'm totally amused at her expense.

I DID think Mary was awesome even when she was "normal"! Speaking of female characters in the series, I think my favorite thing about Sherlock's more-human Mind Palace is that MOLLY was in there giving him advice!

I'm with you on the ethics of the murder-issue (and DID take your questions as rhetorical, not challenges!). I really liked the way Louise put it in her post. And "I would rather move on from "what's the right way to stop/punish murderers" to SO what can we do to create a world in which people are not so often moved/driven/encouraged/inspired to commit murder? (And whatever other crimes against their fellow humans' happiness and well-being.)" --YES, me too. I sometimes wonder at myself, when I hear of a horrendous crime, that my thoughts are more about the criminal than the victims-- like, sure, it's sad that they're hurt, but what drives a person to do something like that in the first place? What happens in their head? Where has their life gone? What was missing that would have turned that whole path around? I really do think that's the more interesting and more ultimately meaningful question.

You're welcome for the forum, and thank you for the comments! They make my day. :)

*(and it was actually in fact made my YA author R.J. Anderson. Random fact there).


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