Raise the Surveillance Status to ‘Active’

I wrote about Sherlock last night and how much I love everything about the show. Last night, I also talked my dad into watching an episode with me.

He came over today to watch Sherlock. I couldn’t decide where exactly to start. I told him that as much as I’d love to start with Season Three, just because it really has been exceptional so far, I should probably start with A Study In Pink. He went on a diatribe about how he wasn’t going to get into a television show, he doesn’t watch television, it doesn’t matter where we start. I knew he would act this way, which is why I was torn over which episode to show him.

After some internal debate, and after asking a friend, I decided on ASiP – to introduce him to the Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman version of the characters. Plus, it really is a brilliant episode. 

Upon first seeing Martin, he exclaimed, “Hey! That’s the hobbit!” He was already laughing during the press conference when Sherlock was texting everyone, “Wrong.” Just a few minutes later and he’s already saying, sheepishly, “Okay, I think I could get into this.” 

After Sherlock invited John to live with him, dad said, “That’s how they met?! This is too good for TV.” When Sherlock ran off, leaving John at the crime scene with the Pink Lady, dad admitted his man crush on Martin Freeman: “He can say more by not saying anything.” Yes, dad; the fandom is very much aware of Martin’s expertise.

He laughed, he asked questions, he was rather enthralled. 

When Mycroft said, “Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson” and they walked off in slow motion to the theme, dad and I looked at each other, and he reached over to shake my hand. I couldn’t contain my smugness.

“This show… is awesome. You bitch. You’re like a drug pusher. How do you expect me to walk away from this show without needing to watch more?”

And, much like at the end of a successful drug deal, we shook hands again.

As he got up to leave (I have an errand to run), he said, “God. Pretty soon I’m going to have Sherlock shit all over my house! My chickens will be wearing little black coats!”

I told him I didn’t have anything going on tonight after my errand, so we made plans for him to come back over and watch The Blind Banker. I told him not to Google any spoilers.

 

Growing up, watching movies with my dad was essentially one of my favorite past-times. It’s because of him that I have such a passion for film and television. It’s because of him that I know what Airplane! is, and Spaceballs, unlike so many of my friends. It’s because of him pointing out different things or wondering out loud why the director shot the scene a certain way or how the score is in a certain scene that I do those things. 

So, being able to introduce him to Sherlock, a show that manages to be the brightest light shining in a world full of torches, is an immense pleasure. The fact that he loved it, well. 

Back into Battle

“When you walk with Sherlock Holmes, you see the battle field.”

So says Mycroft Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock.

It’s funny. I had avoided watching Sherlock. Seeing it on Netflix and thinking, oh God, they made another tv show out of it. Thinking it couldn’t possibly be better than the RDJr films of which I was such a fan. Funny how now I can hardly stand the RDJr films after becoming so engrossed in Sherlock.

It just took that one viewing. Luckily for me, when I begrudgingly started watching a year ago, both seasons were already available on Netflix. To say I became passionate about the show/its characters/its creators/its actors would be a gross understatement. There have been few shows in my life that grip me so, and Sherlock, I am increasingly proud to say, could be the ultimate.

When I started watching a year ago, I couldn’t get enough. I’m not sure how many times I’ve watched each episode. How many discussions I’ve had about each episode. How many analyses I’ve done on each episode. The more I watch, the more I notice, the more I learn. It’s addicting, really: theorizing, analyzing. I haven’t read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Adventures, so I have nothing to compare, but also, no expectations.

Upon finishing episode three of season two, the finale – as there are three episodes per season/series – I felt like I’d just finished an incredible book. I was tear-streaked, antsy, taking calming breaths, maybe even having to get up and pace. In such a short time, I’d grown to love these characters, aspired to be these characters. And then it was over. 

Once a third season had been commissioned, the floodgates opened. 

I was fortunate enough to spend time in London last summer and visit various Sherlock filming locations. I was even around to watch them film in person. I was even able to meet a few of my heroes. 

To me, it had been a hell of long wait. To those who had been around since the beginning, it had been even longer. (I parlously found Tumblr and, like many, got my Sherlock fix that way). 

But finally, it was here: Sherlock Season Three, starting on New Year’s Day.

The first episode, “The Empty Hearse,” was nothing if not the biggest gift to the fans. To us. To the people who waited. Like a loved one coming home after so long and the reunion actually being everything that you’d ever dreamt of. I’m not a huge fan of spoilers, so I won’t reveal anything in particular. I’ll just say that it was an absolute blast of an episode. 

The second episode, “The Sign of Three,” just aired today. Again, no spoilers, but to me, this episode could very well be perfection. I’ve never been so blessed as when I’m wracked with sobs due to the beauty of something. Truly. 

I was compelled to write simply because, well, I have that feeling again. The feeling I had when I watched Sherlock for the first time. I’m re-invested. I’m re-invigorated. I’m back on the battle field. To me, it feels real. These characters, these things. It all feels real. I feel involved. I feel like I’m running alongside. No, I’m not as clever as Sherlock Holmes, nor as brave as John Watson. I don’t need to be. But I can try to be. 

It’s that feeling again. Thrumming through my veins. Thoughts buzzing through so quickly, I can’t focus. If this is what falling in love is like, well. 

The World of Over-share

Alright, I have been thinking about social media a lot lately, thanks to my master’s program in media psychology, and I think I’ve made it clear that I’m a bit of a BBC’s Sherlock fan. If not, don’t get me started. Anyway, I am also a fan of the most recent Star Trek film by JJ Abrams and cannot wait for the one about to be released.

Here’s the problem:

I got into Sherlock after the first two seasons had already been filmed, shown on tv, and put on Netflix; which was awesome, because then I could watch them boom-boom-boom one after another. As soon as a third season was confirmed by the creators, all hell broke loose. I had found Tumblr and was on Instagram and Twitter, and I hadn’t seen such crazies* since my days as an NSync fan. (*I say ‘crazies’ totally lovingly as I am one of them.) Let’s just say, thank God for the hashtag “spoiler” because otherwise I would know way too much. I like surprises, I really do. I like going into a movie having not already researched every nook and cranny and found out who plays who. It’s supposed to be an escape, not familiarity at that point. Not everyone shares my stance. It’s been a challenge to navigate Instagram and Twitter for months now because of everyone posting filming locations or photos of characters that should have died in the last series, but here they are on set again, or what have you.

Then there’s Star Trek: Into Darkness. I can’t frickin’ wait to see this movie. I am not a Star Trek fan in the least, I know nothing about Star Trek, but I do know that I loved JJ’s first Star Trek and I’m going to love this one, also. My love for the film might also revolve (a bit) around the fact that *Benedict Cumberbatch is playing the baddie. (*Gosh, what else does he star in, I just can’t put my finger on it…) However, there is a mysterious quality in this film that JJ and Benedict have fought so hard to maintain. Who does Benedict play? Is it Kahn? Is it John Harrison? Neither will say. I wish I could find the quote, but I read an interview with Benedict where he went on about why he won’t say who he is playing. It was something along the lines of, there isn’t any mystery in going to the movies anymore because all of the information is released up front or in the trailers and then people go into the movie knowing exactly who plays who or why this particular event is happening, and I am [he is] going to try to uphold as much secrecy as I [he] can. I love that. It’s true.

With social media being about spreading as much info to as many people as quickly as possible, and the people spreading the info just want to be the ones to do it, I don’t wager many people stop and think about exactly what they’re doing. Would you really want to be the one who outed Benedict’s character as really _______? The mystique, the intrigue, some of the glory would be lost.

Don’t people want to be surprised anymore? I think the thirst for knowledge can be a bit detrimental in these cases. It’s like the faith is gone. I don’t want to get to season three of Sherlock and know how Sherlock pulled off his fake suicide in The Reichenbach Fall because some yabo tweets about it before I get to see it for myself. I don’t want to walk into Star Trek: Into Darkness and know that Benedict is actually playing _______, and not be able to participate in the collective sharp intake of breath with the rest of the audience upon his reveal. 

That’s another thing I love about JJ and the creators of Sherlock (Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat) – in the latest STiD trailer, Benedict’s character is shown on some little screen with a tracking device and the name that pops up in front of him for a split second is “John Harrison.” That wasn’t a mistake, that was a mislead from JJ. I am sure of it. Same with Gatiss/Moffat – I follow Mark Gatiss on Twitter and he posted a spoiler-esque picture along with a cryptic sort of message saying that not everything being posted about filming is real/going to be used, and it’s mostly to throw people off. He did the same thing when he released the three word clues for this season*. He tweeted three words that had nothing to do with anything and then later released the ‘actual’ three words. (*For each series now, he has released three words that are supposed to be clues as to what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories they are going to use. For example, for last season, he said “Woman. Hound. Fall.” which referred to the episodes A Scandal in Belgravia – “The Woman” Irene Adler as the main character, Hounds of Baskerville, and The Reichenbach Fall. For series three, he first said “Pipe. Slippers. Bed.” and then later released the real clues, “Rat. Wedding. Bow.”)

Thank God for writers/directors such as JJ, Mark, and Steven for their creative integrity and keeping mystery as alive as it can be in this world of over-share.

Speaking of, this reminds me of how Alfred Hitchcock approached the release of Psycho. He sent letters to the theatres with explicit instructions on how to keep the ending a complete secret – locking doors, keeping guards, only using certain posters, signing waivers as not to reveal spoilers, etc. Even back then, without social media, he was readily aware of the spread of information ruining the mystique of his film. He wanted to hear the true screams when… you know, I don’t know if any of you have NOT seen this film. I’d hate to ruin it.

Modern Sherlock is Modern

So I’m a huge Sherlock fan – the show on BBC (and sometimes PBS).

What’s great about it is that it holds the integrity of Conan Doyle. They were timely when they were written, so why shouldn’t they be timely now? The films with RDJr are great – but of course set back in that Victorian time. The Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat BBC creation is set today, but with the same stories.

Just a few changes of course – instead of letters, Sherlock gets texts; instead of journaling, Watson blogs.

I really enjoy this interview with the geniuses behind the show:
http://www.denofgeek.us/tv/sherlock/20536/steven-moffat-and-mark-gatiss-interview-sherlock

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