Thursday, 8 November 2012

I'm not a psychopath, Anderson, I'm a high-functioning sociopath, do your research

Once again, I've been giving the blog the unfortunate (and very unintentional) silent treatment. The real world, life, interfering, not to mention the ability to procrastinate and put things off that one acquires as a university student that never seems to go away. Not until you have someone to disappoint or have reached a point of desperation that you realise you really need to change something in your lifestyle. Oh my gods this has really turned into something rather morbid now, hasn't it? Okay, so this isn't actually going to be something morbid. In fact, I'm here to rave about something that I've just come to love - finally, after months (and possibly years) of being told I'll love it, I have caved and watched series one and two of Sherlock.

Okay, I say caved. I make it sound like it was a difficult decision to reach. It really wasn't. I'd been intrigued to watch Sherlock, but naturally this curiosity only struck me too late, when Sherlock was off the air and off BBC's fabled iPlayer. Luckily, those kind of obstacles don't stop DVD rentals/friends loaning you the DVDs they have in their possession. Through these combination of factors, I have quickly fallen in love with Sherlock.

Though whenever I try and whistle or hum the theme tune, I always end up with the theme tune to Dirk Gently instead. Ah well.

So if you haven't guessed (or watched the show already), the title of this blog is a line from the first episode, "A Study in Pink". Believe me, if you haven't seen it, this is just one of many quotable lines from the episode - and a lot of them aimed at Anderson, the irritating forensics man. Now I'd just like to take a second to examine my own words, how I've just said that Anderson is irritating...the entire set-up of the show makes Sherlock Holmes (played absolutely outstandingly by Benedict Cumberbatch) out to be this incredibly irritating smart-arse. And yet by virtue of being the main character (and being utterly, utterly brilliant), you forgive him and let things slide. Even if he did come to your house and deduce every last one of your dirty little secrets just from looking at the place.

Let's face it, if he showed up at your house you be a little bit flattered. It's Sherlock frakking Holmes after all!

But we can't go giving all the credit to just Sherlock Holmes. Sure, he's a genius (and more than a little bit of an ass about it) and he solves crimes no one else can, but as much as he'd love to, he couldn't do it alone. So he has a whole host of supporting characters - from the obvious Doctor John Watson (Martin Freeman), the long-suffering Detective Inspector Lestrade (Rupert Graves) and on occasion, though usually not being very supportive, his own brother, Mycroft Holmes (Mark Gatiss).

I'll be honest, that whole paragraph was mostly to get to Mycroft Holmes. Mark Gatiss, one of the co-creators and writers of the show, well...he's brilliant. On his own as Mycroft, Gatiss is wonderful to watch - put in a room with his on-screen brother, it's even more fantastic. It's funny, it's something I find hard to put into words. You really just have to watch it to fully understand the beauty of it all.

So there we have it really. As is customary, I'm going to avoid going into too many details due to the risk of spoilers. But rest assured, Sherlock is brilliant and everyone who told me to go and watch it...well, they get to say "I told you so".

It's half past midnight here and I've reached that funny feeling that there was so much more I wanted to might relate to tomorrow's impending web release of Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, but I think I'll save judgement until watching it. Though it might be a while, given that friends are dragging me to see Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, tomorrow. I say drag. I'm going quite willingly really. Say what you will about James Bond being a misogynistic relic, I enjoy the movies as mindless violence and fun. So more to report on those two later.

Speaking of reserving judgement, Star Wars and Disney. Any self-respecting geek could hardly have missed the news the last couple of days - Disney have bought Lucasfilm and promised us Episodes VII, VIII and IX. It's curious, because I remember when Star Wars was re-released in the late 1990s (when I first came to love the franchise) and I swear someone told me that there were going to be nine "episodes". So the news that we will have three new films to enjoy isn't too surprising. We'll just have to wait to see if Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm will prove to be as sound an investment as their decision to buy Marvel Studios.

Well then. It appears this is all I have to report for now. Hopefully in the next couple of days a new post will materialise with my judgements on Skyfall and Blood and Chrome. Until then...get out there and watch Sherlock if you haven't done it already!

1 comment:

  1. You are correct in that Sherlock is AMAZING - for all of those snotty people who turn their supercilious noses up at a modern interpretation of a beloved Victorian icon, you are seriously missing out. Benedict Cumberbatch does a stunning portrayal of Sherlock - the most accurate visual performance of the role I've ever seen, possibly excluding Jeremy Brett in the Granada series. (Can you tell I love Sherlock Holmes?) What I love most about it is that he has maintained the essence of Sherlock as a character, but changed his personality to better match the present. In Victorian times, he was seen as an oddity but probably generally left to his own devices so long as he wasn't hurting anyone...and if you read the books, he doesn't actually hurt anyone. He's quite eccentric, but he is a gentleman. Cumberbatch is the same - while his brain to mouth filter is a little than in the books, one could put that down as modern society shaping him to be what he is. If you have a brilliant child in Victorian Britain, they would be treated much differently than a brilliant child in modern anywhere. And too, we have to understand that children are quite cruel. If Sherlock was ostracized by his peers from an early age, and with therapeutic medicines as they are now, it is very easy to see how he might grow to become a Sherlock oblivious about how close relationships with people might work, but also with experience telling him that people dislike him in general and so he should be as blunt and nasty as he can as fast as he can so that he will not be hurt by people who don't understand or accept him.

    There are a few especially telling scenes in BBC Sherlock that I could point out to back me up on this, but I won't for the sake of spoilers.

    But I shall digress.

    Instead, I shall talk about Skyfall. Specifically, that I am not at all excited about Skyfall, and have stopped watching James Bond movies altogether. Not because they are misogynistic relics - I quite love James Bond - but precisely because I love old James Bond that I can't watch any of the new ones. I don't remember exactly why I detested the first of the newest Bond movies so much (my memory is crap), but I do remember that I detested it. I almost walked out early, actually, and demanded a refund. I didn't, but I almost did. This does not give me hope as to the movies that have and will be coming out after it. A bit like older Star Wars fans whinging on about the new movies.

    On a semi-unrelated topic: