mangaluva wrote:There's always been bad fanfiction that completely misinterprets the characters and throws them through ludicrous plotlines... but now it's on TV.
Well that is just...one sided. Literature, like any other kind of art, is open to interpretation so it doesn't make sense saying someone "misinterpred" a painting or a book, they just have a different opinion which is as valid as any other, since art is subjective.
Now, concerning all the criticism I see towards this season, I wanted to make a few points too just for the sake of arguing. First of all, I have to say that I agree with a lot of the points you guys are making, but some just seem silly to me. Let me elaborate:
[spoiler]-Sherlock shooting Magnussen totally ruined Sherlock's image and I would rather they prolonged this villain for another season, and maybe end him more..."elegantly" . We should remember, though, that Sherlock's motivation is not defeating all evil and crime, but rather being challenged by a mystery or a criminal mastermind and beat it/him. However, this time he faced defeat and took a decision. His last words with Magnussen were to confirm all the information was in his head and only in his head, so he shot him. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't approve Sherlock doing this. I understand it, because there's far too much scum in this world we live in, sadly, and if it were my call I would throw in a fire all those who abuse little girls and do so much harm. But as a thing Sherlock would do, I think this was poorly handled.
-About last episode, 3x03, I must say I don't quite agree with most of you saying it was bad. I think it started pretty well and then something went wrong, but that shouldn't devalue the whole thing. In my opinion, up until Mary's sit down with Sherlock and Watson, the episode was completely solid. We got to see first hand how twisted was Magnussen, we saw Sherlock acting as an emotionless alien again, we saw some game changer when Mary's situation was revealed, how Sherlock outsmarts her to expose her situation to John, and also how Watson overcomes the lies and forgives those he loves. All of this was done with good rythm, the usual punch lines and simply good acting, so I don't think we should take away all the credit of this episode because we don't like how they handled it in the end.
-Next, I wanted to say that I see a lot of "tumblr" and "death of mystery to replace it with fanservice" talk, and I don't think one thing excludes the other. For instance, my favourite episode of all the series is, hands down, "A Scandal in Belgravia" and I know many people must agree, it simply had everything. Now, aren't there a hell of a lot of winks and fanservice as well? I mean, I can enumerate a few if you want:
1)Sherlock naked/in a sheet in Buckingham Palace
2)Irene's moan as a text alert. (which you can find in less than a minute for your phone alert, so tell me if that's not fanservice)
3)First scene ever of Sherlock wearing the deer stalker hat
5)Sherlock fake crying on the intercom
6)Irene's naked scene with Sherlock (although there was a purpose to this)
7)Sherlock fighting Watson
I could go on, but I think it's quite clear. All of these scenes were obviously made to please the viewers, as nearly none of them was necessary, but I mean... did they really do any harm? I think if you want to make something appealing you have to play a bit, make things sometimes fun, sometimes dramatic, etc. As long as the rest stays solid, who cares? I enjoyed "A scandal in Belgravia" more than countless of high grossing films, because it was perfectly executed.
TL;DR: As long as the stuff is well written and acted, who cares if a thousand idiots post .gifs on tumblr or hashtags on twitter? I mean, simply don't follow that kind of media.
-Lastly, it is being said that the writers are deviating too much from the canon, and also that the series is starting to be a fanservice feast rather than a mystery series. As I said before, this is an adaptation, and thus free to modify anything according to their particular point of view, so it's just ridiculous to go crazy over James being Jim or Milverton being Magnussen, it's just silly. Besides, if you're so obsessed with the canon you should be already on a witch hunt because Mycroft is all over the place in the series but not in the books (I believe someone said this before). I think it was Jd- complaining that the mysteries are too obvious. Come on, have you watched episode 1x01 and afterwards read "A study in scarlet"? I'd say 90% of the case was a copy paste of the original. Or, on a wider view, who wasn't expecting the name Moriarty to appear in a Sherlock's adaptation? Or Sherlock faking his death in order to stop Moriarty? We all saw that coming since the name popped up. My point is, how can you be surprised by a movie you've already seen? What I think is you can either have an exact canon adaptation or you can have some things altered (characters, relationships, main plot) and give you another insight. Sometimes you'll like it better than the original, sometimes you won't. It's just like music, I find some covers to be better than the original, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna criticize the original (or go berserker if they do an ugly cover), I'll just ignore it.
As someone said already, maybe they're losing the essence of the first episodes to explore other stuff, and if that's what is selling better I'm sorry to say it's probably not gonna change. As much as I enjoy reading these forums, for example, and seeing how there's people with different opinions and good criticism, the world is full of mindless people and TV shows work on audience rates, so if this turn of events works good with the multitude, we're gonna get more of this for sure.[/spoiler]
Nice sharing thoughts here, have a good one
Buckle up, gonna be a long one.
[spoiler]I think you may have (ironically) misinterpreted Manga's point judging from that reply. To note foremost, Manga isn't condemning fanfiction outright (she's a prolific author of it herself). What she's saying is that the carnival pastiche element in this season was particularly strong--the thematic and character departures, by all means, absolutely do
feel like bad fanfiction. We are definitely not the first to make this argument, because that is definitely a very valid association. To briefly summarize that point, it is essentially that the series has tried to take things randomly and haphazardly "to the next level" on all fronts while containing more fanservice than you can shake a stick at (fanservice being, naturally, one of the primary reasons people read and enjoy fanfiction so much).
Going beyond that, there are many times that opinions can be invalid and the product of misinterpretation themselves. Not all views are equal or "as valid as any other", because those views can be based on insufficient knowledge (be it of the work, the creator's prose/style/life/background, of the language, of the culture, or any large number of other factors).
The problems that have been addressed in this topic and widely elsewhere on the internet are not really exclusively about misinterpretation of the original plots but even more that they have deviated not just from Sherlock Holmes the character but Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock
. The uncharacteristic deviation from the previous episodes
, in tone, style, pacing, storytelling, characterization, plotting, etc., are all reasons that people find this to be akin to fanfiction, because that is one arena in which all of this occurs for the sake of gamesmanship. There's really no reason to address this further, but I thought I would shed some light on it.
As far as I'm concerned, Sherlock is a much weaker character after shooting the villain this time around. I can't see myself ever cheering him on in his upcoming battle with Moriarty and instead will likely take a lot of glee and delight in his pitfalls, as he waxes poetic about Moriarty being evil and needing to be stopped. I mean, this isn't even Dexter
where there is a debatable moral quandary at play, where he is aiming to kill people who have killed others. Blackmailing people is not justification for shooting a man in cold blood and then ultimately facing no actual consequences
. The guy was a businessman who bested Sherlock, who then decided his only option was to just shoot him in the head. The insanity of that is baffling in and of itself.
As I stated in an earlier post: It isn't a matter of there being
fanservice. The problem is that the fanservice is steering the ship--it is directing the plots, and doing so in a very clear and worrisome way. The fanservice from the earlier seasons was done very tastefully (Mycroft being set up as Moriarty for the sake of familiar Holmes fans comes to mind, being handled extremely well in the first season). Here, it is abundantly clear that the creators have gotten caught up in the social media whirlwind: they are staging moments simply to appeal to the Tumblr crowd who are the most vocal but also a vast minority of their viewership. That is the primary reason that the negative reaction to this season has been so vehement. It's fine to have those moments when they are an organic part of the story and serve a real, discernible, and undeniably supplemental value. That was absolutely not
the case for the majority of the scenes in this season, and it definitely wouldn't be a problem if it was "well written and acted"--the problem is... none of that was true due to all of the aforementioned issues. Truthfully, I also didn't particularly like several of those moments you mentioned earlier, to note; I definitely liked the hat and some of the Irene moments, but others were give and take. Thankfully, those moments weren't constructed, as you stated, to be staples of the entire episode. Not so with these recent three and the self-indulgent nonsense that went on for nearly 90 minutes an episode.
In summary: Fanservice is completely fine
! . . . when it serves to compliment the plot, not direct it. No one is saying it has no place or precedent in the series because it was obvious from the first episode that it would. However, the fanservice completely hijacked the plot and action of the episodes this season, and that is where many are calling it out. If this season had been as sharp and smart as the first two, no one would have reason to have this conversation. So long as fanservice is reserved for bonus frills and the occasional
in-joke, that's fine. When it is anything more than that, it becomes problematic.
I don't think anyone is going to argue that they aren't free to "make it their own". They absolutely can as they have the broadcast and production rights to do so. However, we are even more free to criticize them for it because they are basing their entire work on an existing series: part of its appeal is that it has such a built-in, fervent fanbase and brand. They know this and outright embraced that as they began this series. With that said, where the ultimate problem emerges is this: In countless interviews, Moffat and Gatiss have spent ages going on about their love and admiration for Sherlock Holmes as a character, as a series, as an icon, etc. If they are going to simply entirely change the construct and principles of the core character (Holmes himself), that is absolute cause for concern and plenty of discussion. If the fundamental values of the show have changed (perhaps due to an exhaustion of ideas), we definitely are within our rights to talk about it.
In any way equating Sherlock Holmes shooting a man in the head in cold blood because he couldn't beat him to Mycroft appearing more than twice as he did in the original canon is unquestionably daft. Is that really the best argument for straying from the canon? I mean, four better ones came to mind as I was typing that sentence. Mycroft has been updated to the modern world in an interesting and yet still quite faithful manner. Your biggest mistake, however, was assuming that I haven't complained about Mycroft showing up in every episode possible, because I've done so many times already--but not for the reasons you ascribed. Personally, I feel that character is better reserved for special occasions. Him showing up so often makes every episode feel like a matter of state security, when it really shouldn't. However, I'll have him move into the lodgings at Baker Street and start out every episode with a silly observation battle with Sherlock if it means Sherlock didn't deceive the entire fabric of the character to shoot a man in the head in cold blood because he's not smart enough.
Yes, we all knew that there would be a Moriarty--part of the fun was when and how he would make himself known. That was handled well, even if I didn't like "Jim" Moriarty compared to the original. So while we saw Moriarty coming, did we see Moriarty framing Sherlock as he did? I don't think so. Did we, as scholars of the canon, instantly know from his introduction that he would shoot himself in the head? Of course not. Did we know that Sherlock would jump from a building and commit suicide at the height of a conspiracy against him? ...No. All of that unfolds differently from the canon, but
does so with the same sensibilities and thus rings true to the original characters, scenarios, and series in general. It was still fun, it was still exciting, and it was still very interesting despite being full of changes. That is the enormous difference between what happened then and what just happened in this latest season as a whole. So much of it feels completely distanced from what has happened not just in this very series but in the original Sherlock Holmes lore. The problem is not whether it's a direct adaptation or one that adapts it to a new setting or whatnot, it is that they have outright betrayed the character not just from 2014 but from the 1880s. So yes, they are absolutely free to do what they want, but they are also more than free to be remembered as a once-great series that brought Holmes to a new audience that lost its sharp edge after the second season.
All told, you can't accuse me of being someone who can't accept changes to the canon in adaptations. I was one of the very, very, very few people outright defending the decision to make Watson a woman in Elementary
(with Rex Stout's hilarious and delicious essay making it even more entertaining an idea). I've watched and adored a great many Holmes stories that completely turn the character on its head (Without a Clue
), some staying close, some deviating quite a bit but in an interesting way (the recent Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law movies that featured a great deal more physical action but in a suitable and fun way). I am open to just about anything involving Sherlock Holmes, including the cartoon Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century
. What remains important with any adaptation is that it not stray too
far from the source material or it begins to appear to be something entirely different--that is the problem that Sherlock
has suddenly faced due to these recent story decisions. If it really is something entirely different, it should just be that and drop the names/title. Plenty have been levying that it's feeling like a Dr. Who-spinoff at this point, but I can't really speak on that as I don't watch it. I'm still fine with changes, but good ones. Bad ones require only criticism. There are plenty of times that changes are completely beneficial, such as in the old Granada Holmes series where Moriarty had a very slightly but incredibly significant expansion of his character when it was revealed he was the mastermind behind a certain classic caper. That was a change that could have easily been in the canon and no one would have questioned it. In other episodes of that series, they changed plenty of endings, and some of them were really quite good, even more memorable than the originals in some cases.
Believe it or not, I'm OK with this series proceeding as it is now. It will later serve as a cautionary tale to creators that come along later to create their own Holmes stories, all of which I'll be open to watching as I always have been. There's not really any coming back from this for Sherlock as a character, and that's fine--there probably wasn't any coming back from this season as a whole, so that feels oddly suitable at this point.[/spoiler]