Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

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Pmofmalasia
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby Pmofmalasia » January 13th, 2014, 3:41 am

Jd- wrote:
Pmofmalasia wrote:[spoiler]Yeah, I was pretty disappointed by the lack of any real case in this whole series. Although, Jd-, I'm not sure why you think it was so obvious that there was no actual vault in the first place. Magnussen seemed to have shown the letter to Sherlock in order to make him think that there were actual documents, and there wasn't really much to hint otherwise. Other than the obnoxious overuse of mindpalaces, which I wholeheartedly agree was irritating. Also, I heard someone say that there were two Morans somewhere. Is that true? Because Moran being essentially irrelevant was pretty odd to me, and it would make sense if he were behind Moriarity's 'return.' Overall, while I did enjoy most of the character stuff, I would have enjoyed it more if we had more than 3 episodes, and it didn't take up 2 whole ones. I say 2 and not 3 since the third was at least an attempt at a case, even though it hardly resembled the S1 and S2 cases.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]The reason I thought that was two fold. Foremost, it was impossible for such a "library" of all such data to be amassed. The more Holmes mentioned it, the more obvious it was he was building it up to a twist--it was really supposed to house the complete source of all coming and past scandals in the western world and beyond? Our glimpses of it didn't indicate anything close to that, which led to my meta reason being that the architecture for the Appledore place was stunningly new, whereas our glimpses of the "vault" were all of this archaic library. Having a simple vault wouldn't really lead to anything interesting, so just saying, "Hey, he remembers it all" was pretty much the only sensible direction to take that. By the time Sherlock took the glasses and missed the memory thing, I was absolutely certain how that was going to turn out. In fact, I think their intention was for the on-screen display to be misdirection into making viewers think that was actual data coming up on his glasses, but I never thought that, so maybe that's why it all became so obvious so quickly.

Personally, I actually try my best to not solve the mysteries as they are happening, instead wishing to be surprised like a character in the show. I really, really try not to play the meta game and make determinations outside of what's directly presented with a specific intention, but when it gets that obvious, it's not really something I fault myself for--especially when the "mystery" of an episode is really not a mystery at all and kind of disengaging due to its sheer obliviousness.

I don't recall an "other" Moran and certainly not an evil one. It would be quite crazy for them to have a second Moran with the exact same name revived just to replay his original purpose when his namesake was already used for an earlier character of complete disassociation.

All the same, Moriarty definitely has a brother, at least in the original canon. His brother defended him after his death, which is partially why Watson wrote and published "The Final Problem", in order to clear up the misconceptions of what had transpired leading up to the fall at Reichenbach. Interestingly, Moriarty's brother is a colonel, like Moran, and his name is also James Moriarty. It seems likely that Gatiss and Moffat will use this curious detail to introduce a younger or twin Moriarty for later seasons.[/spoiler]

Also:

[spoiler]The face flicking thing. Boy-o, that was stupid/bad/silly/awful/etc.[/spoiler]


[spoiler]I see, so it would make at least a bit of sense for the other Moriarty to come back now (side note, maybe I mixed up Moran and Moriarty when reading, since there is a second Moriarty) since from the first episode it seems like Sherlock's innocence has just recently been revealed. And eh, I didn't really hate the face flicking thing. I thought its stupidity was the whole point, that he 'owned' Watson now and could do anything to him, no matter how absurd. It being so utterly stupid served to mock Watson.

Also, up until the last second I really thought Mycroft was going to end up shooting him. Especially since they were trying to get Sherlock and Watson away from him, as if to give them a clear shot. (They also say target, singular, etc.) You'd think Sherlock would have picked up on that, too. On the other hand, maybe he thought that they would at least try to find Appledore and take him down legally. On the other OTHER hand, Mycroft is smarter than Sherlock and could have known it was in his head already. Plus taking him down legally likely would have involved the blackmailee's secrets getting out... but why am I even thinking about this now it's clearly irrelevant.[/spoiler]
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S.Vineyard
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby S.Vineyard » January 13th, 2014, 1:31 pm

Ehm....

[spoiler]..the concept of a Mind Palace isn't ridiculous and it was one of the things I enjoyed the most in this episode. (I actually thought I have to wait for Hannibal Season 2 to finally seeing somebody using it in action.

I highly recommend you to get Frances A. Yates brilliant book "The Art of Memory". It explains the origin and history of this memory stroage concept.[/spoiler]
Pmofmalasia
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby Pmofmalasia » January 13th, 2014, 3:08 pm

S.Vineyard wrote:Ehm....

[spoiler]..the concept of a Mind Palace isn't ridiculous and it was one of the things I enjoyed the most in this episode. (I actually thought I have to wait for Hannibal Season 2 to finally seeing somebody using it in action.

I highly recommend you to get Frances A. Yates brilliant book "The Art of Memory". It explains the origin and history of this memory stroage concept.[/spoiler]


[spoiler]I don't think the concept alone is ridiculous, I just thought the way they presented it made it seem ridiculous. Like they make it seem like this fantastic superpower or something that Sherlock has. I actually really like the concept of the mind palace (and I'm sure it actually does work) but it should have been handled better, in my opinion.[/spoiler]
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kei
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby kei » January 13th, 2014, 3:10 pm

I think nobody posted this Q&A with Moffat and Gatiss about Series 3, so here it goes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03pzpgy/live
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mangaluva
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby mangaluva » January 13th, 2014, 3:44 pm

[spoiler]So according to Moffat, "In Doyle's story, someone else shoots Milverton but we reckoned Watson was lying to protect his friend"... except that would be completely and totally out of character for Holmes so um no?

I also still can't figure out the reasoning for changing Milverton to Magnusson. Was it just to have Lars Mikkelsen play the part?

I'm still annoyed at them for wasting Moran, too. IIRC, the books had some emphasis on him as the Watson to Moriarty, and a criminal who gave Holmes a lot of trouble in tracking down as he was very emotionally invested in killing Holmes. But this was just... wut?

Actually I'm annoyed at them for a lot of things. I really don't know what they're trying to do here.[/spoiler]
S.Vineyard
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby S.Vineyard » January 13th, 2014, 5:26 pm

Pmofmalasia wrote:[spoiler]I don't think the concept alone is ridiculous, I just thought the way they presented it made it seem ridiculous. Like they make it seem like this fantastic superpower or something that Sherlock has. I actually really like the concept of the mind palace (and I'm sure it actually does work) but it should have been handled better, in my opinion.[/spoiler]


[spoiler]
Well, imo. it was handled perfectly. It reminded me strongly how it was presented in the Hannibal novel.

The different places during Sherlock "Shot" scene were actually interesting loci and actually explain a lot about Sherlock's psychology.
[/spoiler]
Jd-
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby Jd- » January 13th, 2014, 9:07 pm

S.Vineyard wrote:Ehm....

[spoiler]..the concept of a Mind Palace isn't ridiculous and it was one of the things I enjoyed the most in this episode. (I actually thought I have to wait for Hannibal Season 2 to finally seeing somebody using it in action.

I highly recommend you to get Frances A. Yates brilliant book "The Art of Memory". It explains the origin and history of this memory stroage concept.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]Foremost, I don't care what anyone says: Constantly saying "Mind Palace" sounds ridiculous on-screen. The fact that characters who don't have a vested "mind palace" are constantly talking to Sherlock about his "mind palace" make it really silly. The worst offender of this was when they were defusing the bomb in the first episode and Watson was like, "Search ze Mind Palace! You must have an entire manual on all types of bomb defusal in there, man!". The way they present it in Sherlock is not only impractical, but silly, outright implausible, and completely over the top. It is much akin to Sherlock's observational "skills" that have become a cartoon unto themselves at this point.

As stated earlier by Pmof, it's not that such a concept exists; it's all in the way it's presented, through and through. Hannibal did this sort of thing way better (and I don't think they mentioned "mind palace", so that's a plus if so; if not, they sure didn't bring it up constantly and use the words "mind palace" over and over) and with a lot more flair and much less happenstance. It felt like an extension of the character's psyche in that, whereas in Sherlock it feels like a cameo vignette instead of anything actually happening psychologically.

If you want to see the idea of the "mind palace" put to actual, legitimate use, it was already done better in Elementary, and is used fairly often by illusionist Derren Brown.[/spoiler]
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby Jd- » January 13th, 2014, 9:30 pm

mangaluva wrote:[spoiler]So according to Moffat, "In Doyle's story, someone else shoots Milverton but we reckoned Watson was lying to protect his friend"... except that would be completely and totally out of character for Holmes so um no?

I also still can't figure out the reasoning for changing Milverton to Magnusson. Was it just to have Lars Mikkelsen play the part?

I'm still annoyed at them for wasting Moran, too. IIRC, the books had some emphasis on him as the Watson to Moriarty, and a criminal who gave Holmes a lot of trouble in tracking down as he was very emotionally invested in killing Holmes. But this was just... wut?

Actually I'm annoyed at them for a lot of things. I really don't know what they're trying to do here.[/spoiler]

Wait, WHAT? Hold on, this is worth a double post.

[spoiler]That makes the entire emotional thread of that story completely obsolete. The point of that story, and the entire culmination of its events from start to finish, was that it closed with Holmes letting someone get away with a crime instead of taking the case. Holmes's justification for not taking the case was that it was just in a case of "PRIVATE REVENGE" for a crime "above the law". I'm guessing that Moffat and Gatiss, in their glee to do something "shocking", accidentally read over the part that mattered most in the entire story. Also, if we assume Watson lied here, what else did he lie about? Did Holmes lure Moriarty just to pull out a revolver and shoot him six times at Reichenbach, and then Watson helped him set the body alight and throw the ashes into the cavern and thus is why the body was never found? Maybe Holmes and Watson weren't able to actually catch Moran doing anything wrong, and murdered Ronald Adair in cold blood in order to frame Moran; Moran, cornered, had no choice but to fight back and it was then that Holmes had the police catch him in the act of trying to survive this onslaught from Holmes and Watson. Maybe, indeed, this is why he's still alive a half-dozen years after he was originally captured instead of being hanged? This sort of nonsense completely changes the dynamic and point of the original canon and shows a sort of arrogance that makes it really hard to respect their perspective on the work they are deriving from.

Honestly, I also don't know why they've made some of the decisions they've made. There is no coming back from this for Sherlock. He executed a businessman in cold blood just because he couldn't beat him with all his great "mind palace"-infused deductions. No matter where it goes from here, Holmes has no business catching any criminals, even Moriarty. In fact, it seems better-suited for me that he go ahead and join them. At least then they'll have done something interesting, instead of just whatever makes people gasp (at its idiocy and complete disconnect with common sense).[/spoiler]
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby mangaluva » January 14th, 2014, 3:04 am

There's always been bad fanfiction that completely misinterprets the characters and throws them through ludicrous plotlines... but now it's on TV.
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby Patrick » January 14th, 2014, 6:19 pm

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
4)Moriarty's tune
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 ;)
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby Jd- » January 14th, 2014, 9:12 pm

Patrick wrote:
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
4)Moriarty's tune
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]
Patrick
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby Patrick » January 15th, 2014, 1:06 pm

[spoiler]In short, I agree that this season wasn't up to the standards of the other two. As you said, having the knowledge of Moriarty's existance didn't mean we couldn't be surprised and I personally found brilliant the way they put everything together in season 2. However, I enjoyed many things in this season, like i said, and I think they still have it in them to make good material. An example of cool scenes (imo) for each chapter this season:

3x01) The way Sherlock rapidly disguises to approach Watson after his return from the grave.
3x02) When Sherlock explains how moved he was to be Watson's best man when he actually stared straight-faced for the whole conversation.
3x03) The way Sherlock manipulates Janine in order to access Magnussen's office.

I think those scenes were as hilarious and sharp as so many moments we enjoyed in seasons 1 and 2.
I understand, however, that the cases have been much weaker. I believe this has a reason though: they wanted to cover too many events in one season. If we review this season we have:
1) Sherlock's return and explanation of his death (this, covering an entire episode)
2)John and Mary's wedding
3) The introduction of a new villain
4) The death of such villain. (where I also agree with you, they destroyed Sherlock's persona)
All of this, combined with their current "obsession", (shall we say?) of making Sherlock evolve into a creature capable of caring and loving people. There's no way a case could be solid in this agenda, it's just too much. Not defending them, but I can't hardly blame them either. What I would blame them for is that they're trying to focus too much on Sherlock being friendly. I mean, why? We all love the robot he is, just add a few moments to make us remember he cares about Watson, like their little chat in the pool, or him rescuing John from a fire. All this time spent on emotion could have been used to prepare Magnussen's game a bit more, I hate it that they killed him so fast. They practically killed him in the same episode he was introduced.

Well, not gonna extend this anymore, the point is clear. Now I just want to suggest what I think would have been an alternative way to end this season and prolong this villain a bit more. Here goes:
This season Mycroft suggested that Magnussen was kind of a necessary evil, since he never did too much damage and they probably benefit from his blackmail control somehow. Also, since Magnussen is shown as an emotionless machine he beats Sherlock at every turn. My fix would have been making Magnussen's power increase to a point where Mycroft sees him as a threat, and asks Sherlock for help to take him down. But of course, the emotional Sherlock can't do that since Magnussen would find pressure points against him. So they would need to restore Sherlock into an analitic being again in order to defeat this villain. I think that would have been a nice way to make things a bit more interesting and remedy their fixation on making this series what is becoming as you guys point out. How would you have handled it? I'm curious now ;D[/spoiler]
kholoudsafir
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby kholoudsafir » January 15th, 2014, 1:15 pm

If I start watching it from this series without any idea of the past ones, would I be lost? :-X
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Pmofmalasia
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby Pmofmalasia » January 15th, 2014, 4:00 pm

kholoudsafir wrote:If I start watching it from this series without any idea of the past ones, would I be lost? :-X


A bit, probably. But you really should watch series 1-2, it's only 6 episodes total (1.5 hours long each) and the first two series are much better than the third anyhow.
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mangaluva
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Re: Are you guys watching Sherlock? (BBC Series)

Postby mangaluva » January 15th, 2014, 6:26 pm

[spoiler]The thing is, I agree that the season three episodes had plenty of great MOMENTS, but as a cohesive whole were... not great. The mysteries, such as they were, tended to be all over the place, especially in the second and third episodes, and Sherlock's characterization was all over the place as well. They couldn't seem to decide how much of a handle he had on emotions... like, they had him set up as being much more emotional in the first two episodes, and then that shockingly cruel stunt with Janine? The third episode seemed to draw a lot of terrible behaviour out of Sherlock in general, not least killing Magnussen. I originally thought that Sherlock had shot Magnussen because of his threat to expose Mary to old enemies of hers, which would put her life, the baby's and almost certainly John's in danger, but then I remembered that he asked John if he had his gun before they'd even left his parents' house. Was he seriously planning to kill Magnussen from the beginning?

Also, it still really does worry me that Sherlock is showing no affereffects from killing Magnussen. This is presumably Sherlock's first murder--Mycroft certainly seemed to think so. It's pretty clear that, despite Mofftiss' complete lack of basic psychological knowledge, Sherlock is not a sociopath or psychopath. He can feel for other people. I'm not speaking from personal experience, but murdering someone for the first time must have some effect on a person. We've seen John kill without regret, because even as an army doctor he trained as a soldier. He's seen people die and been trained to kill without regret, as has Mary. But Sherlock has no training and, while he's experienced with corpses, he visibly panicked in only the previous episode when he realized that he was dealing with someone dying rather than dead when they found the soldier, and he seriously freaked out when Moriarty shot himself. The ending of the episode came much too quickly. We have no idea if Sherlock has any mental residue from the murder to deal with and no indication that he does.

Basically, just... what?

Also, I still wonder if making Mary an ex-CIA ninja was entirely necessary, especially since that revelation is really about John, not her. It's all about the kind of people and kind of lifestyle that John "likes really", about refuting all of his protestations that he wants a quieter life, even though he's genuinely and legitimately upset that Mary's not what he thought she was. He didn't fall in love with her because he secretly, psychically knew she was a former assassin. Basically, he's been robbed of any chance to have had character development--yes, he was previously established as having an unhealthy addiction to danger, the key word here being unhealthy. John has not only been robbed of the chance to have healed, but also the idea that he's even supposed to. IDK, I'm just kind of uncomfortable and unhappy with the idea that John should be happy that Mary's ex-CIA. Maybe I was just unhappy with the scene because John was very clearly and legitimately upset and Sherlock decided to calm him down by basically going "stop complaining, you know you like it really".

I'm still wondering WTF was with Magnussen pissing in the fireplace. I mean, teh guy evidently liked his power trips, but that was just... what even was that?

I don't think I'm as coherent as JD- with my thoughts, but basically, yeah, I'm not calling this show fanfiction because I dislike fanfiction. I write it all the time. I'm saying that normally, you only see this level of inconsistency in character development and portrayal and this degree of plot incoherency in fanfiction because fanfiction, unlike TV shows, movies and novels, is not subject to the eye of an editor before being published. All I'm saying is that this season of Sherlock looks like it was passed by whoever thought Stephanie Meyer didn't have to learn to use a comma before publishing books.[/spoiler]

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