Frith (frith_in_thorns) wrote,

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on sherlock

I've just finished watching the BBC's Sherlock. And I have some thoughts, so I shall proceed to inflict them on you all.

Basically, I'm massively conflicted about this show. To start with, it is oh-so-very pretty, especially Sherlock himself. I usually identify far more with Watson but didn't in this incarnation, which surprised me, but I loved the snappy dialogue between the two and basically most of their interactions, although the 'ha ha we seem gay but WE AREN'T WE AREN'T WE AREN'T' got old very quickly.

Speaking of that... the bit about John's sister, rather than brother, was nice and I liked seeing Sherlock get put off his stride by something he hadn't anticipated. (Although just mentioning gay people and not showing them doesn't get all that many points in my book.) But then so much fail in the third episode - "he's gay because he's well-groomed and I could see the band of his underpants above his trousers" - that was just stupid, even though it did turn out to be Moriaty messing with Sherlock. I already knew, through stuff I picked up in various places, that Jimmy would be Moriaty, but I probably wouldn't have guessed otherwise. Didn't like him - someone said that he seemed to be doing a Graham Norton impression, and I'd say that's a good comparison. He was just irritating rather than intimidating, to my mind at least,  which did rather spoil the suspense of the final scene. Wasn't sold at all on him being a criminal mastermind. I didn't specifically notice him being Irish (I have no ear for differentiating accents), but having been told that I agree with teh_elb  on the probematic stuff behind him being an Irish bomber.

And about problematic stuff. Where the hell were the women? We had a couple of Evil Bitches (like Donovan), damels in distress (like Sarah), and ones who existed only to cater to the men (like Mrs Hudsen). All of them had only tiny moments on screen in which they were either dismissed or saved by the men. None of them had actuall recognisable characters beyond stereotype. I get that this was an adaption of a series of stories set in Victorian times, in which women weren't really expected to appear, but that's no excuse. They managed perfectly well with switching a watch for a mobile phone (Watson's apparent brother thing), but couldn't write in any good female characters? Couldn't, say, make Lestrade female? Seriously? Also everyone went on and on about how the 'woman in pink' had been having an affair, but so had at least one of the male victims in that episode, and one in the next episode, and no one really remarked on those - and when they did it was because it was relevant to the plot. Not just to reinforce how ~wicked the woman had been (and the unspoken 'she was asking to be murdered', which is pretty easy subtext to read).

And good God, the treatment of the Chinese characters in the second episode was pretty disturbing. Look at how ~exotic they are, with their funny clothes and funny mobs and funny circuses!! Ugh. I was also quite turned off by Watson's psychosomatic pain which apparently had been pretty severly affecting his life but obviously wasn't ~real so he should just get over it. And look, he did! Let's give another bit of amunition to people who think that if something's 'just in your head' you should be able to ~think yourself better!

So, yes, very conflicted - I have to say on balance that overall my opinion of this show is pretty negative. But I did really like Sherlock himself, and would love some really good h/c featuring him. And I'll probably be watching next season, if only to see how the cliffhanger pays off (I'm hoping for an explosion...). I just hope that the writers can get their act together and think a little more about what it is they're actually writing.
Tags: feminism, sherlockbbc
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