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Fri Jan 17th, 2014


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11:06 am - 'Too much to expect'
Why I think I will not be watching the third season of Sherlock.

"Moffat's writing has always been characterized by a desire to hit the big emotional payoff without doing any of the work of earning it-" Yup, was my impression. "Sherlock still suffers from its perennial, frustrating flaws. Its plots are still tissue-thin at best, insultingly stupid at worst. Its pacing is still awful. It is still, despite spotty improvements like Molly... vilely misogynistic." That too, though I watched the first seasons more for the sense of place (my kink; don't knock it), Freeman's acting, and the sheer WTFery of Sherlock's conception itself. Sad that the last seems to have become either cliched or abandonable at will. I blinked when I first read the line "the one person he thought didn't matter at all to me was the one person that mattered the most"-- *Sherlock* said that? Out loud? To *Molly*?? Sheesh.

OTOH what she says about the Mycroft/ Sherlock relationship is intriguing. Brothers: my other kink. (But why did they thin Mycroft? Couldn't possibly have a fat hero, is it?)
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From:incandescens
Date:January 17th, 2014 05:37 pm (UTC)
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To be honest, I saw that line from Sherlock to Molly as being as much manipulation of her by him as anything else.

I don't know. I acknowledge the show's flaws. I suppose I just don't want to think about them because I am (was, given the time factor) enjoying it so much. I am not good at being critical.
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From:flemmings
Date:January 17th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
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I was hoping that line wasn't meant seriously; but also, does molly never learn, if she does take it seriously? Also, that means Sherlock has now registered that emotions exist and are useful for manipulating people, rather than being sociopathically unaware of them as before.

I didn't notice the thinness of plot and illogical connections in seasons 1&2 because I too was enjoying it so much. It's just that everything I read about 3 disinclines me to watch. And a villain who's more odious than Moriarty was? Decidedly do not want.
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From:mvrdrk
Date:January 17th, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
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I agree with you on sense of place and brothers. Mycroft might be my favorite character from that series. He's not a teenager. He's smart but not obnoxious. He's not a blabbermouth. There's a lot to like there.
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From:i_am_zan
Date:January 18th, 2014 12:29 am (UTC)
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I've skipped the link ... as I do really want to watch it with uncoloured a view as possible. (Although a villain who is more odious that Moriarty. Hmmm not sure how keen I am about that.

I too enjoyed S1 & 2 rather a lot. Then it was more about the dynamics of the relationships of the people that I liked. I do love Martin Freeman. I did enjoy the brothers quite a bit. ^__^ Yes a sense of place too.

One peeve about the series is - much as I love Rupert Graves - I wish that Lestrade had been slightly closer to the character in the book. One wonders if Moffat had made Moriarty less so and Lestrade a little more, just a touch, how the storylines would have evolved.

I have re-read 'Study in Scarlet' and will read 'Sign of Four' next. I don't have the shorter stories to hand. ^_^

[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:January 18th, 2014 12:43 am (UTC)
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Probably best to come at the season cold.

I agree, Lestrade is terribly generic Met. He could be anyone.
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From:mvrdrk
Date:January 18th, 2014 08:21 am (UTC)
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Oh, good point! Lestrade could have been so much more!
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From:flemmings
Date:January 18th, 2014 12:47 am (UTC)
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He's a professional-- though I still have my doubts about season 1's 'abduct John to secure his co-operation' which has to be one of my least-favourite tropes ever. Sherlock is a brilliant but erratic amateur; Conan Doyle's Holmes had a sense of social responsibility that Sherlock completely lacks.
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From:incandescens
Date:January 18th, 2014 12:51 am (UTC)
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The way I read that scene was a bit differently to how that reviewer read it.

a) Sherlock attempts to do something nice for Molly and say something appropriate because he has become aware that this is a thing which he should probably do under the circumstances. (I'm reminded of a Pratchett quote about Death, about how he 'thought sorry' rather than actually 'feeling sorry' for Ysabel when he adopted her before Mort.)
b) Molly, while not actually believing it, wishes she could believe it.

My reading, which I admit is totally personal, is that Sherlock is someone who perceives a lot of emotional interactions as in a foreign language. He has got (slightly) better at understanding them and accepting that they exist. It hasn't actually made him a nicer person.

Mycroft _does_ actually understand the emotional interactions, but has made the deliberate choice to avoid them. Mycroft is the one who perceives that John might not be happy about Sherlock suddenly appearing after two years of being thought dead. Sherlock is just envisaging happy case-solving again.

And the original Holmes was capable of manipulations too. There's this quote in the original Charles Augustus Milverton:

... For some days Holmes came and went at all hours in this attire, but beyond a remark that his time was spent at Hampstead, and that it was not wasted, I knew nothing of what he was doing. At last, however, on a wild, tempestuous evening, when the wind screamed and rattled against the windows, he returned from his last expedition, and having removed his disguise he sat before the fire and laughed heartily in his silent inward fashion.
"You would not call me a marrying man, Watson?"
"No, indeed!"
"You'll be interested to hear that I'm engaged."
"My dear fellow! I congrat——"
"To Milverton's housemaid."
"Good heavens, Holmes!"
"I wanted information, Watson."
"Surely you have gone too far?"
"It was a most necessary step. I am a plumber with a rising business, Escott, by name. I have walked out with her each evening, and I have talked with her. Good heavens, those talks! However, I have got all I wanted. I know Milverton's house as I know the palm of my hand."
"But the girl, Holmes?"
He shrugged his shoulders.
"You can't help it, my dear Watson. You must play your cards as best you can when such a stake is on the table. However, I rejoice to say that I have a hated rival, who will certainly cut me out the instant that my back is turned. What a splendid night it is!"
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From:flemmings
Date:January 18th, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
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Your reading is a good deal more nuanced than anyone else commenting on the scene has been willing to give it credit for. Agreed that Sherlock understands emotions as a foreign language-- I always thought him more on the autism spectrum than the sociopathic-- but that makes me wonder where he pulled that line from, to say it to Molly.

Yes, Holmes was manipulative on occasion, and that instance goes down worse for the suggestion that it's quite alright- nearly comical- to deceive one of the servant classes. At least Doyle doesn't agree with Holmes' biases.
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From:incandescens
Date:January 18th, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
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It is quite possible that I am over-analysing, projecting, or both. ;)

I remember that in the series with Jeremy Brett, they did their best to soften that whole sequence - because as you say, Holmes really doesn't come off well in it.
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From:flemmings
Date:January 19th, 2014 01:50 pm (UTC)
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It's quite possible that your view is more nuanced than others', including possibly the writer and director. ^_^
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From:incandescens
Date:January 19th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
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Well, that would be a fan's privilege...
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From:yumiyoshi
Date:January 19th, 2014 05:26 am (UTC)

just finished S3 (spoiler free review)

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I will not be watching S4 ugh.

My S3 review:

e1 was okay, i enjoyed the face punching. e2 was cute, i loved the framing device
and then e3 was just "we ran out of ideas/direction because we already raised ALL THE STAKES and burned through ALL THE GOOD STORIES so let's pretend we're writing a Skyfall AU"
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From:flemmings
Date:January 19th, 2014 01:41 pm (UTC)

Re: just finished S3 (spoiler free review)

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Oh dear. Oh very dear.

But ep 3 was the one Moffatt actually wrote, right? Isn't that something he sort of does regularly?
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From:yumiyoshi
Date:January 20th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)

Re: just finished S3 (spoiler free review)

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I haven't watched enough Moffatt to have data points (I can't stand Doctor Who). I saw a fair amount of Coupling, which was a sitcom much like S3E2 XD and he was very good at that. No evidence of his actual plotting capabilities, and now I know why. XD
From:nekonexus
Date:January 26th, 2014 11:00 pm (UTC)
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re thin Mycroft: as mycroft is essentially Gary Stu-Gatiss, I imagine it had something more to do with the actor and the demands of his other roles than anything logical and plotty.

I have no useful commentary on the rest of S3. It takes too much wasted energy to rage at it, and the overwhelming feeling I'm left with is "meh".
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From:flemmings
Date:January 27th, 2014 01:53 am (UTC)
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Somehow I missed the fact that Mycroft is played by Gatiss. But why cast a thin actor at all, is what I'm wondering, let alone the series' co-creator.

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