Monday, December 31, 2012

Loveable Freak Reviews Sherlock (BBC) - "A Scandal in Belgravia"

  Hoo boy, the time has come at last to review "A Scandal in Belgravia", and explain my problem with it.

  So, after a brief recap of the final events of "The Great Game", and the (rather humorous) resolution to the cliffhanger, life goes on as Sherlock and John do more cases. But in the middle of one of Sherlock's latest cases, Mycroft drags him away from it. He wants Sherlock to aid him in getting some...compromising photos of a female member of the royal family and... *shudders* dominatrix Irene Adler. (Oh, that hurts to write). This leads to a six month game of cat-and-mouse. Deduction, seduction, and some of my faith in Moffat's destruction ensues.

Eh, you probably figured, but just to be safe...

  Yeah, you can already see my problem with this, so let's just get it over with. I dislike what Moffat did with Irene Adler. I'll admit, upon re-watching, I saw shades of the Irene Adler I love in the Canon and the Guy Ritchie movies: A clever, capable woman who's a good match/opponent for Sherlock. I can see what people like about this version. But it's hard to appreciate it when she's got so much "fanservice" heaped on her.

  First, there's the whole matter of her profession here. How the heck does "Opera Singer/Adventuress in the 19th Century" equal "21st Century gay/bisexual (she identifies herself as gay in-episode, but then it's revealed she has feelings for Sherlock, so...) dominatrix"? Well, I tried doing the math and it didn't add up. But after I dismissed it at "fanservicy-wericy, Moffaty-Woffaty stuff", I looked up something just to double-check my facts here (as I write this review, actually), and apparently (according to Wikipedia (though that in itself is rather dubious truth)) "adventuress" (at the time of the original "A Scandal in Bohemia" story), meant "courtesan", which int turn means mistress or (in today's society) high-class prostitute. So, I guess I see where he was coming from with that.

  Doesn't mean I like it.

  I mean, honestly, did you have to take that little detail and blow it up? Seriously, dominatrix? You couldn't have gone with anything else?

  I mean, even knowing the courtesan thing, now, that wasn't really that big a thing with the Canon one, it was just a minor detail that she'd had an affair (or "affairs", possibly). It's not something that's a big part of her character. More of a cliffnote. Here, we get plenty of reminders that she "knows what men like". Honestly, Moffat, on Doctor Who you had the character Amy, who was a "kissogram", and you didn't drag that out hardly ever. And there's the fact that he and Gatiss said on the commentary for "Pink" that they wouldn't make a big deal out of the whole "drug" thing, since it didn't matter much in canon anyway. But we're exaggerating something most people probably wouldn't realize? I don't like that.

  It sort of similar to the problem I have with Millerlock on Elementary. He has things I'll admit I like about him, and traits from canon, but one of the things I can't quite get past with him is the fact he (to use the euphemism from this episode) "has dinner" with random women.

  I mean, of all the female characters to mess up with (for me, anyway), you chose one of my favorites to mess up with? And it's a shame, I usually like the female characters he writes (River Song, Clara/Oswin Oswald, etc.). I guess I wish Irene could've been more like them instead of what she was like, too.
 (And I feel obliged to add that I mean no disrespect to Lara Pulver, the actress who plays her in this show. She did an amdittedly good job with the role presented, and she seems like a very nice woman from what I've seen.)

  And there's the fact we have a whole scene where Adler's naked (albeit everything inappropriate is obscured by camera angles) in front of Sherlock (and eventually John). Really, Moffat, really? I mean, I know it had two points in-story (throw off Cumberlock's deductions, and give him a way to get her measurements), but really? That was the option to go with? And apparently, it caused a minor controversy in England, because things like that aren't allowed to be shown there pre-watershed (the cutoff at 9:00, before they show more adult programing). So, yeah...

  And finally, there's the whole matter of the ending. After Sherlock's final "confrontation" with Adler, Mycroft reveals to John some time later that she was captured by Middle-Eastern terrorists and beheaded. Or so he thinks. Turns out Sherlock managed to get there and secretly save her. (Hooray. She gets to live while the movie version gets killed off in the first few minutes of the second movie to rarely be brought up again and the unknown Elementary version is apparently dead if you believe Millerlock...) Oh, the questions it's since raised for me...

  First of all, I don't think terrorists work the way they do as shown there. Second, Irene gets to make a last text with her own cell phone. Uh, do terrorists allow that? (Forgive me if I don't know how such things work, I've been fortunate not to be involved in such things.) Let alone with their victim's own phones? And how'd Irene Adler tick off the terrorists anyway? Did she mess around with a prominent member and blackmail them? How far does her business extend? And how did Sherlock find out she'd be in Karachi, anyway? Let alone get in there in time? It just raises too many questions!

  But even after reciting the MST3K mantra of "It's just a show, I should really just relax", why was the scene necessary? After all, in Canon, Irene more or less saved herself by by fleeing to America with her husband and taking the photo with her, and outwitting Sherlock by using his pride against him when following him. Here, she needs Sherlock to come in and save her. It's kind of sad when the version from the 19th century (a time I don't associate with "feminist") seems better than the 21st in that regard.

  But enough moaning and groaning! I think I have to be fair and mention the positives. Besides Irene, this episode had some very decent things. Mostly with characters.

  There were some really nice interactions between all the regular characters. First of all, there's John, who spends the episode looking out for Sherlock throughout the whole episode, trying to do what's best for his friend. Then there's the interactions with Mrs. Hudson. I've sort of ignored it these past few reviews, but I love the mother/son-eske relationship between Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock (and to an extent, John). It really sweet andI feel it's most prominent here. Especially when Sherlock nearly destroys an American agent for harming and threatening her.

  Also, there's Molly and Sherlock. We see a little more of her standing up to Sherlock when he's being... well, Cumberlock. You can see a bit of a turning point with the two, when she calls Sherlock out for the horrible, blunt things he says. And I felt good that she at least got an appology and kiss on the cheek from Sherlock. Lord knows the woman earned it.

  Plus, Mycroft got some good scenes, too. We get to see more of him caring about Sherlock in his own way. Such as trying to console him after Irene's first supposed "death" (she fakes being dead twice here), in his own way. And there was the conversation between John and him when they try and deside what to tell Sherlock when they think terrorists killed her.

 Speaking of Sherlock, as usual, Benedict is awesome as Sherlock. As is the character. He's firing on all deductive cylinders. And he proves when it comes to some fights he gets, that he's got them moves like Downeylock. Ooh, and we get to see him half nacked. And the female portion of the fandom rejoiced. ;)

  And just some last minute Lestrade love here, seeing as this is the season I started to adore him, I loved him talking another inspector through working with Sherlock. And it was nice to hear he was helping John deliver a drugged-up Sherlock back to 221B (even if he was recording the whole thing on his phone...) And they even invited him to Christmas! ^_^ And now, I take a moment to appreciate Lestrade's face when he sees Molly all dolled up...

Oh, you... ^_^
  Alright, last minute thoughts:

 -Canon nods (besides this being a reinterpretation of "Bohemia") include: the counter stuck on 1895 on John's blog (that being the "best year" for Sherlock), "the client is illustrius" ("The Illustrius Client"), and "The wheel turns, nothing is ever new" is a quote from Canon, too, I think.

 -I don't have too many "Favorite scenes", but I do like the opening scene (until we get our first glimpse of Adler...), the Buckingham Palace scene, the Christmas scene, and Sherlock taking down the American agent...

 -Speaking of Americans; man are we jerks here...

 - I'm now convinced Moriarty can somewhat break Fourth Wall and read the subtitles, for some reason. (Though the movie version can do "Holmes-O-Vision", so it wouldn't suprise me...)

  -Funny, in the first movie, Irene Adler drugged Downeylock (though it was through a drink, not a needle like this one did) as well, and he was naked afterwords with a pillow to cover him up. Cumberlock covered up with a sheet, but his half-naked scene was before the scene where he's drugged . Okay, I'm calling it now: if we ever see Irene Adler on Elementary, she's going to/ will have drugged Millerlock at some point, while he's naked covered up with an air matress! :P

-Okay, so we have: Molly who's got a crush on Sherlock, Moriarty who at least flirts with Sherlock, characters who've (at one point or another) thought John's romatically involved with Sherlock, and now Irene who has a crush on Sherlock. HOLY CRAP! Just imagine if he was trying! O_O

Well, if Violet Hunter (or even that girl Sherlock gets engaged to for crime-solving purposes in "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton") came to play, or anyone ELSE reveals they have/had feelings for him or anything of that nature, I think he gets a free sandwich at Speedy's...

 -Fun Fact: all the cases in the opening montage of cases can be read on the blog (yes, they actually have an in-character blog for John, along with Sherlock's website, and even a blog for Molly Hooper which soldifies my desire to hug her if she were real). They're pretty good reads, and based on canon cases.

  Overall, it wasn't up to the standards I have for Moffat when it comes to writing. Like I've said, this episode (along with most of season 5 of Doctor Who) kind of damaged my faith in him as a writer. Oh well, you can't write gems all the time. And, to be fair, it was a decent episode (minus Adler). Not one of his better season kickoffs. But still a better episode than "The Blind Banker".


Oh, and Happy New Year's Eve...


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Loveable Freak Reviews Sherlock (BBC): The Great Game

  *phew* I apologize for my ranting last review. It's just, last episode was dull and some of the things were stupid when I thought about them... But okay, I'm good now.

  Anyway, with "The Blind Banker" failing to match the wonder of "A Study in Pink", we move on the the first season/series finale of Sherlock: "The Great Game" by written by co-creator and actor on the show, Mark Gatiss!

  Sherlock, after being in a state of boredom from lack of work, receives a phone resembling the one from "A Study in Pink". IT soon turns out Moriarty was the one who sent the phone, and the villainous scoundrel sends a series of puzzling crimes his way. Our beloved sleuth must solve in the time allotted by the criminal, otherwise innocent people strapped to bomb jackets go boom! These cases include: A cold case from Sherlock's past, a man's disappearance, the host of a daytime TV show's death, and a forged painting. Also, Mycroft seeks Sherlock's assistance with a murder case/theft as well, so Sherlock sends John out for the task. The answer to the question "who is Moriarty?", brilliance from the two leads, what TV Tropes calls "Foe Yay", and a cliffhanger ensues.

  ...Do I even have to say it at this point? There are some...

  Alright, first of all, it was fantastic to have some familiar faces (Lestrade and & Mycroft) again this episode. Oh, Lestrade! I missed you! Last episode was awful! The other DI was so dull! DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE US AGAIN, YOUNG MAN! >:( And of course, Mycroft's always great to have. (Minor note, I smiled at Mycroft's reason he wasn't investigating the murder/theft himself being that it "requires legwork". Oh, Mycroft, you lazy man...)

  There's a lot to say about John, here. We get to see more of the "John as Cumberlock's conscience" thing I mentioned in "Pink". He points out when Sherlock is going a bit too far when pointing something out to Molly (I'll get to that later...),and calls out Sherlock for lacking concern for the people Moriarty's endangered; only seeming to care that the cases get solved. And, I noticed that John got to shine a little bit here, too. Like I said, Sherlock sends John to handle Mycroft's problem, and John actually seems to get close to the solution before Sherlock jumps in at the end. Heck, he even gets to make a few deductions himself. Granted, they weren't all right, but you could see his logic behind them, they were sound ideas, and he tried, darn it! And that's all that mattered and I liked it!

  Sherlock, as always, was brilliant. And, while he is rather unsympathetic to people at times, he still gets some good moments. Like at the end, after the first confrontation with Moriarty, when the first thing he does is get John out of the bomb jacket. It reminds us, "hey, our tin-man detective does have a heart!" Trust me, he gets better next season.

  The cases were good, too. I enjoyed the Carl Powers murder and the Connie Prince murder cases. The Janis Cars disappearance was kind of eh. The painting one was alright, and the Bruce-Partington plans was worth it to see John be clever.
  Okay, now the BIG thing this episode, Jim Moriarty! I know Andrew Scott's portrayal Moriarty is kind of "love him or hate him". Personally, I like him. I'll explain why.

  At first, I'll admit, when he first comes in, I was thinking: "This is Moriarty?" But he kinda grew on me. Yes, his voice was weird this first episode with him. He kept going form high-pitched, to shouting, to normal. It was funny, but at the same time a tad annoying. I think Andrew Scott was having a little too much fun with Moriarty this episode. But I think he at least reigns it in more by the second season/series finale.

  And, when I started turning on my analytical portion of my brain. He kind of works as Cumberlock's villainous foil. Jim Moriarty is kind of an unpredictable psychopath. Sherlock, while still a bit crazy himself, is at least a bit more contained (at least in comparison). This Moriarty's rather flirtatious, and Sherlock made it clear in episode one that that sort of thing wasn't "his area". Plus, with Moriarty being a "consulting criminal" here, it sets him up as the sort of dark counterpart to Sherlock I view the character as in general. But, I dunno, maybe I'm reading too much into it.

  I also kind of think he's a fun villain. Kinda camp, but fun. And, considering I also like John Simm's version of The Master on Doctor Who, who's quite similar to this Moriarty, maybe I just like that type of villain. The point is, I like him. I'm not saying everyone has to like him, it's all opinion. Heck, there are characters people like that I really don't care much for. And I can see where the people that dislike this version are coming from. That's all.

  Though, there is one thing I need to address about Mr. Moriarty; two words: "Hello. Sexy." Oh, sweet lord, this line. I swear this was my reaction when I first saw this episode and heard this:

I kid you not, I did this...
  I then proceeded to laugh.  Anyway, logic tells me: "He's trying to mess with Sherlock's head." But then a louder voice says, "That's no fun! We can't get joke fodder for humor comics from that! THINK OF THE OPPORTUNITY FOR LULZ!" (Yes, I am mildly insane. What was your first clue?") Either way, it's gonna stick with me and I will never let this version live it down. Ever. >:D 

  Anyway, last minute thoughts:
  • The nods to canon this episode include: Sherlock shooting the wall in boredom, The Bruce-Partington plans being reinterpreted, maybe Mycroft not willing to do legwork, John chronicling the duo's adventures, "I'd be lost without my blogger" ("Boswell, in canon), "five pips" ("Five Orange Pips"), a mention of "Bohemia", and Sherlock saying Molly's gained weight since she started dating "Jim from IT" (*cough*Moriarty*cough*) (Sherlock says the same thing about Watson after marrying Mary in "A Scandal in Bohemia (I think).). Oh, and a modified version of Sherlock's "Attic" monologue from A Study in Scarlet appears. And Sherlock having a network of homeless people to be his eyes and ears in the city is probably based on the Irregulars from canon, too.
  • My favorite scenes are the opening one, the wall-shooting scene, the scene where Sherlock's disguised as a museum guard, and the end scene. The planetarium scene was rather clever, too. Plus, when Sherlock starts watching "crap telly".
    I also like the "You scratch their backs..." "...And then I disinfect..." exchange. And this possible subtle joke I just noticed, where the news says Connie Prince (the TV host) died at 48, but when Lestrade shows the dynamic duo her body, he says she was 54.
  • Sadly, I haven't seen the commentary on this episode yet. It's Gatiss, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Martin Freeman, so I'm sure it's entertaining. And it has the infamous "Rupert Graves is good at football and has five children" quote...
  • The Golem is creepy as heck! DX
  Anyway, this was a decent episode and a decent finale. Was it "A Study in Pink" calibre? No. But it was waaaaay better than "The Blind Banker".

   It ends on a cliffhanger, like I said, and left me eager for the next season. Especially since the first episode of the new season was written by Moffat! And it was a version of "A Scandal in Bohemia"! What could go wrong?

  ...We'll see when I review "A Scandal in Belgravia"...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Loveable Freak Reviews Sherlock (BBC): "The Blind Banker"

  Well, after the magnificent fantasticness that was the first episode of Sherlock, I was excited for the next episode, "The Blind Banker"...
Never has a gif worked so well...

 ...That excitement didn't last...

  Well, let's get on with it. An old classmate of Sherlock's calls him in to investigate a strange symbol that was spray-painted in his financial-trading job thing's building, on one of the higher levels inside. Turns out one of the traders and later another guy are killed impossibly. They both were killed within their home, when no one can get in. They also both receive the same coded message before they died. A plot involving a Chinese smuggling ring, John having a bad week, some stupidity on our heroes's part, a bizarre misunderstanding, and general boredom ensues.

  Oh, and did I mention John "collegezones" Sherlock this episode? No? Because he does.

It's worse than the friendzone, in that they don't consider you a friend (yet)... (and yes, I realize I misspelled "college", but I can't exactly fix it, now)
  Yeah, if you haven't guessed yet, I'm not a fan of this episode. I'm probably going to rant a wee bit, so expect...

 The episode was written by the Steve Thompson, the third writer on Sherlock and not one of the "creators". Needless to say, it's not his best work. He'll get better come next season. Someone on TV Tropes described this episode as feeling like Moffat and Gatiss "simply left The Blind Banker writer Stephen Thompson out of the creative loop, not discussing or showing him anything from either episode. "It's Sherlock Holmes, and it's in the modern day. You figure out the details."" And that's kind of what it feels like.

  This episode is probably the most "filler-like". There's really not much that carries over to the next episode. Only three things: a spray can that's only used for a canon nod in the beginning, John's girlfriend Sarah (who I'll discuss later) who only appears once that episode and serves little more than as a place for John to stay after a fight with Sherlock, and a brief "cameo" from Moriarty at the end.

  We also don't see much of the reoccurring characters who aren't Sherlock or John. We only get a brief appearance from Molly, and two brief, blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearances by Mrs. Hudson. Unless you count Moriarty's cameo-via-text. Everyone else is a new character. We get no Lestrade (boo!) and no Mycroft (boo, but understandable, since there's no real way to shoehorn him in, here.).

  So, let's talk about some of the new characters we meet. First there's Sherlock's old classmate Sebastian Wilkes. He's a jerk, I don't like him, moving on. Then there's DI Dimmock, the new inspector to fill in for Lestrade while he's gone. He's uninteresting, he's not Lestrade, and I don't care much about him. He's not my inspector!

  John also gets a girlfriend this episode named Sarah Sawyer. She's an alright character, too. I loved it when she automatically starts beat the guy who's attacking Sherlock during John and her's date. John has good taste in women. It is kind of a shame that she didn't get more time on the show, since she only only appears in one scene next episode, and later breaks-up with John off-screen. She was kind of wasted, actually. Though, since I love Watson with Mary Morstan (I'm hoping she appears in series/season 3), I'm not completely heartbroken.

  There's not much to say about Sherlock this episode. He's still good, but the boring badness of this episode kind of dulls it.

  As for John, this was like the universe hated him this episode. The only things that went semi-well for him was getting a girlfriend and getting a job filling in at a surgery (which I'm going to assume is the British equivalent of a regular doctor's office) (but we never hear about the job again, like almost everything else this episode... T_T). Here are the ways the episode picked on him:
  1. The self-checkout fiasco (though I admit, those can get annoying...)
  2. He's mistaken for a graffiti artist and ends up getting a court summons
  3. Falling asleep at his job (Hmm, maybe that's why we never hear about his job again...though he does end up using that to ask Sarah out, so it wasn't a total loss for him...)
  4. Sherlock inviting himself along on John's date, and said date quickly becoming a "Circus Blitz".
  5. Him and Sarah getting abducted by the smugglers. And finally...
  6. He's mistaken for Sherlock and almost has Sarah killed by the smugglers (I'll get to that later...)
  It's kind of sad, really. Funny at points, but sad...

  Sadly, there is some stupidity on the part of our heroes in the museum scene. They know Soo Lin, a character who was a former smuggler, is marked for death by the Black Lotus (the smuggling gang), and one of the only people who can help them crack the code. So what does John do when Sherlock runs off to confront the group's assassin? He runs to save Sherlock, leaving Soo Lin alone to face her doom even though Sherlock told him to stay put! *facepalm* Honestly, John, I love that you're so loyal to Sherlock, but for the love of all that's good, THINK, MAN!

A dramatic re-enactment...
  Speaking of the smugglers, The Black Lotus, they are a little infuriating, too. First, there's kind of the whole "racist" thing. Every Chinese character here is somehow involved with the smuggling ring. Soo Lin was only a former one and probably the only real "good guy" one, but as I said earlier, she gets killed. Yeah... that's not unfortunate implications right there.

  Then there's the whole "mistaking John for Sherlock" thing. That was stupid! Their logic was stupid! Okay, I can give them the "he had Sherlock's card, a check made out to Sherlock, and the circus tickets reserved in Sherlock's name" thing, that's slightly feasible. But then they use John's sarcastic comment that "I'm Sherlock Holmes, and I always work alone, because no one else can compete with my massive intellect!" from earlier in the episode as evidence. CAN THESE PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND BLOODY SARCASM!? Honestly! Did these people not look up who Sherlock was? At all? They knew there was a Sherlock Holmes and what he did, but come on!

  And it's revealed Moriarty helped them get into England, and that they were at least somewhat in communication with him. Did he not think to tell them "Hey, there's this guy out there: Sherlock Holmes. He's about 6'0; dark, curly hair; Glasz eyes; wears suits, a trench coat, and scarf; has cheekbones. He's clever as all get-out, you can't miss him. Try and avoid the meddler..." I mean, he told the cabbie who Sherlock was! He couldn't just give them a picture or something?

I couldn't resist parodying this comic from Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton, her comics are funny. I regret nothing.
  Was it all an elaborate scheme to Holmes? You know, I'm convinced this incident's the reason he sends photos of Sherlock to Irene Adler two episodes later.

  UGH! The more I think about this episode, the more I pick it apart! It hurts my head, make it stop!

 Okay, last minute thoughts:
  • The only scenes I really liked were the first scene with Sherlock fighting a random dude we never get much story about as John fights with the self-checkout machine, the part where Sherlock bobs around the trading office, and the whole "I remember it... I took a picture" thing.
  • The book code seems to be based on the one from The Valley of Fear. The plot itself I read is supposed to be based on "The Dancing Men". Which, I guess if you squint, I can see the similarities. But it's very loose. Like, "hanging tenaciously by a single fraying thread and one tug will completely disconnect it" loose.
  • There's no commentary on the DVD for this episode (and only this one for Season 1). Maybe the people on the show don't like talking about it, either...
  • I started thinking, "Wait a minute! What did Watson do for money before he got his own practice after marrying Mary in the canon? And after he moved back in with Holmes and sold it? Did he do med stuff from 221B like we saw him do in the Guy Ritchie movie? Ugh."
  • The sad thing is, when Elementary did an episode involving an illegal Chinese group, they at least let the good new character have a happy ending (and there's, of course, Joan played by the fabulous Lucy Liu). Yes, Elementary actually handled something slightly better than Sherlock. And in a terrible episode. You should feel ashamed, Thompson.
  Ugh. Glad I got this one over with. This is my least favorite episode in the whole series. All I have left to say is, GATISS! SAVE ME WITH THE NEXT EPISODE!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Loveable Freak Reviews Sherlock (BBC)- "A Study in Pink"

  Well, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. I know I did. One of the things I got this year was copies of both season/series one and two of BBC's Sherlock! And since 1) I'm obviously going to watch all the episodes, 2) I have no Elementary to review this week (I'd be lying if I said I'm not enjoying my break from it to watch the one I  fully like) , and I've been wanting to review it anyway, I'm going to review the show that finally complete me sold me on Sherlock Holmes!

Well, at least Fluttershy's excited...

  Anyway, let's start from the very beginning, a very good place to start, "A Study in Pink"!

  In this episode, John Watson, fresh from Afghanistan and wounded, is trying to adjust to civilian life and needs a place to live. A friend of his happens to know someone who needs a flatmate: Sherlock Holmes. The two move into 221B Baker Street, and no sooner than when they both get to the flat, Detective Inspector Lestrade comes over to get Sherlock to come help with a case. Four seemingly unlinked people have committed suicide the past couple of months, and all in the same manner. Sherlock invites John to come with him and help, and adventure, intrigue, the reveal of a more sinister force out there, and the beginnings of one of the greatest fictional friendships ever ensues.

 Oh, and beware, I may have some minor...

  Anyway, I really, really love this episode. It's a good, strong episode. With really good writing. I said it before with my Top 9 New Doctor Who Episodes, but Moffat (who was in-charge of writing this episode) is really good at writing first episodes of seasons. At least, four out the five times I've seen him start a season he is (we'll get to the one exception next season).

  Alright first of all, let's start with the man himself, Sherlock. I love Benedict Cumberbatch's version of Sherlock. Yes, he can be rude, but it's not in a hate-able way (if that makes sense). And yes, I love his snark.  He's amazing in the episode, and (unlike a certain other modern Sherlock), I liked him right off the bat. And it felt good to see the "relationships aren't my area" Sherlock, again.

 As an anecdote, I should mention that when I first heard Benedict's voice, I was surprised to hear it. It's so deep and, well, Alan Rickman-eske. Honestly, am I the only one unfamiliar with him who was surprised to hear this baritone come out of him?:

  Another interesting thing about Sherlock here is probably my favorite line from the episode: "I'm not a psychopath, Anderson, I’m a high-functioning sociopath, do your research." It was just an awesome comeback. Though it should be pointed out he's not really a sociopath, technically speaking. Some article I read (well, skimmed) went out of it's way pointing that out (I'd link to it, but it felt like it kept saying the same thing, basically it comes down to something sociopaths don't KNOW they're sociopaths, and he obviously has empathy and treats John and Mrs. Hudson well.). But of course, anyone who watches this show could probably tell you (if you don't mind me jumping ahead a bit)
"My left."


  Sorry, I minor tangent.

  Let's move onto John. I love John here, too. Martin Freeman, first of all, plays the "straight man to the strange" type really well (just look at The Hobbit, for instance). This is probably the most we see him use his medical skill to help with a case this episode, though, since it does feel like they focus more on the soldier aspect. Watson here is just loyalty incarnate on this show; they've barely known each other a day and he's already willing to kill a man to protect Sherlock. And we get to see this version as more along the lines of Cumberlock's conscience. Plus, he gets to be awesome in this episode when he makes the greatest shot ever: he shoots a man in the shoulder from another building, through two windows and across an alley, with a hand gun, and doesn't miss.

  Speaking of the relationship, I like it on this show. They have good chemistry. It's not quite up to the levels of Downeylock and Law!Watson, but then again these two have only just met. I also had to laugh at some of the teasing the show did about a certain interpretation relationship of the two leads. Especially a hillariously awkward conversation between the two leads at dinner:

  Oh, John, it's only going to get worse for you on this show...

 On to other characters! I really like Lestrade here. The more I re-watch this show, the more I appreciate him. You can see this guy is rather competent, and that's why he's a DI. And the way he gets into 221B to search it near the third act was great, too. Plus, in the last scene, I noticed this time a little smile after Sherlock tells him to forget what he said about who killed the serial killer and goes over to John. He knows what John did... :) Nicely done, Rupert Graves.
Words of wisdom...

  Also, we have Sherlock's older brother, Mycroft, here, played by co-creator/writer Mark Gatiss. The way they introduce him here was clever. They made it ambiguous, until the end, as to whether or not he was Moriarty. I have to say, there's something about this Mycroft I like and identify with. One of the things you get from him is that you can tell he loves and cares about his brother, despite the issues these two have in this incarnation. Seeing this as an older sibling who butts heads with her younger brother, but still loves and cares about him at the end of the day, I can kind of sympathize with him.

  There are also some new characters who are exclusive to this show. First of all, there is Molly Hooper, a pathologist who has a crush on Sherlock, whom I just adore. There's also Anderson and police Sgt. Sally Dovovan, two people working for Scotland Yard. I don't think anybody likes those characters, and that's kind of the point. Donovan, in a way, has a a minor redeeming quality, as she tries to talk John out of staying with Sherlock, since she thinks he's a psychopath, but she's still not all that likeable. And all we love about Anderson is picking on him.

 The story/mystery was good. One of the things I like is that each case is treated like an adventure.

  Some non-character story things to squee about here are this series's trademark subtitle-things. Basically, every text or typing in general has the words floating in the air on-screen, you you can read what's being said. It's quite creative. Also, we actually get to SEE Sherlock's deductions and thought processes here, via subtitle-things. It's also creative and clever. And it helps to follow his train of thought and see inside his head.

  One last full note: I love the music on this show. The theme song is excellent, as is the background music. The standouts being "Final Act" and "The Game is On".

  I also watched this episode with the commentary, (it was Moffat, Gatiss, and Sue Vertue (a producer on the show and also Moffat's wife). It was a little dull, but some interesting things from it were:
  • I got a kick out of whenever Moffat and Gatiss went fanboy. The two are longtime Holmes fans, and officially started working on this show in 2007, so I'm glad it worked out for them.
  • There is a 60-minute pilot version of this episode (from 2009), that I'll review later (it's also on the DVD). Maybe for my 200th Post...
  • Apparently it was the other writer for the show, Steve Thompson's, idea to make Gatiss Mycroft.
  • Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor on Doctor Who), had originally auditioned for John Watson.
  • They think that Sherlock's drug use is "always overstated", so they didn't make a big deal out of it. (Oh, hindsight, you are hilarious).
  • I kind of geeked out whenever they said something I agreed with, such as 1) they said that underneath, the stories are of the greatest friendship ever (I agree). And 2) one of them (Moffat, I believe), described what was happening to John this episode was him "going down the rabbit-hole", which is a term I often use to describe when Watson meets Holmes.
  • The origins of how they got the deerstalker in season 2 are on this commentary track!
  • I felt the need to point out that they had an error when they were going on about the antagonist's motives in A Study in Scarlet. I was like, "No, sirs! Jefferson Hope wasn't married to Lucy! They were engaged, but when he left town, the two Mormons killed her father and married her to one of them, and she died of a broken heart so he sought revenge!" I then laughed at the fact that the girl who's only been reading those books for less than a year was correcting the guys who've been reading them since they were kids. ...I'll try not to bring it up if I ever meet them...
  Last minute thoughts:
  • There are too many favorite scenes, exchanges, and lines to count here. Just... watch the episode.
  • The episodes filled with nods to canon: first of all, the whole story is a reinterpretation of A Study in Scarlet, the "Come at once if convenient" texts were from Canon, as was "A three patch problem" (though it was a three pipe problem (I forget where they're from). The thing about John being shot in the shoulder but having a limp this episode was a nice nod to the fact Doyle was inconsistent as to where the good doctor was shot (In Scarlet, it was the shoulder, and in The Sign of Four it was the leg). Speaking of Four, the cell phone deduction was a variant of the watch deduction from that book.
  • Where the heck did Sherlock get John's cell phone number early in the episode?
  • I have a weird obsession with how the cabbie says "bottle." (it's like "Bah-el") Dunno why, I just do...
  Overall, this was a great episode. I sucked me in, and did all the things a good first episode should do. Unlike Elementary's pilot. It's my favorite episode of the series, and the one I've watched the most. Now I've got to watch my least favorite episode of the series, which ironically comes next...

  Next, I review "The Blind Banker"...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Well, tomorrow's Christmas! It's getting late, so I'll make it quick (for once). After all, tomorrow I'll probably be too busy enjoying new swag (oh sweet merciful father above, did I say that?), so I won't be able to say it tomorrow.

  Merry Christmas, everyone! And to those who don't celebrate or celebrate other things as well, Happy [INSERT YOUR HOLIDAY OF CELEBRATORY CHOICE HERE!] I wish nothing but good for you and your loved ones! ^_^

And may you not be eaten alive by killer snowmen.

  See you soon, my friends! I adore you all!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Freak's Top 9 (New) Doctor Who Episodes (So Far)

  Howdy, y'all! With all my Sherlockian fangirling/critiquing/rambling/etc.-ing, I realized I've neglected Doctor Who. And I've kinda wanted to do a list of my favorite episodes so far. Besides, this month's the new Christmas Special with the new companion and all, so it's great timing.

  The personal rules for my list are this:
  1. I obviously can't count episodes  I haven't seen yet, so all the "Classic Who" is excluded (though I do plan to someday watch them. But Netflix is keepin' me down, man! They only have a few of the "Classic" series). This will be all "New Who" (Everything from the revival in 2005 to now): from "Rose" to "The Angels Take Manhattan". Thus, the "New" and the "So Far" in the title.
  2. I'm counting all two-parters as one episode. For obvious reasons. So you won't see something like, say, "Aliens in London" on here and "World War Three" not. (Not that I'm even putting that two-parter on here. Heck no! I'm just using an example.)
  Okay, with that out of the way, let's start my current list of the Top 9 Doctor Who Episodes. Why top nine? Because Nine is fantastic... Well, Geronimo!

(Beware: Possible Spoilers, read with caution)

9. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (Series/Season 7)
So, a thousand-year old time-traveling alien, a 20th century hunter, an Egyptian queen, a Scotswoman, a roman, and his dad all walk into a spaceship...

 This was just a fun episode. I mean, it's The Doctor, The Ponds, Queen Nefertiti, a 20th Century big game hunter, and Rory's dad having an adventure on a spaceship filled with DINOSAURS! How is that not awesome? How? I really enjoyed watching this one. For example, I loved seeing Amy being a sort of pseudo-Doctor when the group gets split up. That alone raised her up a few clicks on my list ranking the companions. (Sorry, Rose, Amy's just better...)

  Plus, for me, it was an Anglophile Nerd Menagerie of Squee! First of all, there's Rupert Graves, AKA Sherlock's Lestrade, playing the hunter, Riddell. Who is a character I like and want to see again. Then, there's Mark Williams, who I know from Harry Potter as Mr. Weasley, playing Rory's Dad, Brian. Again, a very likable character. (Though now I have this whole headcanon about Rory secretly being Charlie Weasley.) Oh, and there's David Bradley, another actor who's been in Harry Potter (he was Mr. Flitch), as the villain, Solomon. Solomon was a jerk and deserved his fate. (*sniff* I will never forget you, Tricy...)

  Anyway, not much left to say but the obvious joke: I AM SICK OF ALL THESE MOTHERJUMPIN' DINOSAURS ON MY MOTHERJUMPIN' SPACESHIP!

 8. New Earth (Series/Season 2)

"Rose, I have a feeling things are going to go wrong..."
  This on was just plain fun and funny. It reminds me of the good old fun days of Ten's (David Tennant's) tenure as The Doctor, before "The Waters of Mars" special made me disappointed in him. Anyway, The Doctor and Rose go on their first official adventure together to the future, and the planet New Earth. Specifically, New (New New New New New New New New New New New New New New) New York. The Doctor was called to the hospital to meet someone. And we run into a blast from the first season's past, Cassandra!

  The big thing I liked were the bodyswap shenanigans. I'm always a sucker for an episode where characters trade bodies, especially since we get to see the actors get to be "other" characters for a day. And this one was no exception. My favorite scene is when Cassandra takes over The Doctor's body, and Tennant is just hamming it up:

 A fun episode for a Doctor I used to admire, "New Earth" is out of this world.

7. Angels Take Manhattan (Series/Season 7)

Seriously, no one was watching The Statue of Liberty in the City That Never Sleeps? YOU HAD ONE JOB, NEW YORK! ONE JOB!
The best way to describe this episode is bittersweet. The final episode with The Ponds, this was the episode every fan I knew was trying to emotionally prepare for. What happens is Rory falls victim to the Weeping Angels while he, Amy, and The Doctor visit New York, and is sent back to the 1930's. Amy and The Doctor go back to save him, natch, and meet up with River. And there's a book detailing the events of the story before they happen in-episode.

 Again, it was bittersweet, this episode. First of all, we learn that River is now a professor (anyone who's seen "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead" knows why this is sad.), and, of course, The Ponds leave. But I think it's sort of sweet how they left, since at least they were together. And, personally, I think they had the least "terrible" of most of the Official Companion Farewells. Think about it: Rose was left in an alternate universe against her will, Jack got ditched without any explanation from The Doctor until they met again, Martha was driven away by Ten's Rose Angst, Mickey... well, he left voluntarily, but that doesn't count, Adam was kicked out and left a freak of modern science (but he was a jerk, so can't say he didn't deserve it. He's kind of an un-Companion anyway...), and DON'T get me started on how Donna went. The Ponds, however, they at least got to stay together.

  "The Angels Take Manhattan", the episode that made the fans weep like The Angels.

6. The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon (Series/Season 6)

One of these things is not like the others...
 Wow, I have a lot of Eleven episodes here. Anyway, in this episode, Amy, Rory, and River witness the apparent future death of The Doctor. Then The non-future, non-dead Doctor takes them back to 1969 America, around the time of the Moon launch. Its there they meet The mysterious Silence. But they can't remember them once they've seen them.

 I feel this is another good opener episode for the show under Moffat's control. (You'll see another example later). The Silence are a legitimately creepy concept. It's awesome.

 Speaking of awesome, River Song is freaking awesome in this one. Especially the "Day of the Moon" part. I decided here that she was one of the best companions ever. Also, I really dug Canton Everett Delaware III, the temporary companion this episode. This guy was awesome, too. Again, there's another companion I would love to see pop up in another episode soon. After all, he said in the beginning after the Doctor "died" that it was the last time he'd see them (as in The Ponds), not necessarily The Doctor...

 In short, this was awesome.

5. The Doctor's Wife (Series/Season 6)
The Doctor and his oldest and most constant Companion...

   Oh, boy, I liked this one. The Doctor, Rory, and Amy go to another dimension, when suddenly, the TARDIS goes dead. That's when we meet a woman who claims to be The TARDIS...

  This episode had great writing. I absolutely loved The TARDIS, who was so delightfully quirky. And I loved her interactions with The Doctor. But most of all, I loved that this episode was written by none other than Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite writers and creative idols. I'm really excited that he's coming back to write another episode for season 7. I'm hoping he'll become like Moffat was in the Russel T Davies Era: writing really good episodes once a season, and hopefully becoming head writer next? Please? I'd love to see him with his own Doctor...

  Well, nothing else to say but, it's Gaiman, he's never let me down before...

4. Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways (Series/Season 1)
The Last Stand of The Ninth Doctor

 Finally, my favorite Doctor appears on here! Anyway, this was the finale to the first season, and the final episode with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. In it, he, Jack, and Rose end up on a series of deadly game shows on Satellite 5, and need to escape. And a familiar enemy returns.

 Okay, first of all, this episode had Captain Jack Harkness, my favorite companion, of course that makes this episode 20% cooler. I loved him here. And his part where he says good-bye to Rose and The Doctor, thinking he's going to die, was sweet. Man, I wish he'd gotten a few more episodes.

 Plus, he got to kiss The Doctor. Good for him!

 Also, I thought it was a fantastic send off to Nine, and Eccleston's acting was superb. It's sad he didn't stay longer, especially since by that time he'd thoroughly grown on me. *sigh* If only I knew for sure why he left, the Internet's no help. In fact, the second time I watched "The Parting of Ways", probably about the "absolutely fantastic" speech, I almost cried! And I can probably count on one hand the times a movie or show has done that to me as far as I can recall. That is impressive. Well done, Davies and Eccleston. Well done.

 "Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways": A parting that was sweet sorrow.

3. The Eleventh Hour (Series/Season 5)

Well, you seem like a perfectly fine person to go on an adventure with...

  Here's one I've mentioned before! The newly-regenerated Eleventh Doctor arrives at the home of young Amelia Pond, who's having trouble with a mysterious crack in her wall. After the Doctor helps, he decides to make her his companion, but first he needs to leave and go do something. He arrives a wee bit late... A wee twelve years too late... And that's the least of his problems...

 It was the first episode with Matt Smith as The Doctor, and Moffat as head writer. I thought it was great kickoff. It was funny, it was cool, and it won me over to Eleven. Moffat's writing was great as usual, and it seemed like nothing could go wrong! The series was in great hands!

  Which was also, admittedly a problem for the episode, in retrospect. It was almost too good. Since all the episodes after this one that season seemed to fall flat to me that season.

 Well, almost all of them...

2. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang (Series/Season 5)

"Come at me, bros! .... Okay, I'm never saying that again, either..."
After what seemed like a fairly so-so season, we get a great season finale. The Doctor and Amy are called back to 102 AD by River Song. There, they find The Pandorica, said to be holding the most fearsome being in the universe. Also, the universe is being destroyed, all of the Doctor's enemies have gathered, and Rory is a Roman now. Romans are cool. Things are about to get real...

It was well-written. And, after seeing the mediocre season and "A Scandal in Belgravia", this episode sort of restored my faith in Moffat as a writer. Plus, even though I knew there were two seasons after this and everyone'd be fine, I still got invested and had to wonder: "How're they going to get out of this?"

 River and Rory were brilliant and awesome this episode. I fell in love with both their characters this episode.

  And my number one episode... Should come as no surprise to some of my readers, but anyway, here it is...

1. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (Series/Season 1)

:') I miss you...
  I love this episode so much! The Doctor and Rose go back to WWII-Era London following a mysterious object. There, they meet the charming rogue Captain Jack Harness, and face a "child" who's infecting everyone with a strange affliction.
 There are so many reasons that I love this one. First of all, Captain Jack Harkness. I loved this guy right off the bat. He is still my favorite companion. Second, Moffat's writing. It's a very well-written episode. It's fun, it's dramatic, and it's heartwarming. I remember checking to see how long I had so I could see part two. Something that didn't happen with the first two-parter this season.
  A big was one Eccleston's acting. He was fantastic. The "everybody lives" scene was just so amazing. I loved seeing him so happy at the end. It cemented him as my favorite Doctor.
  Most of all, it was what officially made me a fan of the show. Up until this episode, I thought Doctor Who was alright, but I wasn't in love with it. Then this came along. I saw how awesome the show could be. I realized I liked this episode. It made me a Whovian. So, of course I'd put it as my favorite episode.
  So, those are my favorite episodes as of 2012. I hope you enjoyed, and hey, what are some of your favorites?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Loveable Freak Reviews Elementary: Episode 10 "The Leviathan"

  Yup, for some reason (*cough*Watson*cough*Stupid optimism*cough*Promised myself I'd watch and review the season*cough*Need something to prevent Sherlockian Withdrawal*wheeze*) I'm still watching Elementary. Even if the after-episode promo had me dreading this episode!

 So, in this episode, some people break into what is considered an impossible to break-in vault. Sherlock is asked by the people themselves (not the NYPD) to figure out who did this. And, as all crimes on this show invariably lead to, there is eventually a murder. Also, we meet Joan's mom and brother!

  ...And did I mention at the beginning of the episode, we find out Millerlock had gotten... involved with some twins (Ugh, it's not just one? The horribleness has been doubled...) "for science"...

Yes, Nine! Save yerself!

 No? Well he did.
T_T Yeah... When I saw this in the preview...

"Do you bite your thumb at me?"
  I kinda died a little inside and remembered the big thing I dislike about Millerlock. I'm going to fast-forward through my usual rant about this, which would normally go something like:

  "Blah blah blah, Holmes doesn't work that way! Blah blah blah, Downeylock's excused! Blah blah blah, What is it now you who has experience with women from three continents?"

...Luckily, it was only in the first few minutes... Okay, moving on!

  I was kind of happy that this time, the police didn't come to Sherlock, but the guy from the vault. It was nice to see a canon element, here. And it was nice that the case wasn't initially a murder. Yeah, it took them like thirty minutes to turn it into one (it's a new record!), but still, it was a nice, albeit brief change in pace.

  Also, the twist was a pretty good twist. At least the culprit wasn't someone who appeared in the first few minutes this time, like it typically is. The case felt a little bit like it was in the typical formula for the show until that point. And they even threw in a subtle red herring! It was alright.

  And the subplot was alright, too. It was nice to meet some of Joan's relatives. And there was a really nice scene where Millerlock stuck up for Joan's choice to be a sober companion!

Rainbow Dash Approves

  Yay! I'm loving the relationship development! They're getting closer to one of the best friendships in the history of fiction! And I liked the conversation between Joan and her mom at the end. I found myself thinking: "Yes, Mrs. Watson, talk Joan into staying with Sherlock and being a detective..."

  Okay, as always, I have something about Joan to gush about, so I've decided to officially dedicate a paragraph of the review to squeeing:


  Ohmygosh! I loved her line about not knowing if the French-named thief lead was "French, English, leprechaun"! Ohmygosh I loved her scarfs and how she wore them! I'm gonna look up how she got them that way! Ohmygosh, deductive!Joan's the best Joan! Ohmygosh, Joan more or less found the key to/solved the case! Ohmygosh, she said what I was thinking with the twin-thing ("I don't want to know!") Ohmygosh, I adore her! *squee*


  And, Millerlock did do some funny, eccentric things this episode. So I was pleased.

  Last minute thoughts:

  • My favorite lines/scenes were anything involving Van Gogh's La Pieta, the aforementioned "leprechaun" line, Millerlock's 3'o'clock "basking" in solving a part of the case and Joan's reaction, Millerlock loosing it and attacking the safe with a freakin' AXE!, and the aforementioned scenes with Joan's family.
  • As far as nods to canon, Joan has a brother. In the original canon, Watson had a brother, too, though he was dead before the books began (at least before The Sign of Four). As usual, the modern adaption of Sherlock Holmes spares the other Watson child. Also, the big one that kept being repeated is the famous "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" line. Ironically, that was from The Sign of Four, too.
  • So, Millerlock can play piano, too? Hmm...
  • I'd say what cool thing I learned this episode, but it gives away the ending...
  • Apparently Millerlock knows what malboge(?) is. I guess knowing binary's too Cumberlock...
  Overall, it was another alright episode. Not the best thing I ever saw in my life, mind you, but alright. In fact, some of the good stuff almost completely made up for the week long dread (hmm... good name for a band) I had and the horrible reminder of my least favorite Millerlock trait I almost irrationally dwell on....

  Well, there's not going to be a review next week, since there's no episode to review. But I do have something else in mind... ;)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Loveable Freak Reviews Elementary: Episode 9 "You Do It To Yourself"

  Well, another Thursday, another Elementary episode.

  This week, a professor is found dead with both his eyes shot out. It's soon revealed that the professor was involved with a Chinese gambling ring, and that his killer was paid by someone else to kill him. Meanwhile, Joan deals with an ex who's not only been doing drugs, but has been arrested, though he claims he's innocent...

  ...Oh, and did I mention Millerlock's sick for most of the beginning of the episode? No? Well, he is.

  Alright, I'm just going to outright say it: this was another not-so-interesting one. Joan's subplot wasn't that interesting (though it did reveal why Joan chose to become a sober companion, of all things). And I was a little disappointed by the case. It was another one I thought would be more interesting. I mean, the guy had his freakin' eyes shot out! Both of them. I was kind of hoping for a psychopathic serial killer. But, alas, my appetite for crazies was not appeased. Heck, I was hoping they'd reveal (or at least tease that) Moriarty was behind it! But once again, 'twas not to be...

  ...But that's not to say that the twist at the end of the case wasn't interesting. It was an interesting twist. And, as always with this show, this episode had it's high points.

  First of all, while her subplot left a lot to be desired, it was awesome to see her supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-ness Joan do more deducing. And to see her rattle off medical science facts about the tea she made Sherlock for his cold. *shakes head* Honestly, Millerlock, you should know to listen to her on this sort of thing. This show actually utilizes Watson's med knowledge. *Unlike Sherlock, that sees to focus more on "I was a soldier! D:<".

(*Not that I don't still love John...)

  Anyway, and I thought it was cool when Bell was able to point out a fact Sherlock didn't know. Ah, Dectective Bell, you are growing on me, dude...

  Plus, Millerlock seemed to be in rare snarking form this episode. It was entertaining. I didn't get quite the amount of "lulz" I was hoping for with this episode from Sicklock, but the snark made up for it.

  Also, the ending to the case was surprisingly sweet. And the end of the episode was heartwarming as well, if not bittersweet.

  And, I'm really really glad the duo's getting along better. When they had "aww" moments, I was trying to contain myself from flailing around like this:

Okay, it's official: I adore Lucy Liu...

  Okay, last minute thoughts:
  • What is it with modern-day Sherlock Holmes adaptions and having Chinese groups doing illegal things?
  • Favorite Scenes were everything involving the tea, the ending, and Millerlock's snarking about the songs a suspect downloaded being "almost all exclusively bad". (I agree with him about "Pina Colada" being bad, BTW.)
  • Did we really need the wild surprise product placement for that new Windows computer?
  • I think the whole "Sherlock is sick on a case" thing was a reference to "The Reigate Squire", where Holmes appears to be... sick during a case. 
  Well, those are my thoughts. Not "The Long Fuse" or "Child Predator", this episode. But, as always, it had it's merits.

  That's all I have to say, except  for this: I saw the teaser for next week's episode, and... well...

Add caption

 ...Why do I get the feeling it's going to hurt?