Thursday, August 29, 2013

Loveable Freak Reviews A Fanfic- The Full House By Emcee (of Archive Of Our Own)

Alright, I KNOW I said I was gonna do an MST-style review of a less-than-stellar fic. I say a lot of things. It is coming up, but the thing is, I've just read a GOOD fanfic, and I want to review that now! I need to share my thoughts on it! Ladies and gents, the Sherlock fanfic, "The Full House".

 Here's the story: after The Fall, Sherlock goes to stay with Molly while he tries to dismantle Moriarty's Criminal Network. He even employs a familiar face to help. But plenty of complications arise, especially our favorite consulting detective's feelings towards a certain pathologist. Relationship upgrades, sinister plots, and really good writing ensue.

  As you no doubt guessed, this is a Sherlolly fic. I'll admit, as much as I'm cool with and like Sherlock not being romantically involved with people, I'm a sucker for Sherlolly. And this is very well-written, and in-character for Sherlock on his side: he views the relationship as an experiment, but his feelings do grow. And he does worry for his ability when he thinks his feelings grow too much. And it continues on the character's in-show development: Molly growing more of a backbone with Sherlock, and Sherlock becoming a real boy and dealing with his emotions (which I am admittedly a complete and total sucker sucker for).

*ahem* When done RIGHT! >:(

Plus, John's reactions to Sherlock and Molly are gold.

  And it's not just the romance. There is adventure in this, too. There's the ongoing plot of taking on the still-alive Moriarty, taking down Moran, and Moriarty's Network. Plus, the author, Emcee, throws in a very interesting twist on one of my favorite Canon stories: "The Copper Beeches". There's more to the fic than just, "Sherlock and Molly become an item. That's it. Nothing else."

The pacing is also good. The romance doesn't happen all at once, the adventure doesn't just completely disappear, it's still brought up. It's pretty well-balanced. Even when there's a "brief break-up", it's handled for a good amount of time, in-character, and it's not just forgotten when they inevitably get back together.
I also have to praise the fanfic for something. She(?) (I'm guessing the author's a she) ACTUALLY made me like Irene Adler here. As I've said, the characters are in-character. Irene's no different. But, with how she handled the character, here, I actually enjoyed when she popped up. Yes, a FANFIC WRITER did a better job with the Sherlock version of Irene than Moffat! I guess it goes to show one of my philosophies is true: it doesn't matter if an idea is good or bad, it often depends on how you handle them.

Also, it's hilarious and made me feel emotions! Emcee writes some pretty hilarious scenes and exchanges between the characters, especially between Sherlock and John. And I did feel stuff as I read. There was the obligatory squeeing and "aw"-ing over my kinda irrational, fueled only by emotions/cuteness/sympathy OTP, of course (What can I say? Fic!Sherlock (Ficlock (?) ) could be so adorkable here! I'M A SUCKER FOR ADORKABLE!). And I admit to getting a bit mad at Ficlock during the "brief break-up" thing. I understood why he did it, but I still got mad! Brava(o), author. Brava(o)...
One more thing to sweeten the pot about this fic. The author CLEARLY knows the original Canon. There are so many Canon references I caught. When someone works in nods to the whole "James/John Name Continuity Error" and Irene's surname at the end of "A Scandal In Bohemia", you KNOW they read the Canon. That also makes it worth the read.

Final Thoughts:

-Too many favorite parts in this fic to list...

-So, in this fic, Anthea's a lesbian. That... Makes sense, actually. It works. HEADCANON ACCEPTED!

-I should also note the author worked in a scene where Sally Donavan was not treated as a terrible person. THANK YOU, EMCEE! Can... Can we have her write for the show? She can take Thompson's job! :P

- Ooh! Another gush! "The Full House" features artwork from one of my favorite fan artists, lexiken! Her deviantArt can be found here
  Overall, I love the fic. It's well-written, and is possibly it IS my new favorite fanfic. I highly recommend it. If you ship/like Sherlolly, you'll love it. And even if you don't, I'm sure you'll enjoy it for the writing, in-characterness, and the canon references. I will warn you, it IS 50 chapters long, so it will take a while to read. But it is worth it. The fanfic can be found here

  There is a sequel (and a couple side stories). I'm only now starting to read the sequel, "The Party of Four" (which I think will be as good as the first). The side-stories are optional to read. I don't recommend the "aphrodisiac" one, though. It's events are referenced in the original, and I was cool with it just referenced in the main story... The others are fine! ^_^

Okay, I swear I'll finish the MST thing (it's proving problematic. I'm getting so nitpicky), but I have two kinda "editorials" I want to do first...

Friday, August 16, 2013

200th Post Special! Loveable Freak Reviews Sherlock: The Unaired Pilot

  Oh hey, I've gotten to 200 posts! And so soon after the 2nd Anniversary of the blog! *squee* If only I could've had both the same day...

  Anyway, I wanted to do something special. Last year, I did my first MST of a Sherlock Holmes Trollfic. I thought that maybe this time, I could do a review of something. But it would have to be something special...

  ..I'm going to review the unaired pilot version of "A Study In Pink"!

  Yes, back in the distant year of 2009, when David Tennant was The Doctor and every celebrity ever was dying, Moffat and Co. shot the pilot episode for his an Gatiss's fanboy brainchild, Sherlock. The original pilot, while still the same story, is different than the finished product, a big difference being it's 60 minutes as opposed to 90 (BBC requested they change the format. And bless them for it!). So, how does it compare to the final product we know and love? Come along, readers!

  Just in case... Erm...

  Like I said, the story is pretty much the same. Ex-Soldier meets Man. Ex-Soldier finds out Man is a Consulting Detective. Consulting Detective drags Ex-Soldier along to solve a case of serial suicides. Ex-Soldier and Consulting Detective start World's Greatest Bromance. Pretty simple. The difference is the execution.

  Since it is 60 minutes long, there are notable things missing in the story. For example, we never see John's Afghanistan dreams, or flashbacks to the "suicides" of the victims (here it's 5 instead of 4. Yes, Moffat actually resisted killing an extra person... I'm shocked too, Wholockians...), and there's no fake drugs bust. But a big exception has to be that the entire Mycroft subplot and the mention of Moriarty are absent from the first episode. AND PILOTLOCK (as I'm calling it) HAS NO DEDUCTION SUBTITLES! D: THOSE ARE CUMBERLOCK'S THING! It's really weird.

  In fact, a lot of things in this pilot are really weird. It all feels so... off from what I'm used to. The actors are delivering the same lines, but they feel different. Mostly the delivery. For example, take the whole "What happened to the lipstick...Your mouth's too small now..."/"Okay." exchange between Sherlock and Molly became sadder with how Loo Brealey delivered it here. I mean, it was already kinda sad but a little funny in the original, since to me her tone kinda sounded like she was going to put the lipstick back on again. Here, she sounds just sad. And in need of a hug.

  Plus, on the technical side, the sets are different and feel weird too. The mortuary is so dark and feels so dreary and the flat feels so claustrophobic (and the paint is gaudy). The video quality is not as polished, too (though maybe that's just lighting... :/). Even the freaking soundtrack feels off! THE FREAKING SOUNDTRACK! I know it's just the pilot they used to get the show picked up, and they most likely didn't have the same budget they have the actual show, but it's almost into "uncanny valley" territory for me. Or at least, weird AU.

 Also, Donavan is played by a different actress (she must be a Time Lady!) and Anderson has a beard. He shaved it, but it doesn't matter. It'll still be there... waiting.

  But, there still are additions to this original version of "A Study In Pink" that aren't in the final product. For example, we actually see Lestrade at the crime scene of one of the murders (before the one Sherlock stepped in).Mrs. Hudson apparently was originally supposed to own Speedy's in this strange alternate world (the sign read "Mrs. Hudson's Snax and Sarnies" in Comic Sans. Bless her heart... (Also, before my fellow non-Brits Google it, a "Sarny" is just another word for "sandwich". See, this educational!) The way Sherlock runs into the serial killer and the most of the third act is different, too. Plus, Sherlock gets to be Batman! :D

 Also, there are some nice Easter Eggs in this scene where Sherlock sends emails. He sends one to Mycroft (with the famous "when you've eliminated the impossible" line, one to Gregson (yes, further confirmation he exists in this world), and one to a Jones (don't know which Jones, but hey! Another Canon inspector exists! *Insert character development joke at Elementary's expense here*). Another thing I caught while pausing was the article on Lestrade in the newspaper John was reading. From the visible snippet, you can kinda get some insight into Lestrade's situation from his perspective. Apparently he was facing "mounting pressure under the watchful eye of the new police commissioner and Mayor of London" to solve the case. My poor, sweet, silver-haired, probably-in-his-late-forties-when-they-shot-this baby. In fact, that whole thing makes me realize I'd love to see the whole series from Lestrade's perspective... I CALL FANFIC DIBS!

  And, as much as I complained about line delivery feeling off, some of the lines and scene changes I preferred here. Special mention goes to the way the "and I said "dangerous"" and "either way, you're wasted as a cabbie" are delivered.

 Anyway, let's get to Final Thoughts:
  • Favorite parts are the new third act, "Drunk"!Sherlock, and when Sherlock has his Batman moment. (Honorable mention goes to the dinner conversation, which is somehow even more awkward...)
  • Wait, so Sherlock had a man named "Davies" arrested? I see now how Moffat came to be in-charge of Doctor Who...
  • So Cumberlock just splashes it into his face, Millerlock can't/won't drink... Is Downeylock the only one with no problems with alcohol?
  • I swear, Benedict's voice sounds higher here... and that Cumberlock had an extra shot of sass in his coffee...
  • Also, what was up with Stamford's accent here? Sounded different... I couldn't place it, it was throwing me off...
  • "Halfway Decent Murders" is so my new band name... Or my Tumblr's name if I ever break down and get one...
  • "We're searching for a psychopath?" "So we're having another psychopath help out?" Hey, it worked for Silence of the Lambs, Anderson! (Also, apparently Anderson is a doctor... This is news to me...)
  • "Feed you up"? Is that what they called it in 2009? Either way, I'm using that euphemism now...
  • John, do you go to nice restaurants with all your male companions... See, this is why the "Defensively Heterosexual John Watson" meme exists... (Sorry, I couldn't resist the joke...)
  ...So, that's my two cents on the pilot. Yeah, it's bizarre, seeing how the show is now, but it wasn't so bad. Still wouldn't trade the final "A Study in Pink" for this one, though. You can find the pilot either on the Season 1 DVD/Blu-Ray or on the Internet somewhere.

  Thanks for sticking around for the 200th post, here's to 200 more!

  Next post, I want to try that MST/Review thing I've been wanting to experiment with...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sherlock Season 3 Speculation: Charles Augustus Magnussen

 I have a new theory about season 3! 

 Okay, so a few weeks ago, it was announced that the character of Charles Augustus Mil- Erm... Magnussen was joining Sherlock in the upcoming and highly-anticipated season. Also, it's been known that John Watson is, in fact, getting married to Mary Morstan as well, presumably in "The Sign of Three". Now here's what I'm thinking:

 What if Magnussen will play a role in the events of "The Sign of Three"?

 For those unaware of Canon, Magnussen's canon counterpart blackmailed women who were getting married. Meanwhile, the story Mary debuted in, The Sign of Four, had Holmes solving the mystery surrounding Mary's father, her mysterious benefactor, and her inheritance, all while she and Watson fall in love (Aww...). 

  So, what if instead of (or as well as) the inheritance plot, we have Mangussen blackmailing Mary (perhaps about her father) and her having to turn to Cumberlock for help? The show has combined stories together before. Besides, the original had a small man from a primitive island being sent to kill people, and I don't think that'd fly so well in a 21st century adaption as it did in the Victorian Era...

 I can't help buy think this will happen. I mean, this can't be a coincidence... So tell me what you guys think...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Loveable Freak Blathers On About Elementary One More Time Because Why Not?

  So, next month is when Elementary starts season 2. I figured maybe now I should look back on the show overall (now that I've cooled down a bit) and settle the big question: was/is the show any good?

  First of all, I feel the need to apologize about my rant about "Dormiarty". She really wasn't THAT terrible of a Moriarty, looking back. I think my harshness just stemmed from my general frustrations with the episode, tiredness from watching/reviewing it, and expecting a lot more. I guess if she comes back, things could be better. She was new, so she was a target. (And there's only so many ways to pick on Millerlock...) Just need to get it out there.

  That out of the way, I figure I should discuss the two elements. (I may end up comparing a lot, so...)


  This is sort of a big problem for me. The writing on this show is very... hit and miss. Sure characters may get good lines, but the stories can be rather lackluster, and often at times feel formulatic (especially early on). If you look back, VERY few episodes were fantastic this season for me. I think only 5 episodes out of the whole 24 episodes ever got me truly invested (though there were some honorable mentions...). Heck, the first episode was incredibly lackluster when compared to, say, the first episode of Sherlock or the first episode of Hannibal. And let's NOT discuss "Dirty Laundry", shall we? (that, "Bugs" from Supernatural, and "The Blind Banker" episode of Sherlock are my standards for bad TV writing...)

  I'm especially disappointed in how the "story arc" was handled. It was pretty much all but forgotten until late in the season. And it started off so well, but kinda lost steam. Compare Supernatural (a show with a similar "episodes a season" count). They always try and keep some semblance of the seasonal story arc going on, but still take the occasional "filler break". If Elementary wanted to be more episodic, fine! Just don't tease me and leave me hanging.

 Though, to be fair, I did hear they chose to start the "Moriarty" arc at episode twelve so, in case they WERE cancelled, they could end on a mystery. Then they got the extra episodes for the season picked up. Then two more added to that. So perhaps it was more of a timing thing, not having a whole hiatus to plot out everything for the season. Plus, more episodes meaning they needed more filler. If that's the case, then it's that sort of stuff that makes me ticked off at executive meddling. Hopefully, given that they've had all summer to work out what they want (and knowing that they're in a good place with the network), maybe season 2 will handle any and all story arcs better.


  Hoo boy, characters...

  You all know I love Joan Watson. She is definitely one of my favorite interpretations of Watson so far. (And to think I was worried). Heck, I'd almost prefer would prefer the show if it was just her character. Lucy Liu does well as her, and I almost wish she was in another adaption than this. I like that she's competent (almost to the point I wonder why she doesn't do more solo work (besides friendship)). And I like how her relationship with Sherlock has developed. And they kept it platonic, not even doing that much teasing at something more romantic (even though it'd be less "taboo")! I pray that the freaking execs and crew keep it that way. We need more platonic guy/girl relationships on TV! Not every duo has to hook up down the line! Pleeeeeeeeeeeease?
Plus, she's in my most-exploited gif! :D

  As for Millerlock... Oh boy... If Joan's one of my favorite Watsons, Millerlock's one of my least favorite Holmeses. Jonny Lee Miller, to be fair, does do well at certain things in this role, and plays his character as written fine. He has some good snarky lines, some refreshingly human moments, and does some impressive things. But in the beginning, the character seemed unsure what kind of Sherlock he would be. An anglamation of his current fellow Sherlocks? Something all-new, all-different? It was distracting. He eventually settled on "broken genius". Which, to be fair, was fine. But the big thing is, that while he could convince me he was Sherlock at some points, he would then do something that to me is very Un-Sherlockian. I'd be watching and the illusion would be broken by him having a prostitute over/discussing his... *ahem* exploits, or even just those emotional breakdown/comprises he was having with "Irene"/Moriarty. He's just... not THE Sherlock for me...

  Finally, the supporting characters... Sweet merciful Doyle, the supporting characters. They're either underdeveloped or hardly used. Seriously, how much can you say about Gregson or Bell? It's hard for me to feel much attachment to them when I'm given so little about them to get attached to. Heck, in "The Rat Race", after Sherlock and Gregson's conversation at the end, I was hoping for more development in their relationship, like him developing into a surrogate father to Sherlock "Daddy Issues" Holmes (a la how Bobby is to The Winchesters on Supernatural). But then "The Red Team" crushed that with his "mistrust". Which, even that was more of an informed trait that was barely ever mentioned again!

  There's kind of an opposite problem when it comes to the other supporting characters introduced later on: they're not used enough. Seriously, characters like Ms. Hudson or Alfredo, who have the potential to be interesting, get forgotten for episodes on end. Or, in the case of my beloved Sebastian Moran, get unceremoniously killed off in their second appearance... (SEBASTIAN! YOU MADE THIS FUN! NOW SOME OF THE FUN HAS DIED! And I was singing, "Bye bye, Mr. assassin guy....")
  ....Sorry about the big lipped alligator moment, there...

  I mean, take shows like Sherlock, Supernatural, or Hannibal. I'm far more invested in almost all the characters and care more about them. Their respective writers do good to ensure that. I care plenty about Sherlock's supporting cast. I've put effort into remembering the names of the forensics team on Hannibal. Even on Supernatural, where death doesn't necessarily mean "gone forever", I feel attachment to the characters and am sad when they suffer/die (except Bela Talbot. I did not like her. She was on there too long...). Here, I feel little attachments besides to Joan, the turtle (who even he doesn't appear much), and maybe Ms. Hudson (and her one appearance.); and unless they had much impact or are a regular, I don't remember many names...


  So, ranting and accentuating the negative aside, is Elementary very good?

  I say it's very middle of the road. It has potential, and sometimes it lives up to it. But for the most part, it can be very "eh". But, if it's getting people into other Sherlock Holmes-related things, who am I to fault it? I feel that if an adaptation can get someone into whatever the source material is, it's done something right. For example, you know that movie adaption of  Fantastic Four? The first one? A lot of people didn't like that one. But believe it or not, it's what helped get me into superheroes and comics. I can't fault it for that. (the second one can rot at the bottom of a Wal-Mart $5 movie bargain bin, though... and ironically, guess which one I own? *sigh*)

  So I guess what I'm saying is, it's fine, but very flawed (Elementary, I mean...).

  Now, the big thing: will I actually watch season 2, and will I review it like last season?

  First of all, yes, I think I will casually watch season 2. Some shows improve with time (heck, even "New Who" and the first season of Supernatural weren't that good in the beginning (forgive me, dearest Christopher Eccleston, I enjoyed your season in the end)...), but got better as time went on. I think maybe now that they have better footing, the show good be better.

  Second of all, no, I will not be reviewing the show episode-by-episode like last time. It was a little draining, and I felt they got a bit repetitive (there's only so many ways a girl can say "this was alright, but not awesome"...) I know a lot of people read them, and it was nice to have a post up on almost a weekly basis, but I can't put myself through that again. I may review/share my thoughts on the season as a whole later, possibly. 

  But I doubt they'll have much to pull me... What's that? They're adding Mycroft to the show next season, starting with episode one? And he'll be played by Rhys Ifans, the guy who played both The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man AND Luna Lovegood's dad in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?


2 Year Anniversary!

  Yes, I've made it to two years of running this little blog of mine! Break out the Dancing Downeylock and Hawkeye Gifs!

    So I thought I'd do a little something something. But the big thing I thought of doing I think I'll save for the 200th post. Instead, I think I'll do a little retrospective/news/stats/and a thank you. Okay? Okay!

 I think this year I really settled into what I would do with the blog. I found out I like doing reviews, mainly. I still do other stuff (news and the occasional opinion things I usually regret posting hours later), but reviews have kinda become my main thing. And people seem to like them, so that's always good.

  -I hit over 12,000 views as of this post! Yay! :D
-I got more followers! :D

 -Not much has changed as far as my most popular posts, but apparently my Elementary reviews have gotten more views than my BBC Sherlock reviews... Why? (Though I did notice my "Great Game" review got a bizarrely high (for me) viewcount after a day...)

 -January 2013 is when I've gotten my most views. (it was over a thousand!)

-Apparently, I still attract a lot of Russian readers... The thought of me being to Russians as David Hasslehoff is to Germans is a hilarious (albeit exaggerated) thought...

  Anyway, some announcements (subject to change):

  -I have an Elementary-related post planned for right after this post. (whether season 2 gets reviewed will be included in this)...

  -My 200th Post is coming up, so there's that...

  -Definitely more reviews (Season Three of Sherlock is coming up!)

  -Also, I kinda had an experiment I wanted to try. I've wanted to do fanfic MSTs (heck, I've done two). So I think I'll do my own little spin on it and do MST-style reviews of some fanfics that happen to be "riffable", giving criticism where due (mostly constructive). Think Atop The Fourth Wall meets The Half World (link leads to his MST list)...) I found this one giggle-inducing Sherlock fanfic that I just felt had to be read to be believed...

  So, that's about it... Except...

  Thank you to everyone who reads/has read this blog. It means a lot to me that you're interested in my opinions. And thanks for sticking with me, even when I go on long hiatuses like I have been...

  See ya next post...