Holmes

"It's a three patch problem."

Friends, Moffat's Sherlock is very very good. Also about as slashy as slashy things get. Mrs Hudson ships them, for pete's sake. The modern updating is clever clever clever and yet so faithful to "A Study in Scarlet" that I'm boggling and quivering in pleasure at the same time. One problem: you will figure out the mystery long before the protagonists do.

Friends, this is a must watch. Screw RDJr movieverse fandom. I'm here.

Also, it gave me a huge London jones.

ETA: There are minor spoilers for the show in the comments.
Yup LJ fandom seems universal in its praise of the pilot. haven't seen it yet myself...
My advice is check it out. Or I'll burn it for you after the run is over. Just 3 episodes made, I believe, each of them 90 minutes long.
I thought it was marvellous too.

*potential spoilers below*

I thought the casting was excellent. I think Benedict Cumberbatch has one of the Best Names Ever. He looks the part, which is great, but he also had the chops to give a convincing performance too, which was a bonus. I saw little slivers of Brett in his performance -- those explosions of nervous energy.

I'm not given to slashing, for some reason. *shrugs* I liked how the modern setting produced a very obvious assumption about the relationship, and I'm sure the Moffster was happy to milk this, knowing as he does that this show will a) quickly gather an internet fandom and b) a significant part of that fandom will be all about the ho!yay.

That said, the chemistry between Holmes and Watson was terrific, for me, and I'm glad that it was this that was the driving force behind the remastering of the stories. Whether you're a mainstreamer who likes the buddy-vibe, or whether you're into subtext and man!sex, I think there's lots to enjoy.

I found some of the stylistic stuff a little frilly. Specifically, the moment where Holmes undertakes his trademark analysis of the crimescene. I didn't need his observations blinking up as text on the telly screen when, two minutes later, they were all going to be covered in dialogue anyway. By all means use the text conceit for the "Wrong!" global text messages to the newshounds, and the 'I've got a map of London in my head' stuff was fine. But apart from that it felt a little bit overdone.

I liked the misdirect of Moriarty/Mycroft, though I thought that Gatiss's performance was the single misfire of an otherwise brilliant ensemble -- too caricatured and self-conscious for me, and it threatened to throw me out of the narrative. I liked the very post-modern 'of course she was writing "Rachel", why would she write a weird German word!' moment. I thought Phil Davis's nondescript killer was brilliant.

And I loved playing "Spot the 'Ashes to Ashes' actor!" But that's a personal thing.

And hey! It's Aunt Sally! Cool.

Yeah, I loved it. Great casting, nice mix of faithful character stuff and new mystery plot. Can't wait for the next one.
I liked Martin Freeman in this, despite loathing him as Arthur Dent in the H2G2 movie. (Possibly it's the lifelong imprinting on Simon Jones in the role that was written for him, but I thought Dent had to be bewildered & patrician at once. I dunno.) Freeman was good, Cumberbatch was better, Rupert Graves made me almost like Lestrade. Loved Watson's characterization a whole lot, even while one watches for the pleasure of Holmes in action (as always).

I also thought the text over the body examination was redundant, since we do get it again later in dialogue. Loved the texts, especially as substitutes for the telegrams Holmes sent in the original stories. "Come at once if convenient -- if inconvenient come all the same."

I guessed Mycroft easily. The conversation went like this:
Me: Mycroft.
Mr P: Really? Not Moriarty?
Me: It's too early in the script for Moriarty.

One then further guesses that Mycroft is involved in Intelligence work, thus his ability to control security cameras, etc. But yes, that performance was weird. "Mummy"? Really?

And I will tell you the secret of my Holmes fandom: I see the subtext. I have always seen the subtext. The characters are one of the oldest examples of that subtext in action in English lit. But I can't get into shipping them myself. It's an epic friendship in my head and always will be. He's married to his work; he said it himself.
I'm not a big Freeman fan. I never really watched 'The Office', which is something I rarely admit to since they threaten to take your British passport away if they hear such blasphemy...

I liked his Watson, though. I liked the performance and the psychology and the 'I miss my war' stuff.

Didn't have strong feelings about his Dent. I did, however, think that Stephen Fry as the Guide was pretty inspired.

Me: Mycroft.
Mr P: Really? Not Moriarty?
Me: It's too early in the script for Moriarty.


I bow to your powers of prediction. My own head!conversation went like this:

"Oh, look, Moriarty! No, that's not right, he doesn't appear in 'Study in Scarlet'. Mind you, this isn't 'Study in Scarlet' this is A New Version. And Moriarty is a big Holmes-universe character that'll probably get worked in. Okay, prob Moriarty then. Gatiss has the kind of ego that'd make him cast himself in that role. Okay, brain. Moriarty."

So I was wrong-wrong-wrong.

I have always seen the subtext. The characters are one of the oldest examples of that subtext in action in English lit. But I can't get into shipping them myself.

People's proclivities are all so rich, diverse and subjective that I find it hard to say whether subtext/chemistry/shippiness is something that is either there or not. I certainly agree with you that there's potential for something within the relationship as it originally appeared in prose form. However, I think that is less because of any intended subtextual ingredient that Conan Doyle wrote, and more because they're two male characters living and working in close proximity.

I don't ship 'em myself because I always saw Watson as such a confidently, comfortably heterosexual male that I'd need to fundamentally change my understanding of him to put him in a romantic or sexual (or both) relationship with the more sexually-ambivalent Holmes. But that said? They have a relationship, and it's a big part of why I love Holmes, so in a way I do ship 'em. As friends. I'm not sure 'shipping' requires the constant unsheathing of peniseseses. I like to think of shipping as a focus on the relationship, whatever form it takes.

I'm actually quite excited about seeing next Sunday's drama now. Hopefully the way these three 'adaptations' have been so well-received will encourage the making of more.

*uses Wimsey icon as I have no Holmes pic*
If you know how to wrangle the BBC iPlayer, you can watch it there. Otherwise, it'll be on PBS's Masterpiece Theater later this year, I think.
Alas, I do not know how to get BBC stuff to play for me. Guess I'll have to wait. Darn--you're not the only person on my flist or dwircle who's excited about it.