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06 January 2012 @ 01:37 am
Sherlock related  
It seems Benedict Cumberbatch has landed himself a rather large role in a rather large movie.

A journalist on a different site made the quip that the Abrams might just have Cumberbatch play an alien without make up thanks to "improbable cheekbones."

I may have spat up some tea with giggling when I read that.

In related news, an article regarding Moffat's writing of women in the latest Sherlock episode. I do warn that the article spoils heavily for A Scandal in Belgravia.


Thank Christ someone actually wrote and got this article published.

As much as people seemed to think Jones' article is spoiling all the viewing fun, I thought she had some very valid points. Particularly her mention of the last 10 minutes of the episode hitting two huge patriarchal fantasies. Although, I didn't actually feel like Moffat was taking relish in cutting down a wanton woman and her feminine strength. It felt more like Moffat had fallen into the trap many writers before him have. He created a strong, confident female who can easily seduce, control, dominate men because, hey, that's super sexy and heterosexual males love that. But paradoxically, she is in need of protection from the handsome hero because it fills a heterosexual male fantasy that they can be that hero. Who wouldn't want to be the champion for such an incredible woman? A woman who can take care of herself just fine and yet must be taken care of by that special someone. It doesn't make sense but the heart wants what the heart wants. And thanks to that, we get characters that DON'T MAKE SENSE.

The more I contemplate this episode, the more incensed I get. I realize this is, at the core, just some fun telly. But it actually angers me when people try to defend Moffat by saying he allowed Adler to keep her intelligence. He gave her skills and intelligence but only up to the last ten minutes. And then she became nothing more than another princess in need of rescue by a prince. And I can't decide if making her this inconsistent is worse than writing her completely as a lesser female from the start.

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The Writer They Call Tay: SHERLOCK: Sherlock shockawanderingbard on January 6th, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
Something I find Moffat falls into more than other writers is a sort of 'fanboy' attitude, like when fans want a favourite character to do something so badly, that they write a story about it even if it isn't quite in the character's nature to do so. And I wonder if that's where his treatment of women comes from, a sort of place of fantasy, like you and the article said, of how he wants his favourite, boyhood heros, to be clever and dashing and always win the female's heart and save her. I find he runs the show like a fan and that doesn't always work for actual television.

I do find that when I listen to his commentary on Who episodes, I can see where he was coming from for a lot of it, so I sometimes wonder if he just isn't able to get what's in his head onto the page, or onto the screen. And I usually find that after watching a whole season and getting more and more fed up, I watch the finale and it all suddenly connects and makes sense. But it didn't do that for Scandal, unfortunately.

I do wish that male writers would find a way to step of these two categories of women that they have - the ball-buster who's a bitch and hates men and the meek one, who lets men walk all over her but is desperate for love. Irene Adler and Molly Hooper, respectively. This is a problem I've had with female characters for years and the only one I've ever come across that managed to rise above it is Karrin/Connie Murphy.

I also think that they had their task cut out for them in adapting a 30 page short story in which very little happens into a modern, 90 minute movie in which stuff must happen. In creating a bigger, more dangerous plot, I felt like they wrote themselves into a corner with it. You just can't have your main hero causing a terrorist attack because he got distracted by pseudo-love interest. If they had made the stakes lower, they could have safely allowed Sherlock to lose without the consequences being so dire.

I'm one of those 'fun telly' type folks and I am watching for Sherlock being clever and John being adorable and the two of them making me laugh, but I am fully respectful of those who want more from there viewing experience. And even as someone who doesn't delve too deep into things, I was not pleased with how Irene was handled. 'Allowing' her to keep her intelligence is bollocks. A good adaptation doesn't 'allow' characters to keep their traits, they write the characters as they were originally written.
formerly lifeinsomniac: SherlockChaseScenejoonscribble on January 6th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
I find he runs the show like a fan and that doesn't always work for actual television.

I think you hit the nail soundly on the head of what I thought was wrong about the way Moffat handled shows but couldn't articulate as clearly as you did here. That's exactly it. His fannish love often trumps coherent story-telling which is so often the Achilles Heel for poor fan fic.

You just can't have your main hero causing a terrorist attack because he got distracted by pseudo-love interest. If they had made the stakes lower, they could have safely allowed Sherlock to lose without the consequences being so dire.

I'm sure I've said this before but I think I would have been kinder to Moffat's interpretation if he had at the very least written it so that Adler constructed her own escape at the end. It would have been nice to know that she could fool both Mycroft and Sherlock into thinking she'd been killed, only to let Sherlock know via text that she got away.

I do wish that male writers would find a way to step of these two categories of women that they have - the ball-buster who's a bitch and hates men and the meek one, who lets men walk all over her but is desperate for love.

I thought for awhile Russell T. Davies was succeeding with this when he initially wrote Rose. I enjoyed that she could kick ass but also had human foibles that would often show her in a negative light to balance out that when it counted, she could rise to the challenge. Things got a bit out of hand though when her romance with the Doctor started to take center stage.
The Writer They Call Tay: DW: Rose cutieawanderingbard on January 6th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
His fannish love often trumps coherent story-telling which is so often the Achilles Heel for poor fan fic.

Coherent story-telling where I feel DW has gone wrong recently. I feel like they're going for shock value and I often times look back on the episode and go 'wait, that doesn't make sense'. It doesn't all have to be Blink-like horror.

It would have been nice to know that she could fool both Mycroft and Sherlock into thinking she'd been killed, only to let Sherlock know via text that she got away.

Yeah, I just can't see Sherlock going out of his way to rescue anyone but John in that sort of way. No matter how much he admires her, I don't think he would just rush off to the middle of nowhere to save her life. And I also think that if he admires her so much, he would trust that she could get of the situation by herself. I like your version of events much better. Too bad we're stuck with canon.

Things got a bit out of hand though when her romance with the Doctor started to take center stage.

RTD fell a little too much in love with Rose, I think, and it started to affect the show. I loved Series One Rose, but all her subsequent appearances took away from how awesome she was. I would have preferred her to be spending her time in the alt world using her time with the Doctor to help keep it safe and make a life for herself. Instead she spend it moping and ripping holes in the universe. I felt like it demeaned her.
The Writer They Call Tay: CP: Captain Martinawanderingbard on January 6th, 2012 02:10 pm (UTC)
Also, Benedict Cumberbatch, you sit down and you take a rest young man! You're going to make yourself sick!

Seriously, does that man sleep?
formerly lifeinsomniac: Ducks!joonscribble on January 6th, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
Not to add onto Cumberbatch's plate, but I really hope that he's not so busy that he won't be able to finish out the alphabet with Cabin Pressure. They're only 4 episodes away from the end!
The Writer They Call Tay: CP: Arthur is happy - a lotawanderingbard on January 6th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
Dude, I did not even notice that they went in alphabetical order. I am no Sherlock Holmes apparently. Where are they going to go for X?

I am definitely hoping for more Cabin Pressure. One good thing about British media is that the series are so short that they can easily be moved about to accommodate schedules. Hopefully.

I was just listening to series 2 again yesterday. I love in Johannesburg when Martin gets temporarily BAMF.

"Diego, do your Spanish cockerel."
"Ki-ki-ri-ki"
"...Yep, that's my favourite."

^_^
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 6th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
I always love it when Martin finally gets to do something other than panic or fuss (like landing that bird-bombed plane in St. Petersburg) and Douglas doesn't always get away with what he wants ("I'm not being childish but if I can't go to the Grand Prix, I'm not being in the film!")
The Writer They Call Tay: CP: Captain Martinawanderingbard on January 6th, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
Poor Martin really is quite capable when he's left to his own devices, or if the situation requires it. Douglas just gets him all turned around.

One of these days I am going to write some sort of CP/Dresden Files crossover. I really think Harry needs to fly MJN Air.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 6th, 2012 11:32 pm (UTC)
One of these days I am going to write some sort of CP/Dresden Files crossover. I really think Harry needs to fly MJN Air.

Yay!

Oh man. If Arthur found out what Harry really was he'd be beside himself with delight.
The Writer They Call Tay: CP: Captain Martinawanderingbard on January 14th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
Hey, I just found out that series 4 of Cabin Pressure is confirmed, according to John Finnemore's blog. Which is awesome in it's own right. Lots of chatter about the show and deleted bits.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 14th, 2012 12:42 am (UTC)
Brilliant!! I'm so glad they'll be able to finish out the alphabet!

Although this might mean the end of the series. Is it too much to hope that they'll just go back to A and start again?
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: ST_FriendlyWordguardian_chaos on January 7th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
I was so excited when I heard about this Cumberbatch thing a couple weeks ago. WHAT IF HE PLAYS A VULCAN!?!? AAAAAAAHHHH!!!! *faints with glee*
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 7th, 2012 06:09 am (UTC)
Oh man. I didn't even consider he could play a Vulcan. My mind is suddenly blown.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: ST_Captain'sChairguardian_chaos on January 7th, 2012 06:14 am (UTC)
I KNOW, RIGHT!? I can just picture it. And the scary thing is, it's so easy to do so. He could play a very layered Vulcan, too, given the Vulcan homeworld's destruction in the last movie.

I do really hope he's not a villain. Just. I want him to be remembered fondly by the crew. For, y'know, Reasons.

formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 7th, 2012 06:20 am (UTC)
It'd be nice to get something different than the usual UK Actor Playing a Villain. BUT. If he does end up being a villain, I'd like him to be a villain more along the lines of Soran from Generations. I LOVED Malcolm McDowell in that role.

Edited at 2012-01-07 06:21 am (UTC)
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: TemptingFateguardian_chaos on January 7th, 2012 06:51 am (UTC)
Oh, I loved Soran so much, you have no idea. My sister and I still randomly catch gazes and hiss, "THE RIBBON!" at each other because of that delightfully crazy man. Generations is definitely among my favorite of the Star Trek movies. I'm having a moment of Picard-appreciation right now, just so you know. The Nexus is such a fascinating concept. AH, I AM RANTING.

But yes, I could handle Benedict as a villain if he could be given a role that fantastic. Perhaps he could be a redeemable villain! Who knows? I live in great anticipation. *G*
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 7th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
Ah, it has been made official that indeed, Cumberbatch will be playing a villain:
http://io9.com/5873520/its-official-our-favorite-sherlock-holmes-is-playing-a-star-trek-villain

Let's hope he's more Soran than Khan.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: TemptingFateguardian_chaos on January 8th, 2012 06:17 am (UTC)
You know what, given the timeline, he COULD be cast as a young Khan. Isn't that a horrifying thought? Bio-engineered super-genius with super-strength and a superiority complex, with a penchant for quoting the greats. It's not exactly outside of Benedict's acting range, though it would be strange to see.

Oh man, he could be so cool if his character is a madman driven to the bring of insanity, but just keeping it together for the sake of accomplishing his goals. Like Soran.

I will reserve judgment until I see him. I'm sure I'll enjoy his part in the movie, whatever it turns out to be.
X-parrotxparrot on January 8th, 2012 06:12 am (UTC)
Irene Adler didn't get to keep much of her intelligence, what with admitting she got most of her plan from Moriarty! That pissed me off as much as any of the rest of it.

Really glad that article exists, though; it nicely articulated my feelings on the ep and Moffat's sexism in general (consistently, in everything I've seen by him, he can only write women as foils to male protagonists; the only way he ever tries to humanize female characters or give them depth is by having them fall in love with a man (or have kids and be a mother; they always are somewhere on that spectrum). He strikes me as one of those men who can't quite grasp that women are human beings, rather than some unique amazing species with hearts and minds wholly unlike his own.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 9th, 2012 04:28 am (UTC)
He strikes me as one of those men who can't quite grasp that women are human beings, rather than some unique amazing species with hearts and minds wholly unlike his own.

I think you're right. I feel like this might be a reason why viewers sometimes don't see his writing as always sexist because it comes from a place of misplaced awe rather than hateful misogyny. But either way the result is poorly drawn characters.
X-parrotxparrot on January 9th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC)
Yes, I think the reason Moffat is so shocked and disturbed by accusations of misogyny is because he genuinely loves and adores women, both as objects of sexual desire and as the sacred bearers of motherhood; he doesn't quite grasp how patronizing his idolization can be (nor does he seem to realize that there are those women who would just as soon not be either married or moms, or those who have lives beyond those roles.)