Friday, September 28, 2012

A certain bias about the Yard.

The terrific mind of Marilynne McKay sparked an epiphany for me tonight. She’s one of the brighter Sherlockian lights you’ll ever meet, so that’s not too surprising. (After blasphemously saying a lot of Sherlock Holmes fans have crap for taste yesterday, I feel obliged to spotlight our better side. Include yourself in those betters, please, dear reader. No, I’m not pandering.) Marilynne caused my epiphany with a single name: “Quinn.”

As in “Aidan Quinn.”

I really find it quite wrong that a police investigator named “Gregson” be anywhere close to as good looking as Aidan Quinn. The paradox, however, is that I find it perfectly acceptable for a police investigator named “Lestrade” to be as handsome as Rupert Graves.

Now, foes of my enmity toward a particular TV show that I’m no longer writing about here will attribute this bias toward a particular TV show that I’m no longer writing about here. But looking deep within my dark and cavernous Sherlockian soul, I really find that isn’t the case.

Lestrade deserves to be a good-looking fellow. He earned it, in my truly heartfelt belief.

Gregson, however? Pfui! A pox of ugliness upon him!

Yes, he was called “smartest” of the Scotland Yard bunch by Holmes, and he did get in a few cases, but he never really redeemed himself to me after that initial appearance in A Study in Scarlet.

Lestrade, however, while apparently not smarter than Gregson, was, to Holmes, “the pick of a bad lot,” so he must have made up for Gregson’s slightly bigger brain in some other way. It was a subtle thing, but there really could be no doubt who Holmes’s favorite was. If I remember correctly, he was even the one Yarder we know to have spent the night on the couch at Baker Street. When Holmes needed an official of the Yard, Lestrade was his go-to guy.

A detail here, a detail there, and enough appearances in enough cases without being a total jerk, and Lestrade kind of weasels his ferret-like features into your heart. And after putting up with Watson comparing him to a ferret in The Strand Magazine all those years without complaint, doesn’t he truly deserve to be handsome once in a while?

Gregson, however . . . maybe it’s that he has a whole first name. That he rubs his hands together in a self-satisfied way. Maybe it’s that tall, pale blond thing that makes him sound like that creepy vampire doctor in Twilight. I just don’t think he deserves Aidan Quinn looks. A personal bias, I do admit.

“They are as jealous as a pair of professional beauties,” Sherlock Holmes initially said in explaining Gregson and Lestrade to Watson, but he was speaking metaphorically . . . or so we thought. Now television is telling us that they actually are a pair of beauties.

And at least one of them totally deserves it.

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