Wednesday, October 1, 2014

An Oktoberfest of cranky begins.

Ah, rolling into my later fifties, it seems I have a lot of free-flowing anger, just looking for targets. Of course, I also have all other sorts of roiling emotional ebb and flow these days, with my parts all a bit looser like a high-mileage car.

So let's get to all those things that are punching a V.R. in my emotional walls this October 1. Fair warning, those sensitive about their own beloved Sherlocks should step away now. Don't be whining in the comments, now. I warned you.

First, of course, we have Elementary, continuing to blight the legend of Sherlock Holmes.

A nice little synopsis of the detective appearing in that program appeared on BuzzFeed this week "18 Tips For Being A Good Detective as told by Elementary." It seems a fairly accurate portrayal of Mr. Elementary. But, before you check it out, try to put your mind in a place where what you're about to see is a character whose name you've never heard before. And see if the name you come up with, after looking over that page with an open, blank-slate mind, is anything close to Sherlock Holmes.

Personally, I came closer to Inspector Clouseau. Interesting that we have a new TV series on Fox that's all about Batman without actually having Batman in it -- Gotham -- and still comes closer to its Canon than CBS has done with Holmes. 

Next, we have signs that Moriarty might not be happy about a book bearing his name and could be plotting little ways to discredit it. (Which sounds far more interesting than "publisher screw-up.") Yes, the first author "authorized" by the Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd. to write about Sherlock Holmes is at it again in a sequel, obviously trying to get a non-Sherlock spin-off off the ground. And that's definitely not a first. (And, in fact, that other first wasn't really a first either, as Adrian Conan Doyle surely authorized his own work in The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes.)

And what's with Forever, the new ABC show about an immortal master of observation and deduction? Where does his body go when he dies? Is there are pile of clothes? If not, where do his clothes go when he goes to a nearby body of water. There was an old school of Sherlockian thought about Sherlock figuring out how to extend his life, growing a bit old but never dying . . . interesting that no major adaptation has given us an immortal Sherlock. But now that he's been successful as a modern, perhaps we won't.

But, as an angry aging Sherlockian, why restrict myself to just current pasticheurs? This is how bad it's getting . . . let's take some news that everybody in the Sherlockian world should meet with delight: The discovery of lost William Gillette footage . It looks like we're going to get a fresh chance to see that reknowned Sherlock Holmes as they did on movie screens back in 1916. How could William Gillette's return piss anyone off?

Because it will probably put me to sleep! Old black and white Sherlock Holmes films have always made me unnaturally dozey, going back to seeing Reginald Owen in the 1933 A Study in Scarlet while still in my twenties. (I was not in my twenties in 1933, mind you.) Sitting in auditoriums with other Sherlockians, at home on the couch, it doesn't matter -- black and white Sherlock starts putting me in a coma.

T'were it 1916, and having all the developed movie tastes of a person of that era, Gillette's Sherlock Holmes on the screen might be a different experience for me entirely.  But the prospect of yawning, "Yay, historic Sherlock!" in 2014? Well, it's no reason to get angry, I know . . . for any reasonable person.

But I'm a cranky old Sherlockian now. And those damn kids better get off my lawn, too.


  1. Found this to be very entertaining. Found myself smiling many times. And nice phrase 'punching a V.R. in my emotional walls.' :-)

    While I haven't heard of an 'immortal' Sherlock Holmes either, there is an adaptation in which Sherlock Holmes preserves his body for a century and comes back. It's a movie called '1994 Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Returns.' Anthony Higgins is Sherlock Holmes in the movie. Here's more about it:

  2. *giggling* Welcome to the Cranky Club, old man! ;-)

    "Interesting that we have a new TV series on Fox that's all about Batman without actually having Batman in it -- Gotham..."

    God, I would love that! A BBC spin-off where Sherlock never appears, but everyone is referring to him constantly!

    I don't like old b/w movies much either, but I'm still looking forward to seeing this old chestnut. If only to know what that Gilette guy actually looked like in motion.

  3. As a cranky old man myself I thought that was why I DO prefer black and white film to colour.

  4. ' and white Sherlock starts putting me in a coma.'

    If it's the black and white that causes problems, why not put on some rose-tinted glasses? Or even 3-D red-and-blue? (I know there's a joke in there somewhere, I just can't see it. Maybe I should clean my glasses.)

    Korina, who never could get the hang of Thursdays.