Back in January, a Texas fellow named Rick penned a blog post named "Sherlock, Elementary, and Me," which got a little traction on the Sherlockian internet this week. Despite the writer's kumbaya suggestion that fans of BBC Sherlock and CBS Elementary should get together and hug out their differences, he seems to be carrying enough anger against Sherlock fans to keep that battlefront stirred up for a little while longer. It kinda-sorta invalidates the comparison of the two shows that was laid out before it, but that's not the real issue the blog brings up.
One of the most notable things about the essay is the way it refers to BBC Sherlock fans as Sherlockians. All of the disparaging remarks that use the term, like "Sherlockians, who believe the Canon is rubbish . . . ." (a sentence that has probably never appeared before January in the eighty-plus year history of our cult), come off as a bit ridiculous as a result.
It brings to light an interesting thing that one might notice after three years of Sherlock and Elementary co-existence: We don't really have names for the fans of either show yet.
"Cumberbitches" just doesn't cut it. Sherlock has male fans, those who prefer Martin Freeman to Benedict, and those whose love of the show doesn't fit any of those categories. And c'mon, it's derogatory, even if it's used as humorous self-deprecation by the fandom itself.
Texas Rick likes "Elementarians" for Elementary fans, but its internet usage seems to be currently dominated by elementary school references. If we were to go with the "Cumberbitch" style, I suppose we'd call them "Millwhores," but that is more problematic than the Cumberbitch issue.
And what about poor Robert Downey, Jr.? Two major motion pictures and he can't get "Downgirls?" But we humans like our binary "us and them" groups, good and evil, Democrats and Republicans, Holmes and Watson. So I guess we'll leave him out of this discussion for the moment.
Were we to try to put Sherlock and Elementary on an equal plane, something like "Sherlocko" and "Elemento" might work for the individual fans, but the two shows are not on an equal plane and never will be. Find a Sherlockian who enjoys both shows absolutely equally and I'll show you a sociopath, someone who hasn't seen either, or a politician. Every single one of us is going to view the two different shows with two different reactions, even if those reactions are reasonably close.
We all have a sliding scale of like/dislike for Sherlock and Elementary, just like we do any pastiche, actor who played Holmes, or individual Canonical story. At the end of the day, we're all just Sherlockians, which is why, I think, we have yet to see a name emerge for fans of specifically Sherlock or specifically Elementary. Anyone who started as one of those and somehow remained distinctive from fans of Supernatural, C.S.I., or any other TV show has probably let enough other Sherlock Holmes material into their life to be tagged "Sherlockian."
Our ancient fandom is a tent that brings us all together, no need to hug it out. And sure, some of the people on the other side of that tent might be a little farty, or otherwise un-huggable, but they're still in the tent. Whether Sherlockiana took in the fans of Sherlock and Elementary, or they invaded, the "Sherlockian" monicker is still the one that sticks.
As it has for a very long time, whatever our personal likes or dislikes.
I find your statement, "he seems to be carrying enough anger against Sherlock fans to keep that battlefront stirred up for a little while longer. It kinda-sorta invalidates the comparison of the two shows that was laid out before it, but that's not the real issue the blog brings up.", a little puzzling since many times that is your approach to reviewing Elementary.ReplyDelete
My approach to reviewing Elementary has never been sparked by the doings of that little Elementary fanbase -- maybe sometimes a little shocked that it exists, but not as a reaction against them. I rant on Elementary purely on its own merits, which are enough to make anyone angry. Sorry if I puzzled.Delete
Sherlockers? Elemillers? While I agree that Sherlockian is a perfectly useable tent, it is sometimes helpful to have a label when referencing a certain subset of fans, those in one corner of the tent or another.ReplyDelete
For myself, I'm perfectly happy to stand in the middle of the tent, call all the pastiches 'alternate universes' and enjoy them for what they are. Admittedly, Elementary sometimes takes a little more effort...
Korina, still in Douglas Wilmer's thrall
LOL @ "Texas Rick".ReplyDelete