Friday, January 1, 2016

Must we be so many, all at once?

Today has been an interesting day. Corned beef and cabbage with my favorite aunt. A game of words with the accusation that only two of us were really playing each other. And then, the intrusive awareness that everyone else in the world was watching a certain television show.

Where gleeful anticipation should have been, there was the cautious avoidance of social media once the scheduled time across the Atlantic had come. There were the many reminders, when such caution was ignored for a moment or two, that one could have all of the company one wanted while watching said show. And then, even as the broadcast was taking place, the imagined version of what was happening on Twitter as the play unfolded.

"All that I have to say has already crossed your mind."

"Then possibly my answer has crossed yours."

I may not be Sherlock, and you may not be Moriarty, but both of us have a pretty good idea what references will be cited, what fan service will get a gush, once we've been in this realm long enough.

Even now that BBC Sherlock's "The Abominable Bride" has played, and anyone who could possibly see it has seen it, it doesn't even seem necessary to review it. So many reviews are being typed, have been typed, or shall be verbalized on podcasts. And so many are more politician than legitimate critic any more . . . "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all" is the new eleventh commandment, the twenty-eighth amendment to the American constitution (unless you're one of those comment trolls -- comment sections are the new lawless Wild West, of course). And who wants to do all the spoiler warnings called for these days, anyway.

Tonight, it felt not just like the makers of BBC Sherlock had set their sites on jumping an impossible shark with the Christmas special, but that fandom was perhaps making the jump as well. The success of any fiction lives or dies on its ability to completely pull one in to its reality, however fantastic, and make one forget that there is a fourth wall, even when a character breaks it. One has to leave the world as we know it behind and dive deep into the world presented. There's a reason we shut off cell phones in theaters -- so the real world can't wake us from the dream. Feeling the presence of the rest of the Sherlockian world watching alongside me tonight could be looked at as some weakness in the narrative . . . or possibly the state of fannish global warming.

It will be interesting to see how the theater experience stacks up Thursday night. But all in all, I'm thinking I found the pressure-free experience of the annual Dr. Who Christmas special much more relaxing this year.

The room wasn't quite so crowded for that one.

1 comment:

  1. I do get that, I really do. I do enjoy things I watch on my own so much more. Sadly, I'm too weak to leave social media alone. I'm curious about what others think and have to say about the thing. But in the end fandom has spoiled my fun far more than enhanced it. I'm my own worst enemy.