Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Johnlock versus Joanalone.

If one avoided social media, I suppose one could bury one's head in the original Canon like it's a nuclear bunker, pretend that is all there is to Sherlock Holmes, and live life like it was still 1985. And I'll admit, as much fun as it is to do that now and then, these days it oft seems to be all about the relationships between our Holmeses and Watsons. There's a whole spectrum of Holmes/Watson relationships out there, and at the far ends of that diverse range of detective and doctor duocity?

Johnlock and Joanalone.

With Johnlock, we have a Holmes and Watson of the same gender, who are inevitably deeply in love with each other, passionately sexual, and as much a couple as any lovers before them.

With Joanalone, we have a Holmes and Watson who are little brother and older sister, a relationship founded on payment, justified later by a "I'm going to be a detective just like you," and never satisfyingly settling why these two people would stay in a house together . . . which, given their creative parents' commandment that they never have sex, has evolved them into squabbling siblings.

With Johnlock, the defining moment is surely the first kiss . . . that satisfying moment when the two puzzle pieces that obviously fit perfectly together are finally laid into place.

With Joanalone, the defining moment has to be the Holmes tromping into the Watson's bedroom each day to proudly try some new way to wake his sister up in the way an annoying little brother would. (And not-so-little-brotherly confirming that she is, indeed, there alone.)

With Johnlock, there is a narrative arc at the heart of the relationship, which is why it is a story told and retold across a seemingly infinite number of fan fiction universes. That arc bends toward togetherness and no longer being alone.

With Joanalone, there is a status quo to be maintained throughout story upon story, which has a certain "hellish" aspect to it, whereupon the Watson seems held in repeated torment for the original sin that put her in this place (killing a patient). Watson is forever in the lonely state of the caretaker or watcher, her duties seeming to rule out any other relationships that might interfere.

Johnlock is about closeness. Joanalone is about distance.

Johnlock is personal. Joanalone is professional.

One comes from the cherished details of a show with great gaps between episodes, where the sparks shown on screen get fanned into brighter flames in the interim. One comes from a week-after-week march to syndication numbers, always keeping personal qualities from endangering the rituals of the procedural.

Each has its fans, as well as fans who hold that the opposite of each of those is the true faith, and every angle in between. Things like Sherlolly and Joanbell ships slip in as well, and why not?

Every bit of it tells us something about ourselves and our fellows, even this bit of silliness.

1 comment:

  1. Am I missing some social media writing about Joanalone or did you just make it up? My only concern is that there are folks who threaten to leave the fun if the Johnlock doesn't happen. I heard that the Watson Washington (Seattle Con) had fewer attendees this year. It will be interesting to see what happens in Atlanta.
    I wonder what I would do if Joanalone flipped and Sherlock and Joan began a relationSHIP? Perhaps stop watching Elementary? I doubt it, just be disappointed.