Small Update

October 1st, 2012 | Tags:

Hello patrons of this blog.

With tremendous apologies for the delays between updates, I wanted to take a moment to touch on some of the up and coming adaptations we can look forward to.

First, I have seen the pilot episode of Elementary (and was not terribly impressed) but I do want to wait to see at least the second episode before writing a review. Pilots can be notoriously rough, so to give the series a fair chance, I thought it best to sample a handful. I have posted some of my preliminary thoughts on my personal tumblr for those who are interested.

In addition to Elementary, we have several things to look forward to:

  • The third season/series of BBC’s Sherlock begins filming this January.
  • Guy Ritchie has signed on (along with RDJ and Jude Law) for Sherlock Holmes 3, which should see release in 2014.
  • Sherlock Holmes, a new Russian Adaptation, has completed filming with scheduled release date sometime later this year. No word on exactly when, but as soon as I’ve seen it I’ll be sure to let you know.

Of course, if I’ve missed something or you’ve heard something through the grapevine, With Love S.H. always welcomes tips/information/etc. Feel free to email.

  1. l-girl
    October 5th, 2012 at 17:17
    Quote | #1

    … you have a tumbler… *runs off to follow* *pokes head back in* my user name is cennyddthebookwyrm.

    • admin
      October 5th, 2012 at 18:25
      Quote | #2

      You may come to regret that. I’m quite silly on tumblr. 😉

      • l-girl
        October 6th, 2012 at 07:54
        Quote | #3

        you wouldn’t be the first silly blog I follow and I quite like silly anyway. also thanks for following me back.

  2. JL82
    October 13th, 2012 at 22:12
    Quote | #4

    I’ve missed this page.

    I kept checking for updates on Elementary…and then it finally ocurred me that, Holmes adapation or not, Elementary is a little outside the scope of this page, since, no matter what kind of relationship they end up having, it can’t be HOMO-romantic or erotic.

    Watson should be a man. As much as I want to see women step into “roles” traditionally held by men, that doesn’t mean we have to make male characters female. I’d almost rather have Holmes feminized than Watson.

    I suppose discussing the ending of House doesn’t really belong here? I won’t “spoil” too much, but I’ll just say that while much about the series finale of House strained credibility, it was a very pro-House/Wilson ending, as well as a rather Sherlockian one.

    • admin
      October 15th, 2012 at 05:07
      Quote | #5

      It may be that this site was originally developed to examine the homoerotic subtext in Canon and various adaptations, but I am still a Sherlockian who appreciates the Canon and all its various adaptations, so yes, I will be reviewing this series. It won’t be reviewed until I’ve seen at least a handful of episodes. It’s not entirely fair to review an entire series based on 1 or 2 episodes when I’ve reviewed all other series as complete or completed seasons.

      I do disagree here. I like what they’ve done with Watson and find a female Watson an interesting idea. I would have also liked to have seen Holmes as a woman.

      House, however, being a character loosely based on Holmes rather than a straight adaptation, does not belong here. I can appreciate that the series drew its routes from Sherlock Holmes, but this site only reviews pure adaptations (aka ones involving Holmes and Watson).

  3. JL82
    October 20th, 2012 at 16:08
    Quote | #6

    If I understand correctly how you feel about the genderswap: people are (unfortunately) uncomfortable with the idea of two men being in love. Most adapatations deal with this by acting like Holmes and Watson aren’t in love. Elementary has decided to handle it be pretending they’re not both men…and you’re glad to see that at least, they have realized that they can’t deny that Holmes and Watson are in love?

    A theater in town where I live has a classic movies series, and last night was a Sherlock Holmes double feature: Rathbone/Bruce HOUN and Secret Weapon. From a slash standpoint I was a tad disappointed…maybe I’ve gotten to used to the Brett series but I now I think Brett and his Watsons are more lovey-dovey with each other. While I didn’t find Bruce to be a complete dunce, he also isn’t a Watson that lends himself to the kind of romanticization than fangirls are given to, where Watson is concerned (although he did rescue Holmes, especially in Secret Weapon.)

    In HOUN, both Holmes and Watson put their hands on Sir Henry a lot more than on each other…although no fangirl will blame them. Also, Rathbone suddenly struck me as playing Holmes as a much more proper gentleman…even sociable…not playing up Holmes’ eccentricity nearly as well as Brett.

    • admin
      October 22nd, 2012 at 05:31
      Quote | #7

      I think we’re going to have to wait and see what Elementary’s intentions are. They have stated they are not going the romance route, in which case this would simply be a case of character exploration through genderswap (it does bring in a new and interesting element and some of my favourite characters are genderswapped characters–like Starbuck in the new BSG). If, however, they are doing it to avoid the homoerotic subtext and move into text then yes, it would be fueled by homophobia, but that would actually backfire on them because we all know Holmes and Watson are male, and since they’re drawing from the source material the inference is hard to miss.

      The Rathbone films are now some of my favourites, but I will confess I did not like that at all the first few times I viewed them. They are charming in their own right once you get past the problematic issues that have more to do with era than anything else. I do love Rathbone as Holmes, though certainly it is a different take on the character.

  4. JL82
    October 20th, 2012 at 16:09
    Quote | #8

    And the most awesome thing about the double feature was learning that I have a Sherlockian society in my area…on the way into the theater I could swear I saw people wearing deerstalkers, and then an announcer asked, “Do we have any Stormy Petrels here?” and the response was applause.

    • admin
      October 22nd, 2012 at 05:27
      Quote | #9

      That’s actually pretty awesome.

      • JL82
        October 28th, 2012 at 11:51

        You mentioned being “blacklisted from mainstream Sherlockian communities” because you wrote essays that explored the possibility of a Holmes/Watson romance. Were you referring to Internet groups or the real-life societies?

        • admin
          October 28th, 2012 at 15:23

          I’m not sure there’s a distinction anymore, but real-life societies.

          • JL82
            October 28th, 2012 at 16:04

            The BBC radio series seems to have at least acknowledged the possibility of a relationship, with Watson’s line about Mary accusing him of his heart in reality belonging to Holmes.

            And I think it is interesting that the Guy Ritchie movies caused a surge in visitors to this site. So people obviously picked up on Holmes/Watson in the first one.

          • JL82
            November 3rd, 2012 at 19:33

            I may be making more of the issue than you did, but did the Sherlockian and Holmesian societies actually tell you they were denying you membership because you viewed Holmes and Watson as a couple?

            Anyway, good for your for not censoring yourself. I am not sure I want to reach out to the group in my area and see if I can join, for the same reason

  5. JL82
    October 22nd, 2012 at 10:37

    The Rathbone films are now some of my favourites, but I will confess I did not like that at all the first few times I viewed them. They are charming in their own right once you get past the problematic issues that have more to do with era than anything else. I do love Rathbone as Holmes, though certainly it is a different take on the character.

    “Did not like that at all…” what was the “that” you didn’t like? The interaction with Sir Henry?

  6. CatherineB
    October 24th, 2012 at 04:42

    I just caught the Elementary pilot on UK TV last night and have to say I am disappointed. I can’t quite put my finger on why but I think it is a multitude of things. I will admit to going into it with some scepticism but I have done that with pretty much every version I watched after the Ritchie film (my first real introduction to the character). Did not see the appeal of Sherlock, put off watching it for ages and then finally caved and within about 10 minutes I was sold. After that, I was a bit more willing to give other versions a chance (thank god, because Granada and Russian are just amazing). So, despite my misgivings, it is not unreasonable that it could easily have won me over like the others did.

    But it didn’t. I was a bit funny about them casting Watson as a woman and leaving Sherlock as a man because I figured they were doing it to accommodate for a relationship but it’s still far too early to tell if that will be the case yet. As it stands, I do like Lucy Lui as Watson and I like Jonny Lee Miller. But not as Holmes. He’s a sweet enough character with that edge of attitude and carelessness about others (which to me is a bit too close to BBC than canon) but he’s not Holmes. He’s scruffy, he’s jittery (OK, he’s coming off drugs, sure) and I don’t get that feel of ‘genius’ from him, just ‘smug’. It may just be me but having Holmes ream off a piece of dialogue perfectly from a TV show and knowing the outcome of a baseball game does not making him a detective, it’s making his ‘powers’ seem almost absurd, rather than impressive. I always liked how the other versions focus on his powers of observation and HOW he came to that conclusion, not just rattling things off.

    I do like that they have gone with using Gregson as opposed to everyone’s fallback of Lestrade but he just felt like any other cop to me. I didn’t feel a bond between them or particular animosity, he was just a bit bland. I suppose people choose Lestrade not just because he appeared the most out of all the Yard guys but because he had the best connection with Holmes. I laughed so many times at their banter in the books.

    I didn’t like the pace of the episode, to be honest. I know it’s a lot shorter than Sherlock and, being set in modern day where things are happening much quicker, it needed to move swiftly but I just couldn’t follow it all. It didn’t help that it kept losing my interest so by the end of it I didn’t actually remember what the hell the case was about in the first place and didn’t care who did what.

    And I think that leads into my main gripe which is the homages. Or lack thereof. I hadn’t read the stories when I saw the first Ritchie film and once I did, I read them all in about a month, went back to watch the film and giggle at all the little references strewn throughout. Same with Sherlock. I’d be watching it with my parents and they’d laugh at something and I’d laugh for a completely different reason, because it was referencing a story (the harpoon incident springs to mind). It’s nice, and it’s nice for those that haven’t read the stories for them to go back to when they have to get the inside jokes (and I think it is a good motivator for viewers to pick the books up). It’s obvious that the writers of these are fans of the original material and I just didn’t get that with Elementary. Save for the characters and Holmes’ love for bees, I didn’t pick up on any nods to canon which was sad. And to have 26 episodes of original cases (I don’t know if they plan on making any of the story cases into episodes but it doesn’t look promising), it will just feel more and more like a generic cop show.

    I finished the episode really not interested in watching the next episode but I feel I should give it a try because pilots aren’t always a good indicator of how things will pan out. I’m disappointed that they don’t seem to have really put much thought into. It’s as if they just thought “Well, we’ll make Watson a WOMAN and stick them in New York and that will be enough!” No. No, it’s not.

    • admin
      October 28th, 2012 at 15:34

      I’m so terribly sorry for letting this sit so long. My spam filter decided it was spam and I only noticed it today. Huge apologies.

      I haven’t done my elementary review yet (I’m dragging my feet on it because yes, I too was disappointed). For me it was very much not enjoying this interpretation of Holmes. Unlike you, I went into this series quite excited, expecting to really enjoy it, but I’ve now seen 3 episodes and am still not sold.

      I like Lucy as Watson quite a bit, but yes, JLM does not work as Holmes at all for me. I just can’t reconcile the character. It’s frustrating me because I think I might otherwise really enjoy the series. I completely agree with your assessment on how the writers are showcasing his powers of deduction. I actually get the impression the writers aren’t clever enough to write a good deduction scene and so they’re glossing over that aspect of his characterization.

      Gah, I’m having such a hard time defining what it is that doesn’t work for me. I just cannot get into this series. I don’t think I’m going to continue watching it. It’s not connecting for me and a lot of that is sub par writing. It really is. There was so much potential for this series and it ended up being just another procedural drama with re-hashed, barely recognizable characters. Re-imaging Sherlock Holmes needed something daring and the writers just didn’t go there. Overall I find the series quite disappointing.

      I discussed this once in a post on tumblr, but the disconnect from Canon really irks me, too. I just want one or two references to tie Holmes into, well, Holmes. I’m not getting that. You’re completely right in suggesting the writers of Elementary do not come across as fans of the original Canon. They seem like they’ve simply made SH because he’s currently popular. It’s quite distressing for a fan of the Canon. It is very much a generic cop show, and I don’t like it. Not one bit.

      I will say that I felt the same as you after the pilot and kept watching with the aim of giving it a fair try, but it doesn’t improve for me. I’m as disconnected 4 episodes in as I was after the first.

      Thank you, though. You very succinctly explained like 90% of the problems I have with this series. Very little care and absolutely no love went into this show. It feels made for profit and that makes me terribly sad.

      • JL82
        October 28th, 2012 at 16:01

        I read a little of your Tumblr review, and you pointed out that the whole premise doesn’t work as well when a strange man and woman move in together, plus, the fact that Holmes is Watson’s patient in some way?

        That last part, however, is sort of true of Canon, too: Watson is definitely the doctor who provides medical attention when Holmes needs it, and he is at his most assertive with Holmes when he can call on his medical knowledge (i.e., cocaine is bad for you). But in their times, doctors probably didn’t have the professional ethics rules they have today – about mixing personal and professional relateionships.

  7. JL82
    October 30th, 2012 at 10:58

    “My” Sherlockian society (as in, the one in my area), has re-posted a blog with a review of Elementary. The line that may well say it all is, “Putting the names Holmes and Watson on your characters does not make them so.”

    http://members.toast.net/stormypetrels/the_petrels'_nest.htm

    To a degree, I feel that way about the BBC series, too – but obviously it’s better. Now that I’ve seen John’s “graveside” speech I will have to watch the beginning of Season 3 to see him reunited with Sherlock.

    I love that he says, “One more miracle,” as if he considers Sherlock to have been full of miracles up to that point. And saying, “Don’t be dead. For me. Just stop this,” almost sounds like he has in his mind the possibility that Sherlock could be faking…or capable of rising from the dead.

    You know what the real problem was with Reichenbach, though? It happened too soon. We’ve only had six episodes total…didn’t Holmes and Watson’s relationship in Canon develop much more before Holmes disappeared?

    • Karai
      October 30th, 2012 at 14:12

      If you look at John Watson’s blog (http://www.johnwatsonblog.co.uk/), they knew each other for two years, so it’s enough time. Moffat and Gatiss focused on the most recognizable cases for series 2. They didn’t have enough time due to other commitments to make more episodes. It could be seen with the two years they took before telling that they have the time to actually film the third series.

      • fish eye no miko
        November 1st, 2012 at 15:30

        The fact that something not on the show says it’s even a relatively long time really doesn’t change the fact that there’s only been six episodes, so it still feels like it happened way too soon. And aside from ASIB’s time skipping, what in the show itself indicates that two years has passed?

    • admin
      November 1st, 2012 at 14:51

      I’ve actually seen a few reviews (I can’t even bring myself to write one atm) from Sherlockian circles that weren’t impressed, so this doesn’t surprise me. It’s a good point. So is the speed at which they’ve esculated the timeline in Sherlock. I often feel that series is too rushed. They’re trying to cover too much ground too quickly.

      • Karai
        November 1st, 2012 at 21:03

        Yeah, I know they rushed through it too soon. The writers seems to rely on the blog and websites that were created along with the series to trust them as a way for the timeline to be used, even though the time constraint was tight and wouldn’t change. They even extended the first episode of S2’s time to a year. Anyways, I thought they lived together for two to three years at the most.

        They covered too much ground as you said. At first they would have started a regular series as evident of their unaired pilot, but BBC wants 90 minute show rather than 30 minute. But I think you know that?

  8. JL82
    October 30th, 2012 at 17:03

    Though it is probably more relevant to those who want to write Sherlock fanfic than to discussing the actual show, England has a form of legalization of same-sex relationships, but it’s more comparable to civil union than marriage:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_Kingdom

    There have been many Facebook pages created for both John and Sherlock that have them engaged, married, or in a civil union with each other.

  9. JL82
    November 1st, 2012 at 15:35

    Some commentary about Elementary that quotes one of the makers that swears there will be no “will they / won’t they” between Holmes and Joan.

    http://tvline.com/2012/07/29/cbs-elementary-sherlock-watson-sexual-tension/

    There is another irony about the series with the female Watson being set in New York City. NYC is an obvious locale for a crime series, but the state of New York is also one of the U.S. states (for anyone who doesn’t know) that has legalized same-sex marriage.

  10. JL82
    November 3rd, 2012 at 11:13

    On a Sherlock discussion board, I saw someone ask, how could Sherlock be so mean as to keep John in the dark, someone else explained that was true to Canon, to which the first person replied that they hadn’t read Canon!

  11. November 24th, 2012 at 16:13

    Love your blog, love your comments on the slashiness of Rathbone/Bruce. Do you visit THE BAZ? It’s about the best Basil website/blog I have found. – thegreatbaz.wordpress.com. My tumblr is also devoted to the wondrous Basil.

    • admin
      November 28th, 2012 at 08:08

      Thanks for both links. There is never enough attention paid to Rathbone. He’s such a fantastic Holmes. I’ll check these out.

  12. JL82
    November 26th, 2012 at 18:09

    Opinions will differ, and it may well still be too early to make judgments about Elementary, but, to me, the very fact of genderswapping Watson smacks of homophobia, particularly given that it happened at this time in Sherlockian history, so to speak. (i.e., on the heels of BBC Sherlock, and also the Guy Ritchie movies, both of which got people talking more about Holmes/Watson as a pairing.) It’s as if someone is saying, “Given the relationship these two people have, or are perceived to have, it’s not appropriate for them both to be men.”

    • fish eye no miko
      November 28th, 2012 at 18:01

      If I actually thought ANY current version of Sherlock Holmes was actually going to make Holmes and Watson a gay couple, I’d agree. But I can’t see that actually happening. So what gay content is actually being lost by doing this? And do you really think that non-existent gay content is more important than making a beloved character a woman of color (and Asian–given how often Asians don’t even get to play *actual Asians*, that’s pretty amazing)?

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