Sunday, October 26, 2014

More TV complaining - BBC gets it wrong

I think the last show I complained about was Game of Thrones. I didn't like the way they handled Joffrey's death, thought it too pat, and a bit wasteful. Now I'm utterly aghast at Sherlock.

I know in between I've harped about The Tudors and someone might say, well, who's picking your viewing options here? But really, there's only so much on Netflix these days I'd deign to watch in the first place. So there you go.

No, the 1st eppy of season 3 curdled my stomach against the show almost as badly as the eppy of Lost where they shot Locke and left him in a mound of bodies to die. But I realized last night there are a few differences to these two situations. One is a story issue and one is a character issue.

When it comes to watcher involvement with the show, there's two types of investment. One is in the story itself and the other is in the character. When they shot Locke on Lost, an entire story line came to a sudden halt. Sort of like Joffrey's death. It just went splat. Now, if you've invested heavily in that storyline and believe it to be an important part of the overall story, you're going to feel cheated, disoriented, possibly even ticked off as you're wondering why they did that. Because if they can just off any storyline at any point, what's the point of investing your attention in the show? If they're going to yank the rug out from under your feet, there's none at all. So I stopped watching a little while later.

With Sherlock, the problem is out of character behaviour, or sudden about-face in the main character. You'd have to be a dolt not to know that even in romance books, the reader has to LIKE the main love interest. Yes, like. Even if the man or woman is a dark hero, or a tortured hero, there has to be some redeeming quality, something the reader can cling to, recognize as part of themselves and be able to root for the character.

I grant you, Sherlock is a hard character to establish emo connection with. He's reclusive, non-emotional and wholly left-brained. He's not empathetic and in a way, almost autistic with his interactions with other people. That said, the show has made a point of building a relationship - even hinting at gayness in Sherlock - between himself and Watson. It's even tried to make Sherlock more human. He kisses Molly on the cheek. He's shaking with anger when his landlady is attacked. Of course he's still brilliant and clever. So we like him, he grows on us. 

And then he laughs at Watson's feelings.

I'm sorry, but the sudden change from intelligent yet distant defender of truth and justice got flipped on it's head like a 1,000-lb beached whale the very second Sherlock started laughing and said "I really had you going there, didn't I?"

With that one action, that one line, the writers destroyed the investment into the character and turned him into a devious, manipulative egotist. Besides, it doesn't make sense. If he's so devoid of emotion, why would he seek to get a kick out of making fun of Watson??? 

Worse, now that Watson's still hanging around, we can only assume that he's a pathetic character who has so little else to do in his life that he'll stay in an abusive relationship. 

Arthur Conan Doyle must be fuming in his grave.

Anyway, that little cock up totally fucked the series for me. Maybe I'm too sensitive, too ACOA to invest in a character that mocks other people's feelings. 

To that I say, damn right. Watch the show at your own peril.


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