Monthly Archives: September 2012

My “Elementary” Review

After sitting down to watch the series premiere of Elementary, I can honestly say that it was not a complete train wreck. The writing did not make me cringe as I had been expecting. However–and this is not a real surprise–it was a far cry from Sherlock. Sherlock is fully of heavy, intellectual writing that practically oozes awesome; Elementary is lighter in tone and does not ooze awesome. At least, it didn’t in this episode.

Sherlock Holmes is different in this series, too. A recovering drug addict, he has decided to employ his consulting detective skills in his new home of New York City. And he has a tattoo on most of his upper left arm. I know; it confused me, too. Johnny Lee Miller actually did a better job than I was expecting; his Sherlock is somewhat more restrained in the awesome intellect category. Miller will state observations as common sense facts whereas Benedict Cumberbatch’s whole attitude is something along the lines of, “I am Sherlock Holmes; I am brilliant, and you are an idiot for not seeing how obvious that [fill-in-the-blank random fact] is.” Miller’s detective also has slightly better people skills–emphasis on the “slightly”. And *gasp* he has feelings! Or had them anyway! For a woman in London who was apparently indirectly involved with his downward spiral into drug addict land (shades of Irene Adler, anyone?). This Sherlock has a need to be amused, too, or he will cause trouble. When asked why he broke out of his rehab facility on the same day he was supposed to be released, his response was, “I was bored. And they should be thankful I pointed out the flaws in their rubbish security system.” Oh, and he keeps bees on the roof of his house. And he’s writing a book about them.

And now we come to Lucy Liu as Joan Watson. In this version, Watson is assigned to be Holmes’s sober companion, someone who makes the transition from rehab to regular society as easy as possible. Watson as a woman is…um…um…how do I put this politely? Um…let’s just say I like Martin Freeman much better, can’t wait to see him as Bilbo in The Hobbit come December, and leave it at that, shall we?

To summarize, Elementary was not the train wreck I had been anticipating and was enjoyable to watch. Will I watch again next week? Probably not. It’s good but not so good that I will feel deprived if I miss an episode or three.


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Trying (and Failing) to Keep an Open Mind on the Holmes Front

So this week CBS is unveiling its most recent crime drama Elementary, which has Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solving crime in the 21st century. This show has been in the works for awhile, and I remember thinking when I first learned about this in the winter that it seemed as if the writers were trying to ride the coattails of the success of the hugely popular BBC drama Sherlock, which also has Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solving crime in the 21st century. There are some key differences with Elementary, though. For one thing, Holmes and Watson are stalking about the streets of New York City (you’d think the world revolves around New York City with how many shows are based there). But the biggest change of all–and this will be quite a shock, so brace yourselves–is that Dr. Watson is a woman.

Have you picked yourselves up off the floor yet? Good. With changes like these, I couldn’t help but think that the show would most likely be a train wreck. However, I will most likely be watching because my curiosity got the better of me; I have to see how bad of a train wreck it is going to be. And it will probably be a doozy judging from this bit of dialogue from the trailers:

Dr. Watson: “How do you guess everything?”

Holmes: “I don’t guess. I observe. And once I’ve observed, I deduce.”

Dr. Watson: “So how did you know I use to be a surgeon?”

And here is where I’m expecting a wonderfully detailed description, but to my shock, disbelief, and eventual ire, Holmes blithely answers, “Google. Not everything is deducible.”

I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after that, especially since I was remembering this scene from Sherlock: A Study in Pink:

John: “Is that it?”

Sherlock: “Is that what?”

John: “We only just met, and we’re gonna go look at a flat.”

Sherlock: “Problem?”

John: “We don’t know a thing about each other. I don’t know where we’re meeting; I don’t even know your name.”

Sherlock: “I know you’re an army doctor, and you’ve been invalided home from Afghanistan; I know you’ve got a brother who’s worried about you, but you won’t go to him for help because you don’t approve of him, possibly because he’s an alcoholic, more likely because he recently walked out on his wife, and I know your therapist thinks your limp is psychosomatic, quite correctly, I’m afraid. That’s enough to be going on with, don’t you think?”

And all of that was done without Google, ladies and gentlemen! Not everything is deducible, my foot.

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Hobbit Day 2012

Hobbit Day is finally here! Hooray! And I have unexpected cake with which to celebrate!

Also, I decided to post my attempt at an LotR music video here. Some of the video quality is bad; I apologize, but I did the best I could with what I had.

Well, this has been an exciting Tolkien Week. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Until the next time!

“And no one was ill, and everyone was pleased, except those who had to mow the grass.”–J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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Tolkien Week Post #5–Charging the Black Gate

I’m wrapping up my series of Tolkien Week posts with this scene from The Return of the King where everyone follows Aragorn into certain death at the hands of Sauron’s minions. I love how everyone is heedless of the fact that they could die and just charge forward. I also love how Pippin and Merry are the first to set out after Aragorn but get lost in the crush–it’s not easy being a hobbit.

I’m also trying to figure out what happened to Aragorn’s horse between his “Men of the West” speech and this scene.


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Tolkien Week Post #4–I Bid You STAND, Men of the West!

Today’s post features Aragorn’s speech to the combined armies of Gondor and Rohan as the battle at the Black Gate is about to begin. They are sorely outnumbered, and they know it, and some of them might have been tempted to give up…until Aragorn inspired them anew. This is another of my favorite LotR speeches and one I want to memorize so I can quote it at random intervals.

And this is another one worth transcribing, and fortunately for me, the YouTube uploader did just that:

“Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight!! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!!!”


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Tolkien Week Post #3–The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

And the epicness just doesn’t stop as we continue our week-long celebration of all things Tolkien! Today’s clip is one of my absolute favorites–the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. I firmly believe this is one of the greatest battle scenes ever filmed; everything seemed to come together so perfectly for this.

Moral of the story–don’t tick off the Rohirrim. Or they will come after you. With spears.


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Tolkien Week Post #2–The Bridge of Khazad-Dum

My second post for Tolkien Week involves the epic showdown that is…the Bridge of Khazad-Dum. It’s got Gandalf, and it’s got a Balrog. Really, what more could you want?

Another reason for posting this: it has inspired traffic signs.

Driving would be way more interesting if these signs were in my neighborhood.


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