aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-24 01:04 am
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I got 99 problems with the new season of Sherlock, but His Last Vow ain't one

I'd like to respond to marsdaydream@Tumblr’s list of the bitterest pills we were expected to swallow in season 3, especially His Last Vow which contained, for me, the most consistent characterization of them all. Here's how I see them. )
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-21 01:51 am

how I learned to stop worrying and love The Empty Hearse

I'm not the comedian in my social circle. As the enthusiastic magpie, my forte is effusive bursts of emotion on the esoteric subjects I know a ton about. To that end, I've spent many happy hours between Tumblr and the AO3 "preparing" for the third season of Sherlock. Meta, fic, art - my fannish life of the last two years consisted of little else.

Which was exactly the problem when it came time for The Empty Hearse. )

Back in September, as my newspaper's resident Sherlock expert, I agreed to write episode recaps, which we try to make amusing (nothing TWoP-caliber, but not everyone wants to read a few thousand words on a single episode of their favorite show, either.) The formula works: While I watch neither Homeland nor Scandal, our synopses are often so amusing that I almost forget people die with some frequency on both shows. So it was with that goal to find humor that I approached my recap of The Empty Hearse - and realized what I've been doing wrong from the first scene.

Summarizing something forces you to focus on what's happening in the story, and only that, while being funny puts the drama in perspective. I learned to love the episode by setting aside two years' worth of emotional investment (which still needs a good catharsis - this is the closest I've come). Take things as they happen. Let the characters react in their own ways. Instead of allowing a scene totally jar me out of the story, take a deep breath to consider that the people who made it probably weren't intentionally setting out to fuck with their audience. Allow things to unravel as the writers intended instead of imposing limitations and requirements. I know you're all rolling your eyes, but as a journalist I'm trained to look ahead and anticipate what's next - but the effect is prejudicial in the real world, and joy-killing in entertainment. With that in mind, the episode actually turned out to be damn good, accomplishing everything it needed to without becoming maudlin. I'd give it a solid B+.

tl;dr Sometimes the characters serve the plot, and sometimes the plot is determined by character development - and both are valid storytelling approaches.
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-05 11:37 am
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on the potential of Mary Morstan

More than anything else, The Empty Hearse ended up being about Mary Morstan for me (and Mycroft Holmes, but one appreciation post at a time). And it’s the height of hipster nonsense to say I liked her before she was famous, but it’s true. )
aruan: (Sherlock - all these things I've done)
2014-01-03 10:35 pm
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for the sake of law and order, I suggest you avoid all future attempts at a relationship

I know we all played this game almost two years ago, but from what Moffat and Gatiss have said in interviews (I’m spoiler-free for The Empty Hearse) there won't be much in the way of explanation for the events of The Reichenbach Fall. Which seems a shame, even if from a storytelling perspective John Watson is perfectly right in the Series 3 trailer to say it's not about how Sherlock did it, but why. (Though the audience already knows most of it: kill yourself or your friends die; John had to watch because otherwise he would've ended up ruining his life trying to find out the truth like Anderson(!!!) and coming with Sherlock would've given away everything.)

That doesn't mean I can't spend a few thousand words (>.>) tying up the loose ends. )

As an aside, this post would be more thoroughly sourced if more than half of the links I’ve come across weren’t inactive due to people changing/deleting their Tumblr handles. Such a black hole of fannish history.