Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Primary elections

Well, as far as I can tell from the online election results, most of the races I voted in went the way I wanted. (Most races in my district were uncontested, at least in the Democratic primary; the general election is a different matter.) But the most hotly contested Democratic race is going into a runoff election. I have no idea when this runoff will take place, and I know that my mailbox is going to be flooded with yet more campaign mailers between now and then.

Besides that, it looks like the Republican primaries also have a huge runoff election between Dewhurst and Cruz, so I'm sure there will be lots of TV ads about that, too. So we have a long way to go yet even before the general election in November. God, I'm so sick of the campaign.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More Elementary

CBS released a new, longer trailer for Elementary. We get more banter between Holmes and Watson this time, as well as more views of their strange wardrobe.

Edit on May 30th: Alyssa at Think Progress just posted about Elementary again. She discusses Holmes's addiction, including quotes from SIGN. I think the first commenter is too cranky, though, since Alyssa obviously meant BBC Sherlock's focus on Sherlock's alien mindset and so-called sociopathic tendencies, which were emphasized in every episode, especially when it played out as a mirror to the psycho Moriarty. The Asperger's term in the Hounds episode was used to refer vaguely to whatever it is that's weird about Holmes's personality.

Also, I do think that canon Holmes was a regular addict, even if drugs weren't mentioned in all the stories. When Watson speaks in SCAN of Holmes "alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition," I regard that as regular cocaine use, like clockwork. Face it, he was an addict, whom Watson had to eventually wean off drug use.

Hysteria interview

Here's a nice interview with the director of the romantic comedy Hysteria. I don't want to read it too closely for fear of movie spoilers, but it looks like it will be fun and smart. I just wish it would open here sooner! It would have been great to see it this Memorial Day, but nope. Not yet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hounds and the Fall

I watched The Reichenbach Fall yesterday, mostly to say goodbye to this show, because I'm not staying with it for season 3. I hate both Moffat & Gatiss now, and the writing is just too bad to tolerate. Given how they resolved the cliffhanger this year, I am not confident that they won't cop-out next year with their solution of the fake death. So I won't let them string me along anymore.

I also watched the Hounds episode last week, but was vastly unimpressed. I mean, it wasn't intense hate like I had for the Belgravia episode, but the Hounds ep was worse than the Blind Banker. Where did I get the idea that Gatiss was a good writer? His previous reputation as a Doctor Who writer? His loving appreciation for Private Life of Sherlock Holmes? Well, he might be a good scifi writer and Sherlockian, but he's a shit mystery writer. I disliked his Great Game episode last year too, but I thought it was due to my hate for Jim Moriarty, and the bomb plot; but now it's clear that Gatiss sucks even when Jim is kept to a minimum. Clearly he also subscribes to the school of "it doesn't matter if the plot makes sense; it just has to look good." Hounds was as bad as a season 4 episode of Castle, and trust me, that's ridiculously bad.

House finale

I went out for early voting today, for the May primaries. I still did not feel like I got enough info about the different candidates, but I did the best I could based on local endorsements. At least redistricting gave us a new Democratic seat.

I wanted to see Hysteria this weekend, but I found out that it's not coming here until June, so I've been watching TV shows on Netflix to pass the time. I'm going through season 1 of Murder, She Wrote now, and I wish current TV shows were still made like this. I want traditional whodunits, not serial killers and CSI gore. I want mystery plots that make sense, instead of being all random flash and style. (I've been so fed up with the declining quality of Castle mysteries that I've quit the show.) An episode should not end with viewers confused as to what happened, or doubting the plausibility of the story.

Anyway, tonight was the House finale. I stopped watching the show many seasons ago, but came back for the end since I heard about Wilson's cancer. He's the one guy I still cared about on the show, and I'm glad he didn't die onscreen. I found House's brooding and talking to past characters in his head boring, but at least the bastard finally decided to make a sacrifice for his friend Wilson. Going to the extreme of faking his death and being unable to ever resume his old life, suggests a very deep love indeed. The two of them riding off into the sunset together is ambiguous enough that we can imagine them living slashily ever after if we want. It may be bromantic crumbs, but it's a lot better than many shows lately that don't want to support sexual ambiguity. (I was very upset about Person of Interest introducing Grace out of nowhere, destroying past continuity for gay panic.) Some viewers said the fake death was reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes's death in "Final Problem". Well, sort of, but with Watson joining him on his hiatus, with no marriage in the way, but a real impending death to shorten their happiness. It was sentimental and schmaltzy, like the ending to E. M. Forster's Maurice. But sometimes we like our sentimental fairy tales.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Elementary trailer

Yay! CBS posted a preview for Elementary on Youtube. We don't see a lot of Captain Gregson in this one. Instead there's some other local NY cop having friction with Holmes on the case. I'm puzzled by the mentions of Holmes's father. Is he in America, or just able to arrange things from Britain? I also find "sober companion" to be a weird job title for Joan Watson. They can't just call her his NA sponsor or something? Even if he wouldn't join a group like Narcotics Anonymous, surely there's some other general term for a person who helps an addict transition out of rehab?

But I love the scene where Holmes apologizes to Watson for crashing her car, and says she's a good investigator. I'm glad that she seems not to be a doormat to him, asking to be let in on the full investigation. I have yet to see her do any ass-kicking, though. Hopefully it will be in the full pilot and the full series.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prelude - 5000 Downloads

My Holmes ebook has reached 5,000 downloads now, after about 2 years and 5 months. Nice milestone, though sadly I have not finished a sequel to Prelude yet.

The stats on Feedbooks say that 26% of downloads are from the US, 10% from China, and the rest scattered around the world. Interesting that it's so popular even in non-English speaking countries.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

CBS orders Elementary

CBS officially picked up Elementary for the fall season. I'm excited, but impatient. I want to see the pilot already, or at least read the script. They might air it, or maybe clips from it, during the network upfronts. Of course, I won't get to see it, as I'm not member of the TV press. I hope Alan Sepinwall, or some other blogger I can find, will write about it.

Speaking of other Sherlocks, I saw The Avengers yesterday. It was a good movie, and I could follow most of it, except for some vague nuances about Captain America's past, Thor's past, who Hawkeye was, and the identity of the Thanos villain during the post-credits scene. (I only learned Thanos's name, and the fact that there was a 2nd post-credits scene, by reading about it online.) I liked the funny banter, and that there was genius bonding between Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. I didn't trust Hawkeye at first after Black Widow knocked him out, because I really didn't believe that it would be that easy to undo Loki's brainwashing. I kept waiting for Hawkeye to betray the Avengers, but finally gave up and just enjoyed his arrow-shooting. He was as impressive and sexy as Jude Law's Watson. I also loved how awesome Black Widow was, not only in fighting, but in her heartbroken act when talking to Loki in the cell. Anyway, good movie.

I like strong, badass women, and I hope that Lucy Liu as Joan Watson will be in the same mold as Black Widow, or maybe like Nikita. (I've been rewatching season 1 of Nikita most of last night and today, in celebration of its renewal.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Great week

This has been a good week, what with Obama supporting marriage equality, and Nikita getting renewed. I even gave Obama a donation for his speech. (I've been supporting mostly Texas democrats instead this year.) Today is a municipal election day, so I'm going go out and vote. I had a tough time finding any information on the local candidates, but I did research a bit on the League of Women Voters site. I still have to read more about the Congressional candidates in the May 29th Democratic primary, but at least I'm prepared for today's election.

Anyway, after voting, I'll go and try to catch a showing of The Avengers that isn't sold out. Mostly I want to see RDJ again, and haven't seen any of the non-Iron Man movies leading up to it. I hope I'll be able to understand it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Point of Origin, part 7

Here at last is the mating scene in my Sherlock is a Vulcan fic

Fandom: BBC Sherlock/Star Trek
Story: Point of Origin
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Warnings: slash, interspecies sex, strong language, Rated R

Point of Origin, part 6

As much as I hate the BBC versions of Moriarty and Irene Adler, I do still love Sherlock and John for the most part. So I'm belatedly trying to finish my pon farr fic. This chapter turned out long, so I'll post the sex scene in part 7 instead.

Fandom: BBC Sherlock/Star Trek
Story: Point of Origin
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Warnings: slash, interspecies snogging, PG-13

Scandal In Belgravia

I was really debating with myself whether I'd watch the Sherlock season 2 premiere when it aired on PBS this weekend. I want to support PBS, and I've been rather offended that people have been blaming PBS for the cuts in the show and accusing Rebecca Eaton of unprofessionalism when fucking Steve Moffat is an internet troll abusing his fans constantly. Plus he and his wife Sue Vertue have been goading Sherlock fans into going to every article about Elementary, to bash it and accuse it of copyright infringement. You ruin your own goddamn show, and you can't let me enjoy the idea that somebody else will do it different? Talk about unprofessional.

But I wondered if I should just let go of my grudge too. Just delete this episode from my DVR unwatched and say, "It's just a TV show. There's way more horrifying stuff in the real world to feel outrage over. Let it go."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sherlock Holmes on Shmoop

I just discovered this website called Shmoop which seems to be a study-guide for students preparing for college tests. In a very casual, jokey manner, they give summaries and commentary on various literary texts. I found them discussing The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and they made a point to actually mention the bromance:
...the bromance scale goes up to eleven in these stories. Holmes's relationship with Dr. John Watson is so emotionally satisfying that Watson's wife Mary eventually just dies so that the two guys can be roomies again.
Plus they also emphasize that Holmes is a good man, helping people out with his superhero deductive powers. He's not a psychopath who doesn't care about people. He has plenty of ethics and sympathy, even if he takes the law into his own hands sometimes.
 Speaking of having him on our side, Holmes totally uses his powers for good. Everyone in Victorian London, from the lowliest governess to the highest nobleman, eventually comes to see Holmes when they need help. He's like a super-genius, disguise-loving Victorian version of Dear Abby. And it's reassuring to read about a guy who just goes around making sure that life is fair for the little guy.
This is the character I love. The man that's about Truth, Justice, and the British Way. I suspect it's what Watson loved too.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

To my profound relief, I found that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was playing in my area after all. It's really annoying that movie websites don't make this clear until the last moment.

It was very warm and funny, but also sad and moving as well. There were seven British retirees, as well as a few significant Indian characters, in the movie. There was only one married couple among the Brits, while the others were single, divorced, or widowed. In fact, Judi Dench's character had to sell her flat because her late husband had kept her in the dark about his debts. She goes to India instead of moving in with her son to be independent, and she even gets a job for the first time. (I found the coincidence of her being hired by the same company where Sonny's girlfriend worked a little too pat. Sonny is the hotelkeeper played by Dev Patel.) Tom Wilkinson has a great part as a judge who grew up in India long ago and wants to return to find an old lover. Maggie Smith's character only goes to India to get a hip replacement, and intends to leave once she's healed. But of course plans and people have a way of changing.

There's some cliches and predictability to the plot, though I was pleasantly surprised at times. I also felt that the Mrs. Ainsley character was underwritten to the point that I can't remember her first name. Her actions were all over the place and her motivations unclear. But otherwise I was mostly satisfied and glad to have seen the movie. It was certainly well worth missing the Avengers for, at least until next week.

I hope that Hysteria will similarly not disappoint when it comes out later this month. Surely it too will not be hard to find in theatres?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May movies

I didn't see most movies in March and April. I only saw the Chimpanzee movie and was mildly interested in The Raven but decided that I wouldn't be able to stomach the gruesome horror aspects; Poe's stories have always creeped me out without illustrations let alone film images that could stick in my nightmares. The premise of The Hunger Games held no interest to me, nor was the description "the next Twilight" very encouraging. If I want to see an apocalyptic movie about fighting to survive, I'll take Daybreakers with Ethan Hawke and Sam Neill.

I was hoping to see more movies in May because I was interested in both Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Hysteria. In fact I was going to see Marigold Hotel instead of Avengers on May 4th, only to learn that the limited release means it will be nowhere near my state, let alone my city, that weekend. That was highly disappointing. So it's either watch the Avengers, in which I only care about Iron Man, or stay home and watch more Jeremy Brett episodes.

This is particularly annoying as that weekend is also the premiere of Sherlock season 2 on PBS. Fuck that crap.

So I gotta hope that Marigold Hotel comes to me soon, and that Hysteria won't be in such extreme limited release either.