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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. Things have changed a lot for the post-graduates since we were in school--mostly economic factors. I graduated in the late 1980s and, though I stayed with my parents for a bit until I got a job, back then it was generally considered a mark of shame and a Failure to Launch situation to still be living at home with one's parents much past 25, 26-and only THEN if you were enrolled fulltime in grad school . . or if you were a single parent/post divorce or your parents had significant health issues. Those were all good reasons--but living at home simply because one had not been able or willing to find a self-supporting income generating job by the time one was in the late 20s or beyond . . that was major depression-making stuff. In fact, I can clearly remember my college commencement day. After the ceremony and loading the car to come home (a 45 minute drive, so. close) I had no sooner dropped my bags in the foyer when my dad said, conversationally, "So--how long do you think you'll be staying here?" I had barely spent any time at home during the last three years, owing to 2-3 campus jobs during school terms and full-time summer employment at a resort in another state. Gee, love you too, Dad. . . .but my parents, frugal Germanic-Lutherans, were perhaps even less coddling than other parents in their peer group. Today's 18-34 year olds are facing the bleakest job market and the most crushing loads of student debt . . ever . . and the digital SM culture predisposes them even less to get out there and network in the real world, perhaps. Since most or many of their friends are in the same boat, it's not the marker of shame and failure it used to be--just cold, economic reality.
  2. Out of all the ships on this show, probably the most outlier one, given that there is zero textual evidence to support it and the two principals do not, in fact, share a single scene together, though there is a distinct reference to them having met or at least being in communication (cf. The Hounds of Baskerville) is MYSTRADE. This ship is so bizarre but zany fun, as evidenced by the minority, yet singularly crafted and deeply felt fan vids devoted to the passionate, if clandestine, smokin' romance between DI Greg Lestrade and Mycroft Holmes. Mycroft is, one assumes, even more rigorously asexual than his Little Brother, who after all, did have at least One Woman in his life. But as played by M. Gatiss and Rupert Graves--one can certainly see the attraction of Mycroft for the strapping working-class Inspector. "I don't just do what your brother tells me" opens up some delicious sub-textual possibilities if one is so inclined. Personally I think DI Lestrade is as butch as a Yorkie bar and is really into Molly, so there's my ship--Molstrade. They are the easiest match and I think would be a very harmonious couple. Molly has a similar skill set to Sherlock, but I think Sherl can only ever view her as a fiesty little sister. A valuable person to have in his corner, but not a romantic interest. The Sherlolly videos are cute, though. Everyone is so very inventive with all the ships.
  3. Re. JohnLock Based on the numbers of YouTube fanvids devoted to this ship, a majority of viewers interpret John and Sherl as having romantic attachment to one another, even if it remains unacted upon. I certainly spent many happy hours enjoying the craftsmanship of JohnLock shipping videos. The subtext and clues are certainly plentiful if one chooses this interpretation. It got pretty ugly that last season in the fandom when many fans under the LGTBQ+ banner accused the show creators of gay-baiting by, as they saw it, priming the audience for a consummated gay relationship between John and Sherlock and then pulling back from providing it. I think the view of Mofftiss was that the relationship between the two flatmates of 221B is in the eye of the beholder, though it did seem that as the series progressed, more types of 'Are they . .?/Aren't they . . ' banter and innuendo was inserted. Mark Gatiss is of course openly gay and he didn't seem adverse to the idea, but both showrunners stopped short of stating outright that it was their intent to suggest a gay relationship at the center of their show. This kind of speculation around Holmes and Watson was percolating even in the 19th century shortly after their first appearance in print. There was a rather lively original fandom dedicated to 'lavender' musings about our Baker Street duo. Of course, in that era and even more recently than that, two single bachelors sharing digs in a very expensive city in order to save money was commonplace, and didn't have any sexual connotations at all. Females can and do share living accommodation all the time without it being automatically considered Sapphic in nature, but even for them, after a 'certain' age--ie, too deep into the 30s--speculation does arise, and it seems to be even earlier than that for men who have not settled down with a wife much after the 20s. Now that the *majority* of post-Millennials between the ages of 18-34 are living with parents rather than independently or with any romantic partner/spouse, maybe this sort of speculation will die down. When our literary pair meet, they are both in the later 20s and already out of step for their time vis-a-vis matrimony. But seeing as Sir Arthur was a devout Catholic who was himself married, and writing in a time when homosexuality was a crime, it is a surety that he never intended the relationship of Holmes and Watson to be read as sexual/romantic, despite his collegial relationship with Oscar Wilde. That has, then and now, been inserted by the fans and by other interpretive works, such as this show and TPLOSH. I really went into TPLOSH expecting it to be 'more gay' than it actually is. Sherlock Holmes bathes freely in front of Watson and takes umbrage at Watson prying into his romantic history without ever directly answering to his preferences. He intimates that he is not heterosexual and thus not interested when propositioned by a ballerina diva to be the father of her child . . but that was more a joke to get out of a sticky situation with persons SH does not respect. If anything, Robert Stephens' version is certified heterosexual by seeming to fall for a woman who betrays him. I myself read Holmes' and Watson's relationship as that of two freres de guerre--brothers-in-arms--who have an abiding friendship that is not romantic but has the intensity of having each found 'their' person in the world--not for sexual outlet, but as two minds/spirits that complement each other and complete each other in a way that neither had found with anyone else. As men, and Victorian men in particular, a male friendship of this depth and complexity is really rare. John, as the more emotional one, is more effusive about what this connection means to him in emotional terms. Sherlock is always the more reticent one, distrusting of rank 'emotions' and seeming to demean his friend for being too soggy in the emotional quadrant. But SH is a man of deep feeling as well as deep thought--feeling too deep for words most of the time and kept in check by superhuman self-restraint and discipline. But when SH lets the feelings out, there is no mistaking the genuineness of them. “My friend's wiry arms were around me and he was leading me to the chair. "You're not hurt, Watson? For God's sake say that you're not hurt!" It was worth a wound -it was worth many wounds- to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay beyond that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain.”--The Adventure of the Three Garidebs
  4. I read that news early yesterday. How devastating. She leaves behind her husband and two children--her youngest is an 8-month old baby. Post-partum depression? Who knows. When I see a young, beautiful person, with a successful career & kids who are depending on them take their own life, it brings home that nobody can really ever know what another person is feeling, even their nearest and dearest. At last check, Japan has the highest rate of suicide in the world, followed closely by other Asian countries. Having lived there, I saw at first hand what a pressure cooker that society is. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but it seems like since the pandemic has hit, there have been a rash of high-profile celebrity suicides, many of them among Asian stars. I don't know if the pandemic is the catalyst here, but the uncertainty of not having any work or knowing how long this will go on must be insurmountable for some. Arts and entertainment are going to be suffering for years to come. Yuko Takeuchi was a fantastic female Sherlock. My thoughts go out to her family. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-54314962
  5. In the beginning, which for us was March-April over here, the official recommendation was that masks were 'useless' for the general public. You should wear one if you were ill, but they were not recommended for healthy people. At that stage, they were trying to preserve vicariously low PPE stocks for first responders and healthcare workers who were having to resort to wearing bandanas and garbage bags. The hoarding situation with certain short-supply items like toilet paper was already extreme, and people were getting busted with garages and sheds full of PPE and sanitizers which they were selling online at gouging prices. I understand the impetus behind discouraging the hoarding of PPE, but in my opinion it was a fatal error to discourage mask-wearing altogether. Because within a few months nearly all areas had to reverse themselves and mandate mask wearing, and these scientific professionals just looked like idiots. My own state governor was one of the first nationwide to impose lockdown measures & pretty early on he tried to impose a mask mandate statewide, only to retract that order the next day, having received an earful of dissent from his constituency. 'Dissent' is a polite term . . .before too long both the governor and his Dept. of Health director Dr. Amy Acton would receive numerous threats of violence upon their person & their family members and have belligerent protestors camped outside of their homes. Such unrelenting harassment led Dr. Acton to step down, and her designated replacement, another female physician, accepted the job and then resigned before she even started, probably spooked by the unrest here. At least to my knowledge, unmasked protesters did not storm the statehouse in Columbus with semi-automatic weapons, as they did for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the north in Michigan. It's ugly and it is still as divided as ever. Just in the last few days the CDC has issued another set of revised guidelines saying that they have a 'new understanding' of how the coronavirus spreads. It's definitely aerosolized. I'm no science major, but I could have said, Well, duh. We have known since the beginning that this is a respiratory illness. We have had a century now to get a handle on the influenza family of coronaviruses. This one may be 'novel' but so far it has behaved like other viruses in its mode of transition. Therefore, they should have stressed the mask wearing from the earliest days. Instead of pushing masks early and often, they had people spending many fruitless hours quarantining their Amazon boxes and washing their groceries. The emphasis was in the wrong area, largely to make people feel more in control, I think. It is far easier to sanitize packages and wash your hands then to combat invisible particles floating through the air. So I cannot blame the President entirely for his resistance to masks and his disregarding of scientific evidence when even the 'top infectious disease experts in the world' couldn't agree on what the risks were and kept flip-flopping in their advice. It is crystal clear to me that the scientists and the political leaders are now following a course that reopens the economy at the expense of the public health, but that's because the people have spoken by their actions that they'd rather have the choice to go to bars and take their chances with the virus. Only, many of the people who get sick and die won't be the ones who took the risk in the first place. I can, and do, blame Mr. Trump for dismantling, in January 2019, a year before this current health crisis, the very task force/agency at the federal level designed for pandemic response. That was a boneheaded move. It stands to reason that that which cannot harm may potentially help, and that's the case with face masks. They have been proven to reduce transmission, by science, not just anecdote. If they did not work, then we wouldn't be seeing states and counties reducing their spread enough to go from Level Red Alert to Levels Orange or Yellow (in descending order of badness) within just 2-3 weeks of mandated mask usage. It's not 100% impregnable and a minority of wearers do experience breathing issues that make mask wearing inadvisable for them--but they do work, in the same way that if you have an open cut, you are better off wearing a band aid to prevent infection than not.
  6. The President did a number of things wrong in his handling of the pandemic, but the Democrats get the luxury of saying that they would have handled it differently, without having to prove it. There is no knowing that a Democratic President would have done much different on some of the big issues. Mr. Trump has a handicap particular to him, though, which is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This makes him constitutionally incapable of admitting fault, admitting that he doesn't know everything or allowing anyone else to be 'the expert'. He cannot tolerate dissenting opinions, which he perceives as challenges to his authority. And he is obsessed with his image, and his idea of what makes a man or a leader comes out of a childhood and a lifetime steeped in toxic masculinity. Had he been able to put aside his ego enough to do two very simple things, he would have demonstrated more leadership and I'd be happier with him. 1. Listen to his advisors, including Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci and let them run the coronavirus briefings instead of him always butting in. 2. Modelled mask-wearing far sooner to his constituents and the American public in general and promoted the idea that 'Real men wear masks'. The so-called health experts have a hefty share of the blame for the confusion around masks. I'm looking at the CDC, Fauci & Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Had they pushed them much sooner, we may not have had to go to such restrictive lockdowns. It's too late; Pandora's box is open and there's no closing it. Covid, like flu, is with mankind forever. But had the President immediately and stoically embraced mask-wearing and promoted it to the American public and most especially his fan base, I do not think the issue would have become as politicized as it has. He has fueled t his fire by jeering at mask wearers, refusing to wear a mask, bullying his subordinates into not wearing masks--when he had a chance to display leadership, and he blew it.
  7. The exclusion of Mr. Brett from the knighthood list rankles, though it would be more for us than for him at this point. I'm sure charitable activities are favorably looked upon but I rather doubt every single person on the Honors lists engages in visible humanitarian works to earn their standing. The honors are for 'services to the country' in their chosen discipline, and Mr. Brett certainly excelled in his. Even a few Americans have honorary knight/damehoods. Charitable works would be more expected among this contingent of non-Britons, and the Gateses are featured, along with Bob Hope and Angelina Jolie, who have done their bit for charity organizations. J. Edgar Hoover is a quizzical choice, as is Ralph Lauren. Maybe Princess Anne and family are fans of his designs? He specializes in sporty clothes for the well-heeled horsey set. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/awards-and-accreditation/content/103441 Selected American recipients: George H W Bush GCB Dwight D Eisenhower GCB Bill Gates KBE Melinda Gates DBE Mark Getty KBE Paul Getty KBE Billy Graham KBE J Edgar Hoover KBE Bob Hope KBE Angelina Jolie DCMG Ralph Lauren KBE Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin KBE André Previn KBE Ronald Reagan GCB Dame Marjorie Scardino DBE Steven Spielberg KBE
  8. I understand completely. I work with a 24-year old. Sweet girl; she has never seen any of the movies that I watched throughout my 1980s youth. She and her equally young pal go on about stars they like. To me, Tom Holland looks like he could be in the 7th grade. My music may as well have come from the Big Band era. I feel young(ish) . . until I'm around her and remember that I'm the same age as her mom. Politics have always been contentious, but there's always been, at least until now, a shared, if mostly unspoken agreement about what constitutes "Presidential"--or leadership at the highest level, behavior. Compulsive tweeting in the the middle of the night and calling military heroes 'losers' for getting captured or killed in battle are definitely not it. I don't know that I blame the 1980s. I think the blame lies in the rise of the Internet and digital culture. It has certainly enabled incivility as pretty much the default at every level of society. Anonymity breeds incivility. Incivility begets violence. And just in general, ignorance is off the charts. Our intellectual discipline has gone down the toilet along with our compassion and our manners. The 24-hour cable news cycle and the Internet had a big hand in this too. And smartphones. Technology is becoming our destruction. Rather than it serving us, we serve it.
  9. Caya, Love the campaign sticker! I think a lot of people are feeling that way this year. DT has become our worst-case scenario in the Oval Office. I took a gamble on him four years ago because at that time he seemed like the better of the two options. I will never vote for a Clinton as long as I draw breath, and I regard HRC as more malign than her husband. DT was the outlier, but I thought, why not let a successful businessman become CEO of America for a spell? I thought he'd know how to run a meeting, at least, and he had promised (lying, as it turns out) that he had a gift for surrounding himself with good people and said he would take advice. His status as a Washington outsider was his biggest draw. I watched him for a few years on his NBC vanity project, The Apprentice, where he actually had impressed me during the boardroom portions with an air of executive authority. The contestants got nasty with one another, but he never got nasty, or devolved into the petty name-calling that has marked his Presidency. He was more Presidential presiding over a fake boardroom set than he has been since assuming office. He's always been an egotistical self-promoter with a 'colorful' history with women. But those describe a great many, if not the majority, of career politicians. Nobody ever rose high in national politics by being a shrinking violet with a self-confidence problem. and I assumed that there had to be some leadership qualities in there somewhere. Candidate Trump still had the advantage of perceived potential, but his deterioration into a malignant loose cannon has been frightening to watch. I think there is definite brain disease going on there. Donald does not touch alcohol so it's something more organic. He's getting worse with every passing day. My friend who is an occupational therapist for brain trauma patients says she's convinced he's exhibiting a form of dementia. My mother has requested her ballot as well and says that she is going to leave the President bubble blank. There are other issues besides this one to vote on, but as tempting as that option sounds, I feel obligated to pick one. No matter what I do, I am not going to feel good afterwards.
  10. I was 8 years old when Nixon resigned due to the Watergate scandal. I remember my dad having the TV on and watching the Presidential helicopter lift off from the White House lawn. I didn't fully comprehend what was happening, but I knew from the atmosphere that it was very grave. Trump has done a number of things far worse than Watergate, without repercussions. Had the Senate not voted down straight partisan lines, he would have been impeached. He has done far worse things than lying about getting sexual favors from an intern . . but so did Bill--and his wife. At this level of national politics, I believe all hands are dirty to some extent because one simply cannot gain the powerful base of party and financial support one needs to mount a Presidential race without making some unsavory bedfellows. The nastiness of Presidential politics reared its ugly head in the *very first* contested election--who would succeed General Washington. Human beings were ever thus. I do think that the best man prevailed quite a few times in our history, and some of those faces now adorn Mt. Rushmore. The choice before us this year is the most unpalatable one American voters have ever had to make, I think. Certainly the most unpalatable of my lifetime. I cast my first vote at 18 for Mr. Reagan while I was still in high school. John Kasich, my former state governor who competed against Trump for the Republican nomination has publicly endorsed Joe Biden, along with a number of other high-profile Republicans. This must be nearly unprecedented. Biden has stated that if elected, he would consider himself a 'placeholder President.' Not exactly a ringing endorsement of himself as a candidate, but whatever his frailties at the age of 77, at least he is not personality disordered like the current occupant. DT meets all the markers for malignant Narcissism and is incapable of change; this is how he was wired in early childhood and there's no undoing it. I have a very strong hunch that the Democrats plan to have Mr. Biden step down after a year citing 'health reasons', thereby installing their real choice--the ultra-liberal black woman, Sen. Harris. This is what my gut is telling me. If not that, then Biden would almost certainly step down after one term and Harris would run for President after her four-year 'audition' as VP. I am not opposed to having a female minority President--I just don't want it to happen via backdoor methods that subvert the electorate & the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution. That could damage female candidates' chances for decades to come. That would be extremely sneaky . . and I don't rule out the Dems doing precisely that. Mr. Obama has publicly supported his former VP, but there's an anecdote going around that attributes him as saying privately that "Joe is going to (bleep) it up." My absentee ballot has been duly requested and should be on its way to me soon. Never have I dreaded a task more than I do filling it out this year.
  11. Here in Indiana, for example, things never were as bad as in places like New York City, and the situation has already improved considerably, so the government is currently requiring only that stores "encourage" people to wear masks (and most people are complying), which seems good enough to me. Basically, I don't see the point of businesses being stricter than their government is requiring. But in situations (such as public transportation or medical facilities) where I believe even Indiana is *requiring* masks, or in localities where things are still really bad and the government is *requiring* people to wear masks whenever they're in public, then I agree with you. I didn't mean to encourage anyone to ignore their government's COVID regulations, which seem to be there for a good reason (or at least a best guess.) Carol, since you wrote this on July 14th, things have changed for the worse, haven't they? Indiana is one of the states the CDC and Dr. Fauci have singled out as having concerning spikes in infection rates. For that, I imagine you can thank all the college kids in Bloomington and South Bend and Indianapolis. Across the border here in Ohio, we have been on a statewide mask mandate since early August. My county had gone to a Red Level alert and had been under a mask order for about 2 weeks earlier. I work in a public library and we have been wearing masks here all day, every day since May 6th when we returned to the building, as staff & for the public since June 22nd, when we reopened our doors. That was by the directive of our board of trustees and director. We've had some pushback by anti-mask patrons but not very bad. The county is making cloth masks available for free at local businesses and we've received a box of some 2000+ and before that we were passing out free paper ones as needed. Here's what a state-wide mask mandate looks like in reality: Businesses are required to post signage about masks and distancing and they do; if a customer chooses to ignore the sign and enter the business anyway, mostly they are not be confronted and asked to leave by management, who are unwilling to subject themselves to violence over this issue. A mask mandate does not have the force of law *for the citizens*. The governor has created a task force that goes around the state investigating complaints and issuing citations against businesses in violation of the Covid protocols. This escalates from warnings to heavy fines to potential revocation of operating licenses. So the ones receiving penalties will not be the customers but the businesses who do not compel compliance.
  12. He was fantastic. Going the opposite direction, Hugh Laurie stuns a lot of people who didn't know he was British when he starts using his regular accent. I will chuckle forever at the anecdote he tells about getting the lead on "House". He was on location for another project and recorded his audition video for House while sitting on the floor of his bijou hotel bathroom, probably for the acoustics. Executive producer Bryan Singer saw it and exclaimed, "Now *there* is just the kind of undiscovered American talent we've been looking for!" Hugh was, of course, at that time, one of the best-known and beloved comic actors in England, having starred in Jeeves and Wooster, Fry and Laurie and Blackadder, plus a whole bunch of other TV films. He made the irascible Dr. House such a sexy beast and that accent never wavered. It didn't really have a regional flavor to my ear, but the show was set at a fictional New Jersey hospital. Hugh is also a musician with a particular interest in blues and jazz and he plays about 14 different instruments. He's got a few albums out and I've seen him perform on the talk shows. He sounds American when he sings.
  13. One of the most egregious EVER was Genevieve O'Reilly, who played a CIA officer and love interest of Lucas North (Richard Armitage) in S8 of Spooks (MI-5). Her character was supposed to be a Boston native posted from Washington. The Boston accent is notoriously difficult, and Ms. O'Reilly could never get a bead on it. She'd start out pretty well, but in any given episode, her accent would go from Bah-ston to New Yawk (think Carmela Soprano) to Southern belle and back again--in the same speech. Perhaps to her ear these all sounded the same. It was a long season. Her performance was so distracting that I'd cringe whenever she appeared. It was torture for the viewers and I'm sure for her as well. The character needed to be someone from a place she could do. The Southern was the least bad, but most UK actors who are insecure about their American accents take refuge in the Southern because it is the easiest. I was informed by my Shakespeare professor in college that the modern Atlanta-Georgia accent was in fact transplanted from the Midlands of a bygone age. They might have easily written her as the product of an English upbringing working for the CIA. Somebody like Gillian Anderson or Gwyneth Paltrow, who are American by birth but spent significant portions of their formative years in England, rendering them bi-dialectal. Generally in series TV, parts that call for an American will be played by indigenous Brit actors owing to the British actor's union and stiff penalties of 10s of thousands of pounds a day charged against the production if they hire non-British actors. I suppose a similar situation exists Stateside. Maybe with their greater production budgets, U.S. productions don't care, or else it is easier for a visiting foreign performer to secure a SAG card? Don't know. Along a similar line, has anyone ever wondered why Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) with her plummy British accent is training American soldiers in American uniform? Two of the UK's most esteemed actors really struggle with Yank accents and should never bother because we don't want to hear them sounding any other way than their glorious selves: Sirs Anthony Hopkins and Michael Caine. You could check out their painful attempts at American in The Innocent (1993) or Mr. Morgan's Last Love (2013), but I would not recommend it. In The Innocent, Hopkins plays an American CIA operative named 'Bob Glass' working in the American sector of East Berlin during the Cold War. The cast also features American Campbell Scott, playing a British colleague & the Swedish-Italian Isabella Rosselli playing a German housefrau. Very interesting casting decisions here. Mr. Scott's British accent was not objectionable, but they might have solved Sir Tony's difficulty by simply having the two leads switch nationalities. Oh, I almost forgot--Anthony Hopkins was Oscar-nominated for his starring turn in 'Nixon'. It was certainly a game performance from him, but in my opinion, he neither looked nor sounded much at all like the real Nixon. Dick had very sharp features in a more angular face and Mr. Hopkins' features are quite rounded. Brown contacts alone couldn't make up for the completely opposite bone structure, body type and speaking manner, because I think he struggled mightily with the accent here too. Nixon's voice was distinctive. I've heard a lot of bad American accents in British shows I watch, like Inspector Morse and its spin-off Lewis and Foyle's War. Henry Goodman (born in Whitechapel) turns up a lot as 'the American heavy'. He briefly replaced Nathan Lane on Broadway in The Producers, and that kind of OTT cartoony New Yorker hammy accent seems to be his go-to. Offering apologies to any British readers here (hi, Herl!) or just non-Americans in general, if we all truly sound like braying donkeys to your ears. If so, how hideous! If I'm honest, too many of my countrymen and women on TV and in radio do sound very abrasive, and the more British shows I watch, the more I notice this. Zoe Boyle (lately of Downton Abbey's ill-fated Lavinia who expires of the influenza after a brief engagement to Matthew, thereby clearing the decks for the woman he really wants, Mary) appeared in an episode of Lewis playing 'the U.S. Secretary of State's daughter' who was studying at Oxford. Ms. Boyle is very pretty, and I could forgive the fact that her American Princess character's wardrobe was indistinguishable from any of the other Oxford undergrads--adaptive coloring--but her accent made my ears bleed. Points for effort, but . . .nyet.
  14. I like Mr. Duvall as an actor, but I'm not sure why, out of all the potential Watsons they could have had who were actually British, they went with an American. Mr. Duvall isn't even a Watson 'type.' JW is always conceived as the proper English gentleman, but why have we never had a proper Scottish John Hamish Watson? That's a big oversight! It's been a long time since I've seen the movie, but didn't Alan Arkin play Sigmund Freud as a sort of parody? An English correspondent once said that she couldn't stand Renee Zellweger's accent in Bridget Jones's Diary. She thought it was really bad. I thought it was a fair effort for a girl from Texas, and Renee had actually moved to London and lived there for most of a year before production, to get into character. She had gone undercover for several months and worked in a PR agency just like the movie Bridget, to perfect her accent. Her co-stars Colin Firth and Hugh Grant said that when she showed up at the cast party 'talking in a funny voice'--her native Texan accent--they were shocked she wasn't British. I think they may have been being chivalrous there--Renee had been nominated for an Academy Award a few years prior for Jerry Maguire. She wasn't a massive star yet in 2001, but she got a LOT of buzz for that breakout role in 1996. It seems incredible that they they wouldn't have crossed paths with her at some awards show prior to Bridget . .but that's their story and they are sticking to it. I'm sure British women on the whole didn't think an American should be playing Bridget Jones. I consider it a form of (mild) revenge for Scarlett O'Hara. Bridge is no Scarlett and the two books can't even be compared, but for a time there in the late '90s, Bridget Jones was a cultural phenom in the chick lit genre.
  15. Lucy as a blonde is horrifying. I kept hoping it would be revealed as a wig for an undercover case, but no . . I don't know if she actually dyed her hair or it was a wig, but the reason given was that Watson wanted to change her look. It was awful with her skin tone. If she did actually bleach her hair, she ruined her best feature because Lucy has (had) lovely hair. Liu always came across in interviews as bubbly and upbeat. She is an avid art collector and fan of interior design; has a lot of friends and it looked like they were having a blast on the set. She appears to be able to laugh at herself and be very energetic. So I can't really fathom her choice to consistently play Watson as such a downbeat pill all the time. Despite having a pretty sweet situation in terms of her living arrangements and interesting work to do, this Watson is always complaining about something. Her angst over her accidentally killing a patient drags on for the length of the series. Granted, that is a big thing to carry, but surgeons have to be able to get back in the saddle. Losing patients is par for the course when one is a doctor. This Watson grew up in a rich and connected family and it seems like she thinks the world owes her something even though she couldn't cut the mustard as a surgeon. Despite that, she lacks humility. I am always in John's corner because despite his self-deprecation in print, he is a competent physician. This doctor/soldier would be among the best educated in any room which does not include a Holmes brother. John could stand on his education and his wartime experiences, but he doesn't--he defers to a greater mind, without always realizing or taking any credit for what he brings to the partnership--humanity, compassion, balance . . and his medical knowledge. SH is a superior scientist, but a lot of his science is theoretical. John has experiential knowledge of science as applied to the human body. John is in every sense a people person, and he balances the detached clinician features of his friend with his warm bedside manner. In this Elementary pairing, SH is supposed to be the more detached one, but I felt more humanity emanating off JLM than LL. John Watson is both resilient and non-judgemental, and Liu's Watson misses the mark entirely. She is a very judgmental type; she holds grudges and exudes the aura that her way is always the superior way. I don't think LL is this way in real life, so why her Watson turned out to be such a self-absorbed B is a bit of a mystery. Also, I found her clothes very irritating. LL is now past 50 but for most of the run they had Watson in these wispy little mini-dresses and ridiculous shoes that were more suitable to a 25-year-old art student. Very inappropriate for the New York winters, too. In the last couple of seasons, Watson's look abruptly morphed into an 'avante garde German lesbian' aesthetic, but at least she adopted trousers and more practical shoes. You're right that the clever casework plots devolved into too much angst in the personal lives of the detectives. LL directed several episodes of the show, and did so very well, so I don't think she could have been as prickly as Joan, or she wouldn't have been invited back to the director's chair so many times. As for Tommy Gregson . . I fantasized about a BBC Sherlock/Elementary crossover episode in which the two commanding inspectors meet and discover accidentally that, separated by an ocean, they are both consulting with detectives calling themselves 'Sherlock Holmes'. The game's afoot as Cumberbatch and Freeman jump on the red eye to JFK to unmask the impostors posing as them in America. (Obviously, the 'real' Sherlock lives in London and would never condescend to set up shop in New York.) In my scenario, the two Sherlocks hate one another on sight while John and Joan get on surprisingly well, taking in a Mets game and bonding over shop talk of cardio-thoracic surgery.
  16. Robert Duvall played Dr. Watson opposite Nicol Williamson in The Seven-Percent Solution (1976). The movie also featured Alan Arkin as Dr. Sigmund Freud. The movie didn't feature fake American accents so much as Americans doing fake British and German accents respectively. Laurence Olivier was Moriarty, and I've got to say that's some good casting. The casting of a blond Holmes caused a stir akin to casting a blond James Bond did 30 years later. Found this on the Wiki page for the movie: Mike Hale of The New York Times, after mentioning Robert Downey Jr.'s version of Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock and Jonny Lee Miller in Elementary, opined that Nicol Williamson's Holmes was "the father of all those modern Holmeses"[12] claiming the film "established the template for all the twitchy, paranoid, vulnerable, strung-out Holmeses to come."[12] Elementary is blessedly over with--it ended a couple of seasons ago. For some reason Lucy Liu spent the entire truncated final season as a blonde. It was a terrible look. But then, I think her Watson is pretty terrible. I watched Elementary for other reasons besides the two leads, which I found dreary and irritating. I liked the production design--the show is like a valentine to New York City--the inventive supporting casting of parts like Mycroft (Rhys Ifans); The Woman (Natalie Dormer); Lestrade (Sean Pertwee); Kitty Winter (Ophelia Lovibond) & Holmes, Sr. (John Noble). If I had to sum up the two biggest reasons I watched it, they would be: Aidan Quinn (Lt. Tommy Gregson) and Clyde, the tortoise. Clyde hates Taylor Swift and so do I.
  17. Herl, After the discussion of the Enola Holmes film, I watched Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows again over the weekend. Still good! I have really warmed up to RDJ's Holmes. He is definitely not in the classic mold of Sherlocks of the past. Unrelentingly Extrovert and definitely not lanky and skinny. Holmes may be a pugilist in practice, but RDJ is built like one. He's got excellent Sherlock hair, and what I think makes him successful overall is that Holmes esprit of indefatigable self-confidence & enthusiasm for the game afoot. He tends to be very nasty to Mrs. Hudson, and she takes the exasperation to a new level . . I think we miss the maternal indulgence of her relationship with her troublesome tenant, and I do not recall Sherlock of canon every being intentionally rude. Demanding, yes, but he always makes it up to her. I think Mrs. H. has come 'round to accepting that life without SH living upstairs would be a lot more peaceful, but a lot more dull. The chess showdown with Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls is the highlight of that film, and for me, personally, I think it's the highlight of RDJ's performance as Holmes across both films. We've seen him have a great romp and chew the scenery and do the disguises with relish--but when it's just he and Moriarty in a room having a quiet, if malignant conversation, finally we see the gravitas and heroism of Sherlock Holmes, in his 'final sacrifice'. And unlike the story of Dr. Watson, he truly does go over the Falls with his adversary. No trickery here--he sees his duty through to the end. And then turns up in Watson's flat in his urban camouflage. Sherlock Holmes is, as ever, truly indestructible. But as RDJ plays that final scene, Sherlock Holmes has accepted that he is falling to his death--an acceptable price for taking Moriarty out. Jared Harris's Moriarty is, in my opinion, and absent any cinematic rendition of Michael Kurland's Moriarty, the most fully-realized Moriarty we have ever had on screen. He is bad to the core, but ultimately, views himself as a businessman. He's got zero desire for fame or recognition as a criminal mastermind--he just wants obscene sums of money profiting off death and destruction. As an Englishman, please offer your judgement on Mr. Downey's British accent. It sounds passable to me as a relatively posh accent but it could totally suck.
  18. Is Sherrinford a fan deduction from the original (Victorian) fandom? I seem to recall seeing that name, but in reference to a place called Sherrinford. A lot of what fans have inferred about Sherlock through the centuries, including his ostensible birthday, childhood, early school days, names of his parents & adventures while on Hiatus are fannish deductions. W.S. Baring Gould certainly made his share, since there is no explicit mention in any of the stories about SH's birth, star sign, or family life, apart from Mycroft, and Big Brother only appears twice. Maybe it was owing to a childhood that he wished to forget with extreme poverty and a drunken father that made Sir Arthur so miserly with the details of Sherlock's growing up years. I think David Marcum has acknowledged the fan theory of 'Sherlock Holmes's other brother' but I don't think he'd subscribe to it himself. Two extremely brilliant Holmes siblings are enough geniuses for one family.
  19. Herlock Sholmes, I just visited David Marcum's 17-Step blog for the first time in ages; I was curious if I'd find anything there about the upcoming Netflix project. I didn't; DM's latest entry was dated August 8th. Going out on a limb, not terribly far, I am prepared to say that Mr. Marcum would most likely not look favorably upon this Enola project, for the simple reason that Enola does not exist in Canon but is the entire invention of Ms. Springer. DM is open to established characters being interpreted in fresh ways but would take a dim view of major characters being totally invented and stuck in. Anthony Horowitz's Moriarty, for example, envisions Athelney Jones, one of the lesser Scotland Yarders, as the protagonist in this post-Reichenbach set tale. This is an amplification of a minor character, not an invention. Look what he has to say about Kurland's Moriarty series . . it's positively effusive! Surprising to me, as I'd have thought he'd say that Mr. Kurland mucks around too much with the established character of Professor Moriarty. This was cut-n-paste, so I apologize for the black lines: Professor Moriarty has been featured in several other series of his own. The best, without doubt, are the incredibly clever and well-written books and short stories by Michael Kurland. I discovered these in the late 1970’s when I was a young teenager, just a few years after I’d found Holmes. I bought the paperback of Kurland’s first Moriarty novel, The Infernal Device, and realized that there was a whole world of ways to learn about Holmes in addition to Watson’s viewpoint. This Moriarty wasn’t quite evil – not yet, anyway – and he and his associates were incredibly fascinating. Sadly, there were only five of Kurland’s Moriarty novels published, and four short stories, before the series apparently went on Hiatus in 2014. In the meantime, I’ve consistently pestered Mr. Kurland to write another Moriarty short story for the ongoing series of anthologies that I edit, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, so there’s still hope. Kurland’s Moriarty stories are: • The Infernal Device (1978) • Death by Gaslight (1982) • The Great Game (2001) • The Empress of India (2006) • Who Thinks Evil (2014) • Victorian Villainy (2011 – Short stories, including “The Paradol Paradox”,“Years Ago and in a Different Place”, “Reichenbach”, and “The Picture of Oscar Wilde”) Mr. Kurland has been a contributor to DM's anthology series as I recall, but he has stayed away from doing a Moriarty story.
  20. View Halloa, Book Critic here . .:) According to Amazon, there were six books total in the Enola Holmes series, the last of which was brought out in paperback in late 2011. Looks like the first installment was reissued in paperback in 2018, which was the first time the rumor of this project surfaced on this board. Millie Bobby Brown seems to have been attached back then, when she was 13. She's 16 now, would have been a year older than the 14-year-old Enola during filming. I wonder if it was her commitment to Stranger Things which delayed production and release of this announced project for nearly 3 years. I don't suppose Corona helped any, either. It was probably in the can before this year started, but 'Rona may have hindered the publicity campaign and planned release date and certainly has thrown a wrench in any press tours. The synopsis of the first book goes like this: Enola was a late-life baby, causing something of a scandal in society. Her rather vague mother is a 64-year-old widow who disappears on Enolas 14th birthday. It takes the girl a short time to realize that her mother left her some ciphers that indicate why she went away and how she is faring. The teen reluctantly enlists the services of her adult brothers, who quickly determine that Lady Holmes has been padding the household accounts for years. When they decide that their sister belongs at a boarding school, Enola escapes and heads for London dressed as a widow. There she is able to solve a mystery involving the disappearance of young Viscount Tewksbury. She decides to stay in the city, adopting a number of disguises, and become a Perditorian, or finder of lost things or people. Springer focuses a great deal on the restrictions placed on Victorian females by showing how unusual Enolas bravery and common sense are, even as she often struggles with conventional reactions. She wants her brothers affection, or indeed anyones, but knows that a socially accepted life will strictly limit her freedom and learning. Enolas loneliness, intelligence, sense of humor, and sheer pluck make her an extremely appealing heroine who hopefully will one day find the affection for which she so desperately longs. The lovably daffy Ms. Bonham Carter has a proprietary niche in bohemian vagueness, but I bet she didn't exactly love being cast as a character who is supposed to be 64 years old. She is 10 years younger than that (b. 1966) and looks 10 years younger still. She is plausible as teenage Enola's mum, but she would have had to have been married at 16 to be the mother of the 37-year-old Henry Cavill. If Mycroft is 7 years older than Sherlie, it's not too plausible that she would have birthed him at the age of 9. It's droll that the plot calls for the 14/15 year old girl who isn't even out enough to be out in society to dress as a widow, but I'm sure Millie is game. Hardcore Holmes traditionalists would probably be bored with this, but it does look like a fun romp for the younger set, especially girls. I suspect that the role for Sherlock is rather minimal, as this is supposed to be Enola's show. It doesn't seem that any more Enola adventures will be forthcoming, a decade after Springer ceased publication, but not to miss out on milking some extra profit off a resurgence in interest in this character, all 6 Enola books have been redesigned and reissued as graphic novels, with appealing, manga-style covers. As for the Michael Kurland Moriarty books . . those are indeed fantastic, if one can see one's way past viewing Prof. Moriarty as a rather one-dimensional super-villain. Sherlock's chief antagonist is really presented as the hero of his own parallel set of adventures to Holmes's. He is still amoral, but with a dedicated purpose that seems to him noble--the advancement of scientific discovery rather than the creation of anarchy for kicks and personal gain . . and he is a very droll character. Kurland envisions the Professor as a fully-fleshed out sort of Bizarro Sherlock-on-the-flip-side--what SH would have become had he turned his supreme intellect to pursuits other than the use of deduction to uphold law and order. He's got his own 'Boswell', dedicated Irregulars network and even a mouse-colored dressing gown. It's a very entertaining series, with Sherlock introduced judiciously as the irritating comedy relief. With Moriarty as the 'hero', Sherlock inhabits the 'Lestrade' role of the hectoring buzzkill, and the decidedly less bright, more pedantic one. It's really quite funny.
  21. Probably because they are farmers and intimately attuned to where the sun is? My father was an Air Force navigator in his youth and had an unerring sense of directionality. I get flummoxed by maps because I do not do well with converting 2-D lines on a paper to 3-D spaces in the physical world. I was always really bad at it, which is why I thank God for GPS. Your remark reminds me of a favorite exchange in The Last of the Mohicans: Hawkeye: opines that he and his companions propose to winter in Kantucky. Maj. Heyward: There is a war on! How is it that you are headed west? H: I stand facing north, and then, real subtle like, I turn left.
  22. Any and all enthusiastic participation in my story times is welcome, of course. A lot of the kids are toddlers and have years to learn this stuff. For our kids who are 4, 5 and getting ready to graduate to kindergarten l any early literacy skills they can master before they get to a more organized classroom environment will help them succeed. We've got some 11, 12 year olds who are still hazy on which one is their right hand, so it's not a given that kids will intuit which is which. It's quite shocking to me how many very basic skills a lot of kids never learn. The attitude of a lot of parents is "The school will teach them". Every school would have to a a boarding school with a 1:1 staff-student ratio for schools to cover everything they are supposed to teach!
  23. As a children's librarian, I always do action songs as part of my preschool story times (pre-Corona). When a motion involves right or left I always turn around so the kids can see which side is the correct one. If they copy me from the front they will be raising the wrong hand and learning it wrong. People who aren't used to teaching might not remember to do this.
  24. A warm welcome back from your Hiatus, Herl. How was Lhasa? Like Dr. Watson, I thought you might have left us for good. I did almost faint dead away when I got your View Halloa. Do the cops have your iPad? Hoping that things look up soon . . . So glad you are back!
  25. I'd venture a hypotheses that a greater percentage of actors and artists would tend to left-handedness than the general population owing to the dominance of the Right (creative) brain. So when I see an actor writing with their left hand, I'm like, "Aha! That makes another one." Julia Roberts is a lefty. I'd like to know if that runs in the family with brother Eric and niece Emma. Lisa Edelstein (Cuddy on House) is a lefty as is Robert Sean Leonard (Wilson). Who is of course, the "Watson" of that piece. I had a friend who was decidedly left-handed for the fine motor stuff--writing and eating--but he played sports with his right hand. He had no explanation for this. It seems like it would feel so unnatural to me. We are all right-handers in my family but one sister ties her shoes like a left-handed person. I have deduced that in kindergarten when she was learning how from the teacher, she was mirroring what she saw a right-handed person doing from the front. I have tried repeatedly and failed to tie a shoe left-handed--don't know how she managed it. She was a very shy kid so she wouldn't have dreamed of telling the teacher that this seemed extra especially hard and what was she doing wrong? So the moral of that story is: if you have an opportunity to teach a preschooler (or someone of any age) to tie their shoes, be sure to stand behind them so they can see how their hands are supposed to look. And if your tutee is a lefty and you are not--go find a left-handed person to teach them because it's really better that way.
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