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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. Never too early to get that pre-lighted Christmas tree . . . No, I am not ready for Christmas. I am never ready for Christmas the week of, and I'm still salty about Facebook jamming Halloween memes down my throat, which began approximately a month ago. According to my 'Memories', I was complaining about the identical thing at the exact same time last year, so I'm not imagining the patterns of those sneaky algorithms. Apparently I can't program the algorithm to 'I hate Halloween and all commercial holidays; LEAVE ME ALONE'. Fall and winter holidays are certainly going to look different this year . . no trick-or-treat; no community parties, concerts, holiday musicals, packed malls, packed church services . . No wonder the stores are desperate for people to at least buy Christmas trees. I know three people who have had COVID and recovered. One was a frequent air traveler/convention speaker, and she got it early, in April; one is a nurse working on a COVID unit and one is a long-haul trucker. The last needed to be hospitalized for 4-5 days on oxygen. Ages range from the late forties to the late fifties. No prior conditions. At least two of them are regular exercisers. One's a vegetarian. The other, a long-distance runner who trains constantly. I know anecdotally of a person connected to my nephew's school--the spouse of an administrator--who died back in April--he was 50 years old. There's no rhyme or reason with this. Some patients in their 90s/100+ are walking out of hospitals. Other young adults of 20, 30 . .incredibly fit . .do not survive. With schools opening back up at all levels, I think we are on the precipice of a second wave. It is certainly not a hoax, but I wonder if the enforced shut-down of so much of the economy is going to have proved to be in vain, pretty much, rendering damage that will last for decades. We've all grown up hearing about the terrible travails of the Great Depression, and that's essentially where we are with our widespread unemployment and people going hungry and becoming homeless because they have no income. When my county went on lockdown in mid March, we had something like 14 cases and 1 death due to Covid. Now we are up to 1300 cases and 53 deaths. Draconian lockdown measures didn't actually work, and in any case the American public was not going to stand for more. How bad will it have to get in Jan. - Feb. to face that spectre again? All the elected officials know that COVID is the kyptonite issue. Governors/mayors who attempt to enforce restrictions are committing political suicide, and they are aware of it. Germs don't do politics, and this virus is opportunistically exploiting our political divide for its own survival. As Ned Stark says, "Winter is coming". We are in this for the long haul. I have not seen my 83-year-old mother since February. She has not hugged her grandkids since then, either, though she sees them occasionally. She can't go to church; bell choir and bible studies are cancelled; she rarely goes out anywhere. She was complaining about having to wear the mask when getting groceries--30 minutes,every 2-3 weeks. I am working full time and have to wear the mask for hours every day and get temperature monitored. I exist in a perpetual state of dry mouth. Que sera, sera. Stay healthy, everyone!
  2. Carol, Sorry for the double-posting. I was unaware that the Enola Holmes book series had already been turned into a film series. As this was a brand-new project, I just started a new thread. Kind of surprised Netflix went this route, if there had already been a previous series covering the same ground. A stand-alone feature would be more superficial, unless this is a completely original script that was not taken from any of the books or prior screenplays. I think Netflix or another of the streaming services did a similar think with the Philip Pullman 'Dark Materials' trilogy. Brave, since the Dan Craig helmed feature film of some 10 years ago bombed at the box office & plans to make the other two films were scrapped. The novels of Nancy Springer were popular some 10 years ago as well; my library used to carry the series but it has been withdrawn owing to lack of circulation. It's rather doubtful that this Netflix movie would generate enough interest from our target audience to justify reordering any--especially if this is an original story. Stranger Things is pretty popular, but I think more among teens. Our teens were fans of BBC Sherlock when it aired, but I'm not sure they'd be keen on a Victorian rendering, even with Millie Bobby Brown. The Enola Holmes novels were in our juvenile fiction section for readers up to 5th-6th grade. This version of Enola seems to be slightly older, based on the way they are dressing her, but I don't think there's going to be huge teen appeal for this. They might be watching 'The Witcher' with Mr. Cavill, though. I never read the books, but I skimmed over one or two; even though Enola says in the trailer 'my brothers' . . the boys are so much older than Enola--in their 30s to her teenage self--and the fact that she's had to take a train to London to see them and they refer to 'your mother', not 'our mother' . .makes me feel like they are not that well acquainted and Enola has grown up separately from them. Hence, another mother. Ms. Bonham Carter does not appear old enough to have sons in their 30s and then a 'surprise'? daughter half their age, but this is only my surmise. It seemed to me in the novels that the age gap between Enola and Sherlock was not so great . . maybe 5 or 6 years, and they did indeed grow up in the same family. As to why it would be changed . . having found their perfect 'Enola' who is a teen, but only known to viewers of TV, maybe they wanted to capture some adult fans of Mr. Cavill, who is the more established 'name' and, of course, Ms. Bonham Carter as Enola's mom. The age gap suggested a second family, I guess. Enola and her mother are living by themselves--no sign of a Mr. Holmes or the boys. Presumably Mr. Holmes, Sr. is no longer living, or perhaps Enola's mum was his bit on the side? The Holmes brothers seem to regard Enola more as benign uncles than her brothers. This was my impression, but they may explain otherwise. If they are indeed full siblings and Sherlock is supposed to only be in his early 20s . .I don't quite buy it with these actors. The last time Sherlock was depicted as a teen in a major film, Young Sherlock Holmes, it wasn't very well received, despite the many book series featuring an adolescent Sherlock. I watched YSH just the other night again, and it really was not very good at all. Some great production design and a fabulous young Sherlock in 19-year-old Nicholas Rowe--really perfect as to physical type. He had never acted before, but he comported himself well. Young Watson (Alan Cox) was pretty wooden . . but now I know he is the son of veteran character actor Brian Cox, the paternal features are clear. That movie had a great 'Moriarty' as well, but the plot just became altogether too outlandish. With a sprightly score by John Williams, a script by Chris Columbus and a 'Hogwartsy' school at the center, the project is a proto-Harry Potter . . which wouldn't be written for another 15 years. A series was planned, and had the first movie been more successful, Mr. Rowe might have been as big as Daniel Radcliffe. Alas, not to be. A 'family film' has to captivate the whole family, and a Sherlock picture is a hard sell. Adult Sherlockians don't necessarily want to watch their icon as a kid, preferring him fully sprung into adulthood like Venus on the half shell; kids might like a story of a kid detective, but the Victoriana stuff doesn't appeal to many, so both segments of the 'family' audience are bored. It takes a pretty special child to embrace Sherlock Holmes as a grown-up . . and many of those special children are on this board. If a DVD is released, I doubt it will take a full year. It used to be that long for a VHS, but it's more like 3-4 months for a DVD. I'd look for one in December-January. I don't have Netflix, but I'd give this a go on DVD.
  3. This Netflix original movie stars Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown as the teenage half-sister of Sherlock & Mycroft Holmes. Her mother (Helena Bonham Carter), a (surprise) Bohemian free spirit has gone missing, and Enola has to become a detective to find her. She consults her famous brothers. Mycroft is appalled at her lack of ladylike decorum, but Sherlock (Henry Cavill) recognizes a chip off the old (Holmes) block. Sherlock is only a supporting part here, but Mr. Cavill has very Cumberbatch-like curls and vocal delivery. I'm wondering if there's a recent movie or franchise he is *not* in . . he's everywhere. Based on the series for children by Nancy Springer, this looks like a sprightly bit of entertainment that isn't going to be twee. https://www.netflix.com/title/81277950
  4. A freckled complexion wouldn't have been too desirable in the Victorian era, where a milky complexion was prized, but now that I think of it, Dr. Watson had an expanded reaction in a pastiche I read. I was hot and heavy with the collecting of those during my renewed Sherlock-reading phase; between short story collections and novels, I think it has to be over 200. So those tend to get mixed up in my mind with the original details. It looks like the Doc had a very positive reaction to Miss Hunter's intrinsic qualities, but we know his type is the porcelain blondes like his Mary. He was very taken by another Violet (Smith) in The Solitary Cyclist who is described as such a face. I think that would have been pre-Mary.
  5. They are the same world over. But Western women are often regarded as sexually easy and available. Many of them do come to Japan for sex work, especially from the former Soviet Republics. If one's English is not good enough to get a teaching job, but she's reasonably pretty, the hostess bars are always looking for foreign hostesses. That's a big yakuza-run outfit. I struck up an acquaintance with a Western bar hostess at our shared gym. This one was American. Her management was paying her gym fees because it was a job requirement for her to keep fit. They gave her money for clothes, too, and took her shopping and told her what to buy for her 'work clothes'. She was incredibly candid. I just hope she didn't get in over her head. Hostessing is not 'legally' supposed to involve sleeping with customers, but in reality it usually does. I couldn't read most of the print in my world, but I couldn't let that hold me back, either . .I didn't have that luxury. Usually my best guesses were somewhat close to the mark, but sometimes I got interesting surprises when I opened my groceries and realized that what I brought home was not what I thought I was buying. I did have some English speaking friends and job support, but it was nearly complete immersion. That's a painful, but seriously effective way to learn, and it really becomes yours if you have to live through it. Like with the chopsticks . . I had practiced plenty of times before hitting Japanese soil. Let's just say that I was properly motivated for the first time to learn tout suite when I was in a mom and pop noodle shop that didn't offer forks. It was master o-hashi quick or starve. Once I had, it was hard to remember that I'd ever thought it difficult.
  6. That was a harsh criticism, indeed, because the events of the story he then sets out to relate prove that Adler is a canny but honorable woman. John Watson is a conventional Victorian gentleman, and espouses the conventional morality of his time (apart from hanging out with Sherlock Holmes and participating in a number of dubious and questionable bendings of the law in the pursuit of SH's cases) . . at least where women are concerned. Adler is very different in her mode of life than his virtuous Mary. But I can't help wondering if this astringent dismissal of Irene's character is rooted in jealousy. We never see Adler again in Canon, but she captures Sherlock Holmes's imagination for all time. Until the end of his days, she was always 'The Woman'. Sherlock is saluting a worthy adversary whom he finds an interesting brain puzzle, along with whatever else he might have found attractive about her person. Watson, loyal friend though he is, can't compete on this level. The scene in BBC Sherlock between the triad in Baker Street and JW's obvious non-plussedness at having to share 'his' friend was droll. On some level, Watson fears The Woman--fears that she will take Sherlock Holmes away from him and destroy the comfortable bachelor detective life. So it's quite ironic that it's John who will shortly after fall in love with a Woman and kind of tear the partnership apart first. It was never the same after JW got married. When we meet Violet Hunter (The Adventure of the Copper Beeches), here is another strong and plucky female with a resourceful brain. Watching SH engage with her, John senses a greater-than-average interest in Miss Hunter than his flatmate usually demonstrates with female clients. It seems as though JW may be thinking that Vi would make a good match for Sherlock . . . but he hastily has to insert that she was not his type, being 'freckled as a plover's egg.' Both Miss Hunter and Irene Adler are popular subjects for pastiche, especially Adler. Writers can't resist exploring the tantalizing possibility that despite his protestations about grit in the instrument, that Sherlock Holmes loved this Woman. Regardless of what John thinks, she was a worthy person to love. BBC Adler, not so much.
  7. It has been observed by many others that Moffat isn't great at writing women. He certainly mucked about with two of the primary women of the Canon. I like Una Stubbs' Mrs. Hudson very much--for once a fully-fledged spunky personality in her own right; not just Sherlock Holmes's house drudge who is scandalized by his unconventional behavior. And Molly was a welcome addition. But for the two females who were 'The Woman' respectively for our detective pair, their modern counterparts are definitely more morally corrupted than the originals. 'A Scandal in Belgravia' is my favorite episode of the series, although not really for this version of Adler. It's a joy to see Sherl matching wits with a mind as canny as his own, who is also quite a bit more worldly in the carnal sense. In the original story, Irene actually gets the better of Sherlock Holmes (twice) when he anticipates her moves too late. In her own time, the Woman is a scandalous figure, an 'adventuress' . . which has a negative connotation of a morally lax woman who uses her feminine wiles to extract money and position from men. It is basically synonymous with prostitute. Conan Doyle's Adler was a world-renowned opera singer, world-traveled and single, and that was enough to make her an adventuress in most people's books. A woman living her life without a man on her own terms was suspect. What the story shows is an artistic woman who is betrayed in love by an untrustworthy cad who is an extremely powerful person, and the photograph she endeavors to get herself featured in and hide away is her insurance policy against a man who could easily have her killed. She earns Sherlock Holmes' admiration in the end for her brains and resourcefulness. He also will vouch for her moral character and winds up being the witness at her wedding to a man who is going to treat her better. A woman who makes her living by sex work and extorting her high-profile clients is certainly an 'adventuress' for our time, but a great deal more morally corrupt than the original. I think Doyle classed Adler and Sherlock as 'friendly antagonists' . . .The Woman and he have opposing objectives when it comes to this picture in her possession which compromises his client, but Adler is not a 'bad person'. Moffat's Adler is a very bad girl indeed, in bed with terrorists, quite literally, with every bit of her for sale. She becomes a villain, since she's Moriarty's henchwoman as much as Sebastian Moran . . and that was never in Canon. The original story ends much more happily, and the person who gets his comeuppance is the one who deserves it--the conniving 'King of Bohemia' . . a thinly veiled stand-in for the Prince of Wales, Edward VII. I'm guessing Doyle was not a fan of the son, but he does have Sherl shoot 'VR' into the sitting room wall later. Nobody is dead in the original tale, only embarrassed. Irene nearly kicks off an international terrorist incident, deals a blow to British intelligence . . extorts any number of people, and who is the dead woman in the morgue on Christmas Eve who is supposed to be her? Just more collateral damage.
  8. I worked with a young lady who was a recent graduate from U of M with a four-year degree in Japanese Studies. She was newly married and the couple was working together at our language school, which was church-based. For two years, she barely left her apartment except to teach unless her husband was with her. She was literally afraid to go to the grocery store or order so much as a cup of coffee on her own, despite having a diploma in Japanese. After she'd lived in town for two years, she knew less of the city than I discovered on my own after two weeks just by riding the buses around. I came to Japan with no partner and knowing about 6 words of the language. Couldn't even feed myself, so my first lunch in a ramen restaurant was interesting; I wore as much as I managed to get in my mouth. But this couple was the reason that married couples were no longer hired for the positions because they made it so difficult by demanding the same days off. In a three-person school, that was a hardship. So perhaps she could hold forth at length about the history of kabuki theatre but she couldn't/wouldn't actually use much Japanese language at all. It was so odd. Re. 'gaijin no Yamaha-san' Definitely not PC according to our standards, but getting into the Japanese mindset, I will conjecture that Yamaha-san's hosts viewed it as sparing Yamaha-san some embarrassment in not having the people he was being introduced to mistake him for a native Japanese speaker based on his name. And, since it's such a homogeneous country, with everyone having basically similar physical characteristics, anything that different about someone automatically jumps out. I was on occasion referred to as "Kimpatsu no" (the blond one), even though my hair is not blonde. It is medium brown but compared to jet black Japanese hair, it was lighter. Western women who are blonde tend to get propositioned regularly on the street and are assumed to be prostitutes or club hostesses (= easy). I didn't tend to get those kinds of comments, but some drunk middle-aged businessman attempted to kiss my lighter-haired friend when we were just minding our own business looking at the ocean. Self-effacement is a Japanese virtue. It is considered the height of bad form to seem to be bragging about yourself, your children, your money, etc. One can gauge the true internal level of pride of the speaker by how strenuously they debase themselves out loud. It's common for a mother to introduce her child as, "Here's the stupid child of my house". Japanese people can have very healthy self-esteem underneath, but it's a game to hide it. You'd need a resilient self-esteem to make it in that pressure cooker. One of my young ladies who I taught at junior college became a friend; she was very bubbly and outgoing and we went out to movies a few times. She related doing the interview gauntlet, trying to get a job after graduation. In that culture it is perfectly acceptable for a 'boss' or a hiring manager to basically say whatever they want to to a candidate. There's no ADA, no #MeToo, what have you. It was routine for these old men who were doing the hiring to say things like, "You look like a difficult girl. Are you difficult or are you stupid? My friend toned her natural ebullience way down for these interviews but was probably deemed still too sparky for the office environment. Women are supposed to be like flowers--beautiful, decorative . . and quiet. In fact 'office flowers' is an actual nickname for the women who work pouring the tea and making the copies. Women are almost never given more challenging work. I hoped that the office grind wouldn't grind down such a bright spirit as she had. Japanese culture prefers the Stepford wife model for their young ladies--perfectly coiffed, groomed and dressed; unfailingly polite and subservient and amenable. Personality and opinion are dangerous things.
  9. That is certainly true. They hold all the cards there. And you are correct that any speculation about personal relationships is just that--speculation. If there are interpersonal conflicts among the cast/producers, even if it's just conflicts of time/priorities, that is going to impact any future offerings of a show with as many moving pieces as this one had. Unlike many people, I guess, I never just look at 'the work' and take it at face value--I'm interested in the lives and stories of the people behind the finished products which we see, whether it's books, films music, art or TV. And among the cast and crew of Sherlock there are many human stories. On the surface, the show is merely a vehicle for our entertainment, but there is a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into crafting these pieces for our amusement, and I always keep that in view. If the makers of Sherlock are like an extended family, well, like any family, there's a fair bit of dysfunction going on, as well as, I hope, some love too. It is in a way crucial to the ongoing survival of this community that we hold out hope for a someday reunion of our Sherlock team to once again do what they do so well in entertaining us with their creativity. I was just offering my reasons for why I am more or less convinced it will never happen. Presently I put the likelihood of a Sherlock reunion at about 10%. It's been more than four years since they wrapped Season 4. That's an eternity in entertainment years. I'd love to see another Sherlock Christmas special sometime in the next 5 years. Do I think it will definitely happen? No, I don't. I'm not optimistic at all, as it feels like the whole team has drawn a line under that whole project. Right now it looks like Sherlock Holmes 3 with RDJ for Christmas 2021, if Covid hasn't shoved that further back, is our only bet for more Sherlock any time soon. Perhaps 10 years hence, our team will get together again for a riff on the final Sherlock Holmes story, 'His Last Bow' when Sherlock is 60. But they've already used that title, so they'd have to call it something else. Alternatively, Benedict could appear by himself in the two Sherlock-narrated adventures sans Watson, 'The Lion's Mane' and 'The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier.' Those are interesting possibilities, but I think the program we loved so much is over for good. I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
  10. I'm surprised that your Japan-based American friend would have been horrified since she's living there. As a gaijin, it helps somewhat to have obviously foreign features and accent. As a white American (hakujin Amerikajin!) I was a bit of an exotic oddity . . I had a commodity they wanted (English) and I wasn't particularly threatening. Foreigners who are not white or Western face openly hostile discrimination sometimes. I knew of a black American English teacher based in Tokyo who was banned from her neighborhood 'sento' (public bath) on the grounds that all black people are infected with AIDS. When a gaijin presents with an Asian appearance, this tends to stump them. Just as many Japanese people have it so ingrained in their minds that there's no way a foreigner can master Japanese language (leading to the comical scenario of a Westerner asking a question in flawless nihongo, only to get the reply back--"I can't understand you--no English!' . . the reverse also holds: Someone who looks Japanese must therefore must speak Japanese. While I was there, I met some teens visiting from Brazil, which has a large Japanese expatriate community. Their young people grow up speaking Portuguese but maybe not Japanese. A person with a Japanese face who does not speak Japanese is often treated then as a mental deficient with a childlike mind, for not knowing something which their features say they should know. People of other races besides Caucasian are generally not treated well at all. Lots of African-American servicemen have either taken Japanese brides or have left biracial children behind when they returned to the States and these children encounter additional prejudice. Not only are they hanbun, but they are half-black. America has shown itself to be no better, really, so I'm not saying Japan is utterly unique in being a racist county, but they are. Compared to us, they've made a lot more progress in a rapid time considering how briefly in the scheme of things their country has been open to the West. Even in 30 or 40 years, they've come a long way. But 'The nail that sticks up gets hammered down' is just as true today. I found so much to admire, but as time wore on, I found Japanese attitudes and social dynamics harder and harder to take. I wasn't even that persecuted. I'm 5'4" and have dark hair, dark eyes, am soft-spoken anyway . .I blended in better for a gaijin than most. I got some curious stares, but nobody ran from me screaming. Little kids and the very old were the most natural with me; they had no expectation that I wouldn't understand them, or that they should know English. It was the middle-aged people, the ones who were children during the war, who'd been exposed to English at school, who were more awkward with me. When I taught in Junior high schools, I was treated like a celebrity and often asked for my autograph. I missed that a bit when I came back home and was just another unemployed nobody. 😛 There were quite a few times when T.E. Lawrence's line to Prince Faisel in Lawrence of Arabia came to mind . . 'They are a little people; a silly people'. Some of their prevailing attitudes about the inherent inferiority of anyone and everything which is not Japanese is going to make it tough to impossible for Japan to become the player on the world stage that it wants to be.
  11. Yes . .it's sad when any family splits up, but I really thought those two were in it for the long haul. The Hobbit was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I'm not suggesting he shouldn't have done it--he was a perfect Bilbo Baggins in every way--but sustaining a family life over that distance is impossible, as they discovered. I'm sure at the outset neither was prepared for what 18 months that far apart was really going to do to their relationship. With both of the children in school in London, I'm sure neither wanted to uproot them from everything they knew just for a temporary job of Daddy's but in retrospect, it probably would have been better if the family had been together. The kids could have had a years' schooling in Wellington and it would have been an adventure. But it wasn't just the Hobbit . . he was working on Sherlock concurrently and then immediately inked another commitment to shoot for several months in America with Fargo. Again, another great role and a great performance--but at what cost to the the family? High. It's like he was avoiding being at home. No doubt he'd gotten out of the knack of being a day-to-day parent, but . . that was his job, too. They needed him even more as they grew up compared to when they were tiny. She was a single mum for years on end, and had essentially put her own promising career on hold to be the only stable at-home primary parent. She did do some work during this period--'Case Histories' and 'Mr. Selfridge'--nice solid little earners that kept her in the UK, but still, her earning power couldn't match his. I can't help wondering if they had been legally married if he would have found it so easy to walk away. As a general rule I am not personally in favor of couples cohabiting and having children together without marriage because it goes against my principles, but also, pragmatically speaking, if she is (as is usual) the lower-earning partner who has stopped a career to have children, marriage offers her some protections of the law which she is not entitled to as a live-in domestic partner only. I don't know for a certainty that she ever wanted to be married, but I thought it was kind of instructive as to his mentality toward money and the power balance in their relationship, that when she was having her well-publicized troubles with the Inland Revenue and had to go to court for back taxes, he was nowhere in sight, not even as a support in court. The amount she owed was substantial, but for the multimillionaire star of the Hobbit franchise, really a drop in the bucket. He left her to face the court and her tax bill all on her own, which as her domestic partner/not husband, he was absolutely legally entitled to do. They weren't married so his money was his money and her money troubles were not his problem or responsibility. Regardless of the reason why she owed so much money, it seemed rather cold to me that the father of her children, for whom she had willingly diminished her earning power so that she could stay home and be a mother, his partner of nearly 16 years by that point--did not offer his financial assistance during this time. Their breakup wasn't too long afterwards in reality; we just didn't find out about it until significantly more time had passed. There seemed to be a number of problems in that relationship which may or may not have been primarily related to his absenting himself from his family for work. He is not to be blamed for everything: I'm sure she contributed her share of faults. But they always seemed so happy together and really in synch on red carpets. I'm learning that what we see is so very often not the true reality behind the flashbulbs and the smiles. Actors act; that's what they do.
  12. In my view, which I think is justified when we consider the last two seasons of the series, Moffat and Gatiss peaked too early. I was really surprised, and a little nonplussed, that they decided to end S2 with 'The Reichenbach Fall'. In the stories, the incident at the Reichenbach Falls firmly separates the two halves of the Holmes-Watson partnership into a 'Early period' and "more mature period". The two disparate friends had been living and working together for a number of years--at least 4 or 5 in canon time, if not chronological time for the readers--before SH pulled his disappearing act at the Falls. When we convene with Watson and Holmes in "The Empty House" and Watson has been grieving for three years, the two seem to have reached a more sedate place in their partnership. Perhaps if Mofftiss had rearranged some of the episodes and ended S2 with the Hound and saved the Fall for the next season, there wouldn't have been such a shift in tone so abruptly between the two halves of the series. With Sherlock such an established hit in its first season, I'd say the chances of it being cancelled after a second season were about nil. They could have introduced Mary earlier and not gone in such a bizarre way with the character. Mary is a smart cookie; what a shame they couldn't find a way to have her apply that brain to helping the partnership rather than tear it apart. Why couldn't she have been that nurturing, kind, fun-loving nurse John fell in love with? Mary represents hearth and home for John Watson; Mofftiss turned her into the enemy, and that betrayed this character completely. I think the Fall would have been better to end the third season and then they could have explored CAM in S4. The whole 'Euros' thing was a misfire. The actress was great; it's a bravura turn, and a arch-villain was needed with the demise of Moriarty and CAM. But to make this person Sherlock's sister? Just wrong. Completely at odds with the Canon, where it is and always has been the two Holmes boys against the world. Mofftiss tried to turn the Holmes' boys childhoods into a Dennis Lehane novel. Please. (Shutter Island reference). S3 was anticlimactic after the Fall, but in retrospect after S4, has some really good stuff in it. (Apart from the revelation about Mary, of course.) 'The Sign of Three' is my favorite. We still liked Mary then, thought she was a great girl, perfect for John. The opening bit of E3, with the riff on 'The Man with the Twisted Lip' and "Billy" . .brilliant. Lars Mikklesen was a fantastic villain as CAM. But why, why, did they have to make it go so wrong with Mary?
  13. In which part of the country does your friend live? Their experiences with bureaucracy doesn't surprise me a bit. Having experienced day-to-day life there as a 'gaijin' (outside person) for going on six years, I can say, truthfully, that Japan is one of the most xenophobic cultures in the world. Their institutional racism and distrust of anything 'foreign' is rooted in the many, many centuries Japan spent isolated and insulated from outside influences. Japanese culture has a lot to recommend it, but it is not a comfortable, easy or particularly kind place to be for anyone who is out of the mainstream in any way. They've got the highest rate of suicide really, in the world, followed closely by other Asian countries. The pressure to conform and to excel within very narrow parameters of 'acceptable behavior' is extreme. The life of a 'han-bun' (half/mixed) like your friends' daughter is going to be fraught with difficulties because she will never be accepted as fully Japanese in that society, no matter that she speaks Japanese natively and impeccably and does everything else her peers do. She will have a Japanese surname, which will help, but if she displays any Western features in her appearance . . or if she's raised to be bilingual and speak perfect English. .she will always be regarded as 'less than' full Japanese. That's the reality. Maybe the bureaucrats were in their own way trying to smooth her path a little by rejecting a name they deemed 'too American/too weird'. Some names, like 'Sara' can be both. I wonder if your friend was there at the window too, at the time. If the Japanese father had gone himself alone, I wonder if their first choice would have gone through. Handicapped people in Japan aren't accepted, either, and for all its technological and archtectual advances, there isn't a law like the ADA to protect and promote accessibility for disabled citizens. To be differently abled is to be defective, and according to Buddhist philosophy, a disability is a judgement from the gods upon the sin of either the individual or their parents, and as such are shameful things to be hidden away from society.
  14. Re. Estrangement between our leads I really don't want this to be true. It's a feeling I get based on some what sounded like sniping exchanges in the media between Ben & Martin. Ben gave what sounded like a really testy comment in response to what he perceived as MF complaining about the burdens of the Sherlock fandom. Ben chastised this attitude and alluded to 'taking hold of your reality'. It was around this time that the news of the Freeman-Abbington split was making the rounds, shocking to all. Season 4 was already in the can, so the public was just hearing about this, but Ben had had to work with both halves of the estranged couple on set for weeks, and that can't have been a pleasant experience. Perhaps Ben was, and is, very angry at his former co-star for walking out on his family? Amanda made it sound like a more or less mutual decision, after she admitted to crying for a week straight. Even if it was she who decided to end the relationship, I think it had to have been in direct response to MF prioritizing his career over his family. From 2011 with the outset of the Hobbit shooting to the point where they broke up, he'd barely been at home. Cumberbatch is equally busy, but he hadn't been away from a wife and two small children shooting in foreign countries for about two years straight. No sooner had Hobbit trilogy and Sherlock wrapped, than MF spent 6 months in North America with Fargo. He's done a number of other projects since (Marvel films) that took him out of the country. "Sherlock" has definitely made major international stars out of both leads. For MF, it led directly to his casting in the Hobbit films and the MCU movies. He was brilliant in the first season of "Fargo", where he adopted an impeccable Minnesota accent, and he doesn't seem to have stopped working since. It seems to me that MF has some definite anger/competitiveness issues which were exacerbated by being overshadowed by Cumberbatch in terms of their profile on the show--Dr. Watson certainly has his legions of fans, but the show is called 'Sherlock' after all--and I think the two who seemed so close on set grew to have really divergent opinions about how to deal with the demands of global fame. I think in Martin's opinion Ben courted the fans too much; in BC's view, perhaps MF was too surly toward the PR demands of his position and unappreciative maybe of the fans who had made him a huge star. This is just conjecture on my part, but it can't have been too easy for a proud person like MF, who had been working steadily and achieved a body of work while his co-star was still at university, who was the more 'known' of the pair at the outset of the show to be eclipsed so much by BC. I think they are just temperamentally, and in their approach to the acting work, very different people, and just as with family members, many times, got on each others' nerves. Hopefully they just needed a break from one another and will be able to sustain a friendship even though they are not working together any longer, but the relationship may have run its course as most 'work friendships' do. Despite what the fandom wanted to promote in all the hundreds of 'shipping' type videos of 'FreeBatch' out there, the two guys had completely separate lives and social circles, and when not working on set together did not hang out and were not joined at the hip. It was a professional relationship that was amicable, but then something changed. Martin was the only principal cast member who was a no-show at the breakfast which was part of a prize package/Meet the Cast event, and at first I chalked it up to Martin being busy on location for another job. Which he may very well could have been. But this was right on the heels of that snippy press exchange between them, so I wondered if MF's absence was a sign that there was a fissure in relations that would not be easily mended. If that's the case, I'm sad . . but whether or not it is, I think Mssrs. Moffat, Gatiss, Cumberbatch and Freeman have all firmly moved on with their careers and post-Sherlock lives, and reconvening everyone for a Sherlock reunion might be just a pipe dream. The very angry, embittered John Watson of the final season is perhaps a bit closer to MF in real life than the JW we all fell in love with in S1-2 as the long-suffering, kind and loyal companion of Sherlock Holmes.
  15. The whole Doctor-Whoish Sci-fi laws-of-physics defying finale episode really put me off. That bit about Sherlock and Watson blasting through the window as if they were on a bungee ride . . I know it was supposed to be a bit of whimsy, I guess, but it was too cartoony and I felt it insulted the audience. Sherlock Holmes does amazing things to be sure, but even he is subject to natural forces . . he never REALLY jumped off the Reichenbach Falls. That last episode left a really bad taste in my mouth. I would have preferred they NOT destroy Baker Stretet and then put it back together in a far-fetched manner. I would have also preferred that John's beloved Mary NOT be a murderous assassin. The whole thing started to go wrong in my opinion with S3:3 when Mary shoots Sherlock, technically kills him in order to protect herself and her entire facade is revealed. That was already a step too far, so turning 221b Baker Street into a virtual reality theme park ride was just icing on the cake. That's what I mean by a better place. I'd be as happy as anyone to get more Sherlock, but I really wouldn't hold my breath. I think Moffat is just a big tease. They've run out of gas on Sherlock. More to the point, I think neither of our actors would agree to do any more and in fact, I don't think they would ever agree to work together again. The hate seems to be real.
  16. I don't think it's a random name, no. A possible trauma/dark story in Sherlock's past which led to her identifying with Conan Doyle's hero and choosing to go by his name is hinted at but never explored in S1. Wato-san asks Mrs. Hudson, "Is Sherlock really her name?" to which Mrs. H. replies, "Of course not; it's her professional name". But neither is Conan Doyle invoked--nobody says outright that she's copying 'Sherlock Holmes as written by Doyle-san'. It's just presented as a given that this is the weird Western name she's going by. "Sara" is an unusual Japanese girls' name, in that it sounds very Western and modern, but it would be possible to write those sounds in kanji to make a Japanese meaning. Said Japanese-style, 'Sah-Rah" rather than 'Sair-Ah'. Wato, by contrast, has an old-fashioned sound to it. It's not one I ever heard as worn by a young girl when I was there in the 1990s. It means 'Peaceful City (the 'to' is the same kanji as 'Tokyo') ', and may have been popular pre-WWII. Kind of like my handle, 'Hikari', 'Brightness', which is considered old-fashioned. Parents-to-be spend much time choosing a baby's name. Western parents do too, but for Asian parents it's a whole other level. Not only must the sound be pleasing and the kanji characters fortuitous, but each of potentially dozens of possible combinations for the baby's name must be tested, in combination with the family name to see if it has a 'lucky' number of strokes in the writing. A combination deemed unlucky will be rejected. Parents even hire naming experts to help them choose the most auspicious name possible for their baby. The same experts are employed when it comes to naming a new geisha, sumo wrestler, or business. 'Futaba' is a not unheard of surname, not the most common, but I've heard it before, and as far as I can determine, means something like 'Two Blades (of grass) or Two buds. There may be a nuance of meaning to the Japanese person fluent in kanji (Personal/surnames are a nightmare because any name has potentially hundreds of possible combinations for the kanji characters, making reading other people's names in written form quite difficult) missing to the 'gaijin' such as ourselves. Inspector Reimon, for example (the Lestrade stand-in). . the first part of his name is hazy; could be a number of things, but 'mon' means 'Gate', or 'the way'. As the Lestrade figure, he's the gatekeeper of the police crime scenes and also Sherlock's 'Way in' as a consultant. He's also got wild hair more suitable for a musician or an artist or other bohemian type rather than a staid upper-ranking police officer. But, we figure, anybody willing to work with Sherlock in any form and depend on his/her analysis and furthermore, consider him/her a friend, has to be a little off the normal path himself. There may be a S2 in the works or already completed . . or maybe the series didn't do as well as hoped and plans for a second series were shelved. I haven't heard any news about more Miss Sherlock, so I don't know if we will ever get these answers.
  17. Hi, Arcadia, I'm just arrived to this thread. Glad you put this here, since rewatching is the only way to go. Now that it's the 10th anniversary, no more opportune time. I watched this series before I went back and delved into the Canon, and so on a rewatch, it's fun to find all the little Easter eggs which Mofftiss have left for those looking for them. Jeff(erson Hope), Cabbie, is indeed the chief antagonist of ASIS. 'Laureston Gardens' plays a role. Of course, we meet Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson and the crew. Ben looks incredibly young in the pilot. I'd never heard of this actor before, though unbeknownst to myself I had seen him in bit parts in a couple of costume dramas, looking very different than Sherlock. He was 34, but looked much younger. I thought, 27 at the outside. The most notable thing about A Study in Pink is the fact that it created a new supernova star in the firmament literally over 90 minutes one Sunday. I think it happened with Sherlock was whipping the cadaver, personally. That's when I fell for him! The first meet cute scene--quite sublime. Mike Stamford, naughty Matchmaker, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts . . all the way going back to 1887. By the time we get to Sherlock wearing the orange shock blanket, the partnership had solidified into something great even before John had moved in properly.
  18. Douglas, At first I worried that an all-femme Sherlock might just be a stunt, to hook in the 18-35 year old guys. I am pleased to say that it is a respectful, quirky take that is ultimately serious but has lots of moments of domestic and police squad humor just like BBC Sherlock. Tokyo is no London, of course. The hour-long format and the zippier pacing make this feel a bit more similar to 'Elementary', but it's pretty delightful to see Sherlock portrayed by a young lady. Miss Sherlock's real name is Sara Futaba; I learned that from the synopsis online, because throughout everyone just calls her Sherlock. She's as difficult a roommate as ever, with all the salient Sherlock characteristics--moody, autocratic, likes music and chemistry (she plays the cello rather than the violin); is very crabby in the mornings, eschews food in favor of black coffee heated to a precise temperature, and has very nice, very expensive clothes which she treats carelessly. A female Watson we were already used to, but Wato-san is ever so much more pleasant than Joan Watson. Keeping the partners the same gender is more true to the original dynamic; there isn't this "Will they/won't they?" undercurrent that ran through sometimes with Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. The two actors are great friends, but Sherlock and Joan never had the slightest romantic chemistry, both being utterly self-absorbed. I don't think the intent was ever to have them be romantic, but the possibility was always there and that's what a segment of viewers would have expected. Sherl did seem rather put-out and judgemental when Joan went on dates, almost like he was jealous--but Sherlock has never been good at sharing his Watson in any iteration.
  19. Lately I've been seeing a lot of vintage Sherlock clips coming up on my Facebook Watch feed, unbidden by me. I haven't been looking for them, they just pop up. I didn't get to see Season One until March of 2011, when the DVD became available Stateside, and I knew just a couple minutes in, when I watched Molly watching Sherlock beat the cadaver with his riding crop, that I was in for some good television. When 'Sherlock' was at its best, it is quite nearly perfect--one of the very best shows I've ever known in the medium. The pilots of LOST and ENDEAVOUR gave me similar feelings. All three shows eventually lost their way to become pale, perfunctory versions of their earlier selves, but I don't regret having those experiences. COVID-19 and the passage of time have got me down, though, I must admit. Watching Benedict & Martin embark on this journey of their partnership makes me feel the weight of all the years that have gone by. Amanda & Martin have split up; Ben's marriage might not be all that it's marketed as . . and there is a definite estrangement between two men who had been the closest of colleagues and friends. It's not just the years and everybody looking older; it's the disbanding of such a special group of creative people who were doing something so fantastic. I feel that ultimately "Sherlock" was abandoned by the four principals most responsible for bringing it to life. This project, this labor of love which was so special to us, the viewership, has been cast aside by its actors and its producer/writers as just another job they've tired of. Moffat can make noises about a Season 5, but I think they are hollow, and if they aren't sincere and he's just saying that to whip up attention for his latest project, awfully manipulative. I think he telegraphed his true intentions when he literally blew up 221b in the final episode of S4. I just wish he'd let us leave Sherlock and John in a better place. Something is always going to feel unfinished and dangling about the show that started off so very great.
  20. I have not tried that, but I think that should be possible. All of the episodes in in my Amazon Cloud and I've just started going though them a second time. There is also the option to rent each episode for $3.99 each, but it's a lot cheaper to buy the whole series. If you rent something, either a movie or a TV episode, you have 30 days from the date of purchase to watch it. It's hard not to think of Benedict C. while watching Ms. Takeuchi do Sherlock. There's a very specific Sherlock esprit that goes along with this character. All the best Sherlocks capture this essence, regardless of gender, culture or time period. If Ben were a petite Japanese female, this is what he'd look like.
  21. Re. the subtitles--I need them, because my Japanese isn't that good! I mentioned them in case anyone thinking about watching it would be daunted by the language. I haven't been immersed in Japanese in daily life since the mid-1990s, but I wanted to reawaken that part of my brain. This is a fast-paced contemporary show and the language zips by incredibly fast. Their riff on 'Moriarty' is brilliant, but I won't spoil. It's my impression that subtitles are charged by the word, not to mention the limited space in getting text on the bottom of the screen . . so it's pretty common to have longer speeches trimmed for economy. Non-native speakers will miss the nuances, but they can follow along with the meaning enough to understand what's going on. My goal is to master Sherlock's, "Once you eliminate the impossible . . " speech in Japanese. It's very chewy. "Miss Sherlock" was my first-ever streaming video purchase, but the whole season of 8 hour-long episodes cost me about the same as a DVD. It looks doubtful that a DVD would be released Stateside, more than two years after it aired at home. Probably licensing issues. Subtitled programs are going to cost a bit more due to the costs associated with the translation services. By the way, "Miss Sherlock" constitutes the first project in any language to feature our Baker Street pair as both women. Japan is hardly in the vanguard when it comes to equal opportunity for women . . it's 2020 going on 1960 over there in many ways . . so it was kind of surprising that this country was the first to take a gamble on a female duo. I think it turned out great. The only drawback is that Tokyo is one of the world's ugliest cities, so there is no visual interest for the viewer for exterior locations, such as there is with Sherlock or Elementary. But 221B is a triumph of set design . . they have brilliantly mixed traditional Japanese home elements with a Victorian flair. I really loved Sherlock's house.
  22. View Halloa to the room . . Hope everybody is hanging in there in this age of Covid-19. Back in March-April, I had a 6-week break from work as my library was closed due to the virus. One of my activities was to finally watch S1 (so far only one available) of "Miss Sherlock" (HBO-Asia, available on Prime Video through Amazon.) Yuko Takeuchi (Sherlock) and Shihori Kanjiya (Wato) create a sassy, believable chemistry together as the 21st century Tokyo-based pair of mismatched roommate detectives. Sherlock Holmes has been popular in Japan almost from his inception, and the creators of this rather daring modern interpretation certainly seem to know their casebook. I really enjoyed it. I have an additional interest in this version, since I wanted to practice my Japanese language, but all of the 8 episodes are subtitled in English. Though Sherlock's unusual moniker and traumatic past is only alluded to, never explained, I presume that these things will become illuminated in a second series, though it's unclear that one is in progress. I called the project daring since it features two young women in traditionally male roles, and to have two female leads in this type of show might be a first time in its home country. In my opinion, having both of the partnership be female is truer to Conan Doyle's original dynamic than is Elementary. If you are willing to pay to buy or rent this on Prime, it's well worth it, if you also have an interest in Japanese culture. The ensemble cast, including 'Mrs. Hudson', 'Mycroft', 'Inspector Lestrade (Here called 'Reimon', which translates to 'Thanks-gate' or 'bill-gate')--fitting, since Lestrade is the 'gate' through which Sherlock has access to the police investigations) is very good. They have also added a long-suffering sergeant for Inspector Reimon who doesn't like Sherlock and who is made her scut-boy very often, with amusing results. 'Wato' means 'peaceful city', and when combined with the honorific suffix -san, becomes 'Wato-san', you see? 😛
  23. Sorry, just now seeing your comment. I am thinking specifically of foods consumed by our Baker Street duo as written by ACD. Mrs. Hudson normally does breakfasts, with the other meals a bit hit or miss, but our bachelor diners often went to their favorite restaurant, Simpson's, for heartier fare, when Sherlock Holmes felt hungry, so that would open the menu up for more than just eggs and kidney pie. Our birthday celebration may have to stretch to multiple meals, houseparty style. We could do "Mrs. Hudson's Breakfast/Tea" plus other food inspired by alternative versions. I love Japanese food, so "Miss Sherlock" would get a nod, as well as dishes from the parts of the globe Holmes says he visited on his Hiatus. That would include food from Scandinavia as well as the Middle and Far East.
  24. I'm open to menu suggestions. Sherlock barely eats and John likes anything, so the menu is wide open. Drinking of Scotch and Brandy optional. This is a fantasy party, so anything goes! This is the kind of thing that die-hard BFI types pay hundreds of pounds/dollars for the privilege, but I envision something far less stiff than those annual dinners. Particularly if we could get Benedict to agree to come in character. We must, alas, settle for the benevolent spirit of Jeremy Brett.
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