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1 hour ago, HerlockSholmes said:

The RJD version did take a couple of watches for it to grow on me but it did. I think his accent was fine and much better than some American accents by English actors. It didn’t come across as too exaggerated like the famous Robert Duvall version.

What movie(s) did Duvall do that accent in?  I don't watch a lot of movies, but can't think that I've ever heard anything that sounded like a fake American accent -- perhaps because there's such a variety of actual home-grown accents that I just assumed it was one I hadn't quite encountered before.

1 hour ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I did like Stephen Fry’s Mycroft too. I wonder what Doyle would have made of Mycroft having a nude scene? 

I loved Fry's Mycroft -- he's almost like Doyle's character just stepped out of a book.  Except for that scene!  I found it rather gratuitous, besides which I believe that Doyle's Mycroft was a proper Victorian gentleman, and a very reclusive one at that.  I can't imagine that he'd be so blase about encountering a woman while in that condition.

1 hour ago, HerlockSholmes said:

Elementary seems to go on forever but I’ve only watched the first 3 series .... 

Good heavens, is that still going?  I gave up on it after, I believe, season 2 -- when they stopped doing plots and started doing Big Reveals instead.  I've never been a big fan of soap operas.

1 hour ago, HerlockSholmes said:

What will come first? Holmes 3 or Sherlock 5? My money’s on the former.

I believe it's actually been announced, so I agree with you.

 

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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

What movie(s) did Duvall do that accent in?  I don't watch a lot of movies, but can't think that I've ever heard anything that sounded like a fake American accent -- perhaps because there's such a variety of actual home-grown accents that I just assumed it was one I hadn't quite encountered before.

I loved Fry's Mycroft -- he's almost like Doyle's character just stepped out of a book.  Except for that scene!  I found it rather gratuitous, besides which I believe that Doyle's Mycroft was a proper Victorian gentleman, and a very reclusive one at that.  I can't imagine that he'd be so blase about encountering a woman while in that condition.

Good heavens, is that still going?  I gave up on it after, I believe, season 2 -- when they stopped doing plots and started doing Big Reveals instead.  I've never been a big fan of soap operas.

I believe it's actually been announced, so I agree with you.

 

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.

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50 minutes ago, Hikari said:

Elementary is blessedly over with--it ended a couple of seasons ago. 

I'm relieved to hear that!

51 minutes ago, Hikari said:

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 like Lucy Liu's performances in general, but didn't care for the way her Watson was written (as an equal to Holmes, rather than as his assistant / biographer).  I cannot imagine her as a blonde.

53 minutes ago, Hikari said:

the two biggest reasons I watched it, they would be: Aidan Quinn (Lt. Tommy Gregson) and Clyde, the tortoise.

I loved Quinn as Gregson.  But the main thing I liked about the show in its early days was the clever casework plots.  Once they de-emphasized those, I lost interest.

 

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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I'm relieved to hear that!

I like Lucy Liu's performances in general, but didn't care for the way her Watson was written (as an equal to Holmes, rather than as his assistant / biographer).  I cannot imagine her as a blonde.

I loved Quinn as Gregson.  But the main thing I liked about the show in its early days was the clever casework plots.  Once they de-emphasized those, I lost interest.

 

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.

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As Hikari said it was Duvall’s English accent that caused comment. It was exaggeratedly posh. I’m sure that I’ve read somewhere that he’d modelled it on English conductor Sir Adrian Boult. I think he made a good Watson opposite the edgy Williamson. 

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1 hour ago, Hikari said:

Lucy as a blonde is horrifying.  [....]  It was awful with her skin tone.

 

People almost always look better with their natural hair color, for that very reason -- most other colors will clash with their skin.  My natural-blond sister-in-law once (inexplicably) dyed her hair black, and that too was awful.

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

Liu always came across in interviews as bubbly and upbeat.  [....]  So I can't really fathom her choice to consistently play Watson as such a downbeat pill all the time.  [....] this Watson is always complaining about something.

I assume that's merely the difference between the actor and the character-as-written.  But I have no idea why the writers thought it'd be a good idea to make Watson such a b*itch -- just to make their adaptation distinctive?  I'm with you, I like the traditional Watsons much better.

1 hour ago, Hikari said:

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.

:rofl:

 

 

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7 hours ago, HerlockSholmes said:

I think his accent was fine and much better than some American accents by English actors.

OK, I misread that.  So -- could you (or anybody) give us some examples of not-so-good American accents by English actors?

Just offhand, the only one I can think of might be Sarah Jane in Doctor Who.  Not that I noticed her accent at the time, just that I heard later that she was supposed to be an American, and I had never noticed.  Watching the clip below, however, I am relieved to see that I did not (as I sometimes do) fail to notice an American accent in a British production, because (to my ear at least) she's simply not doing one -- and I find no online mentions of SJ being a Yank.  I'm now wondering whether my informant was mistaken.  In which case I can think of no examples at all.

 

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1 hour ago, HerlockSholmes said:

As Hikari said it was Duvall’s English accent that caused comment. It was exaggeratedly posh. I’m sure that I’ve read somewhere that he’d modelled it on English conductor Sir Adrian Boult. I think he made a good Watson opposite the edgy Williamson. 

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.

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18 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

could anybody give us some examples of not-so-good American accents by English actors?

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Hikari said:

JW is always conceived as the proper English gentleman, but why have we never had a proper Scottish John Hamish Watson?

You do realize that the "Hamish" part did not originate with Doyle, it was a 1943 attempt by Dorothy L. Sayers (Holmes fan and author of the Lord Peter Wimsey stories) to reconcile the name John H. Watson with his wife calling him James?

Here's a link: https://pinchofnutmeg.tumblr.com/post/72507054707/dr-watsons-christian-name-by-dorothy-l-sayers

 

2 hours ago, Hikari said:

The Boston accent is notoriously difficult....

How true!  Even non-New-England Americans have trouble reproducing it.  For one thing, there isn't just one Boston accent, there are a number of them, ranging from upper crust to working class, with variations depending on one's ethnic background, home neighborhood, etc.  Tom Hanks (a fine actor in my estimation) attempted a Boston accent in Catch Me if You Can, and sounded pretty good to me, but even my non-native ears (I merely lived there for a few years) caught a couple of blatant slips.  As I believe I've said before, he'd have been better off merely suggesting a Boston accent, rather than attempting a full-blown one.

2 hours ago, Hikari said:

... in any given episode, her accent would go from Bah-ston to New Yawk (think Carmela Soprano) to Southern belle and back again....

Those accents are not entirely dissimilar.  Boston and New York share the northern nasality (also heard in Buffalo and Milwaukee, for example), while the Deep South shares their tendency to misplace terminal R's.

2 hours ago, Hikari said:

... most UK actors who are insecure about their American accents take refuge in the Southern because it is the easiest.

Oddly enough, the three American actors who spring to my mind as having played British characters are from the South: Daniel Davis (Arkansas), John Hillerman (Texas), and Terrence Mann (Kentucky & Florida) -- so maybe there's some natural resonance that works both ways.  (On the other hand, Martin Freeman seems to be specializing in northern US accents: New York, Chicago, Minnesota.)

2 hours ago, Hikari said:

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?

I would guess the latter.  Foreign actors may have trouble being cast until they're better known here, but I've never heard of them having trouble getting their union card, once they're otherwise eligible.  William Shatner is still a Canadian citizen, for example.  (And by the way, his home country does have "Canadian content" requirements.)

According to the SAG website, you have to have a covered job first -- then you're eligible to join.  I don't see anything about citizenship.

 

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I was thinking of John Hillerman also. I remember being surprised to learn that the proper British major domo on "Magnum, P. I." was actually a Texan!

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1 hour ago, kimber8ada said:

I was thinking of John Hillerman also. I remember being surprised to learn that the proper British major domo on "Magnum, P. I." was actually a Texan!

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.  :)

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On 9/16/2020 at 9:51 AM, Hikari said:

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.

Most American actors don't do regional accents either.  Remember "Cheers," set in Boston's Back Bay area, where only Cliff had any sort of Boston accent?  (Too bad they couldn't have gotten a young Leonard Nimoy, before he managed -- by strenuous training -- to lose his accent!)  They did provide explanatory backstories for some of the main characters; e.g., Woody was from Iowa.  And admittedly, some real-life people don't have a regional accent (I knew one man who'd lived his entire life in the Boston area, yet had stronger terminal R's than I do), but they're clearly the exception.  However, most American actors just use a general-American accent for all their roles.  (Meryl Streep -- coincidentally born in New Jersey! -- is an outstanding exception.)

On 9/16/2020 at 9:51 AM, Hikari said:

He sounds American when he sings.

So did the early Beatles, having been influenced by the Everly Brothers.  Conversely, a number of American singers, the blatantly trained ones, seem to have an "opera accent."  I remember the first time that Jim "Gomer Pyle" Nabors sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" at the Indy 500 -- it came out "Een-dee-ah-nah" (*shudder*).

 

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The secret garden 2020

The beginning is rather slow paced and the parents are idiots, that being said the make up team did a good job with making Colin Firth look like someone who didn't take care of himself, Igive it a 6/10

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