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Sherlock Hemlock
Posted on Tuesday 19 March 2013 at 9:52 pm

Random Fandom: Holmes, Neverwhere, David Mitchell Panel Game

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I'm reading some Holmes pastiches. I just finished the recent (as in references to Robert Downey, Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch both but not to Johnny Lee Miller) anthology A Study in Sherlock. I actually reviewed it over at Goodreads, which I seldom do, so I thought I'd post a link to the review for anyone interested. The short version is two brilliant stories, one of those by Neil Gaiman, some fun takes on various aspects of the canon and fandom, and some absolute rubbish. Up next is another anthology: A Study in Lavender: Queering Sherlock Holmes. I avoided this one for a while because I assumed it would be nothing but variations on "Hooray for Holmes/Watson man love!" and frankly there is more than enough free fanfic out there of every rating imaginable and every variation on Holmes and Watson imaginable if I wanted tons of that. Then I saw a few reviews that said it wasn't that, or at least not just that, and that there are some stories taking seriously the status of homosexuality in Victorian England and while some stories are Holmes/Watson, some aren't and are more about how Holmes would react if homosexuality was an element in one of his cases or other canon characters being gay. We'll see.

Also: quick, name every variation of A Study in... you can think of from Sherlock Holmes pastiches. I've listed two in the paragraph above and have four others (two colors and two not) in mind right away. Note to writers, editors, etc. of Holmes pastiches: if you are actually doing a take on A Study in Scarlet as the plot of your story, OK, otherwise, please do come up with another "clever" title now! So the two colors in my head can have a pass but everything else needs to knock it off. Well, I actually kind of like Study in Lavender as a title for the anthology so maybe just no using A Study in... unless it is a color. Or just everyone forever and ever has to get my personal approval and I'll decide on a whim if I like it or not. ;)

I listened to part three of Neverwhere today. This one was the Angel Islington episode and was a kind of slow but necessary point in the story. Cumberbatch was good (the frankly disturbing reactions to his voice, especially at one particular moment, on twitter were much less so) but I like other parts of the plot much more than today's offering so I enjoyed it but it felt a bit like killing time and I know I'll like the later stuff better.

David Mitchell is going to be hosting a new TV panel show. I love panel shows! I love David Mitchell! Unfortunately, this one will be on Channel 4 which is harder to access from the US than is the BBC which is hard enough. It is doable, but annoying. Fortunately, the schtick of this panel show is word play and puns. I love stupid word games!!


donutsweeper at 2:27 am on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I don't know David Mitchell outside of his QI appearances and David Mitchell's Soapbox but I love his humour. His new one looks good though. I keep forgetting to track down and watch episodes of "Would I lie to you". One of these days, I guess.
bratty_jedi at 10:35 am on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I've watched some Would I Lie To You. It isn't an amazing show, but he has some fantastic moments. Plus i know some of his Mitchell and Webb comedy duo stuff, though not a ton since sketch isn't really my thing and I've just never found the time to really get into Peep Show. I follow him on twitter and read his Telegraph column when it appears and enjoy those.
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 11:57 am on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I was going to ask you if you watch Would I Lie To You. I love that show, actually.
bratty_jedi at 12:19 pm on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I like it and love moments of it, but it doesn't blow me away consistently. I'm not really sure why. It may just be that it totally depends on the guests, but that is true of basically all panel shows.

I had a dream once where I was the mystery "This is my..." friend of one of the panelists, but I don't remember what I was or who the guests were. I know David Mitchell claimed I was his new boxing instructor and whoever I really was, Lee Mac absolutely refused to believe it to the point of not even wanting to ask questions of the panelist. Wish I could remember who I was supposed to be to whom...
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 12:43 pm on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
What a hilarious dream! I'm always amazed at how many things Lee Mac can do--it seems like he's always taking some class or learning some skill. He's a hoot.

It really does depend on who the guests are, it's true. But there are a lot of regularly funny ones. Not quite as much as QI, though, I'll grant that.
shezan at 2:33 am on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Good lord, how "disturbing"? Even more disturbing than the neighbour who livetweeted his movements at home?
bratty_jedi at 10:38 am on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Definitely not more disturbing than that! That's... I'm not even sure what I'd call that level of invasion of actual privacy, but it is definitely beyond disturbing.

This was mostly just crude sex talk about him that I thought went too far for being in public about a real person.
failte_aoife at 8:36 am on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
A Study in Lavender is quite good. I think only one story is more or less published Holmes/Watson fanfic which involves them riding happily in the sunset together...about half are more or less ordinary Holmes-pastiches with the cases involving gay characters and the rest of the stories that involve gay canon-characters (Mycroft, Lestrade and yes Holmes) do deal with it quite well.

Well...there's A Study in Emerald and of course Pink if that counts...and I think I have seen dozends others but can't remember them at the moment. You're right it is a bit unoriginal and there are far too many.

Always 'yay' for more David Mitchell panel-shows though I'm worried about the pun-bit. I also love them but I once listened to a few episodes of a radio-panel show that also focused on word-play (Wordsmiths? I can't remember) and not being a native-speaker it took me ages to get the jokes if I got them at all.
bratty_jedi at 10:46 am on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Good to hear you liked Study in Lavender. That makes me a bit more optimistic as I dive into it.

Emerald and Pink were the two colors I had in mind. Terror and Fear were the two non colors I thought of. Terror is a Holmes and Jack the Ripper movie and Fear is a play based on The Final Problem. I know there has to be more, but that's all that comes to mind immediately.

Word play is definitely difficult in a non native language. I'm basically reading proficient in a couple of languages other than English but that's it so I never get anything like puns in anything other than English.

EDITed to fix an html error that left everything italicized. Sorry.

Edited at 2013-03-20 10:47 am (UTC)
failte_aoife at 3:45 pm on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Terror...of course. I knew that one (haven't watched it but being both a Holmes fan and somewhat interested in Jack the Ripper I already came across it).
I guess 'A Study in X' just makes a convenient title. It's a quite popular Holmes-story but I don't think the plot is quite as iconic and well known as Hound of the Baskervilles so there's an immediate association with Holmes without really waking any expectations about the plot. (It is also incredibly lazy titling but I guess they'll assume those titles sell better...)

I do get some basic puns and word-plays...often a bit delayed but I still get them...and when I don't it's not that bad because shows like HIGNFY or WILTY then move on to other jokes that I find easier to understand...but a whole show just centering around puns...
Well the description is a bit vague so far and I really don't know what exactly I should exspect...I'll defenitely give it a try.
bowl_of_glow at 8:34 pm on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I listened to the pilot episode of Neverwhere yesterday. I had never heard of this series before but the story sounded really interesting and I read some enthusiastic reviews, so I decided to download the first episodes.
The pilot wasn't exactly easy to follow since I'm not a native speaker - I could understand most of the plot so far but I still missed quite a few minor (I hope) things.
I think I'll give this series a try anyway because it sounds good, I'll listen to the second episode tomorrow if I have time.

I installed Radio Downloader on my laptop today (don't know why I waited this long) and subscribed to The Newly Discovered Casebook of Sherlock Holmes as well.

PS - I enjoy your posts about radio programmes and some others as well, I had friended you after one of your post in the Cabin Pressure comm but even if I was 'tracking' only your "media: Bbc radio" tag I could still see all of your posts. Which I didn't particularly mind, but I accidently saw a spoiler for the third season of Sherlock a couple of days ago and I unfriended you to avoid reading more. I'd still like to read some of your posts though, how exactly do I deselect the tags of the posts I don't want to read? I thought I had understood, I've done it before after all - either LJ is messing up again or I did it wrong. I'll have to give it another try!
bratty_jedi at 10:55 pm on 20 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Neverwhere is a great story. I'm glad you're enjoying it so far. Out of curiosity, do you think it is harder or easier to follow than Cabin Pressure for you? I would expect Cabin Pressure to be harder since it is so full of word games, but Neverwhere does rely a bit on knowledge of London to really get it. Of course, my own knowledge of London is strictly from reading, radio, TV, and film since I've never been to the UK at all.

I don't know why you'd be seeing anything other than posts about BBC radio if you signed up for only that tag. I suppose it could be an LJ bug. I guess I'd say try again with selecting just the media: BBC radio tag and see what happens. Sorry I can't help!

I'm also really sorry about the spoiler but I'm honestly not sure what you're talking about. I'm really careful about posting spoilers when I know them, but I don't know any spoilers for Sherlock series 3. I doubt anybody does. The only thing I know and that I've posted recently was the officially announced title of the first episode and I don't see how that could be a spoiler at all. The title of a show, book, movie, whatever isn't a spoiler it's just the name. It is the thing that appears in your TV guide and in the opening credits or it is the thing you tell the movie ticket seller or book seller so they know what to give you. If that is what you're talking about, all I can say is I always post things I consider spoilers behind cuts with warnings but it just honestly never would have occurred to me to consider the name of something a spoiler so it certainly wasn't intentional spoiling. To me, saying the name is a spoiler would be like going into a book store and saying "I want the latest book by my favorite writer but please tape a piece of paper over the front cover so I can't see the title." If the title of episode 1 isn't what you mean, you'll have to tell me what it is because I can't think of anything else I've posted about Sherlock 3.
bowl_of_glow at 4:01 pm on 22 March 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Actually Cabin Pressure was a lot easier to understand for me. Mind you, the 4th series is the only one I listened to without reading the transcripts, I listened to the first 3 series while reading along and I don’t know how much I would have understood otherwise. I was expecting to have some problems with series 4, but by that time I was already familiar with the actors’ voices, the plot, most of the technical terms and so on, so it wasn’t particularly challenging. I didn’t have any particular problems with word games and puns, not that I remember. I have to say that series 4 seemed quite self-referential to me, many jokes relied on knowledge of previous episodes, which in many cases helped.

With Neverwhere it’s harder because I don’t know much about the plot in the first place, and since the story is set in a magical underworld there are some terms I don’t get at first and I can’t use logic to “deduce” what’s going on when I don’t understand something (for example, I listened to part of episode 3 yesterday and while I understood that Richard and Lady Door managed to get from point A to B, how they got there wasn’t exactly clear. It’s very hard to visualize things sometimes.)

I listened to John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme too, I loved it but it was a mixed bag – I got some of the jokes the first time I listened to them, with some it took me a few times, and there are a few jokes (fortunately not many) that I still don’t get at all! Comedy sketches are a bit of a hit and miss because not catching a word or a line means missing the joke entirely.

And yeah, I meant that entry with the title of the first episode of series 3 (I didn’t even read the post so I wasn’t sure what else was written there). Actually I agree with you about titles and I didn’t care about reading that (I’ve seen worse on Tumblr) but I wasn’t sure if you were going to post more so I unfollowed you just to be on the safe side.
But who am I kidding, I’m too curious, I know I won’t arrive to the end of the year without reading a few spoiler-y things… (Usually I don’t care much about spoilers as long as they don’t give away major plot twists, I thought this time I would give it a try but I doubt my resolve will last!)

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