Tag Archives: TV

Sherlock S1E2 – Things I approve and disaprove

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This episode is the most hateddebatable (there, I said it in politically correct term) one in the BBC’s Sherlock, probably the most succesful hit drama of 2010.  I am sure you can find loads of different opinions and critics (especially the lazy writing and so lame stereotypical depiction of Asians) about this episode.  I quiet agree with most of them.  Thus I’ll just pin-point things I approve and disapprove on the 2nd episode, The Blind Banker.

+ Approve

– Some actions
– Some more Sherlock-John relationship
– Some more knowledge on main characters
– Sherlock gets minor counter-punches from “the small little brain”ers

+ Neutral

– Chinese shop selling Japanese “lucky cat,” actually known as maneki-neko.  Yes, it is so very Japanese item and some had a big problem of Chinatown store selling Japanese stuff.  But hey, that’s what Chinatown shops are, all over the world.  They sell pretty much everything Asian.  I don’t take any offense on this.
– “OMG They made all Asians villains! / OMG They killed off all Asian characters!”  Well, they ARE mobs and they are bad characters in police drama, right?  Of course they’ll get arrested or killed off.  It’s not because they are Asian.
– Sherlock “dumbed down.”  Well, please read my 3rd point on Approve section.
– “How come there’s no non-whites?”  Well, we have to remember that this series is based on Victorian British police novel.
– Though I’d prefer sticking with the Canon’s stick-figure passwords, replacing it to Chinese character was not too bad.

+ Disapprove

– A very lazy, stereotypical, unrealistic depiction of Chinese gang:  Like please, “Black Lotus?” It sounds like a lame clan’s name on fantasy-based video game.  I am convinced Stephen Thompson (the writer of The Blind Banker) did not do a proper research.  Had he only refered a bit from Triad or Black Snake Society (the real life Chinese gangs in real world) instead of lame “Black Lotus,” and make sure the gang is doing a proper real-world criminal business (human trafficking into Europe, counterfeit selling, credit card fraud, and/or drug smuggling), the script could be so much better.
– Mob boss on the scene doing Chinese circus:  Like seriously.  Have you ever seen a high-profile criminal revealing his face in public, at the scene?  Heck, even low-level Muslim terrorists always cover their face. I give credit for having a woman mob boss though.
– A very lazy, stereotypical, unrealistic depiction of Asian:
1) An Asian woman who is in charge of tea section in museum.  Yeah, of course!  She’s Asian! She knows everything about tea!  It does not matter she’s an unqualified ex-smuggler! (You need something of MA degree if you want to be in charge of a particular section in museum…)
2) An Asian woman calmly waiting for her tragic death: Yeah of course!  Asians take family relationship so seriously!  They don’t struggle against “destiny,” so of course even if a mob member, who is also her own brother, comes to kill her, she’ll be just sad, submissive and wait to die.  Er…alright, but usually don’t people panic and run for your life when someone comes to kill you off? Including Asians?  Or wait, what kind of professional gang sends a sibling to kill their own family?  Usually they assign someone else as a punishment.

To be honest, it is true The Blind Banker is getting some unfairly harsh criticism, mainly because ep1 and ep3 was superb.  But well, I can’t help summing up the ep2 as:

Stephen Thompson thinking, “Let’s write something exotic and cool…Alright, for exotic, Chinese people.  And let’s throw in some Chinese circus because it’s so cool and exotic and mysterious.  And yeah, some Chinese letter too.  Done and done, exotic and so cool!”  I don’t expect BBC to have a Chinese/Asian proofreader or editor. I’m fairly sure Stephen Thompson either has no Asian friends or been to Asia.  I’m also very sure he didn’t even google for the things he wrote.  Overall, a lazy writing.

BBC, if you can, please make sure you have Asian opinion if you’ve decided to write another stereotypical Asian crap.  It doesn’t have to be Eliot Chang, Margaret Cho, Masi Oka, or Yunjin Park…

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BBC’s Sherlock – UK and BBC, turning me into Otaku every day.

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Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant (x as much as you want).  If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes series, and have a wet dream of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson coming into real life of 2010, do watch this.  The show was this year’s BBC’s biggest hit, and caused the Sherlock hype all over the Britania.  I’m in for the hype, as I took my Korean version complete edition of Sherlock Holmes, and attempting to buy English edition in near future.

I knew Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss always write a fabulous drama (heck, they write for Doctor Who, and Moffat also wrote Jekyll – which is one of my favorite show).  Trevor Eve bashed on it recently, and he has a point, but hey.  They write good shows.  And, even better, they are Holmes fans.  Everything is updated to 21st century, such as Holmes taking advantage of smartphones and the pair calling each other “Sherlock” and “John” instead of their surnames.  The famous lines are so cleverly updated – “I’ll be lost without my Boswell,” “The game is afoot!” and such.  I almost wept.  So reader, if you are about to cringe, crying out “that is not my Holmes!! Blasphemy!!”  Chill out, no worries.  If you are one of those “purists” who firmly believes in middle-aged Holmes, and foggy Victorian London, you might not like it.  All the updates are within the fine boundary of original texts.  They would better, since the executive writers are Holmes fan.

The stories are based on original story and characters, but slightly twisted here and there.  But they never go too far from the original.  So very well written.

Your 21st-century version of Holmes and Watson at good ol' 221b Baker.

The characters and casting – the show will be dead without these.  I think they did such a fine job with the character “updates” and casting.  Benedict Cumberbatch, the 75th Sherlock Holmes (and possibly the youngest), is the Holmes.  When I first saw his face, I immediately thought “holy mother, where did they get THE Sherlock Holmes?”  He has such a distinctive face – high brow and cheek, tall and straight nose, sunken cheek, long face, skinny.  Almost all BBC actors are properly trained in acting, but his performance is very good – just on the verge of madman and sane, cold, unexpected, somewhat androgynous.  I’d love to see more of his Holmes.  One thing clear: unlike most of the BBC Sherlock fans, I don’t think he is hot, cute, nor sexy.  There is something sentimental and airy in his eyes, and I guess many women take it as “sexy.”  Honestly, if Cumberbatch or someone looks like him asks me whether they can kiss me, I’d frown a bit and say “er…”  I do like Cumberbatch’s acting and his version of Holmes though.  It’s addicting.

Watson is wonderful, too.  Yes, it’s still that good, friendly Dr. Watson who keeps getting dragged here and there by Holmes, fulfilling all of his choirs.  I think Martin Freeman added a clever improvisation on Watson’s character.  Usually Watson is depicted as one of the background person, except the fact that he is Holmes’ best friend.  He doesn’t really do anything except shooting at the right moment, recording the cases and compliments Holmes.  Sometimes you even forget he is an ex-soldier.  Freeman’s Watson is great.  He is the friendly Watson as we all know, but this time we can tell he is an ex-soldier, and shows why he is such a great sidekick of Holmes.  I think I’ve never liked Watson like this before!

Pilot was promising, but a bit boring.  1st episode was orgasmic, 2nd wasn’t bad but a bit lagging, and last was just….a Christmas.  With the worst (in a positive way) cliffhanger.  BBC, you evil bastards.  Give me the next season, right now.

I’d be ecstatic if they do the 21st century version of the Adventure of Yellow Face, Gloria Scott and the Hound of Baskerville – my all-time Holmes favorite.