verushka70: S4E1 Close-up of Henry on Walt (CU-Henry-on-Walt)
2017-01-05 11:59 am

Sherlock 4x1 thoughts (TL;DR -- I'm done with Sherlock), SPOILERS

I really loved Sherlock S1. Smart, attractive dudes in master/apprentice (or hero/sidekick) friendship, acknowledged by the fictional characters themselves to have slashy elements? What was not to love.

S2 I loved less so. S3 I loved least of all -- I actively hated aspects of S3. Now here we are with S4.

To understand my growing disappointment with Sherlock, and the way it has increased with each new season, I must state one major caveat up front. I'm originally a fan of the Conan Doyle source materials -- the Sherlock Holmes short stories. I read them first as a kid, again as a teen, again as an adult (in my 20s/30s/40s).

Which means I am a fan of the original, canonical Holmes and Watson and their canonical dynamic.

After S3, I was troubled by the show and not sure I would come back for S4. This was for two reasons:

1) Characterization (or character assassination) -- and the emotional manipulation of the audience that was an essential part of the characterization.

As the seasons progressed, I felt the execution of the original premise (Victorian London brilliant supersleuth dropped into the 21st century) deteriorated and got off-track.

though I am by no means a slavish devotee to the source, the character of Sherlock was progressively destroyed as seasons progressed )

Yeah, the slash was automatically beefed up by the melodrama and character assassination. But if they'd just stuck with the canonical characters, partnership, and mystery-solving -- merely updating to the 21st century -- the slash would've inevitably been there. . . without all of the emotional audience manipulation. Slash fandom would've heart-eyed Sherlock anyway.

2) Blatant misogyny -- less a minor subset of the character's canonical misanthropy than a new feature of his new, 21st century asshole personality.

it's not what you think it is, it's worse )

What pissed me off most was that once they started down the fake-apologist road with Mary, they chose to execute it in even more insidiously and subtly misogynist ways.

They both put in a wedding episode and knocked her up.

Because apparently she can't just be a female BAMF. She has to also fulfill her social and biological destiny as a vagina owner.

After S3, I told myself I wasn't going to get excited about S4. And I wasn't. I was enjoying the company of 30+ years-of-friendship friends that night.

So I watched S4E1 later. . . actually on Tuesday night, on the PBS Video app on my Roku (so I could watch in HD).

What I watched only solidified my removing Sherlock from my TV viewing list/queue.

The fake-apologist retconned female BAMF character (who never existed in canon in the first place) naturally reached the logical conclusion one would expect from the emotionally manipulative narrative the writers had created to absolve themselves of their misogyny in earlier episodes.


They killed her, of course.

So. Yeah. There is no need to watch the rest of S4.

Just my 2 cents. YMMV.

ETA: of course, the canonical Mary Morstan dies, too. However, she was never the focus of the stories, nor was Watson's married life. She was a minor character and the reason why, for a time, Watson isn't Holmes' room mate.

The way that the writers built her up and let her hijack the Holmes/Watson narrative -- all while knowing they would kill her off as she was in canon -- further highlights the cynical way they used Mary to absolve/excuse the misogyny they had created, and then killed her off when it was convenient. Really pretty revolting.