The Titlebar Archive: Sherlock

About  I was once rather more proactive about selecting the title bars for this blog (click here to carry out some real blog archaeology and see some older examples in a different format.  Look at those typos).  I've decided to do something similar this year.  A new illustration each week of whatever cultural event I've enjoyed or found most interesting with a post like this one at the end to explain myself.  Firstly, Sherlock and an attempt to find a shot of him thinking, though on reflection I think this is the moment from the tail end of the first series when he deliberately tears up in order to extract some information from a witness.

My first thought after watching the opening episode of the second series was "Why isn't Doctor Who this clever?" then quickly felt a bit guilty since Moffat's reimagining of the key sci-fi franchise often is that clever, what with the jacket continuity error that wasn't last year and the messy timeline of River Song.  His style is looser, more comfortable when writing for older viewers, perhaps even less straight jacketed by what's gone before because Sherlock's a page one reinvention rather than a continuation with all the baggage.

Almost within seconds of the episode finishing Twitter was filled with adoration but in the following hours and days some feminist criticism nearly overshadowed the achievement, largely centred around the treatment of The Woman or Irene Adler, turned, they saw, from the one woman who bested Holmes to someone not just bested by him but also unable to cope with her mission without the help of Moriarty,  I've decided to hold off my opinion until all three have been broadcast.  Almost.

Moffat for his part, has as ever has come out fighting with an interview to Wales on Sunday in which comes across as being deeply hurt by the accusations which have been flying around:
“I think it’s one thing to criticise a programme and another thing to invent motives out of amateur psychology for the writer and then accuse him of having those feelings,” he said.

“I think that was beyond the pale and strayed from criticism to a defamation act.

“I’m certainly not a sexist, a misogynist and it was wrong.

“It’s not true and in terms of the character Sherlock Holmes, it is interesting. He has been referred to as being a bit misogynist.

“He’s not; the fact is one of the lovely threads of the original Sherlock Holmes is whatever he says, he cannot abide anyone being cruel to women – he actually becomes incensed and full of rage.”
That's demonstrated in the episode with his protective attitude to Mrs Hudson. None of the commentary I've seen has noticed the fact that in defending his not a housekeeper, Sherlock threw her attacker out of the window several times and that it also became apparent that some of her understandable tears were a classic piece of misdirection on her part in order to hide something important making her a very strong female character indeed.

The Oxford Paragraphs:
Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice

Books One of the benefits of finally reading a book of which I’ve seen numerous screen versions is in increasing my understanding of the art of the adaptation which in Austen’s case requires much more than transcribing quotes and turning prose into stage directions. Although there is some conversation, most of the action in Pride and Prejudice occurs in reported speech leading to much invented dialogue, the screenwriter also having to make sense of rapid scene changes, days often passing in a matter of words. It’s a charming book, rightly loved, but a slow read. The writer often pastiches other contemporary novelistic styles making some sections oddly incomprehensible to my untrained eyes, which are also replaying versions of scenes from those adaptations and forever comparing them to their literary origin.  My favourite character after Lizzy is still her father, an inspiring symbol of tolerance searching for peace within the domestic chaos of his surroundings.

the Sugababes are back together

Music Well look at that. As Popjustice explains, the Sugababes are back together, or One Touch as they'll inevitably be called since "Sugababes" are still Occupying their real name.

This is very much a band back together approach with their original songwriters and management involved and everything.  PJ indicates it's all going very well. Just having them in the same room is progress. If the harmonies are still there as well, this could be quite something.

Fingers crossed this is all going to be done right and well judged and won't take the All Saints approach of going after the market who doesn't know who they are rather than those of us who do.

I think this madman situation deserves some stools:

Scream, indeed.

Update! 9/1/2012  Well then.  Now I don't know what to think.  Other than that the PopJustice story has a mass of detail in it which isn't really be shot down in this tweet in which she certainly doesn't say directly "Original Sugababes lineup not reuniting" as the headline to the linked The Guardian story says.  As ever, we'll see.

Update!  22/1/2012  This give every indication it is actually on with a leaked lyric synopsis (which I haven't read - spoliers etc) and talk of Siobhan giving up her job to concentrate on it.  To be honest that link's worth visiting for the comments, which make the visitors to the Guardian's boards look like well adjusted, compassionate human beings.

Update!  26/1/2012   Emeli Sande Confirms Song With Original Sugababes according to Mtv.  Keisha continues to deny it on Twitter

"Goddammit, when is somebody going to go on the record in this story?" -- Ben Bradley, All The President's Men.

I'll continue to update this post until there's something really concrete, like an actual song or photo of them together now or some such.

the "Sugababes" have split up

Music When Simon asked me earlier if I'd heard the Sugababes news, the last of inverted commas suggested all our hopes had been realised.

What he actually meant was that it looks like the "Sugababes" have split up.

Heidi, whose signed up for some Dancing on Ice denies it, but since she's signed up for Dancing on Ice and has also indicated there are no projects forthcoming and since the last single was released a freebie, I think we can safely assume the project is finally over.

Unless they're being given the shove so that H, M & S can make a welcome return.  Yes, perhaps that's it.

Now I'm off to play with my Kindle.

Updated!  Simon's been back in touch to say he didn't mean that at all.  We were at crossed purposes.  What he was referring to was this teasing tweet from Keisha:
Hanging out in the studio with and two lovely ladies with bags of talent :-p lol
Green's retweeted this so she's not delusional.  Mutya hasn't updated her feed for over a year.  Siobhan's too clever to be on Twitter.  No confirmation that they're these two ladies.  Could just as well be backing singers.  But you never know.  Hmm.

Now I'm going back to playing with my Kindle.

"the shape of March Of The Penguins, Miracle on 34th Street and Aladdin"

TV TV Cream continues the old Off The Telly tradition of annual logs of fare on Christmas Day with some focus on Downton Abbey, a show which I'm still yet to indulge in. Yes, I know. I'll try and catch up this year:
"The rest of the day on ITV1 was fairly solid. As usual much of the daytime as devoted to films, though at least there were some different titles to the familiar fare in the shape of March Of The Penguins, Miracle on 34th Street and Aladdin, although Happy Feet found itself in the post-Queen slot for the second time in three years. The monarch’s message this year, incidentally, was the first to produced by Sky News and this, presumably, explains why it earned a screening on Sky1 for the first time in a while."
The Queen was one of the few programmes we watched live on Christmas Day, with its odd moments when the monarch was shown in profile whilst still speaking directly into a different camera like a confused breakfast television presenter. That was about it for me apart from the news channel early on and Doctor Who. I spent a surprising (for me) amount of time reading the surprisingly cynical supporting text in my King James Bible with my new blu-ray copy of Inception filling in the rest of the evening.

"space exploration is often seen as a waste of money with no real benefits"

Science Inspired by the Republic of the Moon exhibition at FACT Liverpool, C. James Fagan writing for Liverpool's new culture blog The Double Negative ponders why we've lost the drive to return to our nearest celestial neighbour:
"There’s no real political drive; space exploration is often seen as a waste of money with no real benefits (though it’s much cheaper than a war). Perhaps there’s something darker in the human psyche holding us back. As much as we need to expand to explore and evolve, we need to avoid dangers to survive. The effects of this contradiction, the comedown from the Space Race as it where, are explored by J.G Ballard in his short story collection ‘Memories of the Space Age’, where rocket pads lay empty, inhabited by people filled with a desperate nostalgia, collecting Astronaut bones as fetishistic totems and generally contemplating the ‘moral and biological rightness of space exploration.’"
After reading this I had to fall back on my usual therapy space travel therapy, the opening credits to Enterprise.  Here's the version from the later series with the country beat and when they'd given up all attempts to pretend it wasn't Star Trek by missing that bit out of the title:

I always imagine in the Roddenberryverse the Space Shuttle Enterprise actually flew.

"brown paper towels down into my armpits to soak up the salty sludge"

TV Amber Benson explains the horror of the pitching process in modern US network television:
"Now I have to admit that the pitch process scares the crap out of me...I get nervous, start sweating profusely from every sweat gland on my body - I once sweat so badly I had to go to the bathroom and stuff scratchy, brown paper towels down into my armpits to soak up the salty sludge - and, finally, just before I go in and start talking, my stomach begins to cramp like a son-of-a-bitch.

"So all of the above makes me predispositioned not to enjoy the whole thing anyway...but it's more than just the fight or flight body responses that make me dislike the pitch process.

"What bugs me is the fact that everyone just wants a goddamned procedural...a body of the week to keep them satisfied and, frankly, they don't care how they get it."
A couple of commenters suggest she should try her hand in the UK and they're right. Her work would fit perfectly on BBC Three or E4 along with Being Human or Misfits. The problem for her is she probably wants to work in the US and there just don't seem to be the opportunities.

wondering if I'd like to be sent some samples

Plug! Just before Christmas, the day we put our Christmas tree up actually, I received an email from a PR person working for a new drinks company, Jeremiah Weed, wondering if I'd like to be sent some samples.  Not really being a drinker but also not averse to free stuff from people who want to send me free stuff I agreed.

Since I can't really offer a review of the alcohol since I've nothing to compare it to (though I will update this post when I've had an opinion from someone), I thought it best just to tell you about the free stuff which came packed in a box with the above address label.  Here's what I found inside:

"This little piggy went wee weee wee wee all the way to the bank."

it's still exciting to see my name quoted

About Around The Globe is Shakepeare's Globe's Magazine and in the latest issue writer Tom Brown (of So Long, Shakespeare) is kind enough to mention the @shakespearelogs twitter feed in an article about the controversy surrounding the release of Anonymous. I hope they and he won't mind me posting the relevant paragraph below:

Seems only fair to add, though, that the feed is only as good as the content, as the bloggers who are included and listed at my Hamlet blog, augmented with the contents of a Google News search.  But it's still exciting to see my name quoted in one of my favourite magazines.

"Brian" and "Cherski"

TV Claire Danes had something new to say about My So-Called Life in this New York Magazine interview:
"My So-Called Life has had such a long afterlife. Did that make you think more seriously about the next TV project you did?
You know, I love the show and I'm still very close with Winnie who wrote it and the two Devons who were in it. It was a momentous event for me, and so I don't feel dogged by it and I'm incredibly flattered that it continues to resonate. I loved Saved By the Bell, but it wasn’t like that; it was a very special show. I’m not remotely embarrassed by it. I got a little bit annoyed when people were saying that, you know, Carrie Mathison is just Angela Chase grown up. That is preposterous."
"Angela" is still great friends with "Brian" and "Cherski" as well as the writer.  How has the reunion film not been made yet?  Also the Bell comparison is amazing.  Not Dawson's Creek?  Really?


Art Ugly Renaissance Babies. A tumblr [via].

"the words never quite tripped off my tongue"

Shakespeare How Salon's DG Strong discovered Shakespeare and discovered himself:
"The first few times I hid in the corner and read along silently. It took a few months before a freakishly low turnout forced me to sit at the grown-up table and read aloud from “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” At first, it wasn’t exactly a natural feeling, and no matter how many times I peeked ahead to see which line I’d get, the words never quite tripped off my tongue. I mangled a lot of lines. But there was no denying the thrill I felt when I managed to get to the end of a longish speech and realized there was a grin a mile wide on my face. Suddenly I wanted all the long speeches, all the big moments. From that moment on, the library would have to be on fire for me to give up my reading chair."
My experience was very similar to his, at least terms of comprehension. The more you read Shakespeare, like any unfamiliar language or at least use of language, the more you're able to understand.

"a punk club"

Film Around this time last month, The Guardian's magazine asked a bunch of random, if successful people what made them "over-achievers", Miranda July included:
"When I was 16 I thought: I want to be a director. I made a play based on my correspondence with a man in prison and put it on in a punk club – I was determined to make the play professional, to not have it to do with school. I was in over my head but I remember thinking, "This is it. I'll do this for ever." In theory my parents were encouraging."
Another point of interest is how Lucy Prebble is credited as "the creator of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl" which demonstrates the blurry lines of that television series. At what point did Brooke's participation become irrelevant?

A bit later July appeared in This Much I Know:
"The word "quirky" is diminutising. It implies you're living in a childlike, whimsical wonderland. There's nothing quirky about directing a movie. It's like being at war. I wonder if the people who criticise me for it have watched the work. Is death quirky? There's a lot of death. A lot of sex. If I sexed it up more people might pay more attention, but it's not the way my face was built."
Then they posted some video. Essentially it was Miranda July month at The Guardian:

"The fire of London; it's just not there"

Art Because I wanted to retain the purity of the daily December opinions, there are few things I've wanted to post but decided to wait until January. I'm actually writing this on the 3rd of December, the day you were no doubt shocked to discover I like reading The Guardian, Douglas Adams, Shakespeare and about Doctor Who.  A lot.

Anyway, here's an interview Andrew Graham-Dixon gave to PBS about his Carravagio book, which is interesting not just because of the comparisons he makes with Shakespeare's speculative biography but also because of the rarety of seeing AGD as interviewee.  PBS have also posted a transcipt here, something I wish the BBC could afford to do more often.

The Oxford Paragraphs:
The Bible
Authorized King James Version
with Apocrypha

Books Of all the Christmas presents I knew I would be receiving this year, I hadn't thought it likely that the King James Bible would be the book which would capture so much of my attention. Yet, here I am on New Year's Day having completed the introduction, notes and extended extracts of this noticeably academic approach (text originally edited in the 1966) along the way experiencing solace, marvel, frustration, anger and fury (Leviticus) but ultimately surprise at how this book could be the cause of so much love and inspiration, death and destruction in a way that only goes to underscore the inconsistency of human beings. By treating it as literature, the editors are able to dispassionately review the quality of the words and investigate the dating of the books and authorship, underscoring that even the original scrolls are an interpretation of earlier stories and "manuscripts", never mind the bias later inserted through translation.