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Sherlock 
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Post Sherlock
Back on the BBC last night. Not sure when the US get it, but not a bad return.

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Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:24 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
I believe we will be seeing it in the states on PBS on January 19th.


Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:14 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
I live in the states. I greatly enjoyed the new episodes.

Sorry, BBC America... but seriously, what did you think was going to happen?

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Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:08 pm
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Post Re: Sherlock
Last night's Sherlock (His Last Vow) was the best I've seen.

It's like they've finally realised its potential.

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Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:16 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
I might a bit more partial to the second comedic episode, but that was certainly the best Cumberbatch performance of the series. That long, sustain mind palace sequence is great stuff. I loved how the whole arc of the season is on the relationship between John and Sherlock.

And now another hiatus. Damn those British television and their restraint, quality-controlled programming...


Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:48 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
Last night's episode was by far the best IMO.

I'm not actually a huge fan of the series. I love the premise, I think it's very well-cast, but it is often too smug and self-satisfied. I can't remember a series so self-consciously smart, and because of this it sometimes disappears up its own backside.

But, at its best it is very good indeed. A typical 90 minutes episode probably has 30-40 minutes of very high quality Television, and the rest back-slapping filler. Last night's episode was a solid 70 minutes of high quality Television. And that villain - Charles Augustus Magnussen - was superb!

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Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:28 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
Wrapped up season 3 at lunch today. On the whole, I like the more playful feel of this past season and especially liked the second episode's deceptively loose structure. The only gripe I can manage (I'm not a rabid fan of this one, either) is the broader interpretation of Sherlock by the surprisingly-funny Cumberbatch. So much of the humor of the previous seasons was due to Sherlock standing in relief to normal people. These past three episodes? He seemed to channel a lost Marx brother. Was pleased not to have to watch Andrew Scott munch on scenery, a bonus. A fourth season I could either take or leave but it looks like the stage has been set.

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Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:15 pm
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Post Re: Sherlock
The show has definitely grown into something that it wasn't when it started, which was a very good modernization of the classic stories with just enough liberties to keep the initiated fans guessing. Nowadays, it's almost more of a commentary (I hesitate to say deconstruction) of the Sherlock Holmes tradition.

It's not what drew me to the show in the first place, but hell, it's fun. I'll keep watching. If messing with the tradition allows us to have sequences such as the Holmes/Watson bachelor party, it's worth something.

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Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:24 pm
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Post Re: Sherlock
Mark III wrote:
Wrapped up season 3 at lunch today. On the whole, I like the more playful feel of this past season and especially liked the second episode's deceptively loose structure. The only gripe I can manage (I'm not a rabid fan of this one, either) is the broader interpretation of Sherlock by the surprisingly-funny Cumberbatch. So much of the humor of the previous seasons was due to Sherlock standing in relief to normal people. These past three episodes? He seemed to channel a lost Marx brother. Was pleased not to have to watch Andrew Scott munch on scenery, a bonus. A fourth season I could either take or leave but it looks like the stage has been set.


Sorry, only just realised this thread had been replied to.

I actually found the 2nd episode to be too loosely structured. Like it had been written by a committee of industry bods all vying for their own input to be given precedence.

The 3rd worked best for me, probably because I'm a James Bond junky, and this was probably the most Bond like in its construction (with the villain superbly portrayed by Lars Mikkelsen).

Then again, this episode (iirc) was written by Stephen Moffat, who is by far the most talented of the show's 3 main writers.

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:05 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
Ken wrote:
The show has definitely grown into something that it wasn't when it started, which was a very good modernization of the classic stories with just enough liberties to keep the initiated fans guessing. Nowadays, it's almost more of a commentary (I hesitate to say deconstruction) of the Sherlock Holmes tradition.

It's not what drew me to the show in the first place, but hell, it's fun. I'll keep watching. If messing with the tradition allows us to have sequences such as the Holmes/Watson bachelor party, it's worth something.


There's still not enough density to justify a 90 minute episode, for me.

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:09 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
Well, all I can say is maybe they'll have that sorted by the time the next three episode cycle comes around... which is two years away, if I remember right.

That has to be hell on a writing staff--these big gaps between series, and you only have three episodes/4.5 hours of narrative to get settled in, get things moving, and wrap them up. There's not much wiggle room to work out the kinks.

On the subject of Moffat, I know a lot of Doctor Who fans downright detest the guy, but I've gotten enough episodes under my belt by now to realize that he's a significant factor in what I like about the show. Nothing against Davies, but in the Eccleston episodes and the majority of the Tennant ones, the TARDIS is basically just a device for getting the Doctor into a story, then getting him back out of it at the end. Structurally, they're conventional adventure narratives, and the exotic locations, people, and technology make up the science fiction element. Moffat seems much more interested in the possibilities that time travel has to offer to the storytelling, and that's what makes Doctor Who more than just a cool adventure show for me.

It's funny, though. When it comes to Sherlock, there are three head writers, three seasons, and three episodes per season, so it seems like you might be able to pick up certain consistencies from writer to writer. But, try as I might, each of them seems to have his own strengths and weaknesses that comes to play, and I can't point to any one of them and say that he's done the best or has the most singular style.

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:42 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
Ken wrote:
Well, all I can say is maybe they'll have that sorted by the time the next three episode cycle comes around... which is two years away, if I remember right.


Really, I heard they'll be filming this autumn.

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That has to be hell on a writing staff--these big gaps between series, and you only have three episodes/4.5 hours of narrative to get settled in, get things moving, and wrap them up. There's not much wiggle room to work out the kinks.

On the subject of Moffat, I know a lot of Doctor Who fans downright detest the guy, but I've gotten enough episodes under my belt by now to realize that he's a significant factor in what I like about the show. Nothing against Davies, but in the Eccleston episodes and the majority of the Tennant ones, the TARDIS is basically just a device for getting the Doctor into a story, then getting him back out of it at the end. Structurally, they're conventional adventure narratives, and the exotic locations, people, and technology make up the science fiction element. Moffat seems much more interested in the possibilities that time travel has to offer to the storytelling, and that's what makes Doctor Who more than just a cool adventure show for me.


I think I've mentioned this before, I just can't dig Doctor Who. The show has infinite potential (literally in-built infinite potential), but is just so commercially compromised. The BBC shows it typically at 7pm on a Saturday. This alone tells you about the demographic spread it needs to cater for, yet oddly the individual episodes I've seen have been borderline incomprehensible. Its form is more magician's trick than a TV series. And it looks cheap, in that paradoxical way only expensively produced pop videos can and do look cheap.

Although, Peter Capaldi is a genius piece of casting

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It's funny, though. When it comes to Sherlock, there are three head writers, three seasons, and three episodes per season, so it seems like you might be able to pick up certain consistencies from writer to writer. But, try as I might, each of them seems to have his own strengths and weaknesses that comes to play, and I can't point to any one of them and say that he's done the best or has the most singular style.


I think Moffat is just more naturally talented than the other 2. And the 3rd episode of the last series demonstrates excellently why. Each episode is as clever and complex, but Moffat is able to create a smooth story whilst incorporating this complexity, whist the others (especially Gattis) strain to do this. Although he does play my favourite character in the series.

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:05 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
NotHughGrant wrote:
Really, I heard they'll be filming this autumn.
Ah, that's better. I'd heard a rumor that there would be another two-year break, but it looks like they're starting the new series in December.

It was kind of funny. The series 3 premiere was on New Year's Day on the BBC, but was held until (I think) the 17th by BBC America. Come on, Beeb... in the age of the Internet, the first premiere IS the world premiere.

NotHughGrant wrote:
I think I've mentioned this before, I just can't dig Doctor Who. The show has infinite potential (literally in-built infinite potential), but is just so commercially compromised. The BBC shows it typically at 7pm on a Saturday. This alone tells you about the demographic spread it needs to cater for, yet oddly the individual episodes I've seen have been borderline incomprehensible. Its form is more magician's trick than a TV series. And it looks cheap, in that paradoxical way only expensively produced pop videos can and do look cheap.

Although, Peter Capaldi is a genius piece of casting
Yeah, you've mentioned it, and I can kind of agree to some extent. I started with the first Matt Smith series and went forward from there before wrapping back around to the Eccleston episodes. I was surprised by how shabby the Eccleston stuff looks by comparison--really soundstage-ish, with bad CGI. For what it's worth, the show's visuals look a good deal improved to me.

As for the episodes not making much sense on an individual basis... well, yeah. The episodes with Moffat as head writer have got to be absolutely bugfuck if seen in scattered pieces. There's a character whose personal timestream is traveling in the opposite direction to the timestream of the other major characters, so she knows all the mysteries right out of the gate and knows less the more that everyone else figures it out, which is one example of where the show is tumbling headlong and you wonder if it's going to catch itself.

It's a challenge to stay on top of that kind of plotting--who knows what and what happened to whom when. But as I mentioned earlier, I'm actually glad that there's a show that dares to try stuff like that. No other show has really embraced time travel as an integral part in an ongoing narrative. You usually see it as an occasional gimmick, like on Star Trek. I've likened Moffat's style to the storytelling of Grant Morrison, who likes to push the weirdness of his stories to the point where you might get confused sometimes, but it's a good kind of confusion that you can ride out without being shaken off.

Definitely looking forward to Capaldi. He gives me confidence, even though I've only seen a scattering of clips of In The Thick Of It, some TV interviews he's done, and his first two brief appearances as The Doctor. He sure does like the F-word.

NotHughGrant wrote:
I think Moffat is just more naturally talented than the other 2. And the 3rd episode of the last series demonstrates excellently why. Each episode is as clever and complex, but Moffat is able to create a smooth story whilst incorporating this complexity, whist the others (especially Gattis) strain to do this. Although he does play my favourite character in the series.

As the author of the first episode, Moffat wrote my second-favorite gag in the series to date: the introduction of Gatiss, who appears unnamed and very sinister. The later revelation of his identity was a terrific bait-and-switch for the people who were fans of Sherlock Holmes going in.

First-favorite gag obviously being when Holmes tries to use his deductive powers while drunk.

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:41 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
Ken -
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Ah, that's better. I'd heard a rumor that there would be another two-year break, but it looks like they're starting the new series in December.

It was kind of funny. The series 3 premiere was on New Year's Day on the BBC, but was held until (I think) the 17th by BBC America. Come on, Beeb... in the age of the Internet, the first premiere IS the world premiere.


Yeah, I'd say it justifies a world premier. If only to avoid spoliers.

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Yeah, you've mentioned it, and I can kind of agree to some extent. I started with the first Matt Smith series and went forward from there before wrapping back around to the Eccleston episodes. I was surprised by how shabby the Eccleston stuff looks by comparison--really soundstage-ish, with bad CGI. For what it's worth, the show's visuals look a good deal improved to me.


I think the scene that finally did it for me back in this era was a cropped-top wearing Billy Piper talking in street-slang to Queen Victoria. We deserve better.

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As for the episodes not making much sense on an individual basis... well, yeah. The episodes with Moffat as head writer have got to be absolutely bugfuck if seen in scattered pieces.



It really is. My BiL is a fan so I get dragged into watching the occasional episode when I'm over there, and I don't know which way is up when I do.

Quote:
It's a challenge to stay on top of that kind of plotting--who knows what and what happened to whom when. But as I mentioned earlier, I'm actually glad that there's a show that dares to try stuff like that. No other show has really embraced time travel as an integral part in an ongoing narrative. You usually see it as an occasional gimmick, like on Star Trek. I've likened Moffat's style to the storytelling of Grant Morrison, who likes to push the weirdness of his stories to the point where you might get confused sometimes, but it's a good kind of confusion that you can ride out without being shaken off.


Thing is, we mastered this stuff 25 years ago. It's called Red Dwarf, and was one of the smartest and funniest programmes ever made for TV. Sure, Red Dwarf was by definition a comedy, but its sci-fi elements were at least as good as Doctor Who, and most importantly, the narrative structure was perfectly digestible. It wasn't opaque. It was cheaply made, but after a while you hardly noticed because it was so good.

Quote:
Definitely looking forward to Capaldi. He gives me confidence, even though I've only seen a scattering of clips of In The Thick Of It, some TV interviews he's done, and his first two brief appearances as The Doctor. He sure does like the F-word.


When he was listed as a candidate, I thought it was such a good idea that I may be drawn to give the show another chance.


Quote:
As the author of the first episode, Moffat wrote my second-favorite gag in the series to date: the introduction of Gatiss, who appears unnamed and very sinister. The later revelation of his identity was a terrific bait-and-switch for the people who were fans of Sherlock Holmes going in.


Yes, that was exceptional!

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:49 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
(sorry you've probably heard of Red Dwarf, that sounded condescending when I read it back)

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Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:54 am
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Post Re: Sherlock
First season of Red Dwarf was pretty slow. Then had a few really outstanding series. Then it kinda petered out. But, yes, they did tend to try and stretch the bounds of sci-fi possibilities, if only to mine comedy.


Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:09 pm
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Post Re: Sherlock
You know what, you're right. I watched the very first episode late last night, and yes, it is slow.

All I can presume is that in the earlier days they were playing it somewhat safe, and not showing off their wackiest ideas yet.

As you say, the series does really pick up later on.

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:44 am
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