Sherlock and Emerald City

Sherlock :The Six Thatchers


Look! All I know is I’ve watched this episode three damn times, am going to watch it again today before the next episode, and I still don’t give two shits about the plot. The best I can make out is it heavily involves Mrs. Watson, and her extracurricular activities as a spy working for Mycroft, her and John have had a child, and that the show fridges her to further John’s Manpain. Now I was feeling very upset about that and tried to calm down. There are often a host of reasons why someone might be killed off a show, like they have some other project to work on, they asked to leave, maybe their contract was up. 

The problem is that these deaths seem to so often happen only to whatever lone marginalized person is part of the cast, (women and PoC in general). So yeah, I was kinda pissed that they killed this character, as she was one of the few characters in the show I liked, although I found her liking for Sherlock unfathomable. Sherlock is an intensely unlikable man. I can see why John likes him. John often calls Sherlock on his bullshit, and you can tell he’d occasionally really enjoy punching him in the neck. I like the dynamic between the two of them, but Mary’s like of him came out of nowhere.

The good thing is the show is still funny. It’s gotten funnier over the last two seasons, as the actors have become more comfortable in their roles, and know their characters. This makes Sherlock much easier to watch than in those first few seasons. Sherlock is unlikable but I like watching him get into situations he might not be able to handle. I like watching him get surprised,and humbled, by the people around him, who he thinks he knows so well. And apparently, he can be defeated by a baby, as even John’s child doesn’t like him. That big brain of his can’t solve everything and that’s mostly my takeaway from this show. 

Anyway, I’m going to watch tonight’s episode although I was exceptionally unimpressed by the goings-on in that last one. As usual the visuals were awesome and the cinematographer manages to make Bandersnitch Cumquarter look pretty good. 

*Sigh*

I really need to start watching Elementary. I really do love the idea of a female version of Watson and I like Lucy Liu so why not?

 

 Emerald City:


I don’t know that I’ll continue to watch this series becasue its on NBC and I intensely dislike that network for canceling Hannibal,(plus a lot of its shows are just crappy). I also had  no idea this was going to be a series, to be truthful. I thought the show was going to be a limited event sort of thing. Turns out it will be returning next week. Will I watch it? I just don’t know.

Its not a bad show. The best thing about it are the visuals. The plot is somewhat convoluted, which is not helped by being thrown into the deep end of it, as a viewer. I liked some of the story elements, and one of the better things about it is its diversity of characters, although  everyone, as far as I can tell,  is still straight and conventionally pretty. It gives the impression of diversity witohut actually having inclusion.

It stars, of all people, Vincent D’onofrio. And his beard. No, it doesn’t mean he’s masquerading as a straight man with a wife. No, really! Its a massive beard that takes up so much of his face that I didn’t recognize him at first. Is he trying to be incognito? I had to Google the character to figure it out. I expect this beard to become a major plot point sometime in the future. It’s so huge that it has its own gravity.

Florence Kusumba, that badass bodyguard from Captain America Civil War, stars as the Wicked Witch of the East, who gets killed several times in the narrative. The first time when Dorothy falls on her out of the sky and the second time when she tricks her into shooting herself.  I was kinda salty about that because the Eastwitch was awesome, and had these gold filigree finger protectors that I desperately wanted. I’m trying not to be too upset by her death because maybe she only contracted to do one episode, or she’s got to get started on her stuntwork for Black Panther. Or maybe she’s not actually dead, and might be resurrected at some point, which sometimes happens in Fantasy shows.

This is what I mean by surface level diversity, though and NBC is always doing this. The only prominent Black woman in the cast, with actual lines, lasted all of half an hour.There are a number of PoC in the cast, but it feels hollow because there’s the just the  one Asian lady, the one black lady, and the one Latina, and they mostly don’t interact with each other. When they do interact at all, when the Eastern Witch meets Dorothy, she tortures Dorothy and Dorothy kills her. Basically, none of the women in this show like, or support, each other.

Dorothy Gale is played by Adria Arjona, an actress I’d never heard of before this show. It is nice to see Latinas being included in Fantasy stories though, although I didn’t get much sense of her character during the show. I know she’s brave and plucky but beyond that I didn’t learn much about her.

The rest of the plot is the various characters trying to figure out who or what killed the Eastern Witch, because only a Witch can kill another Witch, something that gets said several times in the episode, so we know its important. Where this gets complicated is Dorothy doesn’t believe she’s a witch. She’s responsible for the death of the Eastern Witch because she talked her into shooting herself, so from a technical standpoint, the Eastern Witch committed suicide.

There are two other witches and I liked how they tried to diffrentiate between the different styles of Witchery. You can tell some real thought was put into it. Ana Ulara plays the Witch of the West and she portrays her as an old school, medieval style Witch, who is very basic and primal, meaning she looks as if she’s been smeared with dirt, she growls a lot, and there’s some Goth  dancing later. Contrast that with the Eastern Witch, who looked urbane and picturesque, like an exotic fashion model, who is on location in the Sahara. There’s another woman, who is at odds with the Western Witch, you can tell because she is always giving the younger witch cryptic orders, and she looks regal, blond, and frosty, like the White Queen from Narnia.

The biggest drawback to the show was it kept reminding me of other shows and movies. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it was difficult to get into the story becasue I kept being reminded of other stuff. Its like someone took all of the favorite fantasies of the past twenty years, shook them up and scattered them all over this show. There’s some Game of Thrones in the Pict-like characters Dorothy meets when she first comes to Oz. There’s some Dune in the technology , and in the costumes, of the female attendants of the Wizard of Oz, played by D’onofrio. They remind me of the Bene Gesserit. Parts of it reminded me of the movie Snowpiercer, with the Wizard trying to hold on to his power base. And there’s some Narnia and Lord of the Rings thrown in too, with men in shiny silver armor, and some animal headed being who looks like a lion, who immediately reminded me of Aslan.

So the visuals are great, but the show does need to work on it’s dialogue, and try becoming its own animal, instead of aping someone else’s fantasy ideas. Also, I have to warn that the show is very dark and grim and dark. And grim. There’s lots of political intrigue, Dorothy gets tortured, then she gets tortured some more, when she meets the Eastern Witch. She meets the scarecrow when she saves him from some torture, so there’s torture all around, really.

Speaking of the scarecrow, he looks like he’s being played by that guy from Shakespeare in Love. He plays the scruffy love interest, I’m guessing. Dorothy names him Lucas and a big deal is made out of the fact that that’s the name of her home town. I’m not sure if the scarecrow is  missing a brain or heart or something, though. There’s no Toto and I kinda missed him, and in keeping with the grim nature of the show, they could’ve made Toto a Rottweiler, or something. Dorothy meets the scarecrow when she stumbles across his crucified body in an empty field, and nurses him back to health. So the show starts off like the typical Wizard of Oz but by the time you get to this point, it has veered into some serious grimdark territory. 

Do not watch this show if you are a fan of Wizard of Oz but hate Game of Thrones. That’s how I roll, so I don’t know how much longer I’ll be looking at this. 

What’s even worse is there’s no dancing or music in whatever world Dorothy has landed in. I’m just putting that out there. This is the kind of world where no one is happy enough to engage in that sort of thing.

 

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