The Sherlock fandom has an awful lot of Sherlock haters in it, for the Sherlock fandom.

it’s certainly the only example i’ve seen where a significant number of hardcore, highly productive fans transformed into ‘i fucking hate this show, i…

i think if the show had been consistent backwards from S3 (ie, if S1 had been matched to S3), you wouldn’t see this. certainly for myself, i’d have had a look, gone ‘nah, not for me’, and moved on. but people who fell hard, hard, hard for S1 in a full-on fangirl love of my life kind of way, are not surprisingly having a hard time modulating their emotions as they try to disengage. i lived through the long, slow, miserable death of my x-files feelings, it was fine, the show worn me down gradually until i was able to throw my hands up and go on with my life. the sheer suddenness of this turn around is hard on the temper.

it’s perfectly normal for people in the holmes fandom to say they ‘hate’ the comedic-idiot reading of watson in the rathbone movies, for example. it doesn’t mean they equate it with genocide or racism. i can say i ‘hate’ the moffat-gatiss characterization without implying it’s somehow the largest thing on my mental horizon. but it is, at this point, my least liked adaptation of the canon.

Yeah. The fact is, S3 was a major departure from S1/2 in a lot of ways – tonally, structurally, in characterization. They also retconned some things from S2 in the name of a “clever” Reichenbach resolution (like, say, most of Sherlock’s emotional growth). Then on top of that, there are plot holes and things that just don’t quite line up, a lot of threads left dangling, and unfortunately the subpar resolution of S2’s problems has left a lot of us no longer confident that the writers will actually resolve those dangling threads.

I don’t hate S3, and I don’t hate the show. But I can totally understand why someone WOULD hate either or both now. There are definitely some things that leave me uneasy, and if they aren’t resolved (or worse, pushed farther) in S4 I might lose interest in the show altogether. But I think it’s entirely understandable why people would give up at this point.

Oh, I so agree with all of this. 

For me (and possibly for a lot of long-time Holmes fans, though I can’t speak for anyone but myself), the most important feature of any adaptation is the “click” in the Holmes-Watson relationship. Change (almost) anything else, but if you’ve got that totally satisfying click of two intelligent, emotionally needy, and adventurous people who get each other and light up in the other’s presence, and you’ve got the adaptation. 

(This is part of what the Elementary fandom is dealing with currently. I’m a few episodes behind, but this element was there in season 1, and then in season two they progressively spent less and less time on Watson to the extent that she is so underwritten as a character that the click doesn’t happen anymore. People are losing interest, which is incredibly sad because that adaptation has so much potential.)

But back to Sherlock: I know for myself I was HOOKED by ASiP because of the strength of that click. Those boys are glowing in that hero-walk at the end. It’s there again in neon lights at the end of TGG. It becomes harder to find in Series 2, where we get misunderstandings and Sherlock pushing John away; and then what so many cling to as the rooftop moment—the tears, the involuntary laughter—as evidence of the perfectly clicking relationship again even at this extreme moment, was, as pocupine-girl wrote, reconned by series 3. And then in Series 3 you have to go looking for that click with a microscope. It’s evident at the end of TEH, once in the train car, which is why the scene may be emotionally if not morally redeemed, then again in the hallway, even though it’s nearly indecipherable, and then again in the Rizzla game. The saddest part of all: HLV has none of it. I’m tempted to look at it this way: Gattiss likes his arguments and then his make-up sex scenes, while Moffat for some reason, after ASiP, is really enjoying writing jealousy and distance. 

As many people have said before, I think it’s possible to see this lack of ‘clicking’ as a ripple-effect of Reichenbach: a ripple of distance that precedes it and a long ripple of distance that follows. But in BBC Sherlock-timeline terms, that’s 2/3 of the entire show, without any promise that it will get back on track any time soon. So if what I’m seeing on screen, instead of this intimate, sparking relationship is one that is simultaneously distant; at times physically and at times emotionally abusive; and at times so underwritten that we have to fill in the most pivotal bonding scenes (like hospital bedsides) ourselves, you have to bet that’ll harsh my squee. 🙁

All true sadly but I just can’t bring myself to hate on any of the Sherlocks. I am still hopeful for a better S4. There were parts of S3 I loved but most of it was disappointing after waiting so long. If they don’t get that click back, the show will start to fail because the Holmes/Watson dynamic is what it’s all about.

Excellent points in all this.  Except that I am confused how there could be said to be no click in HLV?  I found it the most clicky episode of the season.

In Molly’s lab, when Sherlock and John were basically having their own private conversation in front of everybody else?  At 221b, after Sherlock shooed Janine out?  In Magnussen’s building when Sherlock was talking about locks and proposing and John had his little moment of creative imagination?  Everything from the reveal of John in the narrow house through the end of their confrontation at Baker Street, and then again at Appledore with the whole “Look how you care for John Watson” deal?

Frankly HLV is the reason I’m looking forward to S4.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *