Let me tell you a story. It’s about acting. It’s been told quite a lot, and the exact quotes change each time it gets told, but the punchline is always the same.

Dustin Hoffman and Sir Laurence Olivier are on the set of the Marathon Man. Hoffman’s character has stayed up three nights, so Hoffman walks onto the set after 3 days without sleep to be more realistic. Olivier, concerned, asks him why he looks so tired. Hoffman tells him. Olivier is very surprised. After a moment, he replies, “Try acting, dear boy…it’s much easier.”

What does this have to do with Johnlock? Everything.

Read More

If you want a really good meta about Sherlock and its actors, you have to read this. If you like acting, Benedict, Martin, TJLC, or anything about Sherlock, you have to read this.

Personally, I’m not a huge TJLC person, not because I don’t think it will ever happen, but because I am lazy and I don’t make predictions about what might happen in upcoming episodes of a show. I prefer to just do my own thing and let the show surprise me with whatever they have (this also probably is my way of making sure I don’t let my expectations get ahead of me).

However, ifyouhaveenoughnerve addresses some really great issues here that have been bothering me for a long time. She explains different acting styles and their implementations by Benedict and Martin with great clarity. She makes a great case for TJLC (and even if you’re not exactly a TJLC person, she still makes an educational and compelling case about acting and why TJLC has such a strong following as it is) in a relatively concise post. 

As a theatre minor who has been working on and off the stage for quite a while, the facts and examples within this meta give me great joy. If we included in-text citations and a bibliography, this would definitely be an academic paper I would want to see in a class or conference.

This is awesome.

It doesn’t really get down into the question of the tension between the characters, in my opinion, but it does address the “is it accidental?” issue (along with going into elements of acting process that are cool to think about in any case).  No, of course it’s not accidental.  When they’ve got John mugging over Sherlock playing kissy-face and they did an entire 90 minute episode on Sherlock and his femswapped lesbian doppelganger, it’s asinine and insulting to claim “we didn’t mean it, it just happened.”

The more pertinent question is, what do they mean by it?

Every good drama is driven by interpersonal tension: between the romantic couple, between the protagonist and adversary, between the protagonist and sidekick.  Dramatic tension is everywhere.  Slashers historically like to take dramatic tension between two same-sex characters and put a sexual read on it.  Which is fair enough, since queer storytellers have at times deliberately layered and coded types of tension to slip a queer reading in under the radar of all the het viewers and censors.  And then storytellers telling a straight story sometimes deliberately make use of that kind of queer coding to layer symbolic erotic nuances, even though it’s not meant to speak to an actual physical, sexual relationship (see: Hannibal).  And of course, there’s queer-baiting: deliberately using elements of that coding to generate a queer reading and then play it for laughs.

So the question is not, “Is the tension between Sherlock and John accidental or deliberate?”  It’s, “Do we think the creators have any intention of following through on it?”

Leave a Reply

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