Comic Talk: Black Lightning: Year One- Jen Van Meter & Cully Hamner

I knew nothing about Black Lightning before DC released an animation short featuring Black Lightning's daughters needing to go to school, and he's fighting something but needs to get home to get his girls off to school. I saw it and thought "DC's trying to develop a black hero? Fantastic!" and wanted to know more about him. 

I don't remember why I chose this book. I like the Year One concept because it introduces new readers to a world without the weight of decades of back story, and villains that stretch forever and bog everything down. They're usually a one off, contained narrative, you know stories will continue but you don't need to know anything to be able to enjoy what you're reading. They do the job, they tread familiar ground for established fans but are easy for new potential fans to get into. 

But what I like. I like that as a hero Black Lightning has a family. So many heroes are alone with so little to live for or a real thing to fight and protect. Superman focuses on Lois and the Daily Planet. Spider-man on Aunt May, Gwen or MJ, and the Daily Bugle. Batman is on his own and maybe Robin sometimes? Iron Man fights for Pepper, but so many heroes are single bachelors, or dating or married without families to care about.

 At his core, Jefferson Pierce is a family man. He has a loving mother, wife and daughter, a hard but caring sister, her kind of deadbeat husband. There are people who know who he is, what he's doing and they care just as much as he does. They understand he has a power that can be put to so much good and in this book they do as much as they can to help him and to not end up as targets of the wrath of the 100. 

I like that he's written not as a stereotype. He's a solid family man (currently, I guess a divorce happens after the second daughter is born, but he retains custody later on), educated an educator, and a successful athlete. He speaks proper English and not some insulting lesser English. He was and athlete and pushed himself because he knew no other way to deal with the electrical build up in his body. It's not explained in this book where his powers come from, according to wikipedia, in Year One he's a metahuman and he just does. In other continuities he has a device that creates the electrical energy. (I do judge a little because he's a black dude with electricity powers (were they just used as a way/excuse to 'light' dark skin in  shadows in comics?---nah)).  He proves himself to be a valuable and good person as a positive local role model as he, as Jefferson Pierce, works to fix the Metropolis Southside after it was attacked by The 100, a gang that had a crazy magic-villain leader. 

He comes into town as a positive role model, he's working to improve the lives of these people, partially because of person guilt of 'abandoning' the town but also because he wants better for his students than their high school prostitution or gang lifestyle. He wants to prove to them that they're worth the effort and the energy and that they can do something good with their lives.  

I like that when Clark Kent shows up to figure out who Black Lightning, and later one to help, that the book doesn't become about him showing up to save the day or being super integral to everything. The old-world magic in the 100 is too toxic for his kyrptonian body and his powers are diminished, so the book is really about improving a community from the inside. I like how the bigger story is an overarching positive way to fixing something broken, not just by bringing in new resources but working to strengthen it from inside and giving people the hope and belief that they can live better lives.

I did get a little lost while reading the book. Every issue in the 6 issue mini that make up the book is narrated by a different character, his wife, a clean cop he knows, Pierce himself and Clark Kent all lend their opinions and observations of the situation. Those get confusing because they're one overarching idea for the 22 pages of the issues, but the panels are interspersed with the current dialogue. As I was reading I just stumbled over the dialogue versus the 'voice over' because both were important, but they're both being read so I'd read from one VO sentence into a dialogue sentence and would just get turned around.  I don't know if it was me or the comic being a little ambition with having that much go on. I don't read heroes that often, but I can't think of too many modern comics that have that type of 'this is how I saw the situation' type of thing going on. It's better than older comics where there's a giant caption box explaining the art in the panel.

On Cully's Art.  

I was originally not into it. It might just have been the thing of settling into a design because art evolves every time you pick up a pencil. It shifts, improves, changes. Maybe I just got used to the style for the book. I love the designs of everyone. I love how Black Lightnings costume functions and how simple it is. His true Hero costume may be kevlar and other armor but it's a tee shirt, leather jacket, jeans and stylized fold-down boots. The bottom half of the costume feels very early comics and is on the skin -tight side, but the idea of the costume is good. It's realistic clothing, and I like that the mask is connected to a wig so his identity is really concealed. I also like how it's presented to him. He starts out running around in a hoodie and jeans. When he admits his nightlife to his family they present him with his new Hero Armor. They're in on it, they're supportive, it's great.

As a black comics reader, even though I might not identify with many presentation of black characters in media, I did like seeing a world populated with different types of black people. Each was a character, each had ones and desires. It may be the 'bad' side of town, or the 'black' side of town, but the motivations that many characters had for what they were doing were apparently, the negative roads the kids were heading down were a product of the only things they saw. But design wise, there's more than one type of black person, in hair style, in fashion style.  

It's just such a good book. Give it a read, I was excited to pick it up every time I had the chance. It touched on a not often explored part of the DCU, and it shows that Dc can be not horrible to black characters. It shows a world realistically populated with important male and female characters who do good for the story. I think that both Jen and Cully did wonderful jobs and I'd love to read more of their interpretation of this character. I'd also love to see more of the DC animations done of Black Lightning, I hope he gets his own show, it's be boss. The black DC characters I know of who are have been in cartoons are Cyborg (I only know him from Teen Titans), Static Shock, but Black Lightning as a DCAU show could be another positive black hero, but also an adult and not just another child doing things. 

Movie Talk: The Fall (2006)

There will be spoilers. This movie is also a few years old. You can watch it on Amazon instant

I was thinking about the Heroes Quest and how it relates to The Fall, also a bit of feminism and movie ratings. Over on tumblr, I saw and queued this post criticizing (female) mutilation in rated R movies versus consensual (or otherwise) explicit sex in NC-17 movies. In criticizing the MPAA (I've done that a number of times in my old movie/tv blog) I was thinking about The Fall, why I wouldn't strictly follow it's R-rating, and why I personally would have little problem showing it to a far younger child. When I got my copy of it I first thought about showing it to my 8 year old sister. The mature ideas aren't really explicit, they are shown in an artistic and narratively complex way so I feel the movie can be enjoyed by both a while and and adult audience at the same time. There are mature concepts, but the child-adult interaction is fascinating, especially knowing about the little girl. 

So many ideas, let's start with the girl, Alexandra. She's in the hospital for having a broken arm. It's the 20s and she's the child of an immigrant farm worker. While being mischievous and wandering the hospital because she likes one of the nurses she meets Roy who has injured his legs or his back as a stunt actor. She returns to him day after day to hear him tell this great epic.

The girl who plays Alexandra was about 5 or 6 during the filming, she didn't know that Lee Pace the actor playing Roy could actually walk, and she was actually learning English as the movie progressed, so her development is there on film for the four months or however long the movie was filmed. They had set ups so she wouldn't always be directly aware that she was being filmed. There's no way she understood the second narrative of the film which is why I would love to show it to a kid, there are two narratives as this adult and child interact. It's kind of crazy. 

The story Roy is telling Alexandria, is about The Black Knight (Roy) seeking revenge for the murder of his brother. On this journey are an old mystic, a black hunter, an Indian, an Italian explosives expert and Charles Darwin. They eventually rescue a woman who has to be killed but doesn't die because of fate. She ends up with the bad guy. The heroes are traveling chasing the bad guy all around the world and Alexandria shows up in the story with Roy and everyone else as his daughter. We get to the final showdown and Roy wins, defeating the bad guy and goes home with Alexandria, after all their friends have died to protect her when Roy wasn't able to. 

What happened to The Black Knight and why couldn't he/Roy save the day? Roy was a stunt actor and was in love with the female lead in a movie he was filming that he was injured working on. She never loved him and broke his heart after his body broke. He tried to kill himself and Alexandria who cares so much for this guy gets a head injury trying to get him pills that will only kill him because she's too young to know what taking a bunch of morphine pills will do.

The narrative is kind of the hero's journey wrapped into the revenge narrative in an interesting fashion. There's never a damsel in distress, there is a woman saved but her being captured wasn't to hurt the male hero. Her being rescued changes him from being a heartless  seeker of vengeance to someone who cares about the people around him until she betrays him by having been in a relationship with the Bad Guy. There's a scene where Alexandria gets a second injury herself but this is after she's changed and has been encouraged to be brave and honorable by the story that she is able to help Roy and The Black Knight by becoming a character in the story. 

Both Alexandria and Roy go through important changes over the course of the movie and Alexandria is kind of more important than Roy because he may be telling her the story, what we see in the story world is her understanding of the world around her. When Roy mentions there's an Indian he mentions his squaw. When Alexandria imagines this Indian in the story-world she images a man from India because that's what she knows. The strength of both character's personalities is amazing. Both are needed for the stories to both work out. Having a respect for children and an understanding of how they thing is important to understanding the two worlds and the reminder that there are different things valuable in both. 

The movie also showcases the power of imagination and storytelling. Stories are powerful, they don't just entertain, they also teach and the audience needs to be receptive of the story for the meaning to be well understood. I don't think I mentioned this before, but the locations in the movie are gorgeous, as a period piece I think they did a great job of establishing the world and bringing over the little things from the real world that inspired Alexandria's understanding of the story world. 

The Fall is crazy, beautiful and weird. I love it, I love watching it and thinking about it because there's so much and it's not just a normal hero's journey, there's so much that influences it. I don't think that the story-world inside the movie could exist and make any type of sense without the 'real world' narrative. I think the real world narrative could exist without showing the story world, but that would be visually boring, and it also wouldn't show how the two injured characters are affecting one another. When Alexandria takes over the story and injects herself into it, it asserts her importance as a person and makes her an active participant in both worlds. 

Like everything I write, I feel this went a little off track. The Fall is a great movie, gorgeous locations and a complex self-paralleling narrative as these injured people help one another. They may no realize how much they influence one another in the moment, but by the end of the movie both characters have been changed by the experiences they had. 

Webseries Talk: EastSiders (2012-2013)

Spoilers, blah blah blah - EastSiders is also ongoing, but I have seen the first 6 episodes (everything that's been released so far) -- All episodes on LogoTV - sorry but I think it's location locked. 

EastSiders is about morality, emotions, relationships and is a fantastic drama. I'd call it a soap opera, but it's big, expansive and over played, it's small and about emotional hurt and pain. Gay couple Cal and Thom start having trouble after Cal learns that Thom has been cheating on him. Cal's best female friend Kathy is in a relationship with Ian and they’re having rocky times because Cathy seems to be reticent to depend on Ian, but Ian seems to be the type to lasso the moon for her.

The show starts the morning after an End of the World party that friends of Cal and Thom were throwing December 2012.  Cal has learned that Thom had been cheating and confronted him about it. As an audience we're dropped right into drama as Cal and Thom decide to stay together after Thom's deception has been found out and he breaks it off with Jeremy, his piece on the side. 

At first, you're rooting for Cal who is the one who was wronged in this relationship, but it becomes more than that as the show progresses and these characters become more than Cheater/Cheated-on/Cheated-With. Little is known as of episode 6 of Jeremy other than he can't give up either Cal or Thom.

But wait, Cal was cheated on by Thom with Jeremy but they now know one another. When deciding to meet the man he hates, Cal ends up drinking with Jeremy as they discuss Thom and while inebriated they fool around together. This makes things more complex then Cal being the wronged party, he has not wronged Thom and admits to hating himself and Jeremy.

Cal is conflicted, he’s now not a victim of cheating, but now a cheater with the same man he was his lover cheated on him with. Cal wants to see himself as being the morally correct party and holds himself to that standard of the hurt party in the relationship. Cal wants to stay with Thom out of spite, they’ve both been wrong and wronged so he feels justified that he and Thom ought to stay together with their personal injuries. Not too long later, while at work in an art space, while having a celebratory drink with his boss, Cal kisses him which leads to them sleeping together. This is after Cal has expressed immense joy over someone buying one of his prints and exclaiming “Someone on the Internet likes me.” This shows how little Cal likes himself as he seeks out men other than his boyfriend for validation. He’s conflicted and he falls from being a ‘good person’ to being a more complex and wrong person as the series progresses. He seems to sleep with people then push them out of his mind, as if thinking that if they don’t acknowledge what happened then it didn’t happen and there’s nothing to be responsible for.  After sleeping with Jeremy instead of addressing the ramifications of his actions, Cal runs away. After sleeping with his boss, who Cal only just learns is married, Cal runs away instead of facing the reality that he cheated on Thom again. Cal seems to have issues with engaging and actively fixing problems that are his fault. When Thom is the one who is wrong Cal is very gung-ho about making Thom feel bad about cheating on him, and feeling bad about his place in life. When Cal is the one who wrongs Thom he does what he can to avoid addressing the problems either by drinking or helping Kathy with her problems. Cal seems to be open to cheating on Thom when drinking, but also seems embarrassed and likes to pretend he's done nothing wrong. He's already expressed a dislike of himself, so maybe he's just trying to feel like someone wants, or needs him. As Cal explores and questions Thom’s commitment to their relationship, Kathy, Cal's best friend plays out long dramas in her head, reaching conclusions without all the facts and doesn't take her boyfriend's feelings to heart as much as she should.

The night of the End of the World party is near Kathy and Ian’s anniversary, he tries to be a good boyfriend by giving her a gift, which happens to be a ring. In Cathy’s inebriation she believes he’s proposing to her and spends the next day (or so) thinking she’s engaged to be married. She plays out the drama, the risks and rewards of being married in her head and to Cal instead of talking to Ian and getting a straight answer. This is cleared up and not long later Kathy realizes she’s pregnant and does the same thing of going to Cal instead of Ian to discuss her future plans. Ian as far as he’s be characterized, is a good guy. He seems to be kind, compassionate, a good friend, he tries to be a good boyfriend, so it’s difficult to see why Cathy is to reticent to go to him when she has a problem.

I’m thinking Kathy is afraid of a lot more than they ever lets on to, at least to Ian if not all of her friends. She expresses fear about she can’t be getting married and why she shouldn’t be having a baby, but she never seems to discuss this with Ian. I think she’s afraid of losing him so she wants to keep him at a steady distance, either to keep from getting to attached so she can cut and run, or she’s afraid he’s going to break it off and she’ll be subjected to more pain. What she does makes me feel really bad for Ian, he hasn’t been shown to be anything other than devoted and honest, so her dishonesty and how she jumps to conclusions in her fear is really unfair. Kathy decides to abort the baby she would have had with Ian and never tells him, he finds out in the worst way they he could have been a father, but the joy he expressed for a hot minute at this thought seems to crash that much harder after he learns that there was never a discussion with him. She might have still come to the same conclusion, but at least he could have known.

 I think her choice to get an abortion is handled in a respectful manner. She's reticent before the procedure and unlike her cavalier to introspective emotional arc when she's drinking and making the decision with Cal, then she's despondent after the procedure. Seeing another woman say she's keeping her baby, Kathy seems like she regrets the decision, and this is something I like about the show. I like how the show plays out how the decision weighs on Kathy and her uncertainty after it's all over. It's not an easy decision and I'm sure many women think long and hard about it, either way after getting one and if they decide not to get one. It's not played as if after the procedure that Kathy feels at peace with everything and confident, she's still uncertain and afraid of the adult world facing her. She's afraid of seeing Ian and then telling him what she decided to so.  She acts like she's always confident and competent, but she's afraid. This by no means makes her a weak character, but it shows how conflicted she is and how difficult life is. She dives head first into her mistakes then fearfully addressing the problems of her actions while recovering after (literally in this instance).

With Cal having started kind of morally as a protagonist in the show not much is currently known about Thom. He's a bartender, he cheated on Cal but regrets it. He's called a bad guy and characterized in the series by mutual acquaintances as a 'bad guy' but so far he's tried to be upstanding. After breaking things off with Jeremy he avoids his calls and texts, spending more time at work or with Cal to prove that he's a changed man. Jeremy is still acting very much the interloper, by going to both Cal and Jeremy's workplaces to try to maintain contact with two people who have decided they want nothing to do with him. Jeremy seems to be obsessed with this, maybe because they were his most recent partners, or their life drama is that alluring that Jeremy can't quit them, he keeps trying to make a place in their story. I'm not sure what Jeremy's MO is, he has expressed enjoyment of both Cal and Thom, when talking with a friend about it Jeremy doesn't know what he wants or what he expects by attempting to continue any sort of relationship with either. 

I look forward to the new episodes every Tuesday, posted at 3pm EST. I like that I can't really predict how the characters are going to act, I can kind of guess what's going to happen but it doesn't feel like I  can see the dots ahead while connecting them to get to the conclusion. I have a few possible conclusions, but nothing feels set in stone, I look forward to seeing how everything either comes together or falls apart. The entire show is about shifting morality and how characters actions change who they are and what their worth is. I don't know what I want to have happen, I don't know who I want to end up happy in the end and who deserves to get their comeuppance.

 I like how realistic things are being handled, that these stories are plausible, have probably happened (maybe not all at once in the same friend circle), but I like how the connections and how people interact is the important thing. How and why people hurt each other, it's greater than sexuality. This is a story about people and failure, and possibly redemption, it depends on how open ended it is. 

Correction: I spelled 'Kathy' incorrectly and have fixed it

Fears: The Economy, Money, Life, Other

Man, that discussion on sex was fun. So was my Valentine's Day post, but we're now back to my favorite topic of discussion, me! And what's better than talking about me? Me talking about my fears then relating them to other people my age who are possibly just as screwed as I am. That said, I still want to just movie west and say 'fuck you too, Virginia' maybe next year, I really want to go to SPX this September, I'll move away after SPX..

So, my fear! This was originally written on my cell phone, it ended up a lot longer than I anticipated it being and I change my title to better reflect what I think I was taking about. --

Are millennials, Gen Y, or whatever the fuck the 20-35 age group is called, going to be like our Depression Era great/grandparents when we’re older or will that be the children born in the last 15 years?

I mean, many of us “came of age” during an economic depression where compared to 50 years ago minimum wage is proportionally less when inflation is taken into account. The cost of living has sky rocketed and it’s now a life time effort to pay of college loans as opposed to a few years because low and middle class Americans are not being paid as much when compared with our counterparts from a few decades ago.

In America I've seen between 200-350% wage difference between the worker and their bosses who take bonuses even as the companies fold (here’s looking at you, Hostess) and the employees barely have the money to support themselves. Skilled labor education is lowering, and every year universities turn out graduates who are over qualified for the few competitive jobs there are.

It’s a mad house and we’ve all been blind to it as we buy technologies we don’t need (up high iPad! (and other tablets)) and can barely afford (down low iPhone 4, 4.5, 5) that cost an arm and a leg and offer little more than cosmetic changes to their predecessors.

So, I was wondering if the current generation of young adults who distract themselves from reality with more technology (I’m guilty of this in my own way, even with my Apple hating habits) but are still living through a depression, going on ebt/food stamps and are working in restaurants and retail, jobs previously left to high schoolers, will end up the way people who lived through the 1929 such market crash did and start hoarding everything. Money will be stuffed into mattresses, the banks haven’t been that well trusted in a long time going, anyway, and will we end up deadening like a generation if penny pinchers and misers when the economy turns and is robust again. Will the American economy turn around like that, again? It was aided in a global war that put all able-bodied hands to use fighting and in manufacturing that to some extent is now done overseas where labor is less picky and cheaper. The economy turned around in the 40s because military technology was now used to improve and cheapen the cost of living so more people could afford 2.5 children, a tract house and a yard (and a mean green mother from outer space hiding in said yard) and people had the money to spend on frivolities as technology replaced the need for skilled labor.

What is going to turn the modern economy around so that people like me, who have bachelor’s degrees and spend their days doing little can become effectual members of society? What is going to upset American classicism and put more money into the hands of the workers and create more jobs? What happened to the American Dream, the idea that anyone could work their way from nothing, with a little help maybe, and make a living wage? I love what Hunter S Thompson had to say with his myopic view of the future from the mid 70s

--"And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

Fear and Loathing in Las Vega

America peaked and he couldn't see it’s salvation or it’s return to societal power. I believe we peaked and since we've been falling but it’s not impossible for us to reach some sort of glory again.

I do wonder what becoming an adult in America’s turbulent recent history as the idea of success and normal change, will play on us.

---

Fun Fact portion!

Minimum Wage:
USA Today: Adjusting Minimum Wage for Inflation - Feb 2013
Huffington Post: Raising Minimum Wage - Feb 2013

Wage Ga
Wall Street Journal - Firms Resist New Pay- Equity Rules - June 2012
AlterNet - Wage Gap Between CEOs and Workers Continues to Grow - June 2012
OpEd News - Corporate America's CEO Pay Heist - ~2003
AFL-CIO - CEO to Worker Pay Gap  - some time after 2011
AFL-CIO - 100 Highest Paid CEOs - 2011 

Hunter S. Thompson Quotes
I used the pertinant part of that quote for what I wanted to say here but the entire thing is beautiful, it's from the Wave Speech in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. That entire quote, and other, can be read on my old blog here

Elementary/Sherlock

I have been a fan of Sherlock since I saw episode 1. I really fell in love with Elementary somewhere during episode 2. I have always had a thing for mystery shows and narratives even if I’ve had issues with reading Doyle, sometimes the flavor of the age of writing impedes my desire to really read even if I know I’m going to enjoy the story.

Sherlock has been a fun modernization of the original stories. Shaping them to fit into a contemporary mold and updating the little things so it wouldn’t feel too far anachronistic. There are passes for the sillier aspects of the idea compared to modern tech but the functionality and use of modern tech, such as cell phones, Google/internet search databases; entertainment and the modern war setting, plus the travails of modern life – like self checkout lines and credit cards – work to sink it into some type of a recognizable reality for the little things while the larger aspects of the stories stay the same. The basis for the stories is still there, the clues and facts and methodology are there but the world building has advanced 100 some odd years.

Elementary feels more like watching House in taking the character of Sherlock Holmes and his ridiculous name and putting it into a modern setting. I’m not entirely sure how much I like Watson as his rehab guide but shifting that knowledge from war to general modern medicine with a focus on surgery is nice. This show follows the tried and true, albeit a bit boring, 3 act formula where the first 2 suspects are wrong, character development happens and the plot jumps forward by leaps and bounds, the third suspect is proven along with any other accessories or details revealed to the audience and the final petit denouement of character building is revealed. I enjoy trying to actually solve the case and then guessing what the big thing for the story will be and how the case relates to the character development. I don’t know if that’s the writer in me or my obsessive watching of movies and following story. Major clues are looked over until later evidence reveals why it’s so important.

So I really do love both shows but I do like how human Sherlock is in Elementary. He threw a temper tantrum in the first episode, it showed how he’s a flawed human being, not just in his inability to connect with people on the usual levels in human interaction but it was simply a nice character moment - which destruction existed to be destruction – which I’d like to see that loss of control again. There’s also the small ways he shows how he cares about Watson and whatever she’s dealing with. Not just in helping whatever her small B-story is but in the editing when the camera holds on him for a moment after she does something or how petulant he is during episodes 8-11 when Watson’s trying to find a sober sponsor for him and his not helping at all. He doesn’t want her to leave, they were well with one another, she butts heads with him and he respects her for it. She’s not swoony over his deduction and he’s not super-human in it, he’s patient and in a way more autistic in his ability to focus. This concept seems to be going around in media to have a highly functioning autistic character and if this is over stepping bounds, I’m sorry. His mechanisms or interaction are odd without the macabre of the original character but with an abandon as if he doesn’t know general social cues. I’m sure I’m far from the first to diagnose a Sherlock Holms character/clone as a being autistic and I won’t be the last.

Sherlock from BBC’s Sherlock is more robotic and seems to fit more of the check boxes of a Doyle Sherlock Holmes. I really do mean to read the stories to get a better handle on Watson and not just follow interpretations and Wikipedia articles I read years ago. Sherlock still has his addictions and his metered violent tendencies and John is infatuated with his deducting reasoning and how Sherlock sees the world. He is more of a fan as he follows and works to solve the cases even with his periodic ventures into having a life outside of Sherlock he is drawn back it feels for reasons other than being a friend. Sherlock’s saving John and reactions to him are immediately warmer and at the same time it’s a different sort of calculating. There isn’t the butting of heads as often, John can hold his own with Sherlock but in a way doesn’t seem as capable on his own when compared to the CBS Watson.

As for a romantic relationship between Sherlock and Watson it doesn’t seem like it’ll ever happen in Elementary so it’ll be fun to see that dynamic of other characters interacting and shaking up the duo. Sherlock has expressed an interest in Watson but so far every female companionship he’s had on the show other than Watson has been purely physical. There is something said that he considers her attractive but it would just be for a physical release and the endorphins and not a real relationship. With the BBC Sherlock and Watson maybe it’s the latent yaoi fan girl or the tumblr obsession with guys fucking and seeing Sherlock/John passing on my dash – whether I want to see it or not – but there are moments in the BBC Sherlock that feed the fan response. In season 1 there were the winks to the audience about how scandalous 2 bachelors living together looked and the mentions that characters thought they were an item, even though both protested but the way the BBC Sherlock is written he has a much softer spot in his heart of John than the CBS Sherlock has for Watson.

Both Sherlocks are robotic but the Sherlock on Elementary feels more human and more like a real character than the BBC Sherlock because they did make him more human in some ways. That little bit of temper that shows up and the slight devilishness in going behind Watson’s back to know who Watson knows and the fact that he keeps an eye on them is interesting. He’s loyal and feels guilt and shame even if the character seems to avoid it until someone confronts him with his flaws. The character has changed in the 11 episodes, possibly more than the BBC Sherlock changed in his 6. I’d say the same about Elementary’s first 6 and BBC’s first 6, different interpretations of the source material and character.  I really do like both shows quite a bit and they both strive to do something different. I look forward to seeing what each does in their respective worlds with their outlandish, over thought murders and how they develop the character interactions.

 I do kind of wish that Elementary had a season long case, something to make audiences return every episode. The character development is subtle but I kind of feel like I could almost miss an episode or two and not lose anything. Conversely with the BBC Sherlock so much happens in every episode that also doesn’t always directly reflect on the next one but there seems to be ruminations and machinations for other links and possibly returning characters.