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Posts Tagged ‘Sherlock’

Did you know today is National Siblings Day? No, neither did I until I heard it mentioned on The Today Show. But apparently there is such a thing so I’m taking advantage of the internet searches that will inevitably be undertaken to find out what this needless public recognition of our brothers and sisters is all about.

My complaint with a day commemorating this relationship is do we really need to be reminded? Siblings are our first playmates and our first adversaries as well. We’re unlikely to forget the injustices and pranks we survive at the hands of our closest relatives after all, are we?

That’s not to say siblings don’t bring positive things to our lives as well. They are the people with whom we share our formative years and, if all goes well, the ones who we know the longest. I have had an interest in birth order for some time and studied psychology in college so of course this makes me totally qualified to talk about the impact TV siblings have on one another.

Just look at the example of poor Martin Moone, the only boy and youngest child of four children in his family. His three older sisters ignore, belittle and abuse him at every turn. Sinead is probably the worst because she seems to delight in causing her baby brother pain and embarrassment. Take for example the time she painted Martin’s face with make-up in his sleep and he ran off to school without realizing he was sporting a slightly more feminine look that morning.

Martin Moone upon discovering his sister Sinead's prank image credit Baby Cow Productions

Martin Moone upon discovering his sister Sinead’s prank
image credit Baby Cow Productions

Childhood experiences are usually quite vivid and so we carry them forward into our adult lives. If we are fortunate enough to get to see our siblings much as grown-ups they are often our best friends. That closeness, however, doesn’t come without some emotional baggage. Here are a few telly examples of brothers and sisters who despite their love for one another tend to dwell on childhood bones of contention.

 

Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes (Sherlock)

There must have been quite a lot of competition in the Holmes house seeing as their mother was a eminent mathematician and both the boys could be described as bright to say the least. This sort of youthful antagonism is bound to have residual effects in adulthood with one sibling feeling to need to dominate the other.

 

Del Boy and Rodney Trotter (Only Fools and Horses)

In the case of an older sibling raising a younger one, often a surrogate parent-child relationship develops. The problem is that in adulthood the older sibling, in this case, Del Boy, can tend to interfere in his brother’s life more than in a more traditional nuclear family scenario. Also long buried resentments can bubble to the surface revealing the pain of a childhood cut short out of necessity.

 

Connie and Clarence Emsworth (Blandings) 

Children of privilege are expected to grow up to be upstanding, decisive administrators of their estates. Unfortunately for Connie Emsworth her older brother Clarence shirks all family duties and only wants to spend time with his prize pig, The Empress. As a result, Connie has become a nagging and bitter woman who knows in her heart she could run the affairs of manor if only she were a man.

 

Edith and Mary Crawley (Downton Abbey)

I’m not exactly sure why Ladies Edith and Mary don’t get along. Sure, Edith is the plain middle daughter who never gets a second look or any of the good marriage prospects. (Sort of the Jan Brady of the Edwardian upper class). But why Mary is always so mean-spirited and condescending to her less fortunate sibling, I’m not sure. If she showed just a bit of patience and sisterly kindness, perhaps she could have avoided a confrontation like this one.

 

Adam and Jonny Goodman (Friday Night Dinner)

These two young men have only recently moved from the family home so when they reunite weekly for family dinners, they tend to bring some lingering sibling rivalry and brotherly horseplay along with them.  Also Adam is still a chronic tattler, a strategy that he probably employed to make up for the fact that he is significantly smaller in stature than his brother Jonny.

 

So do any of these relationships remind you of you and your brothers or sisters? Did I miss one of your favorite sets of telly siblings? Make sure to tell your siblings you appreciate them and then thank (or blame) them for making you the person you are today!

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Please allow me to say this up front – this post is in no way an act of Cumberbashing.  I have nothing against Benedict Cumberbatch.  On the contrary, I’ve always considered him to be a fine actor.  And despite the media attention heaped upon him currently, he seems to be humble enough.  I base this solely on his appearances on such programmes as The Graham Norton Show of course.

 

What bothers me is that his personna has become ubiquitous:

For example, he’s here:

Mr. Cumberbatch on the cover of Time

Mr. Cumberbatch on the cover of Time

 

As well as here:

Cumberbatch - Otter memes

Cumberbatch – Otter memes

 

And here:

Benedict with Top Gear's Stig

Benedict with Top Gear’s Stig

 

 

Cumberbatch has got eight films listed somewhere between” announced” and “post-production” status, two currently in theaters and two more out by Christmas.  He’ll probably be performing Hamlet next year in the West End.  He might be in the new Star Wars movie.  It’s possible he actually faked his death by appearing to fall off a roof…

Sherlock's pre-Reichenbach Fall pose

Sherlock’s pre-Reichenbach Fall pose

 

I don’t know if he’s being promoted in as heavy handed a manner in the UK.  Perhaps his management is just making the big push to break him beyond the fangirls and Sherlock crowd in America.  Whatever the case, he’s constantly on my social media feeds and a major feature in most blogs I read.  In all fairness, I almost exclusively read British culture and entertainment blogs…

I was quite surprised to hear that Benedict’s new film, The Fifth Estate, bombed at the box office on its opening weekend. The Wikileaks story looks interesting and it’s certainly got a quality cast.   Surely his legions of rabid fans (the Cumberbitches) should have assured respectable ticket sales.  Could it be that a bit of Cumberbacklash may have begun?

I remember a time not so long ago when the young actor with the funny name was a new talent that I’d just discovered.

 

I understand the need to take the parts and the accolades when they’re on offer but there might be something to be said for laying low for a few months, build up demand for your talents.  Much better having people miss you a bit than roll their eyes every time you show up in yet another blockbuster trailer.

 

 

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Spoilers, Sweetie. This isn’t just a cutesy intro line. This post is, in fact, full of spoilers. You have been warned!

Also please don’t complain that I’ve neglected to mention the Time Lord here because plot twists and cliffhangers are woven into the fabric of Doctor Who.  It would require composing a very thick tome in order to discuss all of them and frankly it makes my brain hurt to try to narrow it down to just a few.  I’ll only say River Song and move on to the post proper…

So recently on The Hour, Freddie Lyon finally gets his personal life sorted then proceeds to rush headlong into a insanely dangerous situation, inserting himself between a story source and some ruthless thugs.  At the end of series 2, things look very bleak indeed…

Is Freddie Lyon dead

Could Freddie actually be dead? I prefer to think he’s clinging to life so that he may once again set eyes on his beloved Moneypenny.  This classic example of a cliffhanger leaves our protagonist in a precarious situation in hopes that we will be compelled to return to discover the resolution.  But here’s the thing – The Hour has yet to be recommissioned for a third series so, as they say in the Tootsie pop commercials, “The world may never know,” and in our minds Freddie Lyon may be forever on the precipice between life and death.

This got me thinking about other telly shockers I’ve enjoyed:

Sherlock – The Reichenbach Fall

Reichenbach Fall

Though the end of this episode reveals Sherlock alive and well at his own graveside, we’re left in the dark about how he actually survived.  We all saw him jump off a multi-story building, smash his skull, and be interred, or did we?

sherlock jump

While countless others make YouTube videos, blog their postulations, and debate on fan forums, I prefer to actually wait and see how Mr. Holmes cheated death.  No matter how long it takes to reunite the insanely in-demand duo of Cumberbatch and Freeman, I have faith that the Moff will eventually reveal all.

 

Life on Mars – Series Finale

First off for those who still don’t know the premise of this show: ” My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.”

Sam Tyler

This one also features a leap of faith (pardon the pun). After trying so hard to wake up from his coma and get the hell out of 1973, DI Sam Tyler realizes he’d really rather be back in the “dream state” where he felt far more alive than he ever did in real life. He too takes a tumble off a rather tall building, rejoins the colleagues he had abandoned in very dire circumstances and saves the day. It appears that it’s all happily ever after for Sam, but I’m told to truly understand the big picture you must watch the finale of the Life on Mars sequel, Ashes to Ashes for all to be revealed.  A cliffhanger within a plot twist…so clever.

 

Misfits: Series 1 finale

As a result of being caught up in a freak electrical storm, a group of young probationers find that each of them has gained a supernatural power of some sort – invisibility, the ability to turn back time, hearing other people’s thoughts, super sexiness (that one’s rubbish, by the way).  Everyone has a power, except Nathan, unless of course being a cocky, mouthy bastard can be considered an extraordinary skill.  Throughout the whole first series, Nathan waits for his power to take effect or be revealed and it isn’t until, wait for it…HE FALLS OFF A TALL BUILDING and is impaled on some fencing.  He’s buried and then this twisty, Jack Harknessy thing happens (You knew I wouldn’t drop the Whovian references altogether.  I just wanted to take some of the pressure off):

 

Comedy programs can leave us hanging as well and usually center around a long-established “will they, won’t they” romantic scenario.

Twenty Twelve: Series finale

Sally and Ian

Ian Fletcher, the head of the Olympic Deliverance Committee would be nowhere without his ultra-efficient and sweetly loyal PA, Sally Owen.  She sees the extreme stress that Ian’s job and unraveling marriage is inflicting on him and undertakes to look after his health and welfare in her wonderfully quiet way.  As Ian’s life gets even more chaotic, Ian and Sally fall out and she leaves her job only to return when he is abandoned by his new PA at a very inconvenient time. In the end, as the deliverance committee hands over its work and disbands, Ian prepares to leave for a trip to Italy, planned by Sally naturally.  Ian calls Sally into his office to talk about something important and well, that’s it.  We’re left in the dark.  Does he invite Sally to accompany him?  Is he about to thank her for her dedication and send her on her way?  This is the cruelest type of cliffhanger of all; one that is purposely ambiguous and never to be resolved.  Disappointing but somehow appropriate for this couple and this show.

 

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the most authentic cliffhanger I know of:

Green Wing: Series 1 Finale

Greenwing cliffhanger

Dr. Guy Secretan, distraught over learning the identity of his birth mother just a little too late, hijacks an ambulance containing his injured and newly discovered half-brother, Martin Dear.  Guy’s friend, Dr. Macartney, jumps on board in order to calm him down. Guy drives to the coast of Wales and just about plunges them over a cliff where they dangle while discussing which member of the Three Musketeers each one is most like.  Leave it up to Green Wing to take a cliffhanger to such a literally absurd conclusion.

Now if we only knew who Clara Oswin Oswald actually is;)

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The time between now and New Year’s Eve is prime party season.  Such parties require an extraordinary amount of planning and preparation, not to mention the actual hosting duties.  Therefore, it’s not something I’m very likely to consider doing.  However, if I were to decide to expend the energy, I’d want to go all out.

The secret to a successful party is not the food, drink or decorations.  It’s inviting the right mix of guests, each with specific strengths and talents.  And the best pool of invitees, in my opinion, would be my “friends” from the telly.  My carefully thought out list would read as follows:

1. Sally from Twenty-Twelve

Sally would be the very first person I would invite because, as personal assistant to the Head of (Olympic) Deliverance, her thorough and efficient planning skills are second to none.  I hate to admit it, but I would subtly try to exploit Sally’s very eager-to-please nature and convince her to do most of the organizing.  Believe me, you don’t want me to put this shindig together unless you like attending crap parties.

2. Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock

It’s a good idea to have someone at your soiree with a clever party piece, an impersonation or some unusual talent, to serve as an ice breaker of sorts.  The downside of Sherlock’s talent is of course his tendency to insult people, so I’d want to expose him to the other guests in small doses. He doesn’t like people much anyhow, so I don’t think he’d mind terribly if I locked him in my closet for the rest of the evening.

3. The Doctor and Donna Noble from Doctor Who

Once the first round of drinks has been served and people are comfortably mingling, it’s time to bring out the party games.  With their playful, platonic rapport, The Doctor and Donna make perfect game leaders.  Their specialty is the classic charades, but I think any game that requires witty banter and running is within their scope of expertise.

4. Maurice Moss from The IT Crowd

By now the party should be in full swing and people might have begun to behave a bit carelessly.  That’s why it’s wise to invite someone who keeps a cool head and knows what to do in a crisis.  Moss is conscientious and a whiz on the computer so in the unlikely event of an emergency, I’m almost confident he would be able to contact the proper authorities.

5. Stephen Fry (and guests) from QI

A good conversationalist is a must for any successful holiday bash.  Someone who can speak with wit and intelligence about current events as well as those weighty, eternal questions is a valued commodity.  Having Stephen Fry and his QI friends (particularly David Mitchell and Sue Perkins) in attendance would lend more than of smidgen of gravitas to my gathering.  They’re all Cambridge Footlights alums, by the way.

6. The cast of Gavin and Stacey

At first I was going to invite just Bryn and Nessa and I’ll tell you for why…because of their excellent karaoke skills. (I won’t lie to you, Nessa can tell an interesting story as well). Then I discovered the entire Gavin and Stacey cast could line dance so I decided to invite the whole lot of them.

7. Miranda

Despite, or perhaps even because of, her many faux pas, pratfalls and windy expulsions, Miranda would be the guest of honor at my party.  She may be awkward but she’s the Queen of Awkward.  She is what I call “awesome”!

8. Mr. Bean

Eventually my lovely, dream party will have to come to a close.  I believe a responsible host should have some sort of arrangement in place for shuttling her less than sober guests safely back to their homes.  Mr. Bean has an ingenious set-up for transporting a considerable amount of freight (or people) in his tiny little mini. Always the innovator, he also has a back-up crash safety system much more comfortable than any air bags.

Which telly character/personality would you most like to invite to a holiday gathering?

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Before I begin with the actual subject of this post, I feel compelled to report that today my blog has reached an all-time high view count of 300.  On the face of it, this is undoubtedly great news especially since I have not been simultaneously inundated with a barrage of irritating spam comments.  But after doing this for over 2.5 years, I can’t help feeling a bit uneasy.  As my fellow WordPress bloggers know, we are given all sorts of statistics to show us which posts are being viewed, which keywords are being searched and also the country location of the computer that’s doing the viewing.

Is this the guy keeping track of the IP addresses?

So what I have deduced from these record-breaking stats is that one person in the UK and another in Australia have been sitting in front of their respective laptops for approximately twelve straight hours toggling between my home page and each individual post. First of all, have they got nothing better to do with their time?  Why do they keep returning to the home page and if they are so obviously enthralled, why haven’t they commented or subscribed to my blog?  I suspect something nefarious or, fingers crossed, it could be someone from the BBC who has been assigned to read my most excellent musings and offer me a full-time blogging job.  Oh, the swirling vortex of possibilities!

Wait, wrong kind of vortex. Or is it?

I’ll keep you posted.  Until then I am happy to present the long-awaited final installment of my lady killer series – that man who is aloof, elusive, or basically unattainable.  A challenge which makes them all the more desirable to a large proportion of women.

1. Sherlock (the Benedict Cumberbatch version)- Women and a number of men, for that matter,  are rather cruelly drawn to the brilliant detective who refuses to suffer fools or people who waste his time with unimportant details (like the fact that the Earth goes round the sun).  Only the mysterious Irene Adler (and some would insist, John Watson) has ever been able to hold his interest and shake him up a bit.   Sherlock has been described as “Aspergery” so it’s possible he really can’t help himself, but this series of clips shows he knows when he’s gone too far so it’s a good thing Molly Hooper didn’t let him off easy.

No matter, Sherlock has proclaimed himself married to his work so he will remain on the confirmed bachelor list; however you choose to define that term is up to you.

2. Doc Martin – is the type of man who gives a scolding lecture on obesity and heart disease at his aunt’s funeral.  Yet another who falls within the spectrum of desperately inadequate social skills, Martin Ellingham has had at least a few women show an interest in him.  Despite his distressingly large ears and a constant sour expression, the Doc has caught the eye of deluded pharmacist/stalker, Mrs. Tischell, rekindled a relationship with a similarly serious and ambitious colleague, Edith Montgomery in addition to the random female patients who’ve batted their eyelashes at him while passing through his doctor’s surgery.  But of course, pretty, dedicated school teacher, Louisa Glasson is Martin’s true love – just check out all the shipper videos on YouTube if you don’t believe me.

No one looks very cheerful here, do they?

However, if five seasons have taught us anything, Martin will continue to be rude and Louisa will continue to be frustrated and then he’ll do something remotely sweet and by the end of another season all will be well, or at least as good as you can get with a grumpy, self-righteous, dog-hater.  If I were Louisa, I’d consider finding another GP because even when she’s with Martin, she doesn’t really have him.

And finally as I alluded to earlier – the ultimate in the unattainable man, The Doctor.  I wanted to insert a photo there but which one would I use?  Not William Hartnell, that’s for sure.

I know, I know. I used this image rather recently, but I’m too tired to go looking for another.

But since the reboot of the Doctor Who franchise, physical attractions between the charismatic Time Lord and his companions have been on the rise.  Especially during the 10th Doctor years.

Those who know me are already aware of my deep dislike for Rose, so I won’t go into it too much here.  The Doctor, no matter how much he cares for his human companions, in the end, cannot have a romantic relationships with them.  He is very, very, very old and yet he will most likely outlive them all.  He is an alien with two hearts so who knows how anatomically different he might be in other ways.  It’s just not right.

And this is where my problem with Rose arises.  Because the Doctor did have a closer bond with her, she adopted this attitude that the rules didn’t apply to her and that somehow after all these eons, she’s the one person he couldn’t do without. Additionally, because of Rose, we had to suffer right along with Martha and her adolescent unrequited love drama.  It was a relief when Donna Noble came along and all she wanted was to be the Doctor’s really good friend, sort of like a big sister.

By the time the 11th regeneration took place, the Doctor seemed to genuinely want to rebuff Amy’s pre-wedding advances and has pretty much stuck with snogging his own kind.  Makes me wonder if all that kissing was written into David Tennant’s contract…

And that brings us to the end of our lady killer series.  I don’t think it’s a particularly British phenomenon, with the exception of the mad man in a blue box.  But in comparison with their American counterparts listed in this article, if push came to shove and I had to subject myself to inevitable heartbreak, I’d take my chances with the UK versions.  They do have the best accents after all.

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This past weekend we loaded up the old SUV and helped our children move their most important belongings back into their college living quarters.  For my daughter that meant lots of clothes for different weather and occasions, various musical instruments, and plenty of plastic organizational containers.  My son, on the other hand, only required his t-shirt collection, a Foreman grill, and his X-box.  He insisted he really didn’t need much more since his apartment is furnished and his four other roommates were bringing items as well.  I met these young men briefly yesterday and couldn’t help wondering how my mild-mannered, couch-dwelling son ended up with these jock-ish, party guys.  (Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s more to them than a trash bag full of empty beer cans and skateboards in the kitchen would indicate.) But it did get me thinking about how non-related adults end up sharing a domicile.

I mean after the summer camp and university years, do many grown-ups still room together?

There is no better example of an odd couple than Vince and Howard (The Mighty Boosh)

Apparently on television, they do.   Aside from the obviously humorous situation possibilities, these characters have financial or companionship reasons to share a home and find it feasible to live together despite the obvious potential for domestic skirmishes otherwise known as “television bread and butter.”  Take, for example, Tom and Roy (The Old Guys).  When pensioner Roy’s wife moved out, his friend Tom moved in.  How these two men were ever in the same social circle in the first place never seems to be explained.  Roy, thoughtful, intellectual and careful is in stark contrast to Tom who is self-centered, unsophisticated and indiscreet.  One thing they do seem to have in common is a similar taste in women.  From their neighbor Sally, to Belarusian escort, Katia, to the new librarian, Barbara, these two mature men behave like teenage rivals when it comes to the fairer sex.

 

On Peep Show, a similar situation exists between two twenty-something friends with not much in common.  Mark and Jez met at university and when Jez, an aspiring musician, breaks up with his girlfriend, financially stable Mark takes him in as a flatmate. They are opposite sides of a coin; Mark is responsible, pessimistic and socially awkward while Jez is careless, more optimistic than he probably has cause to be and is marginally more social and successful with women.  This shopping trip is a great illustration of their very different outlooks on life:

Coincidentally, the same writing team created both Peep Show and The Old Guys .  Therefore, we must conclude that Jez and Mark will eventually become Tom and Roy.

Some roommates not only live, but also work, together.  It obviously cuts down on commuting, but does it really increase productivity? Or does all that time together just fuel the fire for more disagreements?  Take an eccentric flatmate like Sherlock and his far more normal collaborator, John Watson.  Holmes’ boredom-induced target practice and severed heads aside, if these two are going to constantly tiff and storm out, how many crimes are actually going to get solved?

 

While I couldn’t think of any female roomies, there are some male-female pairings that I’m aware of, notably Tim and Daisy from Spaced and Lee and whichever woman owns the flat he’s living in from Not Going Out.  However,  I don’t feel the mixed gender duos have the same odd couple vibe.  Instead they are usually dominated by jealousy, unrequited crushes and sexual tension.  Some would say Sherlock and Watson fit the bill on that last one, but I’m not buying it…yet.

I leave you with one of my favorite odd couples, Lou and Andy, from Little Britain.  It’s never actually stated that they are roommates, but Lou seems to be Andy’s full-time companion and caretaker.  Andy is an apparently handicapped individual with a talent for manipulation while Lou is his endlessly patient yet naive nurse and servant.  The perfect ingredients for an extreme co-dependant relationship!

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Today is the big 4-0 for one of my favorite British actors, Martin Freeman.  He first came to prominence as self-deprecating, nice guy Tim Canterbury on The Office. Since then he’s appeared in many films and several other television series including Hardware, The Robinsons and most recently the highly acclaimed new Masterpiece Mystery series, Sherlock as Dr. John Watson.  Currently he is filming the two-part epic The Hobbit portraying none other than the hobbit himself, Bilbo Baggins.  Very exciting!

Here’s a clip of a gracious Martin accepting the BAFTA Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Sherlock this past year:

 

 

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I was watching the special features documentary on a Doctor Who series the other day… because I have all the time in the world and have somehow without intention started becoming a novice Whovian.  Anyhow, executive producer Russell T. Davies was talking about a cargo spaceship created for an episode entitled 42.  He said they decided on a design which had a “slightly British, slightly knackered, slightly homemade feel” to it.  I hadn’t consciously acknowledged it before, but I knew exactly what he was talking about – that distinct look of being drained, worn out and drab with no attempt to be anything but functional.

From stained, faded, or outdated wallpaper prints to stacks of clutter piled round a room, this type of decor can be observed in a great number of television programs, past and present.  One of the most common scenarios is the bachelor flat which adds an extra dimension, uncleanliness.  Gary and Tony’s living room (Men Behaving Badly) is notorious for it’s filthy couch.  The squalid student apartment of The Young Ones is only rendered worse by Vyvyan’s destructive tendencies.  Even Sherlock and John Watson sharing 221B Baker Street live in shabby and sometimes quite creepy conditions, especially when Sherlock leaves a severed head in the refrigerator.

Sometimes less than fashionable home interiors are due to the occupants’ financial situation.  Daisy and Onslow (Keeping Up Appearances) seem perfectly happy in their dilapidated abode while overworked and under appreciated Barbara (The Royle Family) does her best to keep up her family’s modest castle.  And though the Being Human house has a peeling pink exterior, Annie works to make her home warm and inviting while the boys bring in their meager hospital janitor wages.

As for workplaces, Arkwright’s, the small grocer’s shop in Open All Hours is drab and hodge-podge with every space used to it’s fullest utilitarian potential.  Besides, the proprietor is too cheap to foot the bill for any renovations.  Part workplace, part domicile, the parochial house shared by Father Ted and his fellow priests looks as worn and craggy as the island they live on.  And maybe the oddest example of all, in the basement of the chic and shiny Reynolm Industries building is the dreary IT Crowd department with the carcasses of old computer parts strewn about.

I know this style intimately because I lived in such a room for five months during my college study abroad days in London.  Since we faced a back alley, we kept the curtains drawn – curtains which drooped from an inadequate number of hooks.  The color scheme was dingy neutral, the furnishings were bland, and an out-of-commission fireplace was coated in off-white paint so thick it made the only potentially interesting feature in the room fade into the woodwork, so to speak.  We tried to jazz it up with posters and mementos from home; however the room refused to brighten.  But we were college students, accustomed to more spartan accommodations, and besides, we had access to all of London outside our drab door.

I have discovered that my old program house has been transformed into a posh four star hotel now, all gleaming white and elegant.  But I’m not sure if I don’t prefer it as it was before.  After all many structures in Britain and across Europe are much older than those in the States – they have earned their grunge as it were.  Some still display battle scars from WWII.  The time-worn quality emanates humbleness and persistence that those of us from newer lands don’t always appreciate.  Besides, according to Moss and Roy, tampering with a delicate ecosystem can kill the rain forest and we don’t want to kill the rain forest, do we?

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Before the day is over, I wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating today.  I hope that your meal, like the British roast dinner pictured below, was delicious and that by now you have been able to drag yourself from the couch for a lovely piece of pie.

While Thanksgiving is an American holiday, being thankful is a human, global sentiment.  Of course I am thankful for my family, my home, my health and all the other gifts in life we so often take for granted.  But what am I thankful for this year in regards to my British television viewing?

5.  Witnessing the twinkling charm and devastating heartbreak displayed by Adam Williams (James Nesbitt) on Cold Feet

4.  Series 4 of The IT Crowd – enough said if you’re a fan of the CrowdBritish Roast Dinner from Google Images

3.   PBS partnering with the BBC for the very cool new Sherlock series

2.  The happy accident of finding Never Mind the Buzzcocks on YouTube

1.  The British penchant for men to dress as ladies ala Little Britain

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Watching the Detectives

BBC’s Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman

There has been a great buzz about the new BBC series Sherlock, first in the UK and now in the US as it has just finished on PBS’ Masterpiece Theater .  These sleuths solve crimes in 21st century London with the aid of smart phones, medical training (Dr. Watson) and the science of deduction in the hands of a genius/sociopath (Holmes).  There’s a dark atmosphere with just the right injection of humor and plenty of references to connect the classic Sherlock to the modern one.  The chemistry of the performances of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson is perfect.  Last night’s episode 3 was my favorite; a series of murder puzzles posed to Holmes by a rather familiar archenemy that must be solved on a timetable in order to save the lives of potentially hundreds of people.  The ending was a particularly good cliffhanger which brought out the human, caring side of Sherlock that he so often denies.  Needless to say, I can’t wait for the next installment of episodes which, from everything I’ve read, will come out sometime next year.

But why have I put this in my main posts instead of my reviews page?  Because watching this got me thinking about the abundance of British detectives and inspectors that serve as the standard for the mystery genre.  Here are only a few of the many who always seem to see what others don’t.

The Classics:  Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot.  No explanation necessary.

The Specialists:  Cracker‘s forensic psychologist Dr. Eddie Fitzgerald and McCallum‘s forensic pathologist Dr. Iain McCallum – both have their demons, but they know their stuff.

The Girl’s Club:  DI Kate Ashurst and DS Emma Scribbins investigate Murder in Suburbia, Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme take on cozy horticultural mysteries in, what else, Rosemary and Thyme and DCI Jane Tennison faces crime, alcoholism and the glass ceiling in Prime Suspect.

Opposites Attract:  Detective Inspector Robbie Lewis and his partner DS James Hathaway have an uneasy partnership as Robbie is the experienced elder with little patience for the intellectual attitudes of  the Oxford residents he protects while Hathaway, a Cambridge-educated young man, fills in the gaps in Lewis’ experience.  DI Tommy Lynley, on the other hand, is an earl which sometimes causes tensions between himself and his working class partner DS Barbara Havers.

Loners:  Undercover cop Tommy Murphy (Murphy’s Law) is brash, charming, reckless and suffers a tragic loss from his past.  DI John Rebus drinks a bit too much, has no real life outside his job, and not a lot a respect for the chain of command.

There are so many more I could mention, but this is going long.  Post a comment to let me know who your favorite British detectives are.  In addition, I’m out to solve a little mystery of my own.  The person or persons who search my blog daily by using Cluedo as a keyword, I’m curious.  Why don’t you just favorite the site?

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