So to this point I’ve only rambled about this but I felt it was a complicated enough issue to full on state my point of view on what’s going on here.
First of all, I am a fan of BBC’s Sherlock. And I can appreciate the fact that no matter how innovative CBS thinks they’re being, they’re trying to feed off the success of another country’s endeavors by using ideas they did not come up with and seem to have no shame for. A modern Sherlock Holmes? What a novel idea they didn’t come up with.
However, Hollywood has been stealing from BBC for years and actually has, for the most part, paid them for their time. It just seems to me in a modern culture like ours, we could simply import these shows and ideas instead of rehauling them and dumbing them down for American audiences.
Dumbing things down for people makes them dumb. It’s not that hard to understand.
Still, that was more of a pet peeve than any real trial or tribulation. I’m sure Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat are laughing all the way to the bank at CBS’s sure-to-fail attempts as they cash in their multiple pounds for the success of BBC’s Sherlock. No one’s being hurt but CBS at this point.
Then we heard our first few tidbits about the series and I admit, I’ve been kind of turning circles in the emotional range of how to feel about it.
Lucy Liu announced to play Watson. Watson a girl?
The literature fanatic in me rejected this idea outright. I’m somewhat of a fan of sticking to the canon and I admit, it seemed bizarre upon first taste.
However, the literature buff was only allowed his rage (the literature buff inside me is male, a mid-aged scholarly British man to be exact) before the feminist in me shut him down.
Females in iconic roles are good. Taiwanese females are better. Think of the representation that we’re achieving here! First of all, I love Lucy Liu. From her minor role in Chicago, to her days in Ally McBeal, even Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill, I’ve been madly in love with her sassy, no-nonsense characters since a young age.
So this was exciting. Watson is intelligent, well put together… a war veteran! A wounded war veteran! A combat army doctor, healing the sick and wounded on the battle field. A true hero in any right. No one can deny the nobility of such a profession.
A scholar in his own way. A skeptic. John Watson really is the most relatable character of the two main protagonists of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest masterpiece. He is there to guide us through the intricacy of the genius detective Sherlock Holmes in a way that we can also understand but also to acknowledge and even admonish his deep set flaws.
He is, however, also there to bring sympathy to this nearly unrelatable character. He is there to tell us how amazing he is and how much we should admire him, and we should, for Sherlock is a great man even if he is not conventionally so.
How awesome is John Watson, I mean really? Looking past the inherent flaws and idiosyncrasies of a mad genius and bringing that intellect to us, a simple viewer with a simple way of looking at the world. However, he does not just follow Sherlock, he protects him, he assists him, he provides valuable input. He’s an amazing character.
To morph this character to female, to Taiwainese seems as though it would be an amazing compliment to a widely unacknowledged group of people. Women are rarely anything more than eye candy on television and women of color are… pretty well nonexistent outside of the offensive tropes they usually are seen in right before they disappear never to be seen again.
I was excited. Screw the canon. This was better than the canon. This took the canon, drop kicked it, held it down with its arm behind its back and made the canon scream uncle. This took the canon, lovingly stripped it of it’s clothing and fucked it hard while the canon gripped the headboard and cried out for more.
Then, I discovered a few things.
Joan Watson does not have a military background. She never went to war. Oh. Well. Okay… That’s disappointing.
She was a former medical consultant for the NYPD who lost her medical license for losing a patient.
At first I was merely disappointed. Female or not, I felt this Watson should be closer to the canon than all that. It seemed strange.
Then it hit me. A WOMAN can’t be in the army. That is not something sexy women do. A woman can’t get injured in a war. Injuries, limps, canes, none of those are sexy whatsoever. Okay, maybe that’s cynical, but I really can’t help it. Someone tell me why, when we are currently at war, was it so hard to make a modern day Watson who was injured in the military? This is the only answer I can think of.
You see, TV has one requirement for women in their shows. They have to be pretty and fulfill the male fantasy. I can’t think of very many women on television who are main characters who don’t fulfill that role.
It became… exceedingly obvious and I should have seen it from the start.
Joan Watson will exist as a woman to please Sherlock. She will become his love interest. She will be boiled down to sexual tension and, likely, at some point, a sex partner. She will be there to pick up after him, record his adventures and probably say something cute and snarky when the moment arises.
She will be his live in Asian maid. Simple as that. Because, you see, in Hollywood, women of color don’t get to be war heroes. Or successful doctors. At least not the main ones. They get to be wives and girlfriends and love interests and sexual partners.
Once again, my gender has been classified as an object to fuck and a people’s ethnicity has been classified as not good enough to be all the things a white man can be.
Again, I know, cynical. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong. But what are the chances I’m wrong in a society where literally almost nothing else exists on television today? What are the chances that Joan Watson will be a strong, fleshed out character with all the force and empowerment of the character she is directly influenced by when that type of character does not exist according to American television? At least not when that character is female and Asian.
I had high hopes and then I saw all these pointless changes and I knew it was going to disappoint everyone except the people who are always being pleased; straight, white, cisgender males.
Excuse me if I do not currently have hopes for this character at this point in time. Excuse me as I sit back in anger and frustration with my arms folding, awaiting their next move.
I know some of you want to keep positive and see what happens but I’ve seen too many good opportunities fly out the window because empowered WoC aren’t good enough for Hollywood.
So yeah. Have fun being disappointed.
I grow ever more curious as I see more and more gifs and such. I think you fine people who are aware of the show should make a case to me, because I’m still up in the air on whether or not to watch it, and if I do, where to put it in my queue, because I’ve got a hell of a lot of TV shows on my Netflix queue right now, and it’s competing with The Walking Dead, Angel, Jekyll, and Luther (among others, but those are the top of the list). I’d also like to hear from anybody who follows me who isn’t so fond of it.
I’m all for enthusiasm, but don’t just tell me it’s awesome if you really like it. Tell me why it’s awesome. Tell me about the depth of the characters, or the great dialogue, or the really good acting, or whatever it is that makes you love the show. Make me want to watch it!
I swear, I did not fully understand how much people hate and fear change until I got onto the internet. Facebook in particular showed me, and Tumblr really drove the point home. And y’know what, sometimes I understand the reaction. Sometimes it’s a functionality change that actually makes the site more difficult to use. But more often than not it’s an aesthetic change, and I look at the people who are up in arms, and the anger that somebody would dare try and keep the appearance of their popular website fresh, and the rage at the creators, and I just think “For crying out loud, people, get over it.” And they inevitably do, after countless empty threats to leave and “Official Petitions” to change it back. Until the next change.
- Watson will be female.
- Sherlock will not.
- Implying that the sidekick can be a woman but the main hero cannot.
- Watson will not be a war veteran.
- Implying women cannot be war veterans.
- Watson will not be injured formally.
- Cause injuries aren’t sexy.
- Watson will be a doctor but a disgraced doctor.
- Because if Watson’s a woman she will be a fuck up somehow.
I am all for a gender bend Sherlock.
But I think so far this sounds offensive as shit.
I’d actually rather have it the other way around. Female Sherlock and male Watson. Unless there was the option to have both female. Because Irene is 100% right. But I think changing the military service and the injury are stupid. If these changes that you’re hearing are actually what goes through, I will not be watching this show.
Avatar just took a surprisingly dark turn, which I really don’t expect them to fully explore, considering how far out of their way they’ve gone to avoid showing fatalities in fights and battles that would absolutely have to have them.
You know what that means. It’s fanfiction time.
“Honey, I’m from tumblr. We’re like, weeks ahead of you.”
Also news. My parents ask me if I’ve heard about X news story, and I’m all “Please. Tumblr.”
I know we just met but
I think I love you
WELCOME TO AVATAR
IN WHICH EVERYONE IS BADASS AND YOU LOVE ALL OF THEM and then you cry and feel empty inside because it’s not real and also because WHEN IS KORRA COMING OUT
Toph is bloody brilliant. Also Iroh. Those two are my definite favorites. Especially where I am in the series right now, where Toph is just discovering she can do something which I won’t say because spoilers, and Iroh is becoming more hardcore than ever before, which is really something, because he was already THE DRAGON OF THE WEST.
My studio mate has been working like a mad woman on this comic. She has script, she has panels, she has ideas that are exploding out of her brain and she has worries, hopes and dreams.
She also has a fundraising campaign:
Which you should definitely consider contributing something to, or at least reblogging the link.
As you will see from the video and from various comments both of us have made: we need markers. Desperately. Almost more than we need to cover the printing costs at this point.
We were sold counterfeit markers. No, we did not buy them on ebay. We bought them from what looked like a nice, respectable online art store. These markers, in addition to being high on fumes and not even remotely the colors they are meant to be… are also running out of ink at an alarming rate. At this point, we’re a little terrified of proceeding. What if we run out of ink entirely? Before the story segment is done? What if there are no funds to get replacement markers?
Right now we are both rather tight on funds personally. (I pitched in for the previous set of markers but am in no place to do that again so soon.) Grocery shopping, card and loan payments, rent… these are the places our personal funds are going to. THIS is why we need YOUR HELP to make this comic a reality. If we could realistically swing this on our own we would do so in a heart beat.
This preview comic is only the beginning. After the debut (at ConBust!) Jone will be updating the comic online. Yes: this means it will be available to read, for free, on the internet.
Please, please consider helping our studio out. Specifically with this comic.
You heard the Cap’n, people! Make it so!