BBC’s Sherlock is like Christmas: Whenever it comes out, it’s the most magical time ever. Every adventure of Breakdance Cranberrysauce is packed to the brim with smart dialogue, fascinating characters, and suspenseful stories, from secret government projects to military weapons and matters of national security. Because of that, we should consider ourselves lucky when we find Bromblepunch Crazylegs and Watson under our tree.
Plus, Babadook Cranekick is pretty easy on the eyes. Right? I mean … he is considered attractive … right?
Sadly, another way Sherlock is like Christmas is that we get like one episode of it per year, on average. That’s why, if the wait ever becomes too much for you, you could try checking out CBS’s Elementary, like I almost didn’t. I mean, a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes set in New York with a female Watson? So CBS just remade Sherlock but with a couple that straight people can masturbate to? Actually, no.
But also YES.
While I still love Sherlock, I’m now a bigger fan of Elementary. For one, the former has like 10 episodes out, in contrast to the latter’s 100+. It’s not a question of mere quantity, though. Because the adventures of Barcelona Cuckooclock come out so infrequently, it feels like each episode has to be bigger, darker, and more complex than the last one. The first episode was about a series of mass poisonings. The third one is about blackmailers putting people in explosive vests. The last one will probably be about Bastardneck Crumbcake fighting Satan in the center of the earth.
Elementary, on the other hand, can take its time and focus on smaller cases like home invasions, overdoses, hit-and-runs …
Shirt thefts, apparently.
What it doesn’t have, though, is a romantic relationship between Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu). They are colleagues who respect each other, and nothing else. In fact, over the course of the show, Watson grows into a full-fledged detective whom Holmes greatly admires, and it’s inspiring to see such character development in a story as done to death as Sherlock Holmes.
But that doesn’t mean Elementary disregards the canon completely. CBS’s Sherlock actually works closely with the police and occasionally expresses his respect for the good work they do, and vice versa, just like in the books. This is a welcome improvement on Sherlock, where Detective Inspector Lestrade has been turned into idiotic comic relief who by now would do anything Bikestand Cocoapuffs told him.
“You need me to stick a rabid vole in my ass to solve the murder? CAN DO!”
I’m not trying to convince you the American show is objectively better than Sherlock. My point is that Elementary isn’t the cheap copycat I initially thought it was, though it does do a lot of stuff the other show doesn’t. Bopyourtop Custardrash. OK, I’m done.
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I recently realized I’ll never get over Firefly, seeing as I’m still holding out hope for it to return as an animated series, even if most of the actors have moved on to better things/places. I just hate that so many questions about the show will never be answered. Will the stark divide between poorer and richer planets escalate into a new civil war? Will the good guy rebels win this time? Will Nathan Fillion ever stop an episode halfway through to thank me for all of my support?
Is Jayne’s hat OK?!
However, I have started getting over the loss of Firefly ever since I discovered the Syfy series The Expanse.
Let me set the stage for you: It’s the future, the solar system is colonized, and Sherlock’s fourth season is about to premiere. More importantly, there’s also a Firefly-esque interplanetary civil war brewing. The three major players are Earth, Mars, and the Asteroid Belt, the redheaded rented step-mule of the system, which supplies most planets with vital resources. Most everyone looks down on the poor, blue-collar Belters who, due to toiling away in zero gravity, develop emaciated bodies and have such fragile bones that they can’t function on Earth. NASA, of course, has refused to comment.
Hell, exposing a Belter to Earth’s gravity is known as gravity torture, i.e., the show’s version of waterboarding.
Correction: a super-not-subtle version.
So, the Belters are the equivalent of Firefly’s heroic, underdog Browncoats, right? Hahaha, NO. Most of them are dicks.
That’s the beauty of The Expanse: There is no clearly defined bad guy here. Literally everybody sucks. Earth is controlled by the U.N., Mars is a militaristic, possibly fascist superpower, and Belters, fuck, a lot of them support terrorism to further their cause. But their cause is just — the creation of an independent Belter homeworld where they can have full access to air and water, which the bigger planets are denying them. Sort of like in another sci-fi series where food on poorer planets was worth more than gold because of rich assholes billions of miles away.
Now, there IS a group of scrappy underdogs who basically go against every major power in the show:
But unlike a lot of science fiction shows where each character fits a loose archetype of either liking science a lot or hating it, every character in The Expanse is clearly defined, while leaving a ton of room for them to grow and surprise us.
Also, just like Firefly, a lot of stuff in the Syfy channel show is old, broken down, and rusting away. It all just helps make the world of The Expanse more … expansive, and thus a great substitute for the series we lost. Still planning to charge Fox with treason if I ever become president, though.