Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sherlock, Grease 2 and Birthday Cake - Welcome!

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, stars of the new BBC Drama Sherlock

 Today is my birthday and the mail carrier just delivered issue #158 of Enlightenment where my column (the title of which I blatantly lifted for this blog) has a hysterical photo manipulation of Matt Smith and a very young Michelle Pfieffer in all her Grease 2 glory.

It seemed like an omen to finally open this blog for business.

The truth is, I love talking about television...and movies and books.  But mostly television.  I'm a firm believer that the stories we are being told are etching themselves into our cultural consciousness and becoming our new mythology.  I could quote media studies, texts and the master acafan himself, Henry Jenkins, but I won't bore you.  Just ask yourself, what was the last thing you discussed around the water cooler?  There's a pretty good chance it was something you watched on television.

What is even more fascinating is how these "new" texts are evolving.  Take Sherlock Holmes.  This past week Steven Moffat (Coupling, Jekyll, Doctor Who)  and Mark Gatiss (League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who) debuted their new series Sherlock in the U.K. to critical and public acclaim. Set in present day, this Sherlock Holmes story is twisted and turned while retaining the critical elements that make is so very Holmesian.  (At least that's what I'm told.  Today's grand plan involves a celebratory dinner, obligatory cake then a cold Honey Moon summer ale and the premiere episode.)

But to get back to Sherlock Holmes, this legend and myth has been told and retold in books and films almost since its very creation.  Robert Downey, Jr. recently took him for a rock star spin in Guy Ritchie's film adaptation; he's been married off in Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series, dallied with time traveler's in Kelly Hale's Erasing Sherlock and battled werewolves, vampires and the Cthulhu Mythos, respectively, in various short story anthologies.  And these are just a few, cherry-picked, examples of where the deerstalker cap has been hung.  

Canon purists (those who will never, ever, even under pain of DEATH, contemplate any narrative other than that of Holmes creator Sir Conan Doyle) have sniffed derisively at the upstarts and yet the stories continue, and will continue to be told.

So who can lay claim to the "real" Sherlock Holmes?

We all can.  Just as it should be.

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