The BBC’s three part series Sherlock embeds Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson firmly within the London of 2010. This Holmes and Watson are not relics of the British Empire but thoroughly modern men thriving in our fast-paced, modern world. They have the contemporary tools of texting, GPS, email, the Internet, PDAs and, of course, forensic science at their fingertips, but it is how Sherlock uses these tools that continues to set him apart as the world’s only “consulting detective”.
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I was inspired to write this article by fellow PopMatters blogger, Andy Johnson, who mentioned in his article the large number of negative complaints that BBC crime drama Luther has pulled from national publications such as the Radio Times. It has been accused of misogyny of the first level—the consistent brutalization of women onscreen. Admittedly, Luther has done something to deserve this title; the third episode of its six-episode run featured a woman held captive in a freezer by a sadistic Satanist, and her sustained physical and psychological torture was graphically shown.
I’m responding to the consistent “How could you do this to women?” air of such complaints. Yes, Luther showed horrific violence perpetuated by men upon women, as have shows like Wire in Blood before it. Yet there has been very little mention of the almost feminist bias shown by both Luther and other television shows.
Ever since NYPD Blue went off the air in 2005, ABC has been trying to replicate its success. Ranging from the 13-episode flop Blind Justice to the recently canceled The Unusuals, the network has been trying one cop show after another in its search for a hit. Now NBC may have unexpectedly found it.
Canadian police drama Rookie Blue had only aired four episodes before ABC announced that its picking it up for a second season. While 6.4 million viewers is usually nothing to cheer about, it’s special for a show with relatively little promotion, nowadays. ABC’s heavily hyped original dramas The Gates and Scoundrels have been languishing in its Sunday night summer spots, while Rookie Blue is the highest rated non-reality, non-repeat show on network TV that isn’t a news program or a sporting event. Again, this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is.
I’m going to part ways with the general consensus that the judges on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance offer the contestants inane feedback on their performances. Of course, the judges on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance do offer the contestants inane feedback on their performances—shrieks about Hot Tamale Trains, endorsements of “buck”ness, general confusion about each dancer’s identity. However, if the show’s seventh season has proven nothing else, it’s that the judges can offer commentary that is straightforward—and potentially racist, sexist, and homophobic.
I began writing this entry on the afternoon of 28 July, hours before the next installment of So You Think You Can Dance’s seventh season was set to air, and when I was still reeling from the 21 July episode, during which the judges, once again, sliced into Jose Ruiz for being untrained and, according to Mia Michaels, too human. Lauren Froderman, on the other hand, received credit from Nigel Lythgoe, after Adam Shankman remembered who she was, for giving a “sick” performance; later, she “shot her partner with her butt”.
Forgive me for the vague title, but Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, in Performance is an exceedingly long name for a TV special, even if it is on PBS. Unfortunately, its title wasn’t the only thing that needed a little more planning.
The special, which debuted Wednesday night, began with some behind-the-scenes footage of McCartney arriving at the capitol and meeting with some of the show’s performers, with concert footage from his Good Evening New York City DVD mixed in for good measure. Unfortunately, this interesting video was presented to us in black and white. This could have been a nod to A Hard Day’s Night, but I still think it would have been better in color. Fortunately, the rest of the event (except “Yesterday”) was in the type of clear, color film that really pops out in HDTV.
McCartney opened the festivities with “Got to Get You Into My Life”, and you can tell just from the way he said “white house” how important this was to him. A nice touch to the event was the fact that Paul’s own touring band provided back up for both him and most of the other performers. However, being broadcast from a rather small stage in what appeared to be a dining room, the acoustics seemed to be a little off throughout the night.