BBC Sherlock Series Three Review

After quite a long hiatus, Sherlock fans have been treated to quite a whirlwind of a series in the past week and a half. The whole thing was excellent, but a few things in particular stood out for me in the three 2014 episodes. John Watson looking angryFirst, Martin Freeman is at the absolute top of his game here. All of the ensemble cast gave an excellent performance, but Freeman’s emotional delivery, especially during the big “Not Dead” reveal of “The Empty Hearse” and following another (discussed in the spoilers section below the cut) shocking reveal about Watson’s wife in “His Last Vow,” was stunning in its realism and ability to capture the complicated emotional landscape of an outwardly-reticent character. Sherlock giving a toast at John and Mary's weddingSecond, I have to applaud the show runners and all the writers involved for a show that continues to grow and explore new ground as plots develop. The grand finale and explanation of the Reichenbach Fall could have been a flash in the pan, allowing the show to fizzle once the #sherlocklives fervor died out, but instead we’re treated to continued excitement and experimentation in the way the show is presented to its audience.

Finally, I was impressed by the way Series Three was filmed and how the cinematography lined up so beautifully with the plots (often within plots within plots). Sherlock looking shocked, bleached out by white lightFrom Series One, Sherlock has relied on a certain degree of gimmickery to illustrate the mad genius’s workflow and the rhetorical device of the mind palace. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it falls flat. In this series, the gimmicks weren’t completely lost, but the way the mind palace was used to film Sherlock’s internal processes served a useful purpose in giving us some insight into his emotional landscape. I finished “The Empty Hearse” cursing at my television for a regressed Sherlock who seemed even worse than he had been pre-hiatus, but the show didn’t lose me as “Signs of Three” and “His Last Vow” dug a little more into Sherlock’s past and his relationship with Mycroft. John and Sherlock on a park bench, Sherlock sitting forward and looking much largerCinematography was also a useful tool in organizing plots as the writers played fast and loose with timelines and in generally framing relationships in the show, from an iconic park bench scene with Sherlock and Watson strongly differentiated by height to the amusing split of Mary giving both men a cheeky “thumbs up” inside 221B. Even the evolution of the flat’s appearance throughout the series plays a sort of supporting role as Sherlock navigates the shifting ground of his relationships with John and Mary.

Warning: the rest of this review contains spoilers for all of Series Three. Proceed below the cut at your own risk!

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Is ShoeDazzle a Good Deal?

I’ve been a member of ShoeDazzle for a year and a half or so. Though ShoeDazzle bills itself as one of these premium fashion sites that acts as your personal shopper, it’s more of a standard online shoe store that happens to give you recommendations and deals. That said, some of my favorite and most-commented-on shoes come from ShoeDazzle. They tend to have funky dress shoe styles a bit cheaper than you might find at Nine West or elsewhere, and I’ve found a decent selection from $20 to $40. The last-minute deals are often disappointing, as you won’t find anything in your size (though small-footed people will love it!) and they do sometimes make mistakes. I ordered one pair of shoes in purple that came in black. You can hover over the gallery for my notes: these shoes are no longer available on the site, but you can sometimes find out-of-stock styles at Burlington Coat Factory or on eBay. Most of ShoeDazzle’s styles are very femme, but they have a few more casual options.

My Top Ten Fandom Experiences of 2013

Are you tired of 2013 wrap-up posts yet? Admittedly, being a pop culture podcast enthusiast, I am. But this is more of a personal list to remember my own year in fandom, which includes some common picks of the year as well as some silly things I discovered a bit late. What are your top picks for the year? And what are you looking forward to in 2014?

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A Retrospective on the Eleventh Doctor

This past holiday season has been quite a tearjerker for Doctor Who fans, with the 50th anniversary episode in November and the end of Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor on Christmas Day.  I only started watching Doctor Who this spring, as the second half of the seventh season was airing. I loved the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, but in a way Eleven is “my Doctor,” especially given to the roles of Amy and Rory as my favorite companions and River as my favorite character.

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Welcome to Queer & Now!

The author on a canoe in a lake, looking over hir shoulder with a goofy grinAfter about three years of considering similar ideas, I am so happy to finally be able to announce the launch of Queer & Now, a new blog for 2014!

Queer & Now is a space to discuss life in the 21st-century from a queer perspective. I’ll be getting into all the things about which I’m totally geeky, from games to TV to fashion to work to technology. You can expect to see app reviews, awkward beauty tutorials, my first impressions of movies everyone else has seen, and a first-hand account of the non-profit work life. But unlike other modern life and pop culture blogs, this one will be written from the perspective of a queer, sex positive, trans disability justice and racial justice advocate who’s trying really hard not to be a dick. So no fat-shaming when I talk about health, awareness of casual sexism when I dive into MMORPGs, and a zero-tolerance policy towards transphobia and transmisogyny. If I make a mistake, then I want to hear about it and make an effort to change!

This blog comes from you from the author of Radically Queer, an activism blog more than five years in the making. This is a platform for me to write from a more casual personal perspective, outside of the tighter focus of Radically Queer. I’ll be actively maintaining both projects in 2014 and look forward to your feedback! Leave comments here or find me on Twitter @queeractivist.