I’ve seen Elementary fans claiming their Sherlock is better than Sherlock’s because ours is an asshole and theirs is ‘sympathetic’ and ‘kind’.
I have nothing against Elementary, but may I just remind you - Sherlock is an asshole, because Sherlock is canonically an asshole. He was described as being cold, dispassionate and arrogant - not kind.
From ‘The Adventure of the Three Garridebs’, when Watson is shot: “For the first time, I had a glimpse of a great heart as well as a great brain.”
From ‘The Adventure of the Six Napoleons’, when Lestrade pays Holmes a sincere and heartfelt compliment : “And as he turned away, it seemed he was more nearly moved by the softer human emotions than I had ever seen him.”
From ‘The Problem of Thor Bridge’, when a rich client explains how he tried to seduce his children’s governess: “this young lady was in a sense under your protection…you have tried to ruin a defenseless girl who was under your roof. Some of you rich men have to be taught that all the world cannot be bribed into condoning your offenses.”
From ‘The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger’, after hearing the tragic story of a woman whose face was mauled by a lion; “Then Holmes stretched out his long arm and patted her hand with such a show of sympathy as I had seldom known him to exhibit, ‘Poor girl!’ he said, ‘Poor girl! The ways of fate are indeed hard to understand. If there is not some compensation hereafter, then the world is a cruel jest’ “
From ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’, when speaking with a client whose father is physically abusive: “Five little livid spots, the marks of four fingers and a thumb, were printed upon the white wrist. ‘You have been cruelly used,’ said Holmes.”
Also, in “The Adventure of Abbey Grange,” he helps a young man escape, who intervened to prevent an alcoholic aristocrat from beating his wife.
In “The Adventure of the Second Stain”, Holmes goes out of his way to shield Lady Hilda from her husband’s anger, even though the husband was Holmes’ client.
In “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” he lets a pathetic petty criminal go free because he doesn’t think making him a ‘jailbird’ will help.
There are many other instances of Holmes showing kindness, empathy and even breaking the law to help people gain justice.
Other phrases and words Watson uses to describe Holmes at various times:
“without a harshness, which was foreign to his nature.”
“he had a remarkable gentleness and courtesy in his dealings with women.”
Holmes may have displayed a certain impatience for social affectation, but he maintains a strong moral compass and asserts this fact several times, in various situations, towards various people.
This idea that Holmes is a “sociopathic” asshole is quite a contemporary reading and, might I add, a lazy one that’s as ignorant of mental illness as it is offensive to those of us who’re tired of white men getting to stomp all over people in the name of ‘genius’ and ‘anti-hero’ status. BBC Sherlock’s reading of Holmes is one that’s built on popular cultural tropes, and succeeds because of it. ‘Elementary’ reads Holmes with a fuller attention to the complexities of his character.
Anytime someone says ‘well Holmes is an asshole’ as a conclusive fact, I know that your canon knowledge is either limited or deliberately misinterpreted.
Do some re-reading.
what. so this is from holmes sweet holmes and… um it’s just a song about moriarty. THE CHOREOGRAPHY
I AM FUCKING PISSING MYSELF WHAT IS THIIIIS
HOLY PISS ON DICKS, WHAT IS THIS?
SWEET EVERLOVING FUCK
YO JEN YOU SEEN THIS YET
“What do you think Sherlock’s IQ is? And is Sherlock antisocial because of his intelligence?”
I personally find BBC Sherlock’s portrayal of “genius” inconsistent with real life. What Sherlock is portraying not so much a typical “genius” but a typical example of a man who has failed to emotionally mature (Explaining Sherlock’s Sherlockness). His intelligence might have compounded his maturation but so did a myriad of other factors.
In this meta I attempt to answer the questions and as usual there is not a straight forward answer. I am going to explore:
- Real life geniuses compared with Sherlock
- Why IQ tests cannot tell you very much about anyone’s intelligence
- Intelligence is unlikely to be the reason why Sherlock is Sherlock.
I made this graphic because some people like to complain that changing the gender/sex of the characters somehow “ruins” or “desecrates” Arthur Conan Doyle’s legacy. Funnily enough nobody ever complains when they are turned into mice, dogs, etc. (Presumably because they are still male.) As you can see there have been several female versions of these characters in the past, and they have hardly ruined anything.
Some of the oldest adaptations only had the actor info for Holmes on IMDB, so either Watson didn’t exist in those films at all, or the actor is unknown. (If he did exist it’s pretty safe to assume he was male.)
I excluded incarnations where Holmes/Watson only appeared once as guest stars in unrelated tv shows. (There were lots.)
Here’s my Ultimate John Watson using morph things! I was inspired by this picture, but I felt it was lacking some Watsons!
I merged Jude Law, Martin Freeman, David Burke, Edward Hardwicke, Vitaly Solomin, Nigel Bruce, Gareth David-Lloyd, Ian Hart, Nigel Stock, Ben Kingsley, AND I threw in some Jeremy Brett for good measure!
I have to say, combined, they make the best looking Watson~!
Altair ibn-La’Holmes and Malik Al-Watsontanyart asked you: Altair and Malik as Holmes and Watson. :V