Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sherlock Holmes and Elementary CBS #Review


Elementary.

The show Elementary stars Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr Joan Watson. It's on CBS. According to Wikipedia, "in Elementary, Holmes is a former consultant to Scotland Yard, and an addict who travels to New York City to check into a rehabilitation center, and stays on in Brooklyn with a newly-found "sober companion" Joan Watson." A "sober companion" provides one-on-one assistance to newly recovering drug addicts and alcoholics.

I was pleasantly surprised by Elementary. I hadn't expected to like it, since I think one of the major attractions of the written series was the homoerotic relationship between Holmes and Watson. That aspect would, by default, be missing from a Sherlock Holmes story with a female Watson as sidekick. I've read a few articles about the show and so far, it seems that CBS isn't going for a romantic relationship between them. Good to hear. I'd be disappointed if that happened. These two characters belong in one another's orbits, and there should be sexual tension, but a physical relationship would spoil the angst. The tension is what keeps readers (and watchers) coming back. How well that will play out with these two characters has yet to be seen.
Holmes and Watson
by Sidney Paget

A plus was Aidan Quinn as Captain Tobias Gregson of the NYPD, who takes Holmes seriously and listens to him. I dislike shows where the police hire a consultant and then don't take them seriously. (Perception on TNT comes close to that, which I hope they rectify in season two.)

I can't help but compare this show to other Sherlock Holmes stories. The recent Sherlock films starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law bring these characters to rip roaring naughty life, and play up the sensual, so-close-they're-all-but-lovers relationship of the two men. Benedict Cumberbatch's instense characterization on the PBS version of Sherlock won me over within minutes. I'm still debating Jonny Lee Miller's portrayal, but I'll give the series a shot. Lucy Liu has her own intensity, and I've admired her work for years. I hope she develops her laid back dimension of the character of Watson into a stronger, more convincing emotional response. Martin Freeman's version of Dr Watson (on Sherlock) is distinctive and focused. The angst and grit of the Sherlock-Watson relationship takes a believable toll on him. So far, Liu's character seems mildly annoyed and befuddled by Holmes. Again, with one episode to judge, it's hard to tell. If anyone can pull this off, Liu can.

221b Baker Street
I hope the series lasts long enough to prove itself. I'm glad it's on CBS instead of NBC. At least it'll have a chance for success. If it was on NBC, no matter how good it was, it would probably last only one season -- I think NBC stands for Now Being Canceled. CBS has developed at least two other Sherlock Holmes series over the years (The Return of Sherlock Holmes in 1987, and Sehrlock Holmes Returns in 1993 - both contemporary in nature). I think they'll give it a good chance. Someone at CBS has a clue that Sherlock is a winner.

While I'm far from ready to claim Elementary as favorite new show, it does get honorable mention. 
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img credits: Elementary © CBS (fair use for review)
Watson and Holmes by Sidney Paget (Public Domain)
The Sherlock Holmes Museum sign © The Sherlock Holmes Museum 221b Baker Street, London, England 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Is Your Hero Over the Hill?

Over the Hill.
How can I be over the hill without ever getting to the top? That's a good question. But at what point do you actually get "over" the hill and start down the other side? Is it a gradual tapering off or a completely downhill slide? I've often wondered about that.


Today over on KZ Snow's blog, she's tackling the question of aging as it relates to MM (Gay) Romance. She has a group of authors taking part, including
Brita Addams
Victor J. Banis
Jeanne Barrack
P.G. Forte
Michael Halfhill
Lynn Lorenz
Belinda McBride
Neil Plakcy
Michael Rupured
Tali Spencer
Lex Valentine
and me!
The young Alitus - with a
graying heroine

I talked about Luc Saint-Cyr, and how the immortal had reverse age prejudices. In Surrender Love he had concerns that his younger hero couldn't know his own mind because of his youth. That's ageism. So, at what point is a character too old? Are certain ages considered "too old" for heroes? Is being a silver fox a myth? Do you read romances where the heroes are over forty? Over fifty? Over sixty? Do you know of any books that have older heroes or is this topic new to you?

We could certainly tackle the topic of aging heroines as well. My book Alitus, Tales of the Chosen has a heroine on the cover with gray hair. It's one of two books I wrote with a heroine who's older than her hero. At the Mercy of Her Pleasure is the other. What about the authors themselves? I've disguised my age to avoid being seen as too old. If you're a writer, have you done that? When I first started writing, I was a grandmother already. I don't think the stereotypical grandmother is anything like the grandmother of today. I know I'm nothing like mine.

So what about you? Are you "over the hill?" Do you read about characters who are older than forty, fifty, or sixty? Would you?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

More Spam Spam and More Spam

Danger Ahead...
I occasionally share a list of amusing spam emails. Here are some of the latest. Use discretion when opening these kinds of messages -- and a good antivirus program. For best results, don't open them at all! I include their titles here, but did not open any of these emails.

Dear Confidant/Scam Victim
I love this one! Apparently they believe in telling you the truth right up front. You are a victim. What a timesaver.

Confirmation! Confirmation! Confirmation!

Because I might not pay attention if they just wrote Confirmation.

FBI Seeking to Wiretap Internet
Now, when I got this it was in all caps, but I wrote it like a title to fit my blog better. Which is another way you can tell if something is spam. It SCREAMS at you. Apparently, finding the caps lock key is too much of an effort for these folks.

Kind Request
Yeah right. Their kind request is for me to download their virus-laden attachment and/or click their malicious-site URL. No thank you.

Poverty Alleviation Program
I knew this was the real thing because it came from United Nation. Not Nations, mind you, but Nation. Although what this one nation is united with, I'm not sure. Maybe it's an internal thing. Anyway, I didn't open it. I prefer to alleviate poverty the old fashioned way -- by working.

Verification Notice
This type of notice should be considered seriously. No, really! If you just joined a website and are expecting a confirmation of some sort, it can be handy. But in my case, I got one from the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Somehow I don't think so. Gonna pass on that one.

Your Winning no: GB8701/LPRC
Okay, my winning "no" (which is an abbreviation for number -- but I digress) is right there. If you want to contact Australia Lottery Inc and claim it, be my guest. But I'm passing on that one too. Kind of hard to be a winner in something I'd never heard of, and hadn't played.
Use caution online


USPS notification #1880453, #5216533, #2116200

Three notifications for me in one day, all from ISPS Inc. Gee, they must be afraid I'll miss the packages they tried to leave for me. Maybe I should open this email and download the goody they sent me so I can claim it. I haven't had a virus in a while. On second thought, think I'll pass...

And there you have it. More spam spam and more spam from the wonderful world of email.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why I Used to Hate Spring


Spring.
Years ago, I was taking a break with a friend at work, and we walked through a garden that was on the grounds. My friend commented on how pretty all the flowers were that season. My response? "Yeah, but they're all going to die anyway." She laughed, but then upon seeing I was serious, asked me why I felt that way.

I told her I would become terribly depressed in Spring. I couldn't enjoy the flowers because I knew they were all going to die. The blooms represented hopelessness to me. My friend asked me a few questions, and suggested that I might not just be feeling depressed; I might actually have depression.

Summer
I discounted that at first, but eventually decided it might be a good idea to have a checkup. I made a doctor appointment, and after he asked me even more questions, he told me there were seven signs of major depression, and that I had five of them. He suggested medication and therapy. I resisted both at first. I tend to be stubborn like that -- but again decided it might have merit, and called to tell him I'd changed my mind.

Autumn
It took a few trials of medication, but I finally found a prescription that worked for me. I also went to counseling. What I realized in talking about my feelings was that some of my problem with Spring was that I wasn't living in the here and now. I was worried about what might happen. So much so that I didn't enjoy what was happening.

That changed my life. One of the major changes I made was in the way I thought about life. I started focusing on how I could help others, and spent less time focused on my problems. That in turn has guided the way I write, including the fact that I do everything I can to help other authors.

Winter
If I am working to help others then I am helping myself. Who knew a random comment about how pretty the flowers are today would lead to such a life-changing experience? I'm thankful to that friend for taking the time to listen and see past the words, into my heart. My body healed itself. My mind and heart took a little longer. Today, I no longer need medication, and I've taught myself to view the world in a more positive way.

I can now say Spring is truly one of my favorite times of the year, but I've learned to look for the beauty in every season. Spring's message of hope, Summer's promise of full, rich life, Autumn's harvest, and Winter's rest and inner quiet that in turn, gives way to the cycle of hope once more.
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Kayelle Allen is an award-winning, multi-published author. Her heroes and heroines include badass immortals, warriors who purr, and agents who find the unfindable--or hide it forever. She is known for unstoppable heroes, uncompromising love, and unforgettable passion.