Aug. 17th, 2012

starfire11: (Default)
So on the list of things to rant on tonight: Pandaria Cinematic (squee), "Time Untime" completion (and binding changes), "Elementary" and Sherlock Holmes... everywhere, videogames and storylines, and probably some other things.

Onwards!

So the Pandaria Cinematic came out today, and I was really happy because I didn't have to wait. It was out when I turned on my computer at 10:20. That was fun!

So I watched it, recalling the words of the Blizzard people who said that they really wanted to do more with the Cataclysm cinematic. I agreed... a little. I thought it was pretty nice and I ALWAYS want more with these things.

So I was a little concerned, since I thought that the release date for the next expansion felt a little... rushed. Especially since they're losing people - they might just be speeding things up to keep people playing. Extra speed in something like this isn't always a great thing. I want to play something cool and well-thought-out, not something rushed.

So, even while I dreaded every moment as I watched the time left on the video decrease, this cinematic was a pleasant surprise. It was funny. Something they haven't had since the Burning Crusade cinematic, and even then it wasn't like this. I really enjoyed it :D I still would have liked to have seen more about the Pandaren (and, again, they were all men, sigh), but I think this described the relationships involved in the xpac rather nicely... so it was good.

I thought "Time Untime" was an interesting shift from some of Sherrilyn Kenyon's earlier writing. I don't think it's much of a shift, but, well... there were a few things. It was interesting to see her writing about events in the future. I haven't been up-to-date on her books for very long. I've been doing a lot of catch-up, so most of what I've read has taken place in the past. The relatively recent past, depending on where you're reading, but still the past. This book mostly takes place in December of this year, and the last scene takes place in 2061. It was interesting. There were some other things that just popped up... the way the female characters are becoming more heroic. The continued use of "masculinity" as if it's a firmly defined quality (sigh). And so on. It's not perfect, but, well... She's also filling in some plot holes that I've been curious about. Things about Nick, things that are going on with other characters in the universe (as she does frequently).

[Doctor Who] So this monster in Doctor Who looks like a puppet some people in "America's Got Talent" made. I wonder if they used this as inspiration?

They did something odd with the binding. It was marked as Fiction and not in its old category. I'm curious if they stuck it with the fantasy/SF stuff, rather than what the other books were, because I'm pretty sure that old category still exists. Most of this book is devoted to the fantasy/adventure aspects than the old category. She's actually been making that shift, too. It's interesting. I like it a lot.

So the trailer for "Elementary" is out, and I looked it up... and it looks... interesting. I have to agree with some of the people I was reading comments from. It looks more like just another crime drama, and not a Sherlock Holmes story. If they're not basing it on the books... then what's the point? Just to use the character?

I'm also a little confused. Why exactly is there suddenly an overabundance of Sherlock Holmes adaptations out there? There's BBC's "Sherlock", the Hollywood movie duology, "House", "Bones", "Doctor Who", and now... this. While it's arguable that most any detective series at least partially uses the the Holmes figure in some manner... in reference or actual borrowed personality traits or whatever... this is a little much. It's not "this is some other detecive with their own quirks and personality who just uses similar methods or reasoning"... it's "let's adapt it this way". Heck, there's even an animated version in Japan, apparently. Even "Castle" borrows a little from the Holmes fandom with a principle character who serves as a sort of consultant for the local police department and who knows a great deal of information and people and considers the subject of crime and the people involved to be a sort of game to be solved. Sure, Castle is no Holmes and the female cop is no Watson. But there's that borrowed element. That's what makes "House", "Bones" and "Castle" unique, while still reminiscent of good old Holmes. They borrow elements while making something new. "House" takes place in a hospital (most of the time) and is a medical drama, and even House is a doctor. Bones is very distantly related, from what I've seen, and the "Holmes" character is female (precedent for "Elementary"), and a scientist, doctor, whatever she is, while the "Watson" character is a meat shield, as far as I can see. Castle has an author and a cop, not a detective and a doctor. Heck, in "Doctor Who", the Holmes character is an alien with a time-traveling device! And the Watson character is a scattering of multiple individuals.

Yes, "Doctor Who" borrows the Sherlock Holmes story. Think about it for a moment. It stars someone who doesn't look at life as a life-or-death scenario or as if he has a vested interest in it... beyond his own personal enjoyment. He's a tourist on permanent vacation. Since Holmes doesn't really do anything beyond experiment, do drugs, and solve cases in his spare time... he kind of is on permanent vacation. They both even collect things! Holmes has at least occassionally collected something form his clients (some form of payment, although I'm not certain that he always keeps whatever it happens to be), and the Doctor has often collected souveneirs, from costumes to machine parts to food to people and so on.

Then there's the fact that there is ALWAYS a mystery. ALWAYS. The Doctor can be bored and stumble into it, or be dragged by one enemy or another. There's always something wrong that he has to figure out and then fix. Sure, it isn't a police or detective case OFFICIALLY, but that doesn't make it any less of a mystery and the Doctor and his companions any less of a bunch of detectives.

The Doctor, House, Bones, Castle, and Holmes all know a heck of a lot about whatever it is they're interested in. if they don't know it and it pops into their heads, they are probably spending their free time working on learning about whatever it is. They are all "out there". They all have issues relating properly to people (Castle maybe less so than the others, but again, this is creative license - he's not HOLMES, he's someone's vagueish homage to Holmes). And that is principally due to their intelligence and the fact that they typically sideline romance and friendships for The Next Big Thing in their hunt for knowledge and what they consider "fun" (which typically doesn't align with most other people's definition of the term "fun").

They all have their Watson. The person through which we relate to this Knowledge Giant. Without Watson, Holmes would not be interesting. He would be arrogant and annoying and rude and disgusting and, after a while, boring and formulaic (House is like the longest run How Far Can We Make This Work Without a Watson character around). Watson makes us see him in a different light. And really... Holmes doesn't work without Watson. He can't. He's not entirely vain and he doesn't have much patience, but he does enjoy relating to people what's going on, sort of like a teacher. You could argue whether someone like Watson or an audience ready to shout out "ooh" "ahh" or "what?" is a better companion for him, but that's up to artistic license. Watson is also probably the reason Holmes doesn't just curl up and die. Either from boredom or loneliness.

These stories focus on different facets of Holmes and different ways to look at his character and his Watsons and how he interacts with the world. Most of the newbie Holmes' suffer before they find their Watson. Most of them are distant from the world and life in general before that point. Most of them are crass and fatalistic and seem to have more conversations in their heads than they bother to have with real people. Some of them admit earlier than others that they're lonely. Some use drugs. Some experiment in their free time. Some have an interest in romance. Some can be shocked by other people. Some laugh with others, some just mock and mock and mock and don't even realize what they've done wrong until long after the fact.

While I can't speak for Bones because I don't know the show much, I do know enough about the others to say this: the Doctor is no one without his companions. He can't help but walk up to whoever seems to be set apart from the others in the room (people like himself) and just start up a conversation and have a laugh. He can own the room in a couple minutes, just give him time. He wants to have fun.

House is nothing without his fellow doctors or Wilson. Heck, when no one else is around, he has to talk to a JANITOR.

Castle is greatly depressed and can't write until he meets that cop whose name escapes me -I'm really not that familiar with the show I've only watched episodes 1 and 2 full way through and it was a while ago- and she inspired him and he found something he really, really wanted to do with himself and he found a reason to write again.

And it is a game for all of them. The Doctor moves on a whim. House only solves "interesting" cases. Castle treats things like some kind of TV show from what I saw. And Bones... I have no idea.

Holmes, through artistic license, has been a doctor, a scientist, a cop, a romance/detective fiction writer, a time-traveling immortal alien, and will probably be a heck of a lot more when all's said and done for us.

I like "Sherlock" a lot. I like the movies a lot. I liked "House" for a long time, until it simply became WAY too formulaic and annoying (which was actually quite earlier, it just added in a bunch of other interesting things that made up for all of that).

But this is a little much. I'm not telling people to make up something entirely new (which is arguably nearly impossible, anyway). There are other things out there for people to re-do in the annals of literature history. People re-do and re-do all the same fairy tales and the same myths. I've read, if not all of them, a great big chunk of the Brother's Grimm fairy tales. There's a great deal more than Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel. And people still aren't even touching on some of the more common adaptations. The Cupid and Psyche fairy tale is rather commonly reused, yet I haven't seen any animated or live-action versions. There are so many stories from a great number of mythos families that it's just... ridiculous that they don't take advantage of this.

[Doctor Who] Have I mentioned yet that I'm going to be really, really, really happy once I'm done with the William Hartnell years? Oh, I know Dad's missing nine or so episodes... but I'll be taking those as singles, not this, William Hartnell, William hartnell, William Hartnell, William Hartnell, old-ass UGHness...

This looks like a different Sherlock. Of course. Another Sherlock in the present day. And, for some reason, in the US. I guess it's another rogue element? Heck, "House", "Castle", and "Bones" take place here. Why not be more direct with references?

I'm interested in seeing how it turns out. I think it could be really good.

Or it could be really bad.

You know... there's a thing with some video games. I'm more interested in the story than playing them. Which typically means my curiousity is satisfied when I've played it through once and really deters me from buying them because when you buy a video game, your money's worth is earned when you play it more than once (at least for me; when I get it and then play it through and then leave it untouched like a number of games on my comp, well...). So personally I just like watching other people play so I can see the story play out. It's kind of like reading a book or watching a movie. Plus it's an excuse to save money "you're only going to play it through once, so why bother?" Which means I don't buy many anymore cause, well... the only thing I make time to play often is WoW. And Diablo, if I'm REALLY bored...

So I'm seeing all this hullaballoo about the Assassin's Creed series, which I find at least interesting (I'm not saying it's perfect, it just interesting). And... the library only has three of the books. Not even the first three books. Just three of them. They're at least in order, I suppose.

[Doctor Who] Wow, the Doctor is pretty mean.

Gonna watch one episode of YST, take a shower, and go to bed. Night then.

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