Posts tagged "Sherlock"

Another Week Ends: Hoffman and Addiction, Parenting Confessionals, Harris v Haidt, Trite Apologies, Super Bowl Commercials and Transform(ers)ational Ministry

Another Week Ends: Hoffman and Addiction, Parenting Confessionals, Harris v Haidt, Trite Apologies, Super Bowl Commercials and Transform(ers)ational Ministry

1. Philip Seymour Hoffman, of Magnolia and, more recently, The Master fame, passed away this week in what the press generally called a “heroin overdose”. On the subject of addiction, it was painful and touching recalling his role in Owning Mahowny, and a moving reflection on Hoffman’s death comes from fellow Hollywood icon and recovering addict Aaron Sorkin at Time, ht BJ:

I told him I felt lucky because I’m squeamish and can’t handle needles. He told me to stay squeamish. And he said this: “If one of us dies of an overdose, probably 10 people who were about to won’t.” He meant…

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On TV: Sherlock, “His Last Vow”

On TV: Sherlock, “His Last Vow”

Without a doubt, the finale was masterful, the best of the series, partly because Sherlock wasn’t in control. Indeed, Charles Augustus Magnussen feeds off of control, licking, in the opening scene, an MP leading the investigation against him, merely to prove that he can. He refers to his game not as blackmail but as ownership; his ability to reveal the darker spots of public figures’ pasts places them all within his power.

At the level of public politics, this control is frightening but (mostly) impersonal. Where “His Last Vow” succeeds is in bringing Magnussen down to the level of everyday people,…

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Don’t Gimme Shelter

Don’t Gimme Shelter

If I burden myself with a little help-mate during my adventures, it is not out of sentiment or caprice – it is that he has many fine qualities of his own that he has overlooked in his obsession with me. Indeed, any reputation I have for mental acuity and sharpness comes, in truth, from the extraordinary contrast John so selflessly provides.

–Sherlock, Sherlock, Season 3, Episode 2

Two items appeared on Andrew Sullivan’s blog Sunday morning that seemed, in proximity, to sharpen each other. The first item repeats a suggestion by Tom Ehrich, an Episcopal priest, who wrote in the Washington Post…

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On TV: Sherlock, “The Sign of Three”

On TV: Sherlock, “The Sign of Three”

After last week’s frenetic London chases, The Sign of Three opens with a scene of true, old-fashioned detective work, with a Lestrade, eighteen months thwarted, triumphant in at last making an arrest on a notorious bank gang. Sherlock texts him “HELP. PLEASE. NOW.”, and Lestrade cannot help but phone for maximum backup and forgo a major professional success. As he bursts into Sherlock’s study, his agitated body fills the entire doorway and camera shot – and then the angle switches to a Sherlock, recessed at his desk near the back of the room, hands on his temples, ensconced in his…

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On TV: BBC’s Sherlock, “The Empty Hearse”

On TV: BBC’s Sherlock, “The Empty Hearse”

BBC’s Sherlock has become one of my favorite shows on television, and it was immensely fun having some new material and quelling the peremptory curiosity left by the end of last season. It was genuinely enjoyable seeing Holmes back on the screen, even though, last night, Sherlock’s self-absorbed callousness was especially in-your-face – sort of making me wonder why I like BBC’s Holmes at all. All of his flaws were on high display, and they were made all the more irritating by his inability to apologize. And yet he remains compelling, not just immensely likeable, but even lovable, an obsession for some viewers…

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The Year in Television 2012

The Year in Television 2012

Since we’ve been talking so much about television this week, why not go all the way and do our annual recap? Truth be told, it was a slightly off year on the small screen, the first plateau in quality that I can remember in about ten years. A number of the top-drawer shows experienced something of a “downturn”, e.g. Justified and Louie, and new contenders were not quite as numerous. Which isn’t to say there hasn’t been plenty worth watching and commenting on. God no:

Top Twelve Television Series of 2012

12. Game of Thrones. I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical after…

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Another Week Ends: Dumb Smart People, VeggieRemorse, Pixar Tips, Transfigured Authority, Profanity Laws, Fiona Apple and Mad Men

Another Week Ends: Dumb Smart People, VeggieRemorse, Pixar Tips, Transfigured Authority, Profanity Laws, Fiona Apple and Mad Men

1. You’ve probably heard the classic arithmetic question, “A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” If your kneejerk response is in the double digits, well, think again. Jonah Lehrer kicked off his new post at The New Yorker with a couple of terrific new pieces. “Why We Don’t Believe in Science” was the first and “Why Smart People Are Stupid” is the latest, and it in particular warrants some excerpting here. Another cogent reminder that self-knowledge (or knowledge in general) is not…

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The Modern Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes and the Limits of Rationality

The Modern Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes and the Limits of Rationality

Perhaps I’ve just been ignorant of British television, but it seems that the BBC is enjoying the same golden age as so many US channels right now. Downton Abbey has already received a great deal of much-deserved praise from pretty much everyone, but I want to draw attention to BBC’s Sherlock. If you haven’t seen it, this remake of a classic character is better than any crime drama on TV today. The show takes the old Sherlock stories (“A Study in Scarlett”, for example) and updates the plot for modern times. But just like the original, the most interesting aspect…

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