Thursday, December 6, 2012


I walked into R's room and said, "I know you hate it when I rant about television. I know. But do you mind if I do it anyway?"

He said, "What show?"

I said, "Sherlock."

He said, "Yeah, I don't like that one anyway. Go ahead."

I said, "Forget the sexism. Take it for granted that Steven Moffat is completely insanely sexist, doesn't understand that women are human beings, whatever. Assume that and let it go. The show is still completely maddening."

He wrote something on a note card. I think he was prepping for his drama class.*

"It's like World of Warcraft, really. Irene Adler is a rogue. So, whatever, she's an evil female character, yeah, so what? Really, she's a rogue. Everyone hates rogues. They're annoying. But they are what they are and when they're played well, they kick butt."

He says, "What are you talking about?"

"I don't care whether Irene Adler is sexist. Yes, women tend to be rogues. They learn how to manipulate and back stab and stealth, because what the hell, those are useful skills when you're small and weak and somewhat defenseless. And they're really annoying skills when you're PVPing against them."

He blinks.

"I'm serious. Irene Adler is a rogue. Which is fine. Rogues suck, but it's a legitimate character class. But then -- then -- then he turns her into a pally. What the hell is up with that? Rogues don't act like pallies. Rogues don't do front-on confrontations. Rogues don't call people 'junior' and get all triumphant about defeating them. Rogues that do that kind of thing get their butts kicked."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm saying that the ending of episode one of season two of Sherlock isn't annoying because it's sexist -- although god knows it's sexist -- it's annoying because it violates character class rules. It's annoying because it is absolutely crappy characterization. It's annoying because turning a rogue into a pally for ten minutes because it helps your script is lazy, lazy, lazy screenwriting."

He writes something on his notecard. "Done?"

"Yep. And I feel much better. Thank you."

"No problem."

I will probably have to give up watching television when my boy leaves home.

*He doesn't read my blog, but I was writing when he came into my room to say goodnight. It was government, not drama. Also, he doesn't think he said, "Done?" which he felt sounded pejorative. He thinks he said, "Feel better?" This could be true. But it would be unduly repetitive and he was willing to grant that it was okay as is.


  1. You and your son are hysterical. I want to watch the Sara and son show.

  2. When he was 11, he got an end-of-the-year award for being the funniest kid in class. He was the farthest thing from a "class clown" that you can imagine, quiet and well-behaved, so I was surprised, but it turned out his teacher had exactly the same appreciation of his deadpan humor as I do. You'd like it, too, I bet!

  3. I just found you from your comment on Julia's blog, and between what you wrote there and this entry, I am almost tempted to re-read paladin of souls just so I have fresh ammunition to debate with you whether that book is any good or not. Because I think the debate might be just that awesome - if only I could remember any specifics anymore
    But you've totally got yourself a new follower, for what that's worth.

  4. Oh, God, you totally have to re-read it. I would LOVE to debate that question. Because honestly, I didn't love that one when I first read it. Eh, she was kind of annoying. And then I reread it. And then I got sick and I wanted to read it again. Ditto probably five times. And then my mom died and I reread it. And then, in a group therapy class, we had to pick a book that was meaningful to us and that was the first and only book that occurred to me. I did feel a little stupid when I started talking about it and realized that duh, it starts when her mom dies, so of course I'm connecting to it. But you should reread it and we can talk about why a middle-aged woman being totally able to reinvent herself through her own stubbornness might be both comfort food and unheard of in genre fiction. (And, ha, you now know my argument!)