” You’ve decided to stay on as my companion, haven’t you? I’m very pleased, Watson. For myself, of course, but for you. I happen to think there’s some hope for you as an investigator. ”
Shoutout to people who like Elementary, hate watching Joan get shafted by the narrative, and await season 3 with unease.
I meant to update this months ago; we’ve now seen Ken Marks as the unnamed moderator/group leader in four of Sherlock’s meetings: 1x02 (twice), 2x07, and 2x21. (that first screencap is just after Sherlock shouted “Amygdala!” and abruptly left the meeting.)
I think we’ve only seen Sherlock at two other meetings: 1x08, when they met Alfredo, and 1x15, when Sherlock told the mongoose story. Alfredo was setting up chairs for one at the end of 1x20 when Sherlock came to tell him about the relapse, and there was also a meeting about to start in 2x17, which Watson and Sherlock attended for an investigation. Have I missed any?
#Great Moments in Inconsequential Continuity #no satisfactory explanation for why they can pull this off #but not bring back Alfredo or Ms H more than once
it’s an extension of the clyde conundrum. ken the moderator is easy. he fills a very specific role, and it’s not hard to add in little touches (the woman, whose name i forgot, who acts as a trigger for him) that flesh him out as a person. his involvement in the world of the show ends when sherlock leaves the auditorium. characters like alfredo, ms. hudson, and the others have roots. bringing in andre bell would require, for starters, time spent on what his relationship is like with marcus now and possibly (hopefully!) an explanation for why he was nowhere to be seen after marcus got shot and nearly ended up disabled. oren and mary can’t just drop by for a flying visit, their presence giving no hint as to how things are with joan and how they fit into her life currently (though tbh i wouldn’t put it past the writers).basically, truly recurring characters require a kind of thought and attention that oneshot and background characters (and effing pets) do not.#everyone not named holmes or moriarty deserves better #also i’m sorry fuck clyde #nothing against the tortoise personally #i just hate that he gets more attention from the writers than ms. h and alfredo and joan’s mom #not just more but EXPONENTIALLY more #these people get nothing #even ms. h who got the show nominated for an award
But while it is much, much simpler to establish inconsequential continuity than consequential continuity, the consequential stuff matters, by definition. And not just in a “If Andre is shown, that will affect the narrative,” sort of way, but also in the “If Andre is not shown, that also affects the narrative” sort of way.
Depicting chromatic characters as if they exist in isolation, without family or community? Look, I can’t tell you what the social consequences of doing that with black or API characters are, but when it’s done with Native characters, that programs us to believe that the genocide was successful, colonization was successful, all the water has flowed under the bridge, and there is nothing left to be done but to give Ishi an as-nice-as-possible life in a museum and wait for him to die. (And if you think I’m being melodramatic when I say that, then I don’t know what to tell you.) I find it difficult to believe that the social effects of depicting black or API characters in isolation from their communities is any less insidious.
And while I think we all have an ethical responsibility to think about the stories we choose to tell, and what it means when we tell them, and what it means when we tell them in a particular way, I also note that when I’m paid to do a job, I’m typically expected to figure out how to do the difficult and complicated parts of it, just as much as the simple and easy parts. So while I totally understand how it came to be that Clyde gets great continuity while Ms. Hudson and Andre are getting none, I’m not very sympathetic to it as anything more than a description of what kind of things happen when you stop paying attention to things that you really should be paying attention to. Doing this properly is more complicated, yes, but there’s still every reason to suck it up and do it.
(Not that I thought that @beanarie was acting as an apologist for the writers! Lord knows, she’s as vocal in her displeasure on this topic as anyone.)
As a queer WOC, representation is important and Elementary does a good job of representing, but I gotta say representation≠good show. Good shows come from intricate story lines. Throwing a variety of people into the show in a predictable story line really isn’t, so arguing “but it has good representation” doesn’t make it a good show.
Elementary doesn’t really do a good job representing WOC
You have Joan obviously played by the spectacular Lucy Liu, of course but there aren’t really any other women of color on the show, save for one off minor characters. It doesn’t have much in way of white women either, you have Moriarty, and Miss Hudson(who has gotten maybe 15 minutes of screentime total) If you want to reach you could include Emily and Ms. Truepenny, but they are extremely minor characters who haven’t actually been involved in the main plots.
Even Joan’s presence was downplayed for a lot of season 2, to the show’s detriment.
Representation contributes to character. It contributes to plot. It adds a perspective that is less commonly seen on tv. All of which lead to more interesting and intricate storylines. Having diverse characters of different races, genders, sexual orientations etc. adds something to the story having only straight white men doesn’t.
good representation doesn’t make a “good show”.
It makes a better show.
whether or not the downplaying of Joan in this season is because of racism & misogyny on the part of someone behind the show or just some kind of weird flub,(the first one in all likelyhood tbh but i doubt it will ever be confirmed) the result is the same. It isn’t so simple as having a previously white male character played by a woman of color. Because we see the actress stuck in the background reacting to her white male coworker. The racism/sexism is still present in the way the characters are utilized in the plot. Joan’s development in season 2 was pretty patchy because thats the way she was scripted, thats what the writers of elementary chose to write for her, and maybe they had some kind of interference at a network level I don’t know. I don’t get to see behind the scenes. I just get the finished product. The lack of plot involvement and character development Joan got in season two really hurt the show’s quality as a whole. the over focus on Sherlock’s character came not only at the expense of other character’s development but also lost it’s punch for sherlock’s character development. Every episode that introduced you to a new penpal or associate of sherlock’s kind of undermined his own character, and the lack of those characters (Randy) in following episodes made him look callous and made the development seem unimportant.
The lack of representation in season 2 made it worse then it could have been even with the plot lines staying as they were.
There are more problems with elementary as a show but representation is still a big one.
bulletproofbell knocking it out of the park, damn.
frankly i’m tired of all this criticism directed at lucy in the elementary fandom. as a WOC, an asian american in being a household name in hollywood for over a goddamn decade, that is fucking amazing. that is not something she could’ve done if she was as crap as some of y’all think she is
meanwhile natalie dormer could shit on your chest and you’d ask for more