Challenged By Rizzoli & Isles

There’s something you should know about me, I should’ve been a detective. Seriously, I am the Sherlock Holmes of…well, my house. Friends and family hate watching any suspense shows or movies with me because I ruin it about fifteen minutes in. I know who did it and why and I do not keep my theories quiet. I work the case the whole time. Then I complain about how easy and predictable it was, and basically ruin my own viewing experience. It’s very hard for me to enjoy crime dramas and I love crime dramas! I’m pretty sure I’m famous for this—because TNT reached out and challenge me. ME! They sent me a copy of Rizzoli and Isles new season premier and I took this as not just a “please review our show” I took this as “we’ve heard about you—we know what you can do, we bet you you’ll enjoy this.” They were right, I really enjoyed this show and not just because they openly discuss how they abuse their power by searching DMV records for personal reasons (who wouldn’t do that?!) while holding a human heart in their hands. Symbolism, represent! They used a really interesting way to kill their victim and I loved that when Isles’ would say something medical Rizzoli would give a “huh?” response so when it was explained it made total sense. Not like a certain FBI crime drama where they are explaining the case to each other for the benefit for the viewer but it makes you go, “why are you explaining that to him—he’s with the BAU he understands why a knife was used!” or “She’s the M.E she gets why 37 stab wounds is overkill—she gets it.” I’ll be honest in viewing Rizzoli and Isles season premiere episode, five minutes in I was all “oh please—I know who and I know why. Go here, do this boom! It’s always the (I’m not telling you cause that’s a spoiler)”. But—I will admit I was wrong. I took Rizzoli and Isles as a silly predictable crime drama. In fact I prepared for it to be really “soapy” without emphasis on the “detective”. It wasn’t. It was smart, it was interesting, and the dynamic between the two women was refreshing. So often we seen men in these roles and women are supporting characters but Rizzoli and Isles flipped that on its end. Half way into the show I forgot I was watching a crime drama; I was so enthralled with the personal stories of the characters which can attest to the acting on this show. But then I remembered there was a murder and there are post-its filled with strange notes. Hmmmm, time to change my theory it wasn’t Ms. Scarlet in the bedroom with the gun it was (NOT TELLING YOU) with the (CAN’T SAY) and it happened because (YOU’LL SEE). Then I had to reevaluate again. Twist, after twist, after twist. But third time is a charm and on the final twist I got it. I nailed it—but it took me almost the whole episode. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age; maybe I’ve worked this beat too long. TNT & ZeldaLily have teamed up to help my ego and your pocket. Now, I’m challenging you. Tuesday, June 25th 9/8c on TNT to see the premiere of Rizzoli & Isles.  Check out the episode and leave a comment telling me what you thought, how long it took you to figure it out and you will be entered to win a prize from TNT.


Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 6/13/2013 - 6/25/2013.

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Elementary Does It Correctly


First of all, it’s May 4th. Star Wars Day. May The Fourth Be With You.

Guys, do you watch Elementary? I know that some of the people who watch BBC’s Sherlock (of which there have been only six episodes because you can get away with that in the UK, apparently) are diehard loyalists. Personally, I’m kind of tired of looking at Bennysnoot Cummerbund* and I don’t even watch the show (his face is just unavoidable on Tumblr), so Sherlock will probably never catch my interest. That said, I am a huge supporter of liking both—do not think of different Sherlock shows as mutually exclusive.

Anyway, I love Elementary. Jonny Lee Miller plays Sherlock Holmes. The beautiful, talented, and flawless Lucy Liu plays Joan Watson. I absolutely love the show—most of the first season has aired. It’s not as good as NBC’s brand new show Hannibal, but then, Hannibal is the best live-action show on the air right now (and definitely my favorite new show of 2013).

Right, so. Elementary. It’s fun. Some people find Jonny Lee Miller very attractive—I don’t. I appreciate his character’s competence, though. I love genderbending of Dr. Watson’s character into a woman (a former surgeon). And, seriously, Lucy Liu is amazing and perfect and if you do not believe me then you have obviously not seen Kill Bill and/or anything else that features Lucy Liu.

The character of “Mrs. Hudson” is not as much of a staple of the Sherlock Holmes universe as the titular character or Professor Moriarty (whom we have yet to see directly), but she is a character in the original stories and in many subsequent adaptations. She is often Sherlock’s landlord and something of a fussbudget about tidiness.

Elementary only introduced their Mrs. Hudson recently. She is an associate (what Sherlock calls his friends) of Sherlock’s. She is a self-taught intellectual who finds herself acting as a “muse” (a mistress) to various men who may be married (in her first episode, she comes to Sherlock for a place to sleep during a break-up with her lover, who is clearly besotted with her and is promising to leave his wife but we all know that story, right?). She is a tall, beautiful woman. She likes things tidy—at one point, she cleans the front room of Sherlock’s brownstone (which Watson is always wanting for him to clean). Mrs. Hudson also rearranges Sherlocks books. He asks how she arranged them. Mrs. Hudson replies:

“By subject matter, then by author. You start with hard sciences on the north wall, then you move clockwise around the room in descending order of academic rigor. That way, Physics by Aristotle is as far away from You Can Learn Telepathy by Morton Zuckerman as possible.”

That was the line with which I really fell in love with her.

And oh, by the way, she’s transgender. Played by a transgender actress.

I think that sometimes people include members of various minorities for the wrong reasons, or in the wrong way. Not every gay character should be a fashion expert (like in real life—I might have perfect hair and always be clean and smell good, but I dress in a t-shirt and shorts as often as possible because I value my comfort). A lot of what happens nowadays with gay characters or certain religious minorities is a step in the right direction but still missing the we’re-all-people point (and kind of reminds me of blackspoitation).

Elementary does it correctly. No one fumbles, accidentally calling Mrs. Hudson a “he” or “it.” Her story is not about the fact that she’s transgender. Her boyfriend isn’t breaking up with her because she’s transgender. She is not being discriminated against or targeted and coming to Sherlock for help because she’s transgender. She’s just a woman in a rocky relationship and she needs a place to stay for a couple of nights. While she’s there, she does some tidying, and ends up being hired by Sherlock to come in periodically to clean.

I want to see more television like this. Transgender characters are not a punchline, and they’re also not all about being transgender. Being born with an anatomical sex that does not match your gender is not the be-all and end-all of a person, and that should be reflected in fictional characters.

Well done, Elementary. I love it. And I love Mrs. Hudson.


*Okay, so his name is Benedict Cumberbatch, but that is ridiculous and changing his name every time that you say or write it helps lift you back from the fatigue of constantly seeing his face on Tumblr (because the Sherlock fandom is one of the “big three” of Tumblr, along with Supernatural and Doctor Who. I only watch one of those but I see plenty of the other two anyway). Blanderwort Cumberland will also be the primary antagonist in the new Star Trek film, Into Darkness. So you can expect that I will see the film but also spend much of the time glowering for various reasons.

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I Implicitly Trust The B In Apartment 23

I put off watching Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 for the longest time. Why? Because I tend to put off things that I know that I will enjoy. Especially comedies—I did not start watching Parks and Recreation until this past summer (so I had four seasons to watch at once, which was neat). I waited for a lull in my television viewing schedule and then I watched everything from the pilot episode through season two, episode ten, which is as many episodes as had aired up to that point.

You guys, everything that the gifsets that I saw on Tumblr promised was true. Don’t Trust The B In Apartment 23 is fantastic. Primarily, it follows two young women as they share an apartment in New York City.

One character is June, an ambitious, organized young woman from . . . honestly one of those land-locked states that terrify me (no offense). She is new to New York City, but the new job that she was offered goes down the drain when she arrives and so she has to seek a new living situation (and a new job). Thanks to this situation and her roommate, her life is no longer on its original track—but it is clear as you watch the show that this is a good thing.

The other main character is Chloe, June’s fantastic roommate. Chloe is . . . well, an outlandish character, to say the least. Her role and personality is along similar lines as comedic characters Maryann Thorpe from Cybill or Karen Walker from Will And Grace. In other words, she’s basically perfect. She’s a delightful harlot with a wonderful sense of fun (one which June lacks, at least initially). She is wise to the ways of the world (in contrast to June, who is really, really naïve). She is also completely out of her mind. It’s fantastic. (And yes, her bangs are stupid. No one hates bad haircuts more than I do, but even I got past it)

Also James Van Der Beek is the third main character (portraying himself), and you kind of don’t know that from commercials (at least from the commercials that I have seen). In the heyday of Dawson’s Creek I kind of thought that he had a weird face and was old (you guys, in the heyday of Dawson’s Creek, I was, like, eleven). He is so funny on this show and I’m oddly attracted to him on it. Kind of like how I couldn’t have cared less about Friends when it was on, but when I see Matt LeBlanc on the BBC comedy series, Episodes, I find him …

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Real And Pretend: How We Use Real Beliefs To View Fictional Settings

We all have beliefs about how the universe works. Some of those beliefs are religious in nature, and others are not. Most of us occasionally encounter information or ideas that might challenge those beliefs. I think that that is a fairly standard human experience.

I love to read science fiction and fantasy stories, and I have for my entire life. I love to watch films based in such worlds. I also love science fiction and fantasy television shows. I love video games from these same genres.

I have noticed, in my own experiences as a reader, viewer, and gamer, that I tend to project some of my own beliefs onto whatever I am watching. I do not just mean evaluating the moral decisions of characters based upon my own (objectively correct) view of right and wrong—just about everyone does that, regardless of the genre. I mean that, while stories set in our world (like crime dramas or romantic comedies) may have religious conflict and people of various and even conflicting faiths, these stories are fairly standard, and it makes sense that we believe about stories set in our world what we believe in everyday life (as in, an atheist probably will not think “well, maybe Christianity is right in the Law & Order universe).

It also makes sense that our viewing might be similar to that in science fiction. If you are, say, a Christian, it makes sense that you would have a Christian worldview, even when watching a science fiction story that is set a few centuries in the future—you would not believe that your God is going anywhere between now and the future, even if events are extremely unlikely to play out exactly like they do on a television show.

But fantasy worlds that are clearly separate from our own? That’s something else. These are worlds in which the author (or writers) control everything about the setting. There might be multiple religions in a setting, but either none of them are correct, one of them is correct, or, in some cases, all of them might somehow be correct. But, intellectually, I know that it’s up to the author.

You might need examples of what I am talking about. On Supernatural, for example, which is set in a version of our world in which supernatural/horror creatures are a reality, there is also a semi-Abrahamic (though somewhat syncretic) structure to the world. That is, most monsters (vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters) came from an evil and immortal creature named Eve. Demons abound, and they are malevolent spirits who originate from a horrible alternate dimension in which the souls of wicked humans are tortured for all time. Demons were created by a …

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