Thin Lips, Thin Hips, Text Invitations To Dinner

My daughter asked me to watch television with her.  This being a rare occurrence at her age, a time when many girls loathe their mothers with a deep passion, I accepted.

Besides, it was a show I'd really been looking forward to seeing.  The first episode of the second season of BBC's Sherlock, presented as part of the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series.  Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Steve Thompson wrote some darned good stuff, twists and updates on the Conan Doyle classics.  This latest one is no exception, and my girl and I marveled at the way "A Scandal in Belgravia" riffed on "A Scandal in Bohemia."  Irene Adler, Holmes' opponent in a game of wits, was a dominatrix.

There were riding crops.  And threats of making people beg.  And Adler greeted our man Sherlock in the buff.  He sized her up immediately, which was a good thing, because - SPOILER ALERT! - her skinny measurements were critical to his and Dr. Watson's survival, since those numbers opened her safe combination.  Yes, I said "skinny."  The actress who played Adler was ungodly gaunt, not the lush figure presented by Rachel McAdams in the Guy Ritchie version.  You could see this gal's bone structure.  She looked a bit like she'd had a stay at Dachau.  Plus she had very thin, cruel lips. She scared me a bit.

But it was clear she was intrigued by Holmes.  And - SECOND SPOILER ALERT! - she fell in love with him, which made her weak.  So he beat her.

By "beat her" I am not talking whips or floggers or even his hand on her scrawny pale British ***.  I mean he bested her in a game of wits, and learned the secrets she had been holding.  

Technology plays a big role in this story as the way the characters communicate.  It's a contemporary version, so rather than send telegrams, one texts.  And text Adler did.  Initially she has the upper hand, but her fatal attraction to Holmes leads her to send him text after text.  First she messes with his mobile so that her texts have a customized ring sound.  It sounds like a woman gasping whilst orgasming.  It's pretty funny, actually.  Then she begins to send him texts over the weeks and months that follow. 

I'm sad tonight.  Let's have dinner.

You look sexy on Crime Watch.  Let's have dinner.

I'm not hungry.  Let's have dinner.


Watson is led to Adler, and confronts her about her actions, accusing her of flirting with Sherlock.  "At him," she retorts.  "He never replies."

But it's clear she's gotten under his skin.  He looks remarkably like a man in love.  Even when he figures out that she loves him, which provides the clue to unlocking all her secrets, and he turns in the device which reveals all the information which has assured her security.  If that is confusing, watch the show.  I'm not going to totally give it away.  Except I will say this, which is a HUGE SPOILER ALERT:  at the end, when it seems like Adler is about to be beheaded by her enemies, Holmes swoops in and saves her.

It was good fun, this show.  I wondered what messages my daughter took away from it.  The Guardian review by Jane Clare Jones had a very dim view of the thing.  The subtitle was In Moffat's hands the power of Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes's female adversary, was sexual, not intellectual. A regressive step.  Ye Gods.  She writes:

...her scheme is ultimately undone by her great big girly crush on Sherlock, an irresistible brain-rot that leads her to trash the security she has fought for from the start of the show with a gesture about as sophisticated – or purposeful – as scrawling love hearts on an exercise book. As a result, Moffat sends Adler out into the world without the information she has always relied on for protection, having made herself entirely vulnerable for the love of a man. Lest we haven't got the point yet, Holmes hammers it home. "Sentiment," he tells us, "is a chemical defect found in the losing side."

And then there was the jaw-dropping finale, which somehow managed to smoosh together a double-bill of two of patriarchy's top-10 fantasies. All those troubled by female sexual power – or the persistent punctuation of orgasmic text alerts – were treated to the sight of the vamp laid low, down on her knees, about to have her block knocked off by a great big sword. And, at the same time, our hero miraculously appeared to save his damsel in distress.


The thing is, I like the sexual.  I know, this comes as no great surprise to you.  But I believe in the power of love.  And I know that it makes one vulnerable.  But I think that one can be sexual and intellectual.  And that using love as one's guide, even if it exposes one to all sorts of danger, also can provide great joy.  And guess what?  I don't think it's such a terrible thing that a man rescued a woman.  I don't want my daughter to believe that she can always count on a man to bail her out.  But I think it's reasonable to think that if one is loving and gives her heart to a man, he will love her back and do his best to care for and protect her from harm.  I'm all for strong women who take care of men's needs to have their ***** spanked and filled with a *******.  But I think it's stupid to ignore the fact that men like to take their turn acting heroic, rescuing maidens.  Holmes may have made that disparaging remark about sentiment, but he risks his life to save the lady.  Love is a force to be reckoned with.

That is the lesson I talked about with my girl after the show was over.  She gets it.  She is strong and smart.  She is not particularly into boys yet.  Her aunt, my sister in law, has never married.  She has focused on the cerebral, not the sexual.  She does not trust men to do things as well as she does.  And she lives alone.  My daughter sees the love her father has for me, and the fun life we have as parents, able to share things we enjoy with her and her brother.  She hears from us often how much we enjoy their company.  Love is a force to be reckoned with.  And one to which smart folk judiciously surrender.
milkynips milkynips
46-50, F
May 12, 2012