Why did I do this to myself?
I have thought that Doctor Who sounded, I’ll be honest, a bit dumb, since I first started hearing about it. However, when Sherlock season 3 came to an end, I grew desperate for another source of Britishness in my life. Since the two shows seem synonymous, I decided to give Doctor Who a go. It was the best and worst decision of my life thus far. It is a beautiful wonder of a show, full of flamboyant Britishness, cheesy science fiction, and absolutely stunning acting.
I just finished watching the last episode of season (or series) 2 and bawled like a baby. The tears are drying on my cheeks as I type. I won’t give any spoilers, but the last two episodes were some of the funniest and saddest thing I’ve ever watched. I was really iffy on David Tennant becoming the Doctor, because I loved Christopher Eccleston with his oversized ears and incredibly sassiness. But David Tennant IS the Doctor. No doubt about it. Not sure I’ll be able to handle it when Matt Smith takes over. But seeing Tennant cry during the last episode of season 2 broke my heart into tiny pieces. DON’T LEAVE HIM, ROSE!!! Sorry, I had a small fangirl spasm.
Sherlock will always be my favorite show, without question. I will continue rewatching all of the (very few) episodes that exist and scanning the internet for any theories I can find. But Doctor Who is now definitely up in my top four, with Firefly and Chuck. I totally understand how one could slip into Whovianism. If you haven’t given Doctor Who a chance because you thought it sounded silly, you’re absolutely right; it is silly, but in the best possible way. Give it a chance and you won’t regret it. Well, not much, anyway. 😉
While stuck inside due to the snow yesterday, I indulged my fascination with Benedict Cumberbatch by watching an older TV movie of his, Hawking. It was absolutely incredible. Hawking was the story of young Steven Hawking’ s diagnosis and battle with motor neuron disease, and his desperate attempt to make a mark on the world of science that he thought he would be forced to leave too soon. He proved to a skeptical, atheistic science that the universe had most definitely had a beginning, despite the belief of the time that this couldn’t possibly be true. Before him, the Big Bang theory was a term of derision; after him, it was and is considered by most to be fact. I’m a Creationist, but I still appreciate the passion behind his work and the way that it changed how people look at the world.
Benedict Cumberbatch proved himself to be one of the best actors of our time in this under appreciated film. His depiction of Hawking’s shock over his diagnosis, his fight against the disease, and his gradual succumbing to the illness that was supposed to kill him was intensely believable, heart-wrenching, and inspiring. I have never seen any actor communicate the effect of such a disease as Cumberbatch did. His shakiness, inability to properly control and use his hands, the dramatic changes of his gait, and the rapid decline of clarity in his speech were unbelievably convincing. His face while trying madly to communicate with a cabby was heart-breaking. Even though it’s 10 years old, if you haven’t seen Hawking, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s only $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video. Go watch it! Now!
I watched an incredibly well-acted movie last night. As a girl with a degree in English and History, I sometimes feel compelled to read or watch something with a bit more cultural importance than the fantastically fun things that I generally prefer to consume. This compulsion generally leads me to read a classic of some sort, but I was feeling too lazy to put in that kind of mental effort. So, when I went to the library last week I checked out “The King’s Speech.” I remembered hearing about it winning or being nominated for a slew of awards, and I love Geoffrey Rush, so I decided to give it a try. And also, my degree concentration was in British History, and Dr. Culpepper (one of the best history professors EVER) would probably be disappointed if he knew that the only Britishness I am currently consuming is BBC’s Sherlock.
It was very well done. Colin Firth was incredibly convincing as a royal with a horrid speech impediment. His wife (Helena Botham Carter) finds a very unorthodox speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who befriends her husband and helps him to heal from the ridicule-induced stutter he received from his father (Michael Gambon) and the rest of his family. The transformation of the Duke of York into King George VI and his fight to overcome his fear of public speaking in birth of the age of radio broadcasting was incredibly moving as portrayed by Firth. Carter, Rush, Gambon, and others all acted impeccably as well, but my inner nerd couldn’t keep them paired with the characters they were portraying. They’re Barbossa, Bellatrix, and Dumbledore to me, and always will be, it seems. But the movie was intensely moving and a very insightful look into the life of a British monarch, and deserves every award it received.
I’ve been re-watching the first two seasons of Sherlock in preparation for the upcoming release of the third season on PBS. If you’re reading this and you don’t know me, I’ll let you in on a secret: I am the queen of the nerds. I am a completely unrepentant fangirl. I obsess over Harry Potter, Ender and Bean, the Lord of the Rings, Firefly, Chuck, and various other book, movie, or television series. I believe John Green, author extraordinaire and master of the Nerd Fighters, described nerds as those whose zeal for life and uninhibited excitement for the things they love can’t be understood by outsiders, who tend to ridicule whatever they can’t comprehend. In which case, I am definitely a nerd, because I seem to be incapable of holding in my excitement over certain fictional people and/or places. For instance, my husband bought me a boxed set of all eight Harry Potter movies, a Marauder’s Map, and a handcrafted map of Middle Earth for Christmas. I squealed like a five year-old and bounced up and down like the Energizer Bunny strapped to a pogo stick.
But rarely do I obsess over things that have not been released in their entirety. Thus, my eagerness and impatience over the third season of Sherlock. I’ve never been more impressed by a television series. Well, except Chuck, but Chuck’s in a category all its own. Anyway, the filming and writing for Sherlock are impressive, but the actors are definitely the show’s source of success. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are both brilliant in completely different ways. Cumberbatch burns brightly with his brilliance in any role he takes, and his passion is enthralling to watch. Freeman is a bit more sedate but equally compelling, using mannerisms he has crafted for his character to draw watchers in and endear himself to them in such a way that fans would trust him with their lives if they chanced to meet, and would probably take a bullet for him. The two of them work so well together, whether it’s as Sherlock and Watson or Smaug and Bilbo.
Only three more days until I can learn the aftereffects of the Reichenbach Fall! I know that most people who watch Sherlock have already watched the seventh episode, but I don’t have internet or BBC America at home, so I’ll continue avoiding any and all information about the show until Sunday night when it airs on CBS. I am Sherlocked until then!