Americanization of Sherlock Holmes: how bad an idea is this?

I’m seeing initial waves of nerd rage over this news that CBS is trying to develop its own pilot for a modernization of Sherlock Holmes, set in New York City. The timing of this, given that there is another active modernization of Sherlock Holmes in production with the BBC, is not a coincidence; note that this article says that the producers of Elementary apparently approached the producers of Sherlock to ask about taking their show over to the States, and were rebuffed.

I’m just full of “buh?” about this, myself. Mostly negative “buh?”, too, expanded out from the comment I just dropped on criminalelement.com’s post on the matter.

Part of it is the ongoing weariness of the trend of remaking every single idea that was ever popular in the last 50 years over and over and over and over and over. This goes for TV AND for Hollywood movies. Enough with the remakes and reboots already.

Part of it is the disgust with the idea that any fun concept out of non-American media or culture has to be Americanized in order for American audiences to actually watch and enjoy it. Certainly this doesn’t seem to be a problem at all for American geek culture–though I sadly admit that it’s a legitimate concern once you’re outside said geek culture.

Part of it is certainly the bad timing of trying to launch this show while Sherlock itself is still in active production.

But really, what it boils down to for me is just not trusting that the idea won’t suck. Mostly because of the fear that in transferring Holmes and Watson not only to the modern day but out of England entirely, too much will be lost that make these characters recognizably Holmes and Watson. And even more importantly, I’m leery of the risk of cultural appropriation, since so much of what makes these characters who they are is that they are, in fact, British.

I’m not inherently opposed to another attempt to modernize Holmes, mind you. I’m not even inherently opposed to porting Holmes and Watson over to the States–in the hands of suitably awesome writers, such a porting could be pulled off. There was a graphic novel a while back that explored an alternate history for Superman, asking the question of what would have happened if baby Kal-El’s ship had crashed in the Soviet Union instead of Kansas. userinfosolarbird, who’s read it, liked it quite a bit.

However, I’m much leerier about American TV writers, who by the very nature of their work are trying to attract as many viewers as possible and therefore have to think about things like “how much do we have to screw around with the source material to make it appeal as much as possible to our target audience?”, doing this with non-American cultural icons. Even if those icons are now in the public domain.

So yeah, I’m extremely dubious. Though I also have to admit that I’m curious enough that I’ll keep half an eye on this and see what reviews are like once the show finally shows up.

What do you all think? Does this have DO NOT WANT stamped all over it for you, or are you willing to check it out when it airs? Here, have a poll! (And if you’re reading this on LJ or DW or Tumblr, please to click over to the original post to leave your answers!)

Americanization of Sherlock Holmes: Good idea, bad idea, or wretched?

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Several awesome things make a post

I’ve been total Scattershot Girl when it comes to blogging for some time–like many, I’ve found most of my day to day online communication shunted over to Twitter and Facebook. But that said, I’ve had several recent lovely things happen that are worth sharing with you all in longer, blog-based form. So! In no particular order:

  • Finally saw The King’s Speech, since userinfospazzkat got it via Netflix. That was a very satisfying film, and I’m not at all surprised that it’s spawned so much fanfic across my various Friends lists and such. Everyone in that film did an amazing job, and I have much increased respect for Mr. Colin Firth now. Also, mad love for the scene where the speech therapist’s wife comes home and discovers the King and Queen in her dining room. :D

  • Also, as of today, finally saw Source Code with userinfosolarbird. Mad, mad props to userinfomamishka for recommending that! It’s a nice, tight little SF flick, and if you like alternate-reality type plots, try to catch this before it vanishes entirely. If you’re local to Seattle, it’s still playing at the Meridian 16 downtown, and it’s running at the Crest as well.

  • I have finally found a way I might actually read more comic books: the Dark Horse comics app for the iPad. I installed this on the grounds that a couple weekends back, Dark Horse had a sale of all its digital versions of Serenity and Firefly comics. Since I didn’t have Shepherd’s Tale yet, I thought what the hey, I’d buy ’em all. The iPad is definitely more suited to digital comics reading than the iPhone, that’s for sure, although the iPhone does actually talk to this app as well.

    Also on the iPad, I have a shiny new app called TunePal, recommended to me by Marilyn, one of the fiddle players who attends the weekly session userinfosolarbird and I have been going to. Those of you who know the Shazam app will find the way this works familiar; it basically identifies songs. But in this case, it identifies traditional Irish tunes! You can play them at the app on an actual instrument, or, it’ll identify ’em if you’re playing them in iTunes as well. Then it goes out and hits up a big ol’ database and yoinks back several guesses as to what it thinks you just played it. It’ll show you sheet music for its guesses, and it’ll play the sheet music for you as well. And, you can add tunes out of the database manually by searching for them as well. You can’t import your own tunes, which is my only complaint about the app, but it’s otherwise very, very cool. Any of my fellow music geeks out there who are interested in trad tunes, you should be checking this out.

  • Speaking of the iPhone, my coworker Joe pointed me at my new favorite iPhone game: Tiny Wings. You play a birdie with, of course, tiny tiny wings, and the object of the game is to get the birdie to fly as far as possible by tapping. It’s super-cute and only 99 cents, so check it out.

  • FOLKLIFE! Well, that deserves a whole separate post, but I’m noting it here anyway.

  • And while I am still technically on book buying hiatus, I’ve picked up a few freebies. And I will unrepentantly, UNREPENTANTLY I TELL YOU, break hiatus wide open to buy userinfoseanan_mcguire/Mira Grant’s Deadline this week. Because GIMME. Seriously.

  • My friend userinforavyngyngvar is sending me a Blu-Ray of a-ha’s last concert in Oslo! Thank you, Yngvar!

  • I am sorely behind on Doctor Who posts, and will shortly be doing a catchup post. It’s an indicator of how much I’ve not been paying attention to the net lately that I totally missed that BBC America did NOT air the second half of the two-parter on Saturday, to wit, bah. I did not however give enough of a damn about this to actually try to find and download the episode; it’ll air next week as far as I know, and I can wait that long. Especially given that we’re about to have the mid-season hiatus anyway. Just nobody spoil me, mmkay, those of you who’ve already caved and downloaded the ep anyway?

  • And because it’s always worth saying, mmmmm blackberries of my marketboys mmmmmm.

That promised post about stuff besides books

So yeah, I’ve actually been doing things besides purchasing books lately, I swear!

The Great Enshrinkening of Anna proceeds apace, even if not quite as quickly as initially planned. As I enthused on Twitter and Facebook this morning, I hit 164 pounds today! Which is well and easily the lightest I’ve been in five years, and which gets me into territory before I’d started the Walk to Rivendell in 2005. (Which was when I started regularly tracking my weight.) 162 pounds is the 30 pounds lost mark. I’m still aiming for 150, so I have 14 pounds to go!

It’s a bit amusing as well to realize that if I count from my actual high point of weight last year, I’m actually down 29.5 pounds, not 28. But I’m still counting from when I actually started using the LoseIt app, so!

Work’s been a bit crazy lately since we’re hardcore face down on a huge project for the next few weeks–and my team’s having some QA shuffle going on as well, so we’re essentially down to two full-time QA people right now. But so far it’s all still good. And on Friday, we even finally got us an official Big Fish Games sign in front of our building! Check it out:

userinfosolarbird has gone to Oregon to play a gig down there, and I shall miss her, but wish her luck as well! In the meantime userinfospazzkat and I went to have tasty sushi in Woodinville tonight, saving me from having to figure out what the hell to make myself for dinner.

I am very, very happy that the heat wave from last week has passed. I don’t mind the hot so much, but I do mind the part where I don’t sleep well in heat waves. Today was lovely, though, once the clouds cleared up, and I had a great walk down to the shops.

I should also mention that userinfospazzkat has been getting into Leverage lately and I’ve quite enjoyed what I see of it so far. I can even tie this into Great Big Sea by noting that in the promo photos associated with the new album, Alan looks suspiciously Christian-Kane-like. This is not a bad thing. ;)

And speaking of GBS, NEW ALBUM COMING OUT ON TUESDAY! <3 <3 Brace for the squee, folks. You know it's coming!

Book and TV catchup

Let’s clear out the backlog of new ebook and print book purchases, shall we?

Picked up in print from the Norwescon dealers’ room:

  • The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, and The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks. The former is a graphic novel adaptation of a section of the latter. I’d already listened to an audio copy of the latter but didn’t have a print copy, so picking one up was required!
  • Dawn of the Dreadfuls, by Steve Hockensmith. This is a prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, basically setting up how the Bennett sisters became such infamous zombie slayers! Okay, yeah, I couldn’t resist.
  • Chicks Dig Time Lords, by assorted folks. This is the essay collection I wanted, billing itself as being all about Doctor Who, by the women who love it. Pretty much required reading for me!
  • The Mystery of Grace, by Charles de Lint. Urban fantasy. Because apparently I still need more Charles de Lint in my life!

And, yoinked in ebook form down from Barnes and Noble:

  • Dead Matter, by userinfoantonstrout. Book 3 of the Simon Canderous series. Urban fantasy.
  • Embers, by Laura Bickle. Urban fantasy. Bonus points for the heroine on the cover actually having a head!
  • Compromised and Revealed, by Kate Noble. Historical romance. Bought on the strength of the userinfosmartbitches review of the forthcoming The Summer of You, and which I will also be buying as soon as B&N has it on their ebook store.
  • Master of None, by Sonya Bateman. Urban fantasy. Heard some nice buzz about this one and have to frankly admit that I was drawn to it because the guy on the cover kind of looks like Sawyer on Lost. (Mmm, Sawyer!)
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks. SF/Horror/Humor. Bought in ebook form, and this time NOT as a replacement for the print copy, just because this book is that awesome.

This brings the total for 2010 up to 104. And it’ll be going up to 107 as soon as Barnes and Noble lets me buy userinfojimbutcher‘s Changes, Ann Aguirre’s Hell Fire, and the aforementioned Kate Noble!

And as soon as I buy the brand new Amelia Peabody, A River in the Sky, it’ll be 108. There is, indeed, a new Amelia Peabody. Y’all may remember I have expressed some disappointment in Ms. Peters’ last few efforts, but this one? This involves the Ark of the Covenant. As an Indiana Jones fangirl, I think I’m morally obligated to check this one out. Plus, I did engage in the handy “Get a free sample” B&N ebook feature, and it started out strong enough that okay, yeah, I’ll be buying this too!

Meanwhile, userinfospazzkat, userinfosolarbird, userinfomamishka and I did a lovely doubleheader of this week’s Castle and the brand new Eleventh Doctor tonight. Picoreviews: speaking of Indy, as an Indy fangirl, I am now solidly in favor of Nathan Fillion playing Indy if they ever pry the part away from Harrison. He just looked too adorable in the fedora. ;) And, Eleven? Yeah. He’s a keeper. Brand new icons will be required. And I’ll be posting more in depth about the new Doctor tomorrow, I think!

GIP!

I realized tonight, seeing both userinfomamishka and userinfoalg enthuse over tonight’s episode of Castle, that I have a sad, sad lack of Castle-related icons in my life!

However, thanks to comminfocastleicons, I was quickly able to rectify this problem. Props to users userinfotellmewhyxx and userinfotxduck, whose icons I scarfed and have added to the userpics pages of both my LJ and Dreamwidth accounts! Check ’em out:

I need to find one of Castle actually writing as well, but this assortment should do me nicely for now. <3

Not dead, despite rumors to contrary

Y’all may have noticed that I haven’t posted in days. This has been because I’ve been sick as a dog with a cold that just will not quit, and have been ever since the day I came back from Vancouver. Woke up this past Monday with a soreness to my throat, and my first though was “oh shit”. I made it to work okay, but by the end of the day I was quite hoarse. And by Monday evening it was official: I was sick.

I stayed home the rest of the week, coughing up a storm, fumbling for the tissues, and ingesting any number of OTC remedies. On Thursday, I saw one of the other doctors at my usual clinic (since my usual doctor wasn’t in that day), and she said that yep, I had a nasty cold. Never had a temperature of note so we were pretty sure this hasn’t been any form of flu. It’s just been a Martian Death Cold.

I got back enough brain by Friday to work from home, and as of today I’m functional enough to be bored silly, but I’m still snorky, coughy, and prone to needing to curl up under the blankets for random bouts of zzzz’s. I have been absolutely useless for getting any writing done or much of anything else. I’ve been consoling my ailing self by rewatching first season Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and userinfosolarbird and I have also taken the opportunity to get caught up on Caprica, which to our pleasure is continuing to fail to suck. And since I’ve also been useless for continuing my previously planned Laurie King readathon, I’ve punted instead to re-reading the J.D. Robbs–since I’ve started exchanging my paperbacks of those for electronic copies.

I’ll be staggering back to work tomorrow, and if Cliff Mass is correct in his last post, it’ll be just in time for the weather to take a turn for the sucky. Joy. I’m sick all week while it’s warm and sunny, and it gets wet and cold just in time for me to go back to work. I’ll be lucky to shake this damn cough before April.

The cats have been quite happy to curl up beside me while I’m making with the zzzz’s, though. I even got a picture of them. Dara says this is particularly good and that I should post it!

And now, the birthday loot report!

This being the record of things lovely people gave to me to celebrate my birthday:

  • From userinfospazzkat, the DVD set of season 3 of MacGyver and the recently released Avatar: A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora, mostly because the planet is way more interesting to me than the movie ;)
  • From userinfosolarbird, a physical copy of the album Nomad Soul by Baaba Maal (which I had previously borrowed electronically from userinfosksouth), two CDs by Afro Celt Sound System, and one by Altan which I actually already had and will be exchanging for something else
  • From userinfomamishka, a $20 gift certificate to Amazon
  • From userinfotechnoshaman, a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card
  • And from userinfobrombear, who showed up for Jam this afternoon since he’s in town, a couple of gift certificates to Kinokuniya Bookstore, the bookstore next to Uwajimaya downtown. To wit, awesome!

Many thanks to you all! And me being me, I have of course already blown the Amazon and B&N gift cards on books, as follows:

  • Storm Born, by userinfoblue_succubus. Urban fantasy. Re-buy in ebook form
  • Septimus Heap, Book One, Magyk, by Angie Sage. YA
  • Ragamuffin, by Tobias S. Buckell. SF
  • Deader Still, by userinfoantonstrout. Urban fantasy. Re-buy in ebook form
  • Devil’s Due, by userinforachelcaine. Romance. Buying in ebook form, previously read as library book
  • The Visitor, by Sheri Tepper. SF
  • The Hidden City, by Michelle West. Fantasy

And now the total of books acquired for 2010 is up to 33, and I’m not even done with January yet. Whee!

Ten Years Ago

There’s a fun meme going around Twitter today with the hash tag #10yearsago. For the benefit of those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, here are my contributions! It’s fun to write these down, especially given that this year was before I was regularly doing anything like blogging.

Y’all will notice there’s a whole lot of fandom and geekery here. This would be because, well, I was indulging in a lot of fandom and geekery that year! Which has certainly not changed at all in the ten years since.

  • #10yearsago Mylee Ejercito drew me a Shenner picture! http://www.annathepiper.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/shenner3.jpg
  • #10yearsago I was still totally fangirling on Strongbow from Elfquest, enough that I had a web page dedicated to him!
  • #10yearsago X-Files was starting to wear out its welcome at the Murk, but ZOMG Season 3 of Buffy. Big, big fun. Mayor FTW. <3
  • #10yearsago Had big fun seeing The Matrix, Sixth Sense, Toy Story 2, and The Mummy, and OK fine ogled Ewan MacGregor in Phantom Menance. ;)
  • HA I was wrong. My Presario laptop was NOT running XP. It was running Windows 98 and I upgraded to SE that year. #10yearsago
  • #10yearsago Phantom Menace came out! Mimi and I were in line for a late show with a kid with blue hair. We played Egyptian Rat Screw!
  • #10yearsago We didn’t go to Worldcon in Australia but DID go to NASFiC in Anaheim and had a 3-day marathon Disneyland run! Indy ride FTW!
  • #10yearsago I’d quit PernMUSH, BUT! I was still writing in Pern fandom offline in Telgar Weyr, as brownrider Tember and bronzerider J’marr.
  • #10yearsago I was still using a Compaq Presario as my laptop, and it was running XP, and I was FINE with that. Poor deluded 1999 me! ;)
  • #10yearsago Wayfound was born at the Willowholt on Two Moons MUSH, and I destroyed the Willowholt in floods at the end of the year.
  • #10yearsago Tance Vokrim was my surviving character on CrystalMUSH, and he got his beloved Kesya back halfway through that year.
  • #10yearsago I was playing Shenner and Han Solo on Star Wars MUSH and making people’s jaws drop that a girl was playing Solo.
  • #10yearsago in addition to not knowing Great Big Sea yet, my dad was still alive, I worked at Attachmate, and I’d just joined AetherMUSH!
  • In 1999 I was still living at MurkSouth and had not yet discovered either Russell Crowe or Great Big Sea. Had no idea what I was missing!