Thursday, November 7, 2013

Elementary Dear Domina, Elementary (NUDITY!)

Tonight I watched the episode of Elementary which featured a dominatrix, and I have to say, it was not all that bad.  I was expecting the worst, really, I mean it is network television.  

Although I am a die-hard Sherlockian I just keep missing it because frankly, I forget to watch it, but also because I find Lucy Liu to be a subpar Watson.  Not because she's a woman (clearly), but because they failed to make her interesting. Also, her acting is not exactly Shakespearean, let's face it.  Watson is a doctor, but he is also a gambling fiend, something of a womanizer, and probably has PTSD or whatever its Victorian equivalent is from being a surgeon in the war (read: occupation) of India.  He/She is actually quite a well-formed character, and to see them being played so one-dimensionally...  I digress.

Anyway-- I actually didn't mind the depiction of the dominatrix. I thought it was a good lead-in, and the fact that the police treated her nonchalantly even while she was wearing leather and latex was a nice touch. She was not treated with any level of suspicion, and in fact knew Holmes through a mutual academic interest (not through the seedy underworld), which was refreshing. This of course, is done to throw off the audience, because of course they would be ready to believe that a dominatrix was involved in a crime (I would assume).

I also thought it clever that neither the actual suspects or even the victim were involved in BDSM at all.

Also-- did anyone else notice they made a visit to Purple Passion? The scene where the clerk starts talking about how marginalized kinky people are while telling them they need a subpoena is priceless.

The other drama based on The Canon (hee hee),  the BBC's Sherlock, also features a dominatrix in one of their episodes early on as Irene Adler.   The series is much more satisfying than Elementary in a way because they draw directly from the original stories and weave them together to create a more complex contemporary tapestry.  At first, the thought of a dominatrix as Irene Adler (referred to as The Woman by Holmes-- one of two people to ever have outsmarted him) seems quite logical.  She is depicted as an adventuress in the original stories, is a well-known opera singer, (apparently not a respectable profession in Victorian times- think somewhere along the lines of Degas' ballet dancers) making her somewhat of a charlatan.   Hmmm...  sort of like being a dominatrix today, no?  I'll answer that for you-- Yes.  However-- and I do mean to spoil it for you if you haven't watched it-- they fail to imbue the dominatrix character with any of the original Irene's capacity for deceit.  On TOP of that, we are expected to believe that she is perhaps attracted to him (um, NO) and even weakened by his affections.  For instance, a code she expects to flummox Holmes with turns out to be a reference to her "longing" for him (gag me with a forklift) and also, he of course comes to her rescue near the end (It IS the 21st century right?  Just checking).  If you are familiar with the original stories, this would never, ever have happened.   Irene Adler was a consummate professional and would only ever be interested in making sure that Holmes could never catch up with her.  The entire point is that she was the "one who got away", and the reader is left to wonder whether it is because she escaped before Holmes could catch her or whether it is because she would never bang him.  Excuse me, take a turn around the room with him.   All in all, it is probably a combination of both, but Holmes' characteristic Victorian repression would never let him admit that to himself or anyone else.  Which is why we love him. 

Well, since you've clearly read or at least skimmed to the end of this, I leave you with a treat.  It seems the BBC isn't all that bad, as they show Ms. Adler in her skivvies.  You can thank me later: