shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Right off the bat, let me say that I blame [livejournal.com profile] daasgrrl and her fantastic Sherlock Mycroft/John/Sherlock threesome crossover with League of Gentlemen, No Place Like Home (or, Return to Royston Vasey) for everything that happened next. In that story, Mycroft and Sherlock are originally from Royston Vasey and take John on a very surprising (and sexy!) trip home for Mummy’s birthday, where they interact with all sorts of strange characters.

Curious about the in-jokes in the story that I’d missed, I decided to check out the show League of Gentlemen, quickly devoured it all, and became a bit obsessed with the creators, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith (and Mark Gatiss, obviously). (Jeremy Dyson is also one of the League but is a writer instead of a writer/performer, so I don’t feel like I know him as well.)

How to describe shows these men produce? To quote [livejournal.com profile] daasgrrl, “While notionally a comedy, The League of Gentlemen is dark, twisted, and frequently tasteless…” Psychoville, which just stars Pemberton and Reece, is very similar. At its most basic, The League of Gentlemen reminded me frequently of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, except with more of an emphasis on the horrific than the comedic, though it is supernatural horror-comedy with three actors playing recurring characters, frequently in drag. There are a lot of LGBTQ themes, as well, which I enjoyed—though, warning: like all their themes, they are handled deliberately tastelessly. I originally enjoyed this because of Mark Gatiss’ involvement, but I ended up staying because once you can get over a knee-jerk reaction to the grotesque characters, I found their stories addicting. So here are some reviews:

League of Gentlemen—Royston Vasey is a small British town populated, it seems, almost entirely with people who are insane or sociopathic, and generally who have very bad personal hygiene standards. But something happened as I continued to watch: for some of those characters I initially found despicable, by the end of the third season, I was actually starting to be on their side and actively rooting for their happiness. It’s like the writers turned the tables on me every time.

Psychoville—This show is quite similar to League of Gentlemen, except with more of an overarching storyline. I suppose it’s most similar to the third season of LoG. Mark Gatiss even has a lovely Sherlock Holmes-themed cameo in episode 4! Also, for you Sherlock fans playing along, Amanda Abbington has a cameo (I think in episode 2?) as a mother trying to organize a fun birthday party who has to deal with a mentally disturbed clown.

Inside No. 9—the newest series written by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, each of these twelve 30-minute episodes is an unsettling standalone story with a twist at the end, each taking place in a location called No. 9 (a house, an apartment, a dressing room, etc.). Unlike LoG and Psychoville, there is less comedy in these stories, as well as much less drag or LGBTQ themes (except for one notable episode!). Some episodes are much better than others—I like “Sardines” and “Tom & Gerri” best. The quality ranges from mildly distressing to flat-out disturbing, but all had me thinking about them for days afterwards. I’d say of all of them, I liked this series (two seasons) the best because of its sheer capacity to surprise me.

If you like this sort of British comedy, I enjoyed the work of another comedy troupe, the people who made Little Britain (though on my first try, I couldn’t get into that one), Matt Lucas and David Williams. Their sitcom Come Fly With Me, about the hapless employees of an airport, reminded me very much of Cabin Pressure. Lots of tastelessness and characters in drag.

I also liked the creepy seven-episode series Black Mirror, which has standalone stories that reminded me of Inside No. 9. If you want to watch that one, people suggest skipping the first episode and coming back to it later since it has an implied scene in which the Prime Minister is coerced into bestiality to appease terrorists. I found this episode to be one of the most harrowing of the series, though. But of them all, by far the best is the seventh episode, the Christmas special “White Christmas,” starring Jon Hamm. There are so many twists and turns and shocking developments, all leading to a profound message.
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock)
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! As a present, you can go listen to the last episode of Cabin Pressure (will there be more?! I dearly hope so!).

In the meantime, I will be stalking the #221BeMine tag on Twitter, which has a bunch of very funny Sherlock-themed Valentine's poems. :)

Here's one I created:

You are so sweet,
Like honey from bees.
I can tell you love me
From the state of your knees.

And one for my friend who loves Doctor Who:

The Doctor is smart;
The TARDIS is blue.
Even if you were the Silence,
I wouldn't forget you!

<3 <3 <3
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock)
Two Three things of import today: it's Benedict Cumberbatch's 36th birthday (Happy Birthday, Benedict!), and as a present Sherlock's Series 2 has been nominated for thirteen Emmy awards, lots of them related to the cast or acting (like "Lead Actor in a Miniseries" for Benedict!). (The Emmys are television production awards and often focus on the U.S. side of things, so this is nice.)

Series 1, if Wikipedia is correct, was only nominated for Writing, Picture Editing, Visual Effects, and Music, so these nominations for Series 2 show that either there's less competition this year or that somebody in the U.S. is finally paying attention. I hope that Sherlock wins in at least one big category so it can get lots more attention in the U.S. (The awards are held on September 23, so I guess it'll be a long time before we know.)

EDIT: Thing the third! John Finnemore, writer and one of the actors on the Cabin Pressure radio series, has written up an FAQ on Cabin Pressure's fourth series. Namely, it's going to happen! But it's (understandably) hard to get everybody in a room together long enough to record it. Also, Martin still isn't being paid. *hugs him*

EDIT: For Benedict's birthday, Cumberbatchweb has asked people to donate to charity (Teenage Cancer Trust) in his name (details here, or here is the JustGiving page if you want to participate), and so far they've raised more than £8000! I'm so proud to be a fan of his at the moment. I'm totally loving this idea of raising money for charity in lieu of sending presents to our favorite people, and especially in Benedict's case, this is something I'm sure he would very much appreciate. He said he wanted to use his fame for something meaningful, and his fans are helping him do that. *proud*
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock)
Ah, Cabin Pressure. The things you make us do. *facepalm*

As requested by [livejournal.com profile] lobelia321, may I present my contribution to the Traveling Lemon Project for John Finnemore: Lemon in Non-Descript Backyard/Field in Texas. I wish I lived near some awesome national landmark or obvious place, but unfortunately, I kind of live in the middle of nowhere. (It took me forever just to find a postcard for Martin Freeman.)

See this post by [livejournal.com profile] pudupudu for details on the Traveling Lemon Project. :)

Cut for lemony picspam. Also horses. )

Hope you enjoy!
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock)
Because the radio series Cabin Pressure (with Benedict Cumberbatch, of course, and also Roger Allam, Stephanie Cole, and writer John Finnemore) is just too amazing to not get drawn into the fandom. (You can also follow Finnemore’s blog here or read my review of the radio series here.)

I entirely blame [livejournal.com profile] lobelia321 (because of this recs post) and [livejournal.com profile] daasgrrl (because of this pimp post) for getting me into this fandom and for the brilliant [livejournal.com profile] redscharlach and her fabulous icons for keeping me entertained once there. Also check out [livejournal.com profile] caffienekitty's recs list.

I am still a newbie in this fandom (fandot?), though, so this list will likely grow! If you feel inclined, please do rec me other Martin-centric stories, especially funny/cute ones, because I’m pretty good on the angst in this fandom at the moment.

As always, please let me know if a link isn't working! Now with jump links:

[Gen], [Douglas/Martin], [Arthur/Martin], [Other Pairings], [Sherlock Crossovers], [Fanvids]


To the Recs! )

Back to the Sherlock Recs Masterpost: (Taxi!)
shadowfireflame: (harry/draco)
Finally got to see Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman in Black and wrote up some thoughts…

My verdict under the cut. )


Benedict Cumberbatch watch (since he’s never far from my mind these days)—both Roger Allam and Ciaran Hinds had roles in this, which made me fangirl because Benedict co-starred with them in Cabin Pressure and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, respectively.

Also saw Snow White and the Huntsman and thought that was pretty good, though. Kristen Stewart’s character looks good in armor but has…no character, really. Charlize Theron’s evil queen, however, was fantastic and made the film for me.
shadowfireflame: (Sherlock in Molly's lab)
Just so I can keep track of them all and maybe help out people looking for something to watch.

Obviously Benedict Cumberbatch is one of my most favorite actors ever. I’ve noticed that no matter what role he’s playing, he always has amazing chemistry with the other actors. He plays lots of iconic characters, too, as well as men who are suffering in some way, often from psychological or physical trauma—which, I’ll be honest, as a hurt/comfort lover, this is exactly the stuff I love to watch. (And as Benedict himself has noted, he often finds himself with the roles of “slightly wan, ethereal, troubled intellectuals or physically ambivalent bad lovers. But I’m here to tell you I’m quite the opposite in real life. In fact I’m a fucking fantastic lover.”) I almost always forget that he’s acting, and I always end up learning something from his work.

This comment from littlecumberbatchthings.tumblr basically sums up what I’m trying to say: “He has the talent, grace, humility and maturity to portray roles that vary in importance with equal quality and always to his best ability.” Absolutely agree; even when his role in a production is nothing more than a cameo, he completely goes all out for that role and makes it real and believable, just as he does when he’s a lead. (Another quote from Benedict himself on this from this article: “Laurence Olivier—still the great role model for all actors, I hope—once said, ‘There’s no such thing as a small part.’ I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Only with such an attitude can you make it as an actor. Believe me: during my first years on stage and in front of the camera I often felt like nothing more than a moving piece of furniture. I still always gave the best of me.”) I also recommend reading this post by [livejournal.com profile] drinkingcocoa, which articulately analyzes what makes him so special and unique.

I have tried to go through and see everything on his filmography, but he’s done a lot of theater and voice recording and appearing in just a few episodes of TV shows and such, so I don’t know if that will be possible. Still, I think I’ve seen/listened to everything major so far. Lots of these are up on their creator’s sites for free, or Netflix or Youtube at the moment (this channel is a good starting place), so go and enjoy! Also, [livejournal.com profile] evila_elf has created a picspam timeline of his roles! And i-am-benedicted shared a lovely picture with sixteen of his best roles.

Cut for my thoughts on his roles, fangirling, and some plot spoilers. )

I look forward to the release of Benedict’s upcoming projects! By the way, this site was extremely helpful in tracking down his filmography.

Edit: my Martin Freeman filmography reviews are here.

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