Sherlocked And Loaded

My wife and I shotgunned Sherlock series 1 and 2 in three days. It wouldn’t have taken THAT long if she hadn’t insisted on feeding, caring for and paying attention to our child. A child who can almost open a the Pop-Tarts box by herself which essentially makes her self sufficient. When we finished the series I felt that strange mix of relief and anticipation that comes with totally immersing yourself in a particular fiction for days at a time. You’re satisfied to have completed your goal, but anxious for there to be more of it. More to consume. When something is THAT good, waiting months for new installments is like… well, it’s almost like a REAL problem. Which it is not. Still… HURRY UP AND GET ME BACK TO 221B BAKER STREET! There’s mysteries what need solvin’!

I feel like Sherlock’s immensely impressive powers of deduction would be wasted on someone like me who rarely leaves the house other than to run simple errands or go to the airport, and who posts nearly every detail of his goings on to the Internet. He’d step foot in my dwelling (presumably where I had either just been murdered or been accused of such), rapidly flash across the items lying about – my suitcase (still packed from my last convention), my office (the room where I keep my piles of things), the couch with a big my-ass-shaped divot in it and me with my makes-British-look-Jamaican skin tone) – mumble, “Booorrrring,” under his breath and let D.I. Lestrade take it from there. Then he’d go convince Watson to let him shoot a cadaver off his head with a canon and torment his brother Minecraft Mycroft until an interesting case presented itself.

I had a friend in my early 20’s that reminds me of Sherlock. He was smarter than EVERYONE in the room and was exceedingly frustrated with how much less intelligent everyone was than him. Of course this just made him seem arrogant and callous, when in fact he was just struggling to figure out how to relate to regular dumb people. He was the kind of guy that would give away all of his possessions then not have money for rent, or sell his car to pay for school, then skip all of his classes to read books about obscure, unused programming languages and small mammals. He was also one of my favorite people in the world. He even looked quite a bit like Cumberbatch. The only point to share all of that with you is to convey that one of the reasons I fell in love with the show Sherlock mere minutes after starting it (regardless of it’s incredible cast, superb writing, and sublime character development) was that I felt like I knew this guy and instantly understood what made him tick. I wondered if Moffatt had a friend like mine who inspired Sherlock or if he was just a culmination of his understanding of the human condition.

COMMENTERS: Feel free to share your thoughts on Sherlock. Did you ever know anyone like Sherlock who simply can’t relate to regular, stupid humans? Are you going to watch the US Sherlock show, Elementary, with Lucy Liu and the guy from Hackers? Well, don’t. It’s going to be terrible. What series did you watch via dvd, streaming or other bulk means that you simply couldn’t stop watching? “Just one more episode…”

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  1. Within 30 seconds of watching Sherlock, I made the same nostalgic assessment as you did regarding our old friend. I tried to get someone to go for a ride in my trunk, for old times' sake, but it just isn't the same with a hatchback. Then I walked around the mall with an old comforter zip-tied to my waist. The folks at the Apple store called security. Those days are gone.

    Oh, and, what? No Data/TNG reference?

    • Did you about shit your pants when he went to Buckingham Palace wrapped in a sheet? The paralleles are seriously too numerous to draw.

        • Emily and I just sort of "slow turn stared" at each other in amazement. Maybe we haven't heard from Wes because Moffat has him locked in a cage.

  2. I resisted the siren-song of Breaking Bad for a million years, and then finally gave in when my Netflix just wouldn't take no for an answer (but seriously, watch it. Can I put it in your instant feed? You should have it in your instant feed. Oh, hey. Didn't see you there. Have you heard about Breaking Bad? Wanna watch it? You should totally watch this. You'll love this show! I know because I'm your Netflix and I know everything about you. I KNOW ALL THE SHOWS YOU LOVE! I AM IN YOU!) I'm almost to the end of season 4, and I'm really dreading the home stretch of season 5, because while I've tried to keep an internet spoiler blackout, I am aware that the season break is the usual serious cliff hanger. And I just don't know if I can handle that.

  3. I actually started my Sherlock binge after Wil Wheaton had posted that 'A Study in Pink' was free on iTunes for a short time. I went and downloaded it . . . and then I was consumed with a burning passion (or gross obsession, whichever you prefer) to watch the rest of the two series. I have all the episodes on my laptop now so I can travel with my high cheek-boned sociopath. But now we have to wait for almost a year probably before getting any new episodes. I hope I don't wither away out of want before then!

    And I will not be watching 'Elementary'. I'm sorry, but we had our Sherlockian series with 'House'. America should have to wait at least three to five years after the ending of that show before being able to pitch another Sherlock style one.

    • Sherlock is a hard show to watch on the fly because every episode is a fucking movie. And then you want to go onto the next episode and BAM four hours gone.

      • Agreed. The show ate up a good chunk of my time on the first run through of watching the series.
        It's nice to watch them now when I can stop it in the middle of an episode and I'm not depriving myself of finding out what will come next. I can enjoy without losing huge chunks of my life! ….well…not as big of chunks, that is.

  4. First, yes, Sherlock is awesome – sad face for having to wait until at least late next year for more.

    Second, Warehouse 13 was a show I couldn't stop watching once I started with it on Netflix. I think I watched the first 3 seasons (40 episodes I think) in less than 2 weeks 🙂

  5. Sherlock is Amazeballs! I watched it and was facinated the entire time. I felt much like you did. they didn't have both seasons on netflix when i started and I felt withdrawal like symptons when I finished the first season. So good. I am personally in love with john watson but that also probably has a lot to do with him being Arthur Dent… Also, love your comic! It makes me laugh out loud on a regular basis, even on reread which i do often.

  6. I haven't seen Sherlock yet, I guess I will have to now? but I did become obsessed with some Anime series: Spice and Wolf, Darker than Black, and School Rumble. I had no idea that anime could be that good.

    • Yes indeed, there's something for everyone in anime. I myself am fond of Ghost in the Shell : Stand Alone Complex and other cyberpunk shows. And I like Bleach, but in anime that's like saying "I like bacon."

    • Darker Than Black is AMAZING, but the second season is more mixed.

      On the other hand, Chinese Electric Batman is best Batman.

    • I should've known I wouldn't be the first to bring up anime. I used to be totally anti-anime because of all the crazies but then saw an ad for a show and thought it looked interesting, so I found a site that streamed it and obsessively watched it. That show was Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom. I loved it.

      Much later on I was craving some more boss anime, and given that I hate having to READ my shows, but also need decent voicework with my English dubs, decided to check out some other shows from the same dubbing group as Phantom, and I ended up with Darker Than Black. Made me quite happy to see that some FBs have watched that show. Took me a while to warm up to Mao though. He has the same voice actor as Scythe from Phantom, who is pretty much my number one most hated villain ever.

      And not even an hour ago I finished Durarara!! Which I only discovered few days ago. Despite having what I may hold to be the most "hurrdurr" name in history, it was an awesome show.

      Sure, I only watch short animes (25 episode average) but that's mainly because I know I'll sink into it way too deep. Same reason I refuse to play Skyrim or WoW.

  7. I too had not one but two friends who were shockingly intelligent (over a 177 IQ) and after watching them struggle with people and life in general (one turned to drugs just to stop thinking for a while, the other became a recluse shut-in) I've learned to be happy with not being all THAT intelligent. I'd watch people ask one of them a question and see the internal struggle go cross their face as they tried to figure out how to explain the answer in such a way that the asker would understand it. Once one of them struggled with this for nearly a minute then finally just shook his head and walked away. Naturally the asker was offended but my friend just couldn't think of a way to explain the complexities that built up to a full answer (he was unable give partial or abstract answers, it had to be all or nothing) and he didn't want to be offensive and say, "You don't know enough to fully understand what you're asking, let alone the answer it requires, without a lecture of several hours or more, if then, if ever," so he ran away.

    You'd probably really enjoy the old Peter Cushing starred Sherlock Holms that the BBC did back in the 60's. I watched reruns of them as a kid and they turned me into a Holms fan way back then. It's criminal that of the original 16 episodes only 5 survive, the archive tapes of the others being erased and re-used for cost savings! You used to be able to find them on Netflix and some rental stores have some DVD episodes.

  8. That was how I experienced Dr. Who for the first time! Once I discovered them on Netflix, I watched episode after episode, hungry for more, and aching when I finally caught up.

    Can't wait to get lost in Sherlock the way you did!

    • I started watching Doctor Who around the time that Season 3 was airing. I wound up watching seasons 1-3 concurrently because S3 was airing on Syfy, S2 reruns were airing on BBCA, and S1 reruns were airing on PBS all during the same summer/fall.

    • I started watching Doctor Who a handful of months ago, after non-stop poking and prodding and threatening to take my geek card from me by my friends forced my hand. I think I got all 6 seasons watched in like, 3 or so weeks. I generally shotgunned 8-10 episodes in a sitting.

      Needless to say, I told everyone who didn't care about Doctor Who to fuck off last Saturday because I had the premiere to watch.

      • Yeah, I started watching Doctor Who last year (actually, the comics about it here were what finally got me to try it) and when I started out I was going at about that pace. I did have to slow down when the rest of my family got into it so they could keep up, though, so it ended up taking me about two months. There was a while there where my daughter and I would race ahead to each season finale and then just keep rewatching the ones we'd already seen until my husband caught up to us, so by the time I "finished" I'd already seen most episodes between two and four times.

        Now I'm working through the old series, but going much more slowly. At this rate, and assuming I can actually find all the (existing) episodes, I'm guessing I'll be done just about in time for the anniversary next year.

    • Im not entirely sure we parted on the best terms. The last time we hung out everything was totally fine, then I god the CRAZIEST email about how I was horrible and ruined everything by talking about the good times we had together with his (unbeknownst to all of us) wife to be. Emily found a pic of him online a while back. Still in the military. Still mostly a ghost on the Internet. We have one IM conversation a few years later while Emily was pregnant. That was last contact.

      • My attempts and interactions have been similar. Every year or so, I start google-digging for him, and then a few minutes later realize that what I'm doing is far creepier than anything he ever did to me. So I stop.

        But, still. I miss that sonofabitch.

  9. Remarkably I wasn't the least bit interested in seeing the Battlestar Galactica remake series so I skipped it. Then word came that it wasn't just good but great. Still I held off. Science Fiction fans be crazy after all. You can't take their initial word for truth. I waited and waited as I was bombarded with friends telling me to watch it, websites giving it great reviews and internet comics lampooning it. It was one (or all) of these things that made me break down and watch it. "Just try the mini series," thought I, "See if you…" Three weeks later I woke up in a pile of DVD cases and tears of infinite sadness for the deaths of favorite and beloved characters as well as the science in science fiction. I hear tell there's a Lost show that has a similar following. Might have to give it a try.

    • This was me too! When BSG came out, I had no interest in it whatsoever. Then, a couple years ago, I was finally persuaded to give it a try. Have you seen the bit from Portlandia? Yeah, that was pretty much me. Got through the whole damn box set in 8 days. Then worked on an elaborate pulley-system for hoisting my hanging jaw off the floor.
      I too have heard similar things about Lost; if what they say is true, I better make sure I have absolutely nothing to do for a few weeks before I decide to give it a go.

    • Oh – I liked it too, of course. That's why I showed it to him. I was sure if I kept trying I'd find something funny enough to make him laugh 😉

    • Even for BBC it's an odd schedule. If you take into account the typical length of commercials, it is the equivalent of a 6 episode season, but still…

  10. I am deep in the throes of Sherlockholm Syndrome. That's when you start pronouncing things and people in your life "DULL" if they don't immediately produce a juicy mystery to dissect and/or share your fascination with Sherlock. I NEED HELP.

  11. My favourite smarter-than-you detective is Dirk Gently from Douglas Adam's two Dirk Gently books. Books better than Hitchhikers if you ask me. "Ah, Newton. Inventor of the capflap". "There was also that thing with gravity". "Oh, he merely discovered gravity. He actually invented the capflap".

  12. Sherlock is almost too perfect. It's like geek crack, Moffat and Gattis give you a tiny sweet sweet taste and then take it away from you. The withdrawal symptoms can be eased by watching episodes of a sbow called Jonathan Creek which was the 1990s British take on Sherlock, but its kind of like taking aspirin to deal with heroin adiction. It will take the edge off but it won't satisfy the craving!

    The show I recently indulged in was actually House (to keep in the Sherlock vein). I missed it when it started on TV so never got into it as I wanted to watch it from the start. My local Blockbuster (which still hasn't devolved into a Madmaxian Barterdome to my disappointment) had DVD boxsets for about £10 per season so I blitzed through the whole thing. I'm now just waiting for Season 7 on DVD to finish it off.

    I'm about to start working my way through The Mentalist – any good?

    • We like The Mentalist..We also like Sherlock. We also like HE. But we also like Buffy, Angel, Fringe, Castle, Continuum, Firefly,Once Upon A Time, Bones, and even Downton Abbey. We are a variegated family. Mentalist is quite good with the delightfully snarky Simon Baker. Personally, I like humor with my mystery…

      • Well I like Angel, Bones, Buffy, Castle, Firefly,and Fringe so it sounds like I'm going to enjoy The Mentalist.

        I also enjoy Burn Notice, Criminal Minds, Dexter and Grimm if you haven't tried those.

    • I'm not a big fan of police shows, but Simon Baker makes the Mentalist well worth watching. I first caught sight of him on the excellent but cancelled too early caper show SMITH (with Ray Liotta, and Johnny Lee Miller)…it was sooo much better than the other caper shows that year (Thief, and Heist).
      If you like forensic mystery solving shows Bones is quite good, and Body of Proof is alright….both beat CSI which I tired of quickly.

  13. Oh, and we do have a stable that breeds gawky angular stupidly smart young men – its called Oxford and Cambridge.

    A buddy of mine is a Professor in Oxford and he's almost insanely intelligent, extremely charismatic and ridiculously nice. He's the sort of person who will start randomly sketching something almost distractedly and turn out a neat little cartoon or caricature. He once just sat down at a piano with a friend and started randomly playing and singing Tom Lehrer songs. He spent 5 years genetically mutating fruit flies and now tells me he's working on curing the common cold. I keep waiting for him to roll out some sort of death ray with a humble little shrug and very politely take over the world.

      • I hadn't made the connection before, but yeah – except I've never seen him stop eating breakfast to build a better coffee engine.

    • Ok, I excrement you not on this, my friend from Oxford just messaged me to say a colleague walked up to him and said "Erm… There's an enormous spider in the radiation room. Will someone get rid of it for me please?"

      Stand by for a very British Spiderman.

    • I know I've mentioned it before but if you enjoy Gatiss' writing in Sherlock, League and Psychoville, try and find a copy of his short series Crooked House – that's some seriously eerie but extremely good televisual viewing!

      Incidentally, I grew up about 20 miles away from where they filmed League of Gentleman. One of the most disturbing moments of my adolescence remains coming back over the Peaks in the car with my dad. When the fog got so bad that he couldn't see the road any more he made me walk ahead of the car with a torch, following the white line and him following me in the car. As we came down out of the fog, there was the Local Shop looming out of the dark at me with a single light shining in an upstairs window. I damn near papped myself!

  14. It's not like Sherlock, but it's own lovely odd world….yes the League of Gentlemen is worth watching. Also Psychoville (watch after League, even though it is unrelated, you will be in the right mood).

    Again I have to insist that everyone that enjoys Sherlock should watch Moffat's JEKYLL with James Nesbitt!

    While I don't know anyone like Sherlock, I did have a brillant classmate in Art School who really was in his own world. During critiques when he was explaining his work, no one knew what he was talking about, including the professors. He saw everything so differently, it was difficult to have a discussion with him…the best I could do was talk about our favourite Gary Larson cartoons. Now that I think of it, he reminds me more of Walter on Fringe because of his odd habits.

  15. I've consumed—no, inhaled—every good series I've come across: The IT Crowd, Arrested Development, Mad Men, Peep Show, The (original) Office… I do the same with webcomix. 😀

    Trying to download Sherlock on iTunes now, based on all the above raves. It's much cheaper than buying the DVDs. Somehow they're R$34.90 (USD $17) per episode in Brazil. Pfft, I say.

  16. If you want some great British Comedy: the Inbetweeners (UK version),Spaced, Nathan Barley, I'm Alan Partridge, Saxondale, Black Books, Nighty Night, Ideal,Green Wing, Extras.
    Some Great US shows; Freaks&Geeks, Undeclared, Scrubs,Wonderfalls, Huff, Dead like Me, Pushing Daisies, Nurse Jackie, Huff, Community.

  17. While I didn't have a friend that was like Sherlock… alot of the kids I hung around with in Junior and Senior High had that friend. He admittedly was smarter than them, and spent much of his time with them just watching how 'average intelligence' people acted. Come to think of it…

  18. The science behind it is that the part of the brain that deals with social interaction is damaged or underdeveloped, causing the intelligence/creativity part of the brain to compensate. There's a gentleman in Europe with autism named Gilles Trehin that drew Paris, in insane detail just from a quick flyover. He also invented an entire city named Urville, rich with history and architecture.

    I can relate to your friend. It's hard to talk to people when you can't grasp how simply they think and watching their eyes glaze over as you explain something to them that's far above their heads is the worst feeling in the world.

    It's a double-edged sword really. For example I spent an evening last weekend studying neuroscience/chemistry because I was suddenly compelled to discover the biological cause/purpose of happiness and love, specifically as it relates to fandom.

    That led to trying to discover if people's alleged feelings of genuine love towards Apple products is due to the release of dopamine or oxycontin into the brain, finding an article by a marketing strategist with a PHD in neuroscience, and finding the first half of the article to mirror my own conclusions and the second to be completely full of errors.

    It feels amazing to be able to do that. It's like having a superpower. On the other side of that coin, every conversation I have makes me want to crawl in a hole and die afterwards. You feel like an alien or a robot. You constantly question and doubt yourself. Maybe you're not a genius. Maybe you're just a crazy person that thinks he's smart. I'm thinking that right now while I type this, wondering how people will perceive this.

    I'm going to write a novel here if I'm not careful. Anyways, Sherlock! Absolutely adore the show. Fantastic writing and Cumberbatch does a brilliant job portraying a character I was surprised to find I can relate to and I absolutely LOATHE the British tv model where shows come out with such few episodes and with gaps between series/seasons that are insufferably too long. Programs like this are to brilliant to have such limitations placed upon them.

    • Immediate high-level dopamine dump, iirc. The amounts released tend to linger and hypothetically can be linked to visual, auditory or olfactory cues. Seeing that logo, smelling that new iPod smell (they have new iPod smell, air fresheners, right?) or hearing that panning error in your 2nd Gen iPod touch loaded with your favorite teenage music could cause a re-release of a lesser amount of dopamine.

      Then again, I may be completely off the mark. I've been out of the chemistry game for about 9 years and have been focusing on Bayesian Mathematical Analysis Theory and finding a way to streamline it.

      • From my theorizing on the matter, it seems like we've evolved into a species that's become addicted to dopanine in a sense. We seek out things that trigger that reward sensation.

        The reason why I say addicted is seeing people react negatively to last weekends Doctor Who episode. People making complaints about Moffat's writing/storytelling using arguments that could easily apply to RTD. I think what it really is that people got hooked on RTD's meth recipe so to speak and Moffat's recipe is different so it doesn't trigger the same high, therefore they get testy and try to explain it by saying it's because Moffat's a bad writer.

        As far as Apple products go, research on the subject indicates that Apple somehow figured out how to trigger an Oxycontin release, which is responsible for physical love as opposed to the reward sensation. It creates that feeling of attachment, and I think that also applies to those in fandoms that call themselves "true fans", that stick with a show long after it's peaked creatively and love it as they did from the start.

        I still want to do more research on the subject. I discovered some neuroscience lecture podcasts from MIT which I'm currently in the process of digesting.

        • The observation about us being addicted to dopamine makes sense- that giddy result from the dopamine couple with the oxytocin 'bliss bond' experiencing something pleasant is what drives us to seek reward, hormonally.
          Once I'm done with all this Bayesian Mathematical Analysis Theory, I'm probably delving into neuroscience (in no small part to this conversation).

          • Awesome then I've done my good deed for the day. I recommend taking a peek into the world of neuromarketing. They haven't quite figured it out as it's still in it's infancy but they do provide some insights with the research they've done thus far.

    • I agree and sympathize. I knew my friend was smarter than I was, but I never envied him. Just the basics of how to behave around regular people were so foreign to him that he had a really difficult time with strangers, or even friends that didn't know him well. He would spend the entire day naked because he hadn't yet had time to put on clothes then walk to the grocery store wearing nothing but a blanket cable tied around his waste because that was more efficient than getting all the way dressed. He didn't do things like that for sensationalism or reaction. he just didn't perceive the problem, or rather perceive that it would be perceived as a problem. On more than one occasion he sat down at a friend's computer, and SERIOUSLY violated their privacy just because getting through someone's password was a challenge and challenges were meant to be met. Once he outed a guy who had not yet told anyone he was gay just because he had to break into his computer to reset a router that was on a shared network.

      Like I said, I never envied him. His super power caused more problems than it solved. He was brilliant but he never really saw the human element to any equation. He was make choices that seemed mathematically rational even if they were OBVIOUSLY going to alienate his friends, or hurt someone's feelings then be confused by their reactions. He always felt like a hyper advanced alien sent to earth to study us and assimilate into our culture.

      All of that said, he was probably the most honest, loyal and truest friend I had at the time. He would bend over backwards 100 times to help me and never even assume he would get anything in return. He once showed up at my house with a PS3 and about 20 games (when this stuff was fairly brand new) and said, "Im done with this. You can have it." I almost felt like a large part of our relationship was spent on me studying him and trying to suss out what made him tick.

      He always took these super shitty jobs too. Stuff that was beyond zero challenge for him. It made me wonder if he was just biding time until he kicked some sort of super plan into effect or if he had to give himself mind numbing tasks jus to numb his overactive mind.


      • Regardless, you should be proud of your gifts, but work as best you can to keep the door open for human connections. The smartest people are often the loneliest and life is far too brief to spend it alone with one's thoughts. No matter how impressive they may be. Not saying that you're a hermit (I certainly have no knowledge of your personal life), but Im just making a general assertion based on my friend's struggles.

        In a way I know how you feel. I sound like a total asshole every time I try to express this, but I honestly have little to no interest in getting to know "regular people." By which I mean people with a boring job, 3 kids, a spouse they tolerate and no interesting hobbies other than rooting for a sports team. Just generic vanilla people that have no extraordinary quality about them. No special skill, nothing to add to the survivor group when we need to restart society after an apocalypse. Drones. SO MANY PEOPLE ARE JUST DRONES. I imagine that's how you view a lot of people I would consider to be well above drone-level. My problem stems from the fact that over the last 5 years of doing this weird job I have met dozens if not hundres of people that live exceptional and extraordinary lives. Not only that, but so many of them are entertainers in one field or another that they are above average conversationalists with above average senses of humor.

        Spending any amount of time with 2 novelists, 4 cartoonists, a screenwriter, a game developer a TV host, 3 musicians and 2 comedians makes any amount of time I spend around a "dude that does a boring thing at an office and does nothing interesting while not at the office" unbearable. I zone out as soon as people start talking about office drama. What their boss said about the guy they don't like in the cube next to them and how they were supposed to get over time but now they have to blah blah blah… I'm sorry but it doesn't hold my attention. If that makes me an insufferable asshole, so be it. I tend to clam up around these people because I feel like we… wouldn't be able to dance (if that makes sense). With my pro-funny-person friends I know I can start a bit and someone is going to run with it. I can create a character and that character will have a fully fleshed out world in a matter of minutes based on their input, jokes, "yes ands" and comebacks. It's a game of oneupsmanship. Who can win "the funny"? I feel like my brain operates on a certain level of observation, processing stimuli and spitting it back out with humor and wit added. I feel the most comfortable around people that can play at the same level. Or at least can play at an equivalent level in their own game (be it music, writing, game design, whatever).

        I say all of that to say, I think I get where you are coming from. Seek out your own kind. Surround yourself with likeminded people. But try (or struggle like I do) to find a way to relate to the 99% of the rest of the population who isn't particularly extraordinary on the surface. I know I am guilty of writing people off too quickly as "uninteresting" or "dull." It's a defense mechanism I guess. How's that for writing a novel?

        • I wonder what you could do with a room full of people who swear by Dr's Paul and Elders and the Institute of Critical Thinking that try to incorporate that into information analysis.

        • Yes I know exactly where you're coming from when it comes to the "drones". It's like they live this prefabricated life, working in CAREER PACKAGE F-9, HOUSE WITH TWO CHILDREN PLUS DOG IN SUBURBS PACKAGE B-7, going on VACATION X-2, etc.

          I think personally the struggle I've had thus far is accepting that it's not wrong to have no interest in being a drone. I've wanted to follow creative pursuits since I was a teen but back then, growing up in a rural farming community, that's not what you do. You get a job in a factory and work there for life, or you go to the Big City and go to college and become a dentist or what have you. If you wanted to be a musician or a writer or actor or what have you, that's a fool's errand. People that make a living doing that were either blessed with god-given uber-talent or won the cosmic lottery. When you're young and full of insecurity and questions about who you are and what your place is, you don't think you're talented and you don't have the confidence to take a leap of faith, at least i didn't back then.

          As for being a hermit, I am currently living that way. I recently got ousted from a 4-year relationship. She wanted the prefab life, I couldn't stop dreaming of robots, monsters, evil time-traveling pimps and the brave men and women dedicating their lives to stop them. Most of my friends who were amazingly talented and creative got married, had kids and abandoned their arts to embrace the security of Prefab.

          I have to relate everything with movies so bear with me… Once I started over after my ex it was like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable; I was depressed because I felt like I didn't know what I'm supposed to be doing and had the slow realization of who I was, what I can do and what i can do with it.

          So now I liken my hermitude to the prison in DKR where I'm working to shake off all that negative mojo like I spoke of in my first comment so I can take that leap off the platform without the rope. I'm doing a lot of the stuff you've recommended, I've gotten back in contact with a couple old friends that haven't given in to prefab, I've started taking those story ideas and started turning them into stories, I have goals of producing video content for the web professionally (which btw following your work with the Experiment has been a great insight). Basically trying to stop letting being alien hold me back and make me feel shitty and figuring out how to make being alien work in the drone world. It's a struggle and progress is PAINFULLY slow but I'm stubborn and driven now that I have more of an idea where I want to go.

          I apologize for hijacking your comment section. I didn't intend to take this conversation from Sherlock and make it about the trials and tribulations of Mr. Dunham. Reading your comments on Sherlock and your friend struck a chord and compelled me to dust off my old twitter account and it looks like I ended up spilling out a bunch of pent-up thoughts I haven't had anyone on the same wavelength to broadcast them to.

          It's all out! I'm good! Brofist or Sci Five or what have you.

      • Yeah I can relate to a fair amount of your friend's experiences to some extent. I could never walk out of the house like that though. For me it's like Invasion of the Body Snatchers in a sense where I have to make sure I can pass as one of "them" before I can leave the house, lest they discover my ruse and start shrieking and pointing.

        I am also in a shitty job from a long line of shitty, brain dead jobs, far below my intelligence/education level. If I can offer my perspective on it, I think it's because the white-collar jobs available for which I'm suited I have no passion for so I would end up coming home mentally exhausted and drained. Working at my shitty, blue-collar 9-5 job where I'm partnered with a fairly simple-minded fellow, I can spend 8+ hours a day doing my job on autopilot which leaves me free to contemplate the mysteries of the universe. I'm passionately in love with storytelling and I've managed to conceive of and incubate dozens of worlds inside my head.

        • In many ways, what you're referring to in the first paragraph is what I have to do as a gay & geek man to "fit in" to society.

          I'm not fabulous, and I'm a gaymer/geek, but I also need to pay the bills, etc. While I wanted to be an astronaut, a train engineer, or an astrophysicist I'm just math smart enough to see through the BS of marketing math, or business finance, but not smart enough for calculus or quantum physics.

          I would much rather be nerded out, but the brain makes me smart enough to do all the right marketer things in business, yet doesn't let me tolerate or "fake it to make it" as far as the veneer of BS corpspeak gladhanding backstabbing credit default swapping goes.

          • It's not that I'm the smartest person in the room (most times), but my mind is moving at Warp 9 along so many different paths at times I hate being interrupted, or having to slow down to explain, or pretend I care what blowhard on conference call is saying…and many times I've thought I was born +/- 10 years to late/early.

            Trying to find that sweet spot in life where you don't have to deal with people who are prefab (I'm totally stealing that) >75% of the day, and where there's something not only social but mentally enriching/stimulating isn't as easy as some might think.

      • Some well-known writers such as Glen Cook have taken boring jobs to pay the bills so they have time and "space" to think, and not have a job that sucks all their mental energy. I'm guessing this is what your friend was doing. He needed income, but wanted to be able to think about what he wanted to think about, instead of what somebody else told him he had to think about.

        • I work a dead end job, retail to be specific, and it kills me. It numbs and deadens my mind until I'm not able to process anything anymore. Some days I'm semi-lucid and I'm able to just think (often in ways that are very stupid to people smarter than me but have the unfortunate consequence of making me seem smarter than I am), but they seem to happen less frequently nowadays. I am just so mentally tired that all I can do is immerse myself in some story, web comic, manga, or science podcast/show.

          At work, I once spent about three days trying to work out such things as what a tesseract might look like in its native 4th dimension, if dark "energy" might simply be pressure from separate but parallel universe acting upon our own and the resulting displacement of space is what is causing the universe to expand, and so on. I have countless drawings, well, crappy doodles of the human skeletal structure as it makes sense to me without having any reference material to look at besides my flesh covered hands. I have probably listened to almost every speech, talk, and event that the internet has cataloged with Neil deGrasse Tyson as a speaker or guest. Wikipedia is my TVTropes.

          I say all this knowing I am a complete idiot. I know next to nothing. I am scatter-brained, vain, and dysfunctional. I know IQ is a pointless number that means very little in terms of actual intelligence (it is more a measure of a person's problem solving and logic skills), but my IQ is only 126 or so. Barely above average. Pitiful, really. However, I still feel so alienated at times. I am around people who sometimes say the dumbest things. I once had a co-worker as me if Black Ops were called that because they were missions with all black people in them. I mean, maybe he was being facetious, but I, if I am remembering correctly, literally facepalm'd when he asked that question.

          Err. I've sort of gotten off point. Point was, I can related (albeit in a much less exaggerated way) to the people who have posted before me, but have no clue how authors can manage to retain individuality and have enough mental resilience to withstand boringly, mind-numbing, 'soul'-crushing jobs.

          • Coming from the retail periphery, I'm going to offer unsolicited advice (mmmm, the best kind): Get. Out.

            Your IQ is a number…what you DO with it is what's important. If you enjoy getting lost in thinking about things, then you can learn about them too, to make better doodles, etc.

            While they may not be around after the next 30 years or so, think about working in a library, or a bookstore, or something outside of where you are now…doing so could give you the bump you need to be more mentally energized.

            While I don't think you are, as Joel said above "Dont' be a drone".

    • Re: the British TV model: I actually believe that British shows are so incredibly good precisely *because* they only have so few episodes to a season. The writers don't have to stretch out their best ideas over months, they can just come right out with it.

      • I think Joel may have too much knowledge of gay sex than is healthy for a straight person…I'm sure his mind also tries to purge it in some sort of de-gaysexening, but that stuff just doesn't wash out of those neurons.
        Trust me…I've broken a few straight minds from giving them descriptions of…"activities".

  19. while i know what you mean but shotgunning i've also heard doing a whole series in a sitting a Brain spike (referencing how you can speed learn in the matrix i think)

  20. After Sherlock, I jumped to another BBC show… LUTHER.
    Darker, grittier, but Wow still a great watch.

    From Netflix: A dedicated urban detective tries to keep a grip on his personal life while dealing with the psychological factors underlying the crimes he solves.
    Cerebral, Emotional, Exciting, Suspenseful

    • May I also recommend Whitechapel? Using crimes of the past to predict the moves of killers of the present. Dark, gritty, a bit gory at times and the two main characters are played by Rupert Penry-Jones and Phil Davis (aka the evil cabbie from A Study in Pink, the first Sherlock episode). I particluarly like Rupert Penry-Jones, DI with OCD of the cleanly sort, becoming the new head of the department of a bunch of scragly, gritty, junk food loving, beer gusling, proper working class coppers.

      It's really good. And as far as I remember, there's at least two Sherlock actors who pop up there.

  21. I shotgun almost any show good enough to catch my attention… I'm kind of addicted to TV. I have consumed Dr. Who, Torchwood, Fringe, Eureka, Warehouse 13, all Joss Whedon works, BSG… and many more in this fashion. Right now my husband and I are watching "Being Human" (British).

  22. I watched the first series on Netflix, like many of us did. I was actually mad at my brain.

    "Why didn't you know that Moffat was writing this?"
    "What were you doing that made you not watch this when it first came out?"
    "Why was this not in my brain earlier?"

    My wife is a huge fan of Downton Abbey, and I also blamed her. I yelled, "They had to have advertisements for Sherlock during your stupid show (I know it's not stupid, but I was mad) and why didn't you tell me!"

    I'm OK now. But "IT Crowd sad" it will be a long time between series.

  23. Another series to look for is Life on Mars, but make sure you see the UK version, the American version sucked badly. The Master, I mean John Simms, plays a detective that gets hit by a car and wakes up in the 1960s.

    • Life on Mars is absolutely wonderful. While I have loved many a show in my time, nothing quite competes with LoM. The pilot is the only thing I have ever seen on any TV screen that actually makes the butterflies in my stomach flutter like I'm in the room with someone I have a crush on. Every time I see it.

      One little thing, though, Sam Tyler (John Simm) doesn't wake up in the 60s, he wakes up in 1973.

  24. Yes! Life on Mars is great! But I couldn't get into it's follow up Ashes to Ashes, Keeley Hawes was too irritating (she was fine on MI5).

    Anybody else watching REAL HUMANS (Äkta människor) from Sweden? It raises interesting questions about what it means to be human.

    • I agree that Ashes to Ashes is nowhere near as good as Life on Mars, but force yourself to get through it anyway, because it takes everything you think you know from LoM and turns it all upside down.

      Seriously. The end of Ashes is insane, wonderful, and the character reveals and transformations of the rest of the DI squad are beautiful, heartbreaking, and just awesome.

  25. I talked to my brother this weekend about Sherlock. It turns out he only saw the first two episodes which means I can't talk to him about Moriarty. I was heartbroken.

  26. I'm the same way, and my list is almost identical to yours (I haven't actually gotten to BSG yet, but it's in the queue.) We actually got rid of cable entirely and switched to getting virtually all of our TV-related entertainment from Netflix last year, so for most shows shotgunning them a season (or more) at a time when they show up there is just the natural way to watch. There are a handful of shows I'm too impatient and/or afraid of spoilers to do that with (Doctor Who and Sherlock are the big ones, and The Walking Dead will probably be on the list this year, too), but at least 95% of my TV watching is like this now.

  27. Also, the 2nd season managed to give Sherlock a humanity and actual emotional growth, especially in the last episode. Dear God, I cry every time I watch the last 20 minutes. EVERY TIME.

  28. "Lanky Brits with odd bone structures and funky hair who are absolutely captivating on screen"

    That is a great description of Matt Smith.

  29. within 3 minutes into the 1st episode of SHERLOCK, I totally saw a lot of The Doctor in the main character, I wasn't sure he WASN'T a Time Lord.
    As for your 2nd question, among my peers, I AM the friend who can't understand how people work. I can't read body language or facial expressions well, I have trouble with eye contact, & just feel more comfortable by myself. It's a wonder how I have friends at all!

  30. Sherlock is excepcional! The only problem is the windrow for almost 18 month each time 🙁

    But you can live on tumblr gifts and grafics and laugh a lot or reviewing theories about next episodes or reading awesome fics from incredible writers in livejournal awhile you are waiting there is sherlockbbc comm there but there are all types of genres and rating for you to chose. From gen with friendship; to slash and femslash and obvioulsy genral hetero romance
    From really well done case stories to crossver (even with doctor who, wholock) magic realism character studies and studies on british life style or what type of Doctor John Watson is, really interesting
    But please don't put a finger in because everything there is bad!

  31. I enjoyed "Sherlock;" but I haven't lost my head about it, and I will watch "Elementary." The "Hounds of Baskerville" episode kinda pissed me off. I woke up the next morning and said, "So Watson – and no one else – was exposed by leaky pipes! And why was that guy wearing a sweatshirt for a covert operation?!" Sorry, it's "Prometheus" dude.

  32. I do NOT want to watch Elementary…… /headdesk I enjoy Sherlock, absolutely, but I have been a big fan of the literature and the character for a long time…I have a bit of a struggle, I am a very emotional person, so his supposed mastery over emotion was something I admired when I was younger, simply because it was something I strived for. I suppose I'm a Holmesian then, but I loved the RDJ movies as well, in their own right, mainly because book wise, he wasn't always this polished, perfectly sane person, and there were indications that he could be charming in his own right, when the need suited him.

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