a moment of silence for all the fanfiction lost to the ravages of time, unsalvageable even by the wayback machine, condemned to its final resting place in the deactivated archives of fansites for now-syndicated television shows
rest in bytes my dear lemons and limes
Sherlock set details
You know, there’s something that’s never made sense to me: why and how Sherlock has all this… stuff. Like, does he wander antique shops to look for silly obscure drawings? Does he randomly go to IKEA to buy lamps? And then go to more antique stores to buy more lamps? Does he seriously run errands to find just the right place to have carefully selected items properly framed or mounted professionally? Does he take time out of his day spent chasing murders, coming up with insane experiments and lolling about on his sofa in his Mind Palace to… put up curtains properly? With a double curtain rod?
Like, as a highly cerebral and lazy person who nevertheless likes unique and attractive surroundings, I’m here to tell you that this stuff takes both work and attention to keep up. Like, not just cleaning (which, let’s say Mrs. Hudson takes care of, though this is just at Baker Street, and all this stuff existed before he’d moved in, there on the first day). No, there’s fixing stuff, looking for and finding things that match stuff, organizing stuff and throwing out useless stuff, and so on. And some things aren’t even fun to shop for— like curtains, mirrors and rugs, for example. Or even sofas. Can you imagine Sherlock Holmes in a sofa emporium? No?
The thing is, I dunno what I’m supposed to take away from this. Because the traditional Baker Street rooms weren’t really decorated by Holmes in their entirety, and Mrs. Hudson really was their housekeeper. Even then, Holmes was a lot more of a socially adjusted individual than our Sherlock, more in line with conventional behavior (in his own way). Like, this sort of collection of bits and bobs takes years to amass, so it’s not something Sherlock could’ve built up only in the years he was sober. So, I mean, as much as he was Shezza in his twenties, he had to have been that guy who takes time out of his Sunday to shop for curtains and ducks into cute antique shops not just to interrogate the owners, but to snag a weird figurine, or a pair of binoculars, or… a pretty drawing. A pretty drawing he needed to go to a frame shop and find a suitable frame for, maybe a mat. He had to go to and pay people to cut mats for some of those pics; he had to hunt around for some of those frames, too, because they’re unusual sizes. And maybe he needed a new sofa, and he’d heard there was a sale across town.
To be honest, it looks like a professor’s flat, or the flat of a quirky and whimsical but successful adult professional. Certainly an intellectual, a naturalist perhaps, but definitely an adult. It’s… mature.
The tastes are mature, varied, sophisticated, with a sense of humor but also the stuffiness that comes with age, when people have ‘grown up’ and feel they need things like proper curtains and framed pictures instead of just posters stuck to the wall. Here, everything is framed. Let me put it this way: I’ve only started overwhelmingly framing things this year. I’m Sherlock’s age. Is he… more mature than I am?? haha
Contrast this to the way John’s bedsit looks:
It matches what we know of him precisely. He hasn’t added anything. The only thing he does is keep his bed neatly folded. Even if the room didn’t come furnished (which I’m sure it did), I can see John buying these things in one day, and saying ‘good enough’. But when I try to imagine Sherlock Holmes spending a Sunday afternoon carefully putting up those steel picture hangers (I know all about those), my mind draws a blank. However, it’s canon. I’m just saying it says something about Sherlock in a way even his impeccable suits do not. The suits are for show, to make an impression— his flat isn’t. It’s not the modern, streamlined and impeccable thing his suits would suggest: it’s quirky, cozy, eclectic, warm. Why does Sherlock have this flat?That is a puzzle! It’s tempting to think that Mycroft ex machina (via his minions?) is responsible for the larger furnishings, as well as the hanging of the pictures and other items, but then would Sherlock want that interference?
I also wonder about the lack of CDs or vinyl, or a high end stereo system beyond the headphones on the skull (unless there is and I’ve missed them, which is certainly possible since I haven’t done a frame by frame search of 221B scenes looking for these items). I mean Sherlock is an accomplished violinist, trained well enough to play J.S. Bach and compose, so he has almost certainly a Western classical background. Even though he loves his tech, many classical musicians avoid mp3s (compression) and computer audio systems when doing serious listening. Why are there no CDs or records from Sherlock’s childhood and young adulthood? Are they at home? In storage? Were they given away? Does Sherlock only keep recordings on his computer? Or is his musical memory so good that he has placed a library of his favorite recordings in his memory palace? Certainly some very talented musicians like Mozart could remember a piece after hearing it once. Does Sherlock have that capability?
One clue is the Memory Palace sequence in THoB, in which we briefly hear a bit of Elvis’s cover of “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog”. That does suggest Sherlock might have a library of music in the MP, not all of it Western classical/art music. But what isn’t clear is how extensive an MP!music library is. Is it an ad hoc collection of music he’s learned as a violinist plus music he’s needed for cases, something similar to the eclectic collection of items he keeps in his flat? Or does he include any piece he’s ever enjoyed? Or does all music get swept in, whether he likes it or not (poor Sherlock, the earworms could be quite annoying)?
Also: did he enlarge his music collection during the Hiatus, taking in at least some of the music he encountered abroad? It’s no surprise I like this last idea, since I collaborated with emmadelosnardos and a few other fans to create a series of fanmixes of music Sherlock might have heard in AfroGeekGoddess’s version of Sherlock’s hiatus travels.
I’m going to think about this more and do some rewatching, but I welcome additions and thoughts.Oh these are wonderful questions to ask!
To be honest I don’t see Sherlock carefully selecting pieces, whether in IKEA or in antique shops.
I think Mrs Hudson is responsible for the wallpaper, curtains and rugs, either because she put it up herself in a distant past or because they were left by a previous tennant. The same might be the case for the general furnishing (sofa, table and chairs, cupboards). I say that for two reasons: first because the wallpaper in the rest of the house is lighter but in an equally bold style that I can relate to Mrs Hudson, and second because I assumed from ASiP that Sherlock had just moved in and the curtains and rugs blend in with the flat in a way that to me says old and dusty and never moved in a decade.
The furnishing looks sort of spontaneously acquired, if that makes sense; like Sherlock (in his previous lodging) suddenly thought “I need a lamp” and then just did whatever necessary to get a lamp there, whether that’s ordering online from IKEA and having it delived the next day, or visiting the second-hand shop on the street corner. Same with the mirror, the cupboards, possibly the fan.
As for all the knick-knacks, I have the headcanon that he acquired them by either of two different means: Either because they were necessary for a case, and after he just didn’t get rid of it. Or, and I like this one, he has the habit of pilfering things he likes from crime scenes in a sort of running bet with himself that none of the other police officers would notice anything gone. Paintings and statuettes and headphones and one day he even managed to abscond with an entire mounted sword (or epee or whatever it is) without anyone noticing. He had to stop it when Lestrade finally catched on, but stealing the ashtray from Buckingham Palace for John was a last personal victory. I might need to fic this.
Anyway, the music. There is an expensive 6 CD sound system in his bedroom if I’m not mistaken, so I’d wager there is a CD collection somewhere, but we haven’t seen it yet (or the sound system is obtained the same way as above; he needed a CD player and bought the first he saw, never mind that it’s a couple thousand pounds).
I like the idea of an entire mind palace music collection though, and I think the Hound Dog snippet might point to that. Maybe it’s not in a separate mind palace room, but woven in with everything, since he seems to make mental connections through associations. It wouldn’t surprise me if he indeed is able to immediately mentally record and store any music he hears, and a storage system based on associations might be a big factor in doing so.
Besides, he could also be the kind of musician to scoff at any interpretation that isn’t his own (in the case of classical music) and therefore does not have any CDs, but prefers to form his own interpretation by studying the score himself, and keeps that internal sound in his mind palace.After getting a look at the family home, which has the slightly cluttered but very personal, lived-in look of a country home, I can envision a somewhat different scenario. I can see Mummy, happy that Sherlock is going to have a nice central London flat with a friend, loading up the car (or maybe demanding a pick-up from Mycroft and ending up with his minions) and bustling off to town to help him get “settled in” after combing his old room as well as the attics for things that she knows he’ll like or want. Which of course means that she goes around and directs the setting up of the furniture and hanging of pictures, and Sherlock dumps his files and working stuff anyplace they might have space to land. Can’t you hear the back-and-forth as that’s going on? And by the end of the day, it’s in the shape John first sees in SiP.
Awesome meta is awesome.
This is a fascinating meta for me, because I am obsessed with the set decoration for 221B and absolutely love digging around looking for details.
I’ve always figured, since it’s canon that he uses a sliding scale for his work based on what his clients can give, that a bunch of the stuff he has, like the knickknacks and the wall mounts and probably some books too, was actually gifted from clients. Maybe someone mentioned him to a friend who was having a hard time but wouldn’t be able to pay in cash, and while he took the case out of a want for a puzzle and said it was fine, the client insisted on giving him a couple framed prints as a thank you. Or maybe some richer client noticed his interest in the rapier on the wall and decided to throw it in with the cheque as an added bonus for a job well done. I can’t see him going around and getting everything from shops, although on a lazy day he probably would go exploring some old antique shops for something to do, but we’ve seen him be amiable enough with clients that it’s easily believable that some of them would like him enough to give him bits and bobs they think he’d find interesting. And because he loves his work and is proud of it, he keeps everything on display.
In recent days, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of ‘fridging’ on television. Fridging, for those who don’t know, is the colloquial term for a particularly overused trope in television and film, the definition of which is: killing off a character in a particularly gruesome manner, just to cause someone (usually the main, male, character) some anguish and set them on their path of vengeance. Basically, a fridged character is someone whose death is merely a plot device intended to rouse the hero into action.
Sound familiar? That’s because fridging is so common in our films and television that we have all probably seen myriad examples of it even if we didn’t know the name of the term.
So, why am I thinking about fridging? Mostly, it’s in relation to Arrow at the moment, and in particular to one character: Sara Lance.
Ever since she appeared on the show, I have lived in fear of her death. It seems obvious, right? She’s the Canary, but she can’t be the Canary, because the plan was always to have Laurel be the (Black) Canary. So even when introducing this new character as the Canary, you can assume that the writers have had the plan all along to make Laurel take up the mantle one day. And what better way to do that than to make her sister the first Canary and then kill her? Wouldn’t that make for a great origin story for Laurel?
Well, this essay isn’t really about Laurel and her journey towards becoming the Black Canary. (Truth be told, I don’t really have much of an opinion on that. Not one that many people would like to hear, anyway).
For me, this is all about Sara. Ever since the day she appeared, I have sat on the edge of my seat, wondering if this will be the episode in which they kill her. After all, any time a character says something like this:you kind of know that their time will soon be up. Honestly, I thought that they would kill her in the season 2 finale. When she left with Nyssa to go back and join the League, I cheered, even though it made absolutely zero sense that she would willingly - happily - go back to the hell that she was running from the whole season. But just the fact that she was leaving - alive - with Nyssa meant that I could hope she would remain alive even if we never saw her again."I’m not that easy to kill."
In case you haven’t guessed by now, I love Sara. I have loved her since the day she showed up in Starling City, this badass, kickass feminist.You can see from the moment she arrives that she has scars. That line in particular says a lot about where she has been and what she has faced."No woman should ever have to suffer at the hands of men."
But this beautiful, damaged woman is not beyond hope. She may think that she is too far gone to come back, but in fact what we have been shown about her says quite the opposite. Accuse me all you want of being a sucker for redemption stories, but this has all the makings of a spectacular one.
Fridging is a concept that desperately needs to be retired, and I want to prove that in this essay by analysing the character of Sara Lance through her biggest and best relationships.
okay, you know that gifset that keeps going around with nicki minaj in lingerie with soft lighting and it has a comment like “i don’t understand why she’s not seen as one of the most beautiful women in the world” and a bunch of reactions like “wow yeah i didn’t realize how beautiful she was” or whatever. that’s always bothered me because nicki’s made it really clear that cotton candy hair and loud makeup is how she wants to be seen. if she wanted to have blonde hair and ethereal lighting on her at all times she would. she just doesn’t care about what you think is the most beautiful way to be.
the fact that nicki literally never stops kicking the shit out of the male gaze is one of the best expressions of how unrelentingly powerful she is. don’t disrespect her by acting like she’s only beautiful when she’s playing by the rules of male-appeasing-unthreatening-femininity. she’s beautiful always. she’s a fucking lioness
When we posted a photo of Anna Fisher a year and a half ago, little did we know what a talent she really was. Making her video debut today, she blew us away and left us with our mouths hanging open. Seriously. She might look like some mild mannered circus hula hooper, but trust us when we say she’s actually a total badass. Watch for that flip toss step through, the somersault roll… Anna lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and the soundtrack for this is the “Monday (Nelapa Remix)” by The Glitch Mob and you can download a copy of it for yourself for free over on Soundcloud. View on hooping.org.