Soooo I’m just gonna go ahead and start calling Season 3 of Elementary as the “Friendship is Magic” season, and no one can stop me.

Just for fun, I decided to collect some relevant moments, because who cares about actual productivity when I can obsess over fictional characters, amirite?


JOAN: Sherlock doesn’t have friends.
ALISTAIR: Ah, not in the traditional sense. He drops in and out, appears at odd moments to make outrageous and highly specific requests.
JOAN: Respectfully, that doesn’t sound much like a friendship to me.

JOAN: Are you a friend of his?
TEDDY: Associate. He doesn’t have any friends.


JOAN: I don’t put up with him, we get along, basically. He’s a friend.
MYCROFT: Sherlock doesn’t have friends.


SHERLOCK: Whether you and I might draw farther or nearer to each other depending on circumstance, you and I are bound, somehow.
JOAN: I kinda feel like hugging you right now.
SHERLOCK: As my friend, you know that would be a rash decision.

SHERLOCK: You know how much I value you. I’ve made that clear on numerous occasions, sometimes embarrassingly so. You’ve been a good friend. And a good partner. It was you, in fact, that helped me understand the concept of partnership. The value of it.

SHERLOCK to Kitty: Whatever you decide you must understand that you will always be special to me. You will always be my friend.

SHERLOCK to Joan: One of the things I’ve learned from our collaboration is the working definition of the word friendship. Friendship, I’ve come to believe, is most accurately defined as two people moving toward the best aspects of one another. It is a relationship of mutual benefit, mutual gain.

SHERLOCK: You are my friend. […] I’ve grown quite fond of you the past couple of years, I care about what happens to you outside of the program, and I reject the notion that I can’t offer my commentary when I believe you’re making a mistake.
ALFREDO: You’re firing me so you can be my friend?

*brb crying* EXCUSE ME WHILE I DEAL WITH THESE RIVERS IN MY EYES. Let’s not forget he also sort of awkward-turtled his way to calling Detective Bell “Marcus” for the first time in 3x14. Proud of you, bb, keep up the good work.

On Racial Beauty: Why I (Now) Love Lucy

In a previous entry, I touched on feelings of self-hate as a minority growing up in a society that valued white beauty. Growing up in the 90s, the icon of Asian American beauty was Lucy Liu. I knew of her growing up, but it wasn’t until Elementary premiered in 2013 that I’ve become obsessed with her. In addition to beautiful, she’s intelligent, passionate, and talented. She’s also spoken out about her fair share of prejudice and difficulty finding interesting and three-dimensional roles as an Asian American actress. Because of her status as a female actor of color, I often feel compelled to defend her and support her no matter what. But I didn’t always think this way.

The first time I learned of Lucy Liu was when I was shown the 2000 Charlie’s Angels film. I must have been eight or nine at the time. The family member who introduced me to the movie was absolutely smitten with Liu. ​

I didn’t get the obsession. My cousin saw a cool, strong Asian girl who didn’t take any shit and kicked butt. Maybe she was just desperate for any kind of representation (for which I would not blame her). I saw a passionless, robotic stereotype, and it disturbed me. On Ally McBeal, she became famous for playing Ling Woo, a Dragon Lady stereotype with a cartoon-ish name. But her character proved popular, and Liu became well-known as the only significant representation for Asian people on television at the time. 

Mostly, I didn’t understand her beauty. I was told she was beautiful by people but didn’t believe it. Allegedly, people from more traditional Asian backgrounds might have agreed with me. Freckles, considered cute by people in the west, tainted the preferably flawless skin by Asian standards of beauty. Her sharp jaw line and sultry eyes, which are sexy by western standards, are considered undesirable in Asia, where a round and child or doll-like features were sought. Some hypothesize that she is considered beautiful because white Americans simply fetishized the most “exotic” of her Asian features. A lot of these reasons are stereotypical and offensive, so I’ll avoid getting into them here; I’m sure you can already imagine what some of them might be on your own.

As evidenced by my skepticism with Liu’s role in Charlie’s Angels, I was already strikingly aware of racial stereotypes in the media even at a young age. Over the years, I’ve become more passionate about wanting diverse representation in the media. When CBS’s modern version of Sherlock Holmes, Elementary, was announced, Lucy Liu was revealed to be Joan Watson, a race and gender swap of John Watson. I was in college, and by this time, I understood how important it was that someone like Lucy Liu had been on television, despite the stereotypes she had been pigeon-holed into. I was instantly supportive of her, especially knowing that the role was originally imagined as a white man, the “default human being” in white patriarchal society. It gave me hope that Asian stereotypes would not dictate what kind of character she would be. However, my enthusiasm was mainly as support for women of color in the industry as a whole. And if you’re familiar with reaction to the casting news on any level, you’d know it was sorely needed. It wasn’t necessarily because I was a fan of Liu, herself.

Before Elementary even aired, there was already a lot of backlash from fans of BBC Sherlock, another modernized version of Sherlock Holmes, that accused the show of stealing its premise. Martin Freeman, who plays John Watson on Sherlock, angered many people when he referred to Lucy Liu as a “dog.” Given the history of equating dogs and Chinese Americans in the U.S. (“No Dogs or Chinese”) it was seen as in poor taste, regardless of what sarcasm he might have intended (as an aside, I personally felt the sarcasm was poorly delivered). It rubbed me the wrong way as well, but for a different reason. I didn’t agree with how he said it in the least, but I felt guilty, since deep down, I knew that I didn’t consider Lucy Liu attractive.

This is a lot more complicated and stressful than one would initially think. “So what?” You must be thinking. I disagree with the majority of people on the attractiveness of an individual celebrity – big deal! Everyone has different taste, right? But Lucy Liu was considered gorgeous by most people! She represented Asian beauty! She wasn’t just any old celebrity to Asian-Americans. And since few other Asian-American women are prolific, her being considered a beautiful Asian woman comes with all kinds of baggage and implications – especially for someone like me, who didn’t see her as attractive at all. What did it mean for me, as a young Asian American woman, that I thought one of the few representations of Asian beauty wasn’t beautiful at all? Was the standard for Asian Americans so low that people would accept mediocrity? Were Asian-Americans just ugly in general? Were we only acceptable when our features were fetishized or exoticized? Or was I simply projecting hate of my own most “Asian” features onto Liu?

So what did I do? I looked at pictures of her. No kidding. I stared at them; as many as I could, trying to decipher how people could think she would beautiful. Every once in awhile, I would find an image of her that struck me as pretty, and I would understand, even if just for a moment. But the moment wouldn’t last, and I would be back to confused and frustrated. But then, something amazing happened. I looked at more pictures. I found more that I liked. Eventually, I would find some that were so gorgeous, I was left speechless. And the more time I dedicated to appreciating her beauty, the more I believed in it. Finally, I wound up not being able to fathom why I ever used to think she was anything but absolutely majestic. Nowadays, I get angry at my past self for ever thinking any different. 

I realized something extremely important from this experience. People often talk about “preferences” and the inability to change them when discussing attraction and how its related to race. That they just like what they like and nothing can change it; it’s as simple as that. But it’s wrong. Just as hate for women in fiction is taught and needs to be unlearned, so is the concept of beauty. I’ve learned to love women in fiction while defending them from inevitable hate. There are many female characters I previously felt mediocre about, that I now utterly adore. But I had to practice loving them. 

Similarly, I used to think blue eyes and blonde hair were the most desirable traits, but now, I couldn’t care for them either way. I used to believe Lucy Liu was unattractive, because she represents everything about Asian beauty that I wanted to reject. But now, I think she’s gorgeous – perhaps because she represents all those things. When people claim that liking a race (particularly if that race is white or East Asian, or if it’s dislike of Black or dark skinned people) is a “preference” I cannot believe them. It may feel sincere on their part, but as I know from experience, it’s a result of societal messages and possibly self-hatred and internalized racism. And now, loving Lucy Liu has done so much for me and beliefs about beauty and self-worth than anything else ever did.

I love all versions of Sherlock Holmes and as far as I’m concerned the more versions the merrier. However, am I ridiculous to imagine it’s a strange coincidence that Elementary has introduced a character called Kitty? ETA: Well this is what happens when you have a bad memory for names and don’t do the research. Kitty Winter, The Illustrious Client … Yeah, I’ll just be sitting in the corner with my dunce cap on.


wibblybildungsroman took me back with this today… #nostalgia 

amindamazed asked:

write it B write Joan unicycling or designing or something write eeeeeet

(part 1, i guess. i can’t quite call this done, as she doesn’t get to doing any of those things.)

“So I’m worried now,” Marnie says. Joan’s stomach clenches out of reflex, even though the exasperated smile on Marnie’s face broadcasts something that has nothing to do with her. “My grandma has already started hinting and I just know this is it as far as my family’s concerned. Time to move to New Jersey.”

“Oh god,” Em laughs. “I’ve heard it all. ‘The city is no place to raise kids’ blah blah blah.”

Relieved, irritated by that relief, Joan drains her beer while Em lists parks, classes, and children’s theaters that wouldn’t be found in such numbers anywhere else.

“True,” Marnie says. “Though we have been thinking about Westchester.” She’s an eye doctor with an office on the Upper East side who was childless–endometriosis–until two years ago when she started a long-term relationship with a single dad (The ex-wife is in Seattle and she is awful, apparently. Women who aren’t suited for motherhood somehow always are.). Marnie’s love for sarcasm rivals Joan’s. She was one of the few people Joan knew from her medical days who didn’t treat her differently after Gerald Castoro’s wife sued her for wrongful death.

Joan gets the server’s attention and orders a martini, her head pounding. She’s become a cliche, the token singleton in a group of women who did the sensible thing and settled down. For years she didn’t mind being different, cheerfully taking part in all their milestones, loving their kids like they were her blood, listening to their complaints about preschool teachers and keeping house.

All those years, she realizes, she thought she wouldn’t be different forever.

“Phew!” she says, clumsily plunking down her martini glass.

“You skipped dinner, didn’t you?” Em says with a knowing, affectionate grin. “I told you to order something.”

“I sort of… forgot?” Joan giggles, hitting herself lightly on the forehead. “Sorry, guys. I think I need a cab.”

Em looks at Marnie. “I actually should call it a night, too. Devon has soccer in the morning, and six year olds running in a herd after a ball isn’t real sports enough for Greg to consider worth getting out of bed for. I’ll make sure Tipsy Hedren here gets home.”

Em pulls up in front of the brownstone in her minivan. Meanwhile, why does she even have a van? She only has one kid.

She gives Joan a look that tells her to brace herself. “You know, I wish I’d gotten the chance to meet Andrew. From all accounts, he was a great guy.”

“I broke up with him three minutes before he died,” Joan says flatly. “It was the last thing he did, accept that I wanted something else." 


Okay, that was just a touch too on the nose. Her eyes burning, Joan fumbles with her seatbelt, adding to the illusion of drunkenness without even meaning to. “I’m sorry, I just- I have to go. Good night, Em.”

“Call me tomorrow, okay?”

Joan stumbles out of the car without responding. When she doesn’t call tomorrow, Em will. She’ll call again on Sunday. If Joan keeps ignoring her, she’ll enlist the help of Joan’s mom. But eventually she’ll stop trying. Carrie did. Indira, Marco and Jocelyn did. Just because the thought makes Joan want to cry, for several reasons, it doesn’t mean this isn’t for the best.

Sherlock is sitting cross-legged on the library floor. She doesn’t pause long enough to see what he’s doing there. When she gets to her room, she sticks her iPod in the dock and starts blasting whatever she was last listening to. This is functionally the same as going up to him and announcing in plain words that she’s upset. It’s okay because he knows to leave her alone, at least for tonight. There’s no telling about tomorrow, when he could very well decide that her issues are “affecting their work”, his way of saying that he’s concerned about her. He’s been doing that a lot more often, and it simultaneously pisses her off and touches her. Before Kitty, before MI6, he didn’t try so hard. Unless she did something out of character, he kept any concerns to himself and concentrated on the cases, content that she was taking care of her own issues, which meant he wouldn’t have to deal with them. She may have more urges to punch him now, but the brownstone feels a lot less lonely than it used to. 

Is it enough? Could it possibly be enough?

Joan sits heavily on the edge of the bed, her brain helpfully replaying every conversation she ever had in which she encouraged Sherlock to do all the things she’s considering not doing, putting herself out there, meeting people, trusting them, accepting their help, building a healthy support system. Suddenly she can’t remember the last time she had an honest conversation with someone who wasn’t Sherlock. He has heart to hearts with people on a regular basis. There are the meetings, and Alfredo, and all these ghosts from his past drifting in and out, causing intense soul-searching and helping him figure out who he wants to be, what he wants out of life. Joan lets people talk about themselves or maintains light chit-chat. Sherlock makes her talk, sometimes. Her mom makes her talk. Joan would force herself to get another therapist, but that wouldn’t fix the problem.

On second thought, she should start looking for a therapist. It’s just that she needs to work on some other things as well.