s4, breaking the fourth wall, the arg, and gaslighting as literary device
And if the pretentious title didn’t frighten you away, or cause you to immediately unfollow / block me, I offer some thoughts:
Following the cues left by the hot mess s4, it’s reasonable to assert the following (which has been asserted just about non-stop since each of the episodes aired; I am not pretending to be original here):
s4 is fucky in a way that seems to call attention to its own fuckyness, especially if you take events and themes of the previous series as guidelines for what to expect / how things work in the world of Sherlock. (A ton of people have done a ton of work on this, but thanks to @antisocial-otaku for making it clear how frickin obvious this pattern is, here.)
As much as recent arg developments have been A Ride, I really think we’ve missed the obvious, because it wasn’t nearly as much of a challenge as people were looking for / as the fandom genius hive brain is capable of meeting. I think we’ve been looking too hard.
The puzzle, the thing we are supposed to figure out, is s4 itself. The game is simply this: we are invited to have discernment with regard to what is and what is not possible in the world of BBC Sherlock, and to conclude, as most people did, that much of s4 is, indeed, not compatible with the world of Sherlock. The truth of the narrative is in the subtext, as almost everyone here has argued.
The narrative of s4 is, for the most part, really hard to get hold of, and full of content that blatantly works against everything the show has tried to set up so far. As much as I appreciate attempts to make sense of s4 as is, my mind, like a lot of people’s, recoils when asked to consider (for example) that the people who wrote this:
Also wrote this:
You’ve all seen the evidence. You’ve all watched The Final Problem and thought–what the hell is this?
People in this fandom were crying foul from the moment TST ended. I think we were already playing the arg then (if such a thing exists), and we kept playing it all through s4, because we were thinking critically about the episodes, and questioning the reality status of the story with which we were presented.
Up until recently, I would have said, meh, maybe this apparent lack of skill on the part of the showrunners was deliberate, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe they just threw in a ton of excess detail (like Mr. Glowy Skull) because why not? I am not very big on writerly intention. The text I’m presented with, I feel free to interpret however I wish, and this, to me, is the point of s4. It undoes itself. It undoes the text of series 1-3. It invites critique in a whole new way. Regardless of what does or does not happen next, I will always choose to question this narrative, to read against the text, because that reading is more interesting and less infuriating. s4, like mofftiss, lies.
The part that makes me think the arg is happening right in front of us, and it’s still live:
I could see, maybe, that video flying as an s4 preview, but we have it released here, now, after…all that, when we know that the picture being presented in it is nowhere near the reality that we got in the narrative.
I don’t want to say it’s a sign. I don’t know, man. I’m tired. We’re all tired. But that video certainly did invite a renewal of the wtf-was-that outrage of s4, didn’t it?
The fourth wall, in my opinion, has already been broken.
The show has been teaching us how to observe, and not just see, to think critically, and to look for solutions to puzzles, since the beginning. Now it’s turning the function of detective over to us.
Just like the #sherlocklive game was designed to allow us to practice our puzzle solving on a small scale, so is s4. The entire narrative invites us to sit up, take notice, and say, come on, that can’t be how it really happened.
I’m still not going to predict the future here. The show has broken the fourth wall before, and paid off careful observation, via the “1895″ clues. It might be doing that with the “March 8″ billboard thing. It might not. When I say that the narrative is unfinished, I mean exactly that–it lacks an ending (much like my languishing WiPs…sorry about those, btw). What will happen next? Who knows? None of us. Signs (that’s literal, billboard-type signs) point to something more.
BUT IS IT ART?
So: we have been presented with not one, but two false narratives. If mofftiss finish their damn story, and offer some sort of explanation for all the fuckery of s4, then we’ll have been told a bunch of lies in-story, about “what happened” to John and Sherlock, and a bunch of extratextual lies, about s4 being finished after three episodes.
I will always assert, regardless of what happens next, that the in-story lies are there, and believing the textual level of the narrative makes less sense / is less happy making than believing that the story lies. As for the bigger lie, about the length of s4 / the end of this narrative–we’ll see.
It’s a peculiar choice, this, as modern storytelling goes. Rather than just, you know, tell the story they wanted to tell, about a detective and his blogger, they’re really going the long way round. If the “s4 is fake” reading is confirmed, and there is a plan in place, it’s show-offy. It’s audacious. It’s gaslighting the audience to make a point. It’s putting us through an experience–the textual level content of s4–and asking us to believe something contrary to that experience.
It’s not…enjoyable? Like with everything else, I think I’ll be left questioning why this way, and not some other way. It is, potentially, fascinating.
If this is what we think it is, we’ve been playing all along, without even trying.
I love Barbie Starlight Adventure because it references everything that’s cool in recent pop culture in a really obvious way and then covers it with pink glitter :D I’m very easily entertained I guess xD
Jenny/Gerald: this dude never even shows up and yet we have to deal with the heterosexual angst he caused for a whole goddamn season. might have been tolerable if we had ever gotten the details of wtf happened between them -11/10
Jenny/Jimmy: never technically dated and yet just kept coming back. Jimmy was an ok guy though so that’s something 2/10
Jenny/Alec: honestly completely un-compelling Alec had no personality at all and Jenny’s previous love interest Jimmy literally introducing her to her new love interest his friend Alec is just too much. the death would have been way sadder if Alec was actually a character at all but the effect it had on Jenny was Real so points for that also it was nice to see Jenny actually date someone after all the angst that came before 4/10
Jenny/Philip: the real ones were happily married for like 50 years or something so good for them 10/10
Peter/Chummy: adorable. precious. absolute dorks. Sister Evangelina asking Chummy out for Peter because the two of them were two awkward to do it themselves was #iconique. makes Chummy “beautiful cinnamon roll too good for this world too pure” Browne happy. “sorry mater, no longer entitled” also #iconique 9/10
Turnadette (Patrick/Shelagh): ruins basically all the other heterosexual couples on this show by being perfection personified. supportive and respectful and equal and finally get to be happy after the heartache that was s2. everyone they know seems to ship them because they belong together and it’s obvious 11/10
Trixie/Tom: never really got this one tbh it was just “hey Trixie a guy you should date him” they never seemed to have much in common or anything. still a decent supportive mutually respectful relationship that eventually turned into a nice friendship 5/10
Pupcake (Patsy/Delia): vintage lesbians in love literal perfection. use “card games” as a euphemism for the sex they were definitely having in the convent in which they live. deserve happiness more than anyone ever and better finally fucking have it 1000/10
Barbara/Tom: much better match than Trixie and Tom kinda cute but also Tom is involved so I just can’t really care that carousel was a nice touch though 7/10
Phyllis/Tommy from Spanish class: what ever happened to this storyline? idk and idc about Tommy from Spanish class but I want Phyllis to do whatever akes her happy she is an actual angel on earth 5/10
Trixie/Christopher: should be nice but I just don’t trust him. I love Trixie with his daughter though and I kind of want them to get married just so Trixie can adopt her 6/10
Jane/Rev. Appleby-Thornton: anything that makes Jane happy is good 6/10
Fred/Violet: cute mature couple who both lost their first much-beloved spouse. wonderful surrogate parents for Reggie. it’s nice to see them happy 9/10
Sister Monica Joan/Cake: the truest love ever known ∞/10
BTS Reaction - American Long Distance Relationship/How the other boys would find out
dccomicnerd-world said: How would the rest of the boys react to one of the younger members being in a long distance relationship with someone from America, they talk through text/email. And they find out when they find him texting them at like 1am (because time difference)
Under a read more because its really long! Enjoy!
It was obvious that Jin was acting suspicious from the beginning. Usually, he was on top of everything, had every member up and awake by 8:00 AM sharp, and had breakfast on the table before anyone even stumbled out of their rooms. But the past few days, everyone had been waking up from the shrill ringing or beeping of their cellphones, the managers freaking out and wondering why they weren’t at their photoshoot or dance practice.
You and Jin had began dating after you met on the streets of Seoul. You’d gone there for a small vacation to just travel and experience new things. You weren’t a fan of kpop, and you didn’t recognize Jin as he helped you pick up all your fallen possessions after he had slammed into you. You were already fumbling with your phone to try and map out the way to the train station, and all the people running around confused you.
“Maybe I didn’t prepare very well for this trip,” you remember thinking, just as a body ran into you.
Anyway, from then on after he apologized profusely and offered to buy you coffee, the two of you completely hit it off and had been texting ever since you went back to the United States.
“Hyung…what are you doing? We have to get up in three hours.” Jungkook whispered as he toddled out of his room, presumably to grab some water.
“I’m, uh…” Jin started, staring at the phone after a text message from you arrived.
“You’re what? Let me see,” Jungkook said before walking over and quickly snatching the phone out of Jin’s hands. Scrolling through the mass of your’s and Jin’s text bubbles, Jungkook’s eyes went wide.
“You’re dating an American girl?” He asked loudly, and the next morning Jin had bags under his eyes and everyone knew that he was dating you. They were so curious to meet you that Jimin had asked for your phone number and became invested in grilling you about life as an American.
A few months later, you had gone back to Seoul for a longer amount of time and finally got to meet all the boys.
Doc will wear anything they think they look good in, but not during work hours (it’ll get all messy!), which is why I usually draw them in a lab coat. They can get rather fashionable in their rare off time!
they always make this particular dumb pose, though, because they think they look good in it (instead it’s just really obvious they’re posing). in addition to be a b-grade supervillain they are also a b-grade aspiring model
i think that louis' is more into songwriting and producing. he may release and collab on singles once in a while but he's not like into launching full albums and touring on his own (?). and i really like it because it'll be more lucrative and long term as a career.
I know that you have good intentions with this ask, but I’m really not into it, sorry. A lot of people in this fandom tried to say that Louis is more into songwriting and producing than singing and then he dropped Just Hold On with Steve, so please don’t come onto my blog acting like he cares less about singing and making his own albums and touring than Harry, Liam, or Niall, because I think that’s complete and utter bullshit.
Louis is currently trapped in hell and is clearly not able to put out music and promote it the way he wants to, which may make it seem like he’s hesitant on the album and touring front, but until he’s free, I’m not going to dismiss Louis’ love for singing and say “oh, I think he mostly just wants to be behind the scenes” because he himself has said that he’s interested in putting out more music and possibly an album. I think you’re making judgments based on the fact that Louis hasn’t signed a record deal yet and hasn’t done some of the stuff that you’d typically see with a solo career, but I think it’s unbelievably unfair to do that because it’s obvious he’s tied down in really significant ways that the other boys are not, or at least not to nearly the same extent that he is.
I think Louis does love songwriting and behind the scenes stuff, but he auditioned for the X-Factor because he wanted to be a singer, he was upset and felt that he wasn’t contributing enough to the band when they weren’t giving him solos because he wanted to be a singer, he gained more and more solos over the years because he wanted to be a singer, and he worked with Steve and sang on Just Hold On because he wants to be a singer. And I think it’s obvious that Louis loves performing (even if he gets nervous being on his own), so I don’t know how you can assume he isn’t as interested in touring.
It just doesn’t make sense to me that you would look at Louis when he has chains around his ankles and make a judgment on what he wants from his career based on that, so I don’t agree with your perspective on this.
Someone who realized the chapter came out early probably already pointed this out because it’s really obvious but…
Saiko seems to be mirroring the Hindu goddess Durga. From what I know and correct me if I’m wrong but she’s the Divine Mother and preserves moral order and righteousness in all of creation. She protects humanity from evil injustice, prejudice, the forces of evil…
Kind of follows what Amon told Saiko about “Doing what felt right?” Saiko’s a person who’s judgement will help protect human and ghoul kind in future??
This is laaaaaate. But it’s also like hella long so I feel like it’s justified.
Day 3: Fake Dating/Secret Relationship
“Kenneth, have you found a nice young man yet?” Kent’s Grandmother squinted at the camera on his mom’s ipad. “You know the Priest at church has a nephew and he’s quite good looking. He’s a Kindergarten teacher, and I think you would just love him. He even likes your hockey! He teaches a team for children at the rec center on weekends. I see him there when I have my water aerobics.” She nodded.