“The obsession, particularly online, with the homoerotic tension between
Sherlock and Doctor Watson… The template for us was the Billy Wilder
film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, which deliberately
plays with the idea that Holmes might be gay. We’ve done the same
thing, deliberately played with it although it’s absolutely clearly not
the case. He’s only a brain, ‘everything else is transport’ to him and John clearly says, “I’m not gay, we’re not together” but the joke is that everyone assumes that in the 21st century
that these two blokes living together are a couple– what they wouldn’t’
have assumed in the 19th century. They’d have assumed they were bachelor
best friends and now they assume they’re lovers. That’s
obviously such fun to play with and the fact that people now assume, in a
very positive way, that they’re together is a different joke to it
being a negative connotation.” Mark Gatiss in The Gay Times, February 2012
Hmm, I’m actually not so sure about that. Because I never got this joke (and no, that’s not a generation thing. I’m round about the same age as the show creators). Honestly, to me, two blokes sharing a flat in central London in the 21st century are just two blokes sharing a flat because it’s fucking expensive. I’d never assume anything else.
Even if one of the man was depicted as obviously gay (Girlfriend? Nor really my area. - Boyfriend? I know it’s fine.) - I wouldn’t assume any kind of romatic interest between them. I can’t see a joke there either.
But when their flat sharing gets laden with innuendo? For example, their landlady asking them if they share a bedroom. Another acquaintance taking them for being on a date. Those two blokes gazing at each other as if they were about to eat each other alive. One of the man killing for the other, who, in return, protects him from being prosecuted… Well, then I’d start to assume something’s going on - because it is shown to me and hammered home.
Only, I can’t see a joke there either…
So, what Gatiss described in the above interview wasn’t what happened. They were not just showing us two blokes living together. Because then no one in the 21st century would think of them as a couple. Moffat and Gatiss had to actively insert innuendo for their viewers to catch up on their ‘joke’ in the first place. They encouraged this on many levels: text, acting choices, casting, costume, music, lighting, cinematography.
They actively implemented homoerotic (sub)text in their show - only to lament at the same time that people cought up on it? That some viewers expected something to come out of it. Because, in the 21st century, no one thought it possible that it could just be a lame joke! Because there just is no joke to it.
The viewers took the positive attitude Gatiis desrcibes a step further and expected positive representation from the writers after playing with the inherent homoeroticism of the original stories. The fandom was far more advanced than the show runners, it seems.
And why play with the
it in the first place? I really can’t see where the fun might be in there, apart from cracking some cheap gay jokes that feed an outdated no-homo attitude?
What is there to play with when it’s not an issue anymore? And if it’s still an issue, I’m not sure that making fun of it ist the appropriate approach to it.
Respect the fact that your RP partner has a life outside of RP. Work, family, friends, children, medical issues, school, or even just other hobbies/TV shows/other games. Respect any of it. If you don’t, they’ll likely become stressed, annoyed, or burnt out.
Show that you appreciate them. You can do this by: sending them messages, expressing your excitement about your story with them, share ideas with them, or even just flat out tell them.
Respect their boundaries. Some people don’t like to discuss OOC things with their RP partners. This doesn’t mean they don’t like you as a person or that they don’t want to be friends within the RP world. They just might be a private person.
Send them prompts/memes/asks that they reblog. It shows that you’re invested in the story and learning more about their character and it helps keep the RP going even in little ways. Just because you RP with them regularly doesn’t mean you can’t send them things on tumblr.
Communicate! This is something that we see talked about a lot but it’s surprising how often it isn’t really done. If you have a problem with how something is going, tell them. If you feel like something is wrong, ask them! It doesn’t do either person any good if things aren’t talked about.
If your partner comes to you with something they feel is wrong or they have a question, ect. Be honest!
Harbor resentment about something until you blow up on your partner.
Do something or push for something that they have already told you that they are not comfortable with.
Try to change their character.
Discourage them from RPing with others.
Guilt them for not RPing with you.
Take them for granted.
Keep them as a “trophy” once you have them and then rarely RP with them after that, stringing them along.
The Forest of Dean. I came here once with Mum and Dad, years ago. It’s just how I remember it. The trees, the river, everything. Like nothing’s changed. Not true, of course. Everything’s changed. If I brought my parents back here now, they probably wouldn’t recognize any of it. Not the trees, not the river.. not even me.