Make Hartswood Films, BBC, Gatiss and Moffat Answer for the Queerbaiting of Sherlock
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The creators, producers, and writers of Sherlock have given the world 6 years of beautiful cinematography, glorious and witty dialogue, and gorgeous characterizations of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson.
Underneath all these things were numerous call-outs to queer literature and history, queer coding, and subtext that Sherlock and John would move beyond the lines of friendship. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have alluded to The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, a film in which it is coded that Sherlock is gay and in love with John (but its director at the time was hesitant to make it textual instead of subtextual) as an inspiration, and insisting that they are updating the stories because no one else "got it right." Sherlock Holmes is still miserable and in the closet.
Thousands of LGTBQ people, including youth, were drawn to the series for the hope of representation and a happy ending.
The marketing for Series 4 from the BBC iPlayer was literally "Sherlock Holmes is in love, but with who?"
The sloppy mess of the Series 4 finale, The Final Problem (hinted at possibly being the final episode ever) did nothing to do this even after hinting at it most explicitly in the second episode of the series, The Lying Detective. The Final Problem even explicitly confirmed two sadistic villains as being queer, which hearkens back to the codes of the 1950s, and highlighting they are the immoral, other. Even the explicit non-villain queer character, Harry Watson (who we never see on screen) is a lonely drunk. This kind of coding is damaging to the LGBTQ community, both through destroying their self-esteem and damaging their image in the eyes of the heternormative community. In addition to blatantly poor characterization, writing, and effects, it confirmed the rest of the show was in fact queerbaiting its audience.
Also, women in the series were treated and written horribly, used only as a means for which the two male leads could grow and develop. This is terrible in its own right, but the fact that The Final Problem resulted in little to no significant growth or movement makes it worse.
Mental illness was treated horribly, in the shaky back-story of Sherlock and his sister, and in the portrayal of said sister.
And then in the end, apparently your trauma makes you, and who you are doesn't matter.
And truly, the episode was horribly written, horribly edited, had more plot holes than my pasta colander, and did a disservice to its actors. There was very little connection to any of the other series or episodes, save for some references to water in Series 4 (even though the montage of Sherlock and water in his mind with Eurus includes the pool scene, which was BEFORE Moriarty was aware of and working with her, which didn't make sense) The Three Garridebs, a story with a moment that both Gatiss and Moffat have described as the pinnacle of Holmes' affection for Watson, was literally dangled in front of us as a cruel joke.
You brute, we want to know why you did this.
And to you, I say "Norbury."
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