Tuesday, January 31, 2012

As close to TV perfection as you can possibly get

I recently found out that TVB Pearl is showing BBC's Sherlock. Okay, you are two years behind us here but at least you show some good taste. Except they showed the first episode on the first day of the Chinese New Year. Who on earth is going to watch it? What a waste.

Back here we just finished Series 2. I wasn't in the UK when Episode 2.1 aired and somehow I'm not bothered to find and watch it... possibly because I watched 2.3 live and was somewhat disappointed by it. In fact by now I've completely forgotten the plot except the last 10 minutes. But after seeing some clips on youtube, I eventually watched it.

And this is what Steven Moffat can do. At his best, nothing, absolutely nothing on TV can beat him. Or Hollywood.

10 remarks on Sherlock 2.1: A Scandal in Belgravia

1) Small connections.

You think those little cases at the beginning were irrelevant funny jokes? True Moffat believers would have seen that coming. (Sorry, I didn't.)

2) Dress 3.

Irene Adler choosing her dress and decided to go naked. The day before I watched this, I was watching an episode of Coupling (another Moffat production, hugely underrated), where Jane chose "Dress 3". I don't mind recycled ideas, as long as they are brilliant.

3) The direction.

One highly acclaimed aspects back in the first series is the innovative camera work and directing, with on-screen text showing the SMS messages or what's going through Sherlock's mind. Not surprisingly it is retained, but there are other excellent work: the cutting between the car backfire noise and the smoke alarm, a freezed murder scene overlayed with Irene's room, and the cutting between "God save the Queen" and Christmas songs with Sherlock's violin. Though I suspect most of this is already specified in Moffat's script.

4) More little connections.

The cigarette lighter from the official to set off the fire alarm. The fire alarm to reveal the safe. The naked scene to let Sherlock know the safe's code (and that he does know where to look.) Bond Air. How the murder case relates to the main plot. And "because I took your pulse". When Moffat writes well, everything come together in the most unexpected but the most satisfying way.

5) One-liners.

"How did Sherlock recognise her from... not her face?"

"And exactly how many times did he fall out of the window?"

6) Poor Molly. Poor poor Molly.

7) The climax.

I think quite some people may have guessed the passcode of the phone before seeing it (I don't know whether I would - I had already seen the resolution...) Though they rather cleverly used mostly numbers in the failed attempts to mislead the audience while at the same time did include a B to show it can be a letter. For those who didn't see that coming, they must feel like they have just witnessed the most clever moment in TV history. Yes, this is again what Moffat can do. Except he does that regularly. Last time it was "something borrowed, something blue" in Doctor Who.

8) Naughtiness.

You think the ringtone is just another way of sex-ing up the story? Even that serves a final plot point. And plenty of things for Benedict Cumberbatch fangirls to scream at.

9) The music.

Irene's theme, particularly how it is timed to the reveal of the passcode and the "beheading". Stunning.

10) The end.

Quite some people don't like the addendum, considering it unnecessary and worsens the episode. History proves that such additions by Moffat usually turned out to be well-received (e.g. Doctor Who: Forest of the Dead). Ok, Sherlock infiltrating terrorists in Karachi is a bit silly, but after what we've seen in this episode, we all want Irene to survive, don't we?

So here it is.You think you are watching detective stories? No, not just that, it is comedy, tragedy, romance, everything. I always assume that Steven Moffat is an evil genius. Thank you for the final proof. A shame that his work is not more widely known.

Saturday, January 21, 2012





我等反簡體字,反普通話,反中港融合,總之凡大陸必反者,一向勢孤力弱,有心無力。但近來水溫似乎突然提升得快了很多:也許大陸殖民數量已達到了 critical mass,全港各處「不約而同」(??) 地出現簡體字,連我屋企樓下也能聽見普通話對答,人人渾不當一回事。(那不是尖沙咀銅鑼灣等商業淪陷區,也不是天水圍等殖民區 )

因此我很高興見到 D&G 事件成為一個爆發點,加上雙非人,孔慶東等,使社會凝聚了「反蝗」力量。我們「反蝗」有兩個層次的原因:較直接的是搶佔資源,炒貴物價等;另一層的原因,是大家不想看到香港「劣質化」。雖然大陸的洗腦教育不斷告訴大家「內地已經超越香港」云云,但就是大陸人自己也不信,不然為什麼湧來產子?大陸要是這麼好,該是香港孕婦湧上大陸產子才是。這個優劣之分,不容狡辯。因此「大陸化」就是「劣質化」,大家應盡可能減慢這個 (很不幸,無可避免的) 趨勢。

當然,特區政府是在全力配合這個溝淡人口的殖民大計 :

中聯辦研究部學者強世功的著作《中國香港》解釋了背後的道理:『鄧小平治港藍圖的設計,偉大之處在於他承繼了毛澤東治西藏背後那套滿清帝國的「理藩」經驗』* ──中共官方的研究已經承認,在香港推行的政策,其實和中共在西藏、新疆所推行那一套沒有任何不同,用大家理解的術語說明,就是帝國主義的殖民制度。

甚麼雙非人,基本法怎麼說是一回事,你入境處只要把關得力,孕婦入不到境便根本沒有問題。世界各地的入境部門都很惡,拒絕入境連理由也不用給。因此整件事是政府故意縱容出來的。This city is dying, you know...