Missing Moriarty?

Being the avid fan of BBC’s Sherlock that I am, it seems a tad bit silly to even be writing about one of its stars, the masterful Andrew Scott.  For those in the dark, Sherlock is a popular TV series based on a modern day version of the iconic British detective, who, quite famously, was brought to life from the mind and stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  In the show, Mr. Scott plays the sinister and often unhinged villain, one Jim Moriarty.

The handsome Irish devil with the puppy-dog face found his start in theatre, receiving the Lawrence Olivier Award in 2005 and an IFTA (Irish Film and Television Award) for his work in the film Dead Bodies.  Other major roles include starring in the award-winning HBO series Band of Brothers and even earning another Olivier in 2010 for the Royal Court Theatre’s creatively titled play ‘Cock.’

But though Scott, a born and bred native of Dublin, may have a hard time reprising his role as Moriarty, we should be seeing him on various stages throughout the year.  What’s next for the actor comes in the form of The Fuse, a four part BBC series in which, ironically, he plays a (dark) detective.  He’s also working on an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s The Scapegoat, sure to be a success.  But what’s after all that might be a bit different for the actor.  “I’m desperate to do something funny next,” he recently told The Independent’s Alice Jones.   The thought is both hilarious and a tiny bit terrifying, as even Scott’s gloom has a definite comical side.  What could he wrangle with a role as pure comic-relief?

All in all, the leading man should have plenty of work to do, and luckily for us, we’ll have plenty of time to follow his every moment with neurotic delight.  While critics have lambasted fans who’ve speculated as to his orientation (“Why should a portrayal of a gay man mean an actor is gay?”) Mr. Scott is indeed living with his partner of ten years in London.  So, yeah.  He’s pretty awesome.  But who knows what demons lurk underneath that adorable face?  In the end, as Moriarty tells Holmes: “Every fairy tale needs a good old fashioned villain.”

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Life on Mars (U.K.)

If you’re a David Bowie fan, you’re probably thinking about the song.  But this TV show, which ran from 2005 to 2007 on BBC1, is about something far different than what the title implies.

Some of you guys might know John Simm from Doctor Who as the Master, but here he plays a Detective Chief Inspector in modern day ‘transported’ back to 1973.  The 70s are a whole different world, hence the title.  Simm’s character Sam Tyler has been demoted in his new existence to just ‘Detective Inspector,’ but the real question that drives the show is if he has truly traveled back in time.  After all, his new life started after an accident in 2007; what’s to say he’s not imagining everything while in a coma in the modern day?

Simm’s acting is genius, so far – I’ve only seen a couple of episodes since the series isn’t readily available on Netflix.  His relationship with his partner Gene Hunt is especially interesting.  It has the same elements of a police-partnership dramedy: the experienced copper who’d do anything to get his version of justice served, and the puppy-faced younger man that believes everyone deserves a chance.  Hunt is crass, sexist, and homophobic, but there’s just a touch of redeeming humanity in him that’s so slim the writers must have agonized over it.

I recommend this series if you like dramas set in the past, clever detective shows, or just plain old good television.  Unfortunately, there’s only two seasons to enjoy, which is hardly due to the quality of the show, since it has received rave reviews from critics and extremely high ratings.  It’s even spawned an American remake, something that proves the greatness of any U.K. television program.  All in all, Life on Mars is an amazing show that has all the ups and downs of a roller coaster but always manages to be simply fabulous.

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The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal

So this comic by E.K. Weaver is one of my absolute favorites, and I’m following it with the voracity of a thousand supernovas.   It updates Tuesdays with about two pages per week, and the art is fantastic.  Seriously.   The artist starts with thumbnail sketches and progresses to three layers of drawings with different colors, all ending up in Photoshop.

The story itself centers on two guys, one Indian and the other white, who end up stuck together on a road trip from the East to West coasts, brought about by a blurry night’s drunken pact.   And yes, it’s ‘yaoi’ – at least, the two male main characters get ‘involved’ along the way.  But it’s actually an amazing story, and the characterization as well as the dialogue is funny and cute – just read one of their conversations in French accents.

This is one of the few M/M relationships which I’ve experienced that is simultaneously hot and humorous, and yet still truly transcends the label of just another yaoi ship.

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