Originally posted at That Guy With the Glasses. Archived here because they mucked about with their blog format and I lost all my shiny comments :(



Come with me, if you can, on a journey of exploration. Imagine, if you will…

Outside of your parents' house, torrents, DVDs and Hulu, you have gone without cable TV since college graduation; and even then, you were a casual viewer at best. You've managed to stay informed of the most fantastic of pop-culture influences; but on the whole, cable TV has become a strange beast, the Land Beyond Where There Be Dragons.

Now imagine you move into a new abode. You arrange affairs accordingly with a service provider, and--having been Tried and Found Worthy—the Day of Installation arrives.

No longer do you have only Internet, oh no!—now, there is Cable, and you have a TV with which to utilize such wonders.

But times have changed, my innocent friend, and the channels you once loved are not quite what you remember. Yes, you've been through such transformation before; like the time in high school you woke up to realize that you couldn't recall the last time MTV had played an actual music video.

Oh yes, you may have sighed for what had been but you moved on—MTV had been going down the tubes since Daria got a boyfriend, anyway.

But now—you turn on your TV, and find that the channels you once loved are now like terrifying clowns wearing the lifeless faces of the people you loved.

You find the History Channel waging a never ending battle between shows about Hitler and shows about Nostradamus. The Sci Fi Channel is now the SyFy Channel, proving that an excess of 'y's never makes ANYTHING better.

Luckily, The Discovery Channel is still entertaining; though there's a little less science and a lot more explosions that would make Michael Bay weep in ecstasy.

But TLC—

~*~

Oh, TLC.

In a way, TLC, I understand your tragic decline. You were always the rebound girlfriend when there was nothing interesting on The Discovery Channel. Poor ratings in the 90s necessitated a new line of attack. You'd been around since the 70s, after all--a make-over was needed. And oh, were you made over.

First it was the Home Improvement shows. And they were good. Many a project did I foolishly begin thanks to your easy confidence that I too could Do It Myself. Then came the Self Improvement shows. Dress right! Wear make up! Outward appearance is key to confidence!

--here is where we began parting ways. I no longer had cable, and you were just too…INTO yourself. Oh, there was a show or two I'd watch, but I felt like I didn't know you anymore.

Three years later. It's been a long time, TLC. We've both grown a lot. I went the way of Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs. You focused on family. BIG families. So I should have seen this show coming. After all, it so obscenely combines your love of real life medical dramas with your love of babies.

I am referring, of course, to I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, the show that makes the Feminine Mystique a Cthulhian Nightmare.

You have NO idea...So I'll tell you! :D  )


If you've never watched "The Madness of King George", I highly recommend it. It's an absolutely smashing movie which takes place in a historical period I've always been fond of about a king I find rather fascinating.

HOWEVER….

Not 13 minutes into this movie, and I both had already fallen in loved AND was writhing in pain on the floor to my roommate's great amusement.

Now, there's a whole lot of historical inaccuracy I can overlook for the sake of plot, or for staging ease, or just because the director says "fuck all, it'll look cooler this way"*. I myself like it when things look cooler. The point is I CAN take historical inaccuracy with a grain of salt, because it's a MOVIE. It's FICTION (even when they are "Based on true events"). The point is to tell a story and that's THAT.

But nothing makes my jaw drop faster, my eyes roll backwards and foam start to come from my mouth than historical inaccuracy due to SHEER LAZINESS.

I know this is a very petty thing to get hung up on, but for ME to notice it within the 1.2 seconds it on the screen makes it a GLARING act of LAZINESS, so much so that I must take issue.

I ask you my friends. For a movie taking place in 1789, what is wrong with this globe that King George is pointing too?

I'll give you a hint. Jefferson wasn't President yet. And John Quincy Adams wasn't busting Spanish balls for land yet. Oh, and Daniel Webster wasn't busting Canadian balls for land yet as well. Oh hell, just scroll down and I'll give you a brief history of American ball-busting for land pre-1850.


Oh god! Oh god the humanity HISTORICAL INACCURACY!!!

Here's a brief review over why this map made my jaw drop (i.e. all the things that are on this globe that most definitely weren't there in 1789):

1) Louisiana Purchase, 1803: We all (mostly) know this one. Napoleon--having realized that creating an empire takes a lot of moolah, and having failed to re-enslave the newly independent Haitians (aw, SHUCKS /sarcasm)--decides to sell the Louisiana Territory ('tehrritorie', if you are saying it in an OUTRAGEOUS French accent). Jefferson hits that like the first of an angry god with a cool $11+ million, PLUS the cancellation of some $3.75 million of debt. Which, THINK ABOUT IT: Alexander Hamilton managed—through the consolidation of individual states' war debts into a national debt, the creation of a Federally-control National Bank (with a big FUCK YOU to Jefferson while doing so), and by pushing for a pro-Federal interpretation of the Constitution (again, another fuck you to Jefferson)—managed to make the American market legit enough by 1804 that France was hitting the U.S. up for cash, cash we could give them. EVEN THOUGH America had suffered CRIPPLING DEBT due to that whole 'War for Independence' thing almost 20 years before.

...Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Alexander Hamilton?

Anyway, Jefferson, in his usual move of saying one thing and doing the exact opposite in real life, takes that money and COMPLETELY oversteps the Constitutional limitations of his presidential powers to authorize buying the whole kit and caboodle.

Proof, of course, that Jefferson always WINS, even when by his own philosophy, he shouldn't.

*glare*

2) Adams-Onis Treaty, 1819: This treaty, signed in 1819, was the diplomatic equivalent of John Quincy Adams** sitting on top of the Spanish foreign minister Luis de Onis and threatening him with a wet willy and a sound pounding unless he cried "UNCLE!! UNCLE!!! FLORIDA IS YOURS!! EVERYTHING ABOVE THE 42 PARELLEL AND TO THE PACIFIC IS YOURS!! THE RIVERS ARE YOURS!! JUST LET ME GO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!"

Needless to say, John Quincy Adams (and a lot of historians afterwards) considered this act of diplomatic bullying his single greatest contribution to American diplomacy.

3) Treaty of 1819: 1819 was a good year for American land grabbing. Not only did we wrestle the Spanish government into submission, but we got our 49th parallel border between us and Canada ok'ed by the British government. However, this line wouldn't be really set in stone until the Oregon Treaty of 1846 and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1849. Which leads me to my LAST point…

4) The Webster-Ashburton Treaty, 1849: This mother fucking treaty wasn't signing until 1849! And yet there's Maine in all of it's glory on Georgie's globe!


GOOD GOD, IT'S LIKE THE DOCTOR OF GLOBES!!

…ahem.

This treaty was a sneaky, sneaky back handed win on Webster's part, which cemented the border between Maine and Brunswick, as well as cemented the eastern border between America and Canada at the 49th parallel, and extended that border to the Rockies. Also—as I recall from my high school history textbook—the only reason we have all of what we have of Maine is because Webster's ace-in-the-hole was "Franklin's map"; a map SUPPOSEDLY draw by Ben Franklin which proved that America had owned and therefore STILL owned more of Maine than Brunswick would have liked.

Conclusion? American: 1. Canda: PWNED!1!1!!!


So, just to recap...



*sigh*

I know what you're thinking; "my God, Nella, don't you have anything BETTER to do?" But COME ON. This movie takes place RIGHT AFTER the American Revolution had been won (…make that lost, as this is a movie about King George). You don't go out of your way to draw attention to King George's anger and disappointment over losing the colonies and then bullshit with a globe laying out 1850-ish American geography!

FOR SHAME, Movie, FOR SHAME.




And the Footnotes of my short rant…er…treatise…
*See Ridley Scott's Gladiator for an example of this.

** The then Secretary of State who would later be forced, while PRESIDENT, into giving an interview to a female journalist because he had a habit of skinny dipping in the Potomac that she found out about, and exploited to her journalistic advantage. HELLO WHY HAS NO ONE MADE A SKETCH ABOUT THIS?!?!?! Or, if someone has, WHY has it not been brought to my attention yet!
Saw Sherlock Holmes Christmas Eve at midnight—you know you're far too invested in a series when you skip Midnight Mass for it.

I do consider myself a Sherlockian. Four years ago the amount of detail I could quote to you about each of the tales, of the "world" of Victorian England, and of the characters' respective backgrounds would probably make you smile, nod, and back away slowly. I could argue how many wives Watson had (I throw down for 3), where his bullet wound was (I say he was kneeling down, and the bullet passed throw his shoulder, hitting him in the leg. THERE. PROBLEM OF CONTINUITY SOLVED.) I am a bit rusty now, but I can still hold my own in "The Game".

However, I've ALWAYS been one for the crackier aspects of Sherlock Holmes canon; like, Rex Stout's 1941 speech upon how Watson, was in fact, a woman, or how Sherlock Holmes was in actuality, a Vulcan ancestor of Mr. Spock, or just the simple notion that Watson DOESN'T HAVE TO BE CONSIDERED A RELIABLE NARRATOR.

SHOCKING, I know.
If you are a tried-and-true purist for the Canon, go back to your sitting room, curl up with your pipe and tantalus and pretend like this movie doesn't exist, because you will HATE IT. You will hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand fistfights at Reichenbach Falls.

If, however, you are like me—who love a good, energetic retelling by people who OBVIOUSLY know their canon well and yet want to gleefully play with it, muss up it's perfectly parted and slicked down hair and blow some shit up in the process--

Well, then, what's stopping you?

I think my years of being corrupted by fandom, there's a lot I've learned to forgive by way of characterization, as long as you make me fall in love with the characters and the setting. People claim RDJ's Holmes is NOT Holmes. But the more I think upon it, the more I think "Wait, wait; he is—in a fashion".

Thoughts on RDJ's Holmes… )

The movie isn't perfect by any means—far too long, for one; it could have been compressed a bit. But the creation of Victorian London was to die for. I enjoyed the Macguffin, even though the villain was…well, I giggled more than I should have, probably. I think it was because he LOOKED more like a Sherlock Holmes than RDJ ever could.

I approve of the inclusions of Mary and Irene, though I feel that Mary, for all the smallness of her role, complimented the other roles better. Irene had a tinge of a feeling that she didn't quite belong, and perhaps rightly so. I did enjoy her criminal competency, however.

Words can not contain my love for Jude Law in his role as Watson. Spot On, Sir.

You know, people have the gall to claim that the problem with Watson in this movie was that he was too much of an equal to Holmes? Again, I think we've gotten snooty in how we view the characters. Watson was an intelligent, handsome doctor, who only looked dull-minded because he was standing next to Holmes. But in the stories, Holmes does acknowledge at times that Watson is using his intellect and Holmes' methods to good use. Watson may not be able to go theory-for-theory with Holmes--for who can truly keep up with that mind?--but he can hold his own, offer his own insights and experiences, and be side-by-side with Holmes as the solution is reached. Watson is not an equal to Holmes, but a perfect compliment. WHICH HE IS IN THIS MOVIE.

In Conclusion: Please sir, I'd like some more.
.