How do I like mine? I’m not very particular about it, as long as they come with a side of FT’s in-depth analysis of the latest financial developments, of course.
Could it ever be a matter of doubt? 😉
How do I like mine? I’m not very particular about it, as long as they come with a side of FT’s in-depth analysis of the latest financial developments, of course.
Could it ever be a matter of doubt? 😉
Yesterday I had another visit from a Benedict Cumberbatch fan. I thought little of it to begin with; there is after all a steady stream of visitors for that particular set of stories. Yet there was something that did not sit well with me about this particular reader: the manner in which they had formulated their search. So here is what I have to say to my accidental visitor.
To whom it may concern:
While I appreciate your custom, let me make one thing clear: this is not an information hub for Benedict Cumberbatch’s whereabouts. In truth I am astounded that in searching for his address you should have ended up here. How many pages of Google results did you have to read through to reach my post? Don’t answer that. I was sufficiently intrigued to retype your search terms and give the engine a try, but in all honesty tired of scrolling through for a glimpse of my blog’s signature after the first five pages came up empty. That must have been one epic search.
For the length of a moment I thought that perhaps you were looking for a way to send Benedict some fan mail. However, since you bypassed the information on offer on Cumberbatchweb, I had to drop that particular line of reasoning and conclude that it was his personal address you were after. Ahem.
If my powers of deduction have failed me, feel free to circumvent what follows. If not…
There is a very good reason why people – and celebrities more so – keep their personal contact details under wraps. Beyond a simple desire to be able to step out of one’s front door without having to wrestle a crowd of nosy strangers, there is also the matter of risk to one’s bodily security to take into account. Yep. I do refer to stalkers.
The term may be often attributed to fans in a jokey manner, but the reality of being stalked is no laughing matter. Take it from someone who has been unfortunate enough to have experienced it, and that without the label of a celebrity in toe: it is downright terrifying.
As a writer, I may occasionally indulge in borrowing London settings for a meeting with a fictionalised Cumberbatch. I may even go one step further and share knowledge of his actual preference of a place if, and only if, that information is already public knowledge. You will not find on this blog his (or anyone else’s) home address, phone number or personal email address.
So… If you are in the mood for a laugh or a little Benedict-day-dreaming, feel free to stop by whenever you have the time or inclination. Otherwise, I’m afraid I can’t help you. Nor would I be willing to if I could.
If you remain undeterred beware, according to Tim Walker, Mr. Cumberbatch has been known to request the services of our be-helmeted police service to ensure that his privacy would be respected. Better not let it come to that.
I fill my cup with as large a measure of amusement as the world can provide, fond as I am of a good chuckle. Every now and then, the WordPress search engine will provide just the right dose.
There is a lady out there, so desirous of meeting the elusive Batch, that she decided to take things into her own hands and seek him out at all Englishmen’s favourite watering hole: the pub. I can’t help but admire her tenacity and feel a little guilty in her supposed disappointment when Google thought it would be a lark to send her to my blog instead. Try typing “Which pub does Benedict Cumberbatch drink in” into the search engine and you’ll see what I mean.
Benedict may very well have patronised Soho’s “the Lab” in the past. I wouldn’t know. Perhaps our lady will be lucky to synchronise her visit with Hollywood’s darling. After all, stranger things have happened.
Having had my laugh for the day, I am rather in the mood for a good deed. So what do you say, dear readers. Shall we help this vixen find her crush?
If you are reading this, then you have not yet given up on discovering Benedict’s favourite pub. I’m afraid I can’t help you with specifics, although if you happen to be in London, you could always give pub crawling in Hampstead a try. I hear they have some delightful ales and a predilection for auburn-haired clientele 😉 . I would recommend half-measures if you plan on doing the job thoroughly or else I will be accused of encouraging irresponsible drinking.
Best of luck with the hunt!
A welcome back gift in the guise of parody song curtesy of the Kavalkade Krew: Cumberbuns ~ The Satire & Parody News Desk!.
I am told that one ought to consult a GP before taking their daily dosage of Cumbarbatch to avoid non-prescription side effects such as blushing, heavy breathing and fainting fancies, so approach with care. He is ch-armed and dangerous. Still… the Krew will be at hand to help if any of the above befalls you. 😉
“Sure I came to see your play.”
“How come you didn’t stick around after?” he asked
“Something came up. Sorry.”
“I know exactly who that ‘something’ was. I’m surprised at you, Vic.”
It was Friday. James and I were having a drink at the Lab after work. I hadn’t seen him at all in the New Year, what with his constant rehearsals and my writing commitments leaving little time for social encounters. So when he called earlier that day to ask if there was any chance I may be free that evening, I did not hesitate. Call it a guilty conscience.
“You haven’t mentioned him in two hours,” James said, watching me over the rim of his Pornstar Martini.
“Is this a guessing game or will you tell me who you mean?”
He sipped from his glass, took his time replacing it on the counter and glimpsed around the bar to ensure that no one was listening in.
“Cumberbatch, who else?”
I nearly choked on my vintage Mulata. Just like James to introduce the topic when he knew full well that it would set me off-balance. I had to tread carefully. How much did he know? There were those pap snaps in the Saturday edition, but even if he saw them… My face was out of focus as I disappeared behind Ben’s towering frame.
“You’re getting a reputation, you know. Aren’t you going to tell me what happened?” he insisted, when I pretended to be too busy with my drink to answer.
“There is nothing to tell, James. Honest.”
He ordered another round and changed the subject, but I could tell that he was brewing something. I’ve known him for long enough to be certain that one way or another he would find it out.
It was James’ West End debut. His first night on the big stage. There was no question about my not being there. When the curtain went down I headed to the stage door to wait for him. I sparked up and was leafing mindlessly through the programme when a familiar voice disturbed my musings.
James was right. The something that came up was Benedict. I did not expect to see him at the theatre that night, nor did I expect to… I suppose all things Benedict do tend to be rather unexpected of late.
“What did you think of it?” Ben asked.
For a moment I thought it was a trick of the light. What was he doing there?
“It was… good I suppose,” I said.
“I didn’t much like it either,” he smiled and asked whether he could borrow my lighter.
“The lead is a good friend of mine,” I said, somewhat peeved.
Alright. It wasn’t the performance of the century, but that is rarely the case on a first night. I was sure that with a little trimming here and there the play would do just fine. In all fairness I felt rather guilty discussing it with anyone, before I had a chance to speak to James about it first.
“I got your letter.”
I froze. Dropped my cigarette. Felt the blood drain from my cheeks. My throat constricted.
“You are mistaken, I’m sure,” was all I managed to say.
I avoided his eyes, lest he would read the truth in mine. Fumbled through my pockets for another cigarette; when I finally found my pack it was empty.
“Have one of mine,” he offered.
I took it. Needed something to keep me occupied. Wished James would hurry the f*** up. Perhaps Ben could sense the disturbance he’s caused, or perhaps he needed some time to consider my answer. In either case, I was glad to continue in silence.
“I know it was from you,” Ben said after a while.
“What makes you so certain?” I couldn’t help asking.
“Every writer has a signature phrase… or expression. It was an easy enough deduction to make.” That knowing smile again.
“I think you’ve taken your ‘getting into character’ a little too far, Sherlock,” I laughed, my mind gone into overdrive. A signature. I had a signature phrase. What could it be? How on earth could I not know about it. I must’ve read and re-read that letter a dozen times before sending it. It was supposed to be anonymous and yet…
“Give us a smile, Benedict!”
Damned paps. Where did this one come from? I pulled the scarf up to cover my face just in time. The flash left me momentarily blind. Next thing I knew I was being dragged away from the scene at full speed.
“Wait! I’m supposed to wait for my friend. Ben, wait!”
“We need to get out of here,” he said, speeding up his pace.
I stumbled and nearly lost my footing, but his clasp on my elbow was strong enough to prevent my falling over. A few minutes later, he was handing me a safety helmet. I was about to protest, but he would hear none of it.
“Look. We have to talk. You’ll meet up with your friend another time. Or do you fancy seeing your face all over the dailies tomorrow?”
Ben got on his bike. I wavered. James will never let me live this down, although… what he doesn’t know…
Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with thedailygrime
“I’m not an uber Sherlock fan, so I didn’t bother watching the first episode of the new season until a few days after it had been aired. So I ended up reading the reviews before seeing the program for myself. The reviews were what is euphemistically called “mixed”, which is another way of saying that the first episode was universally panned.
The thing is though, even before watching the first episode, I didn’t understand what the reviewers were talking about.” The Game Is Afoot
The full title of thedailygrime‘s review is The Game Is Afoot – How The Critics Want To Sink Sherlock And Why I Think They Never Will, and if you’ve been keeping up with all things CumberVic on this blog, you will understand why I couldn’t help myself. Just had to read the review, and once read a reply begged to be written.
You see… my last Benedict Cumberbatch post inadvertently added me to the nameless hoard of critics who have met the Empty Hearse, first episode of Sherlock the Third, with a good old battering by the proverbial pan. I am ready to admit however, that an even greater disappointment than an underwhelming return of the show would be its cancellation. I certainly do not want for this series to end up being Sherlock’s Titanic, so I am glad to find that there are many out there who are enjoying Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat’s latest offering.
I enjoyed thedailygrime‘s style in taking on the reviewers and decided to examine the evidence in consulting detective fashion and add my own deductions to the mix.
Let the games begin!
I’m afraid there will be a few SPOILERS in what follows, so if you haven’t watched The Empty Hearse and want to hold on to that element of surprise, read at your own peril. I’ll do my best to keep them to a minimum, but can promise no more than that.
tdg: “They talked about far-fetched explanations for Sherlock’s faked death. I thought “surely everyone was expecting that?””
I’m with tdg on this one. Far-fetched explanations were not the problem. Dramatizing fandom’s theories as to what went down on that roof in The Reichenbach Fall finale was fun to watch, yes. However, it did feel like the writers were pandering to the fans instead of getting on with telling the story at hand.
I also rather enjoyed watching Scotland Yard’s former forensic expert Anderson’s guilt-ridden antics in this respect, with one exception. If you’ve seen the episode you will know which one was over-acted. Yep. That’s right. That oh-so-dramatic moment when Anderson latches onto the walls, ripping off those crazy notes he’d been wall-papering over the last two years. It was too much of a good (?) thing. And this brings us to the next point:
tdg: “They also said it was confusing. Well, it’s a fast paced detective program. It’s meant to be confusing, surely?”
An astute viewer, I dare say, will not be confused by any narrative, no matter how many twists it may have and however fast-paced it may be. They will be stumped however when the pieces of the puzzle do not fit together, even when they finally reach the end and have the big picture.
That last reference to Anderson was a clear example of that. It lacked finesse and it was somewhat confounding. Here we are with Holmes and Watson, in the deepest darkest bowels of the underground, attempting to disarm a bomb that is about to make mincemeat of all of Her Majesty’s Members of Parliament and the Houses themselves (admittedly, judging by the usual number of MP absentees, there might’ve been fewer victims than the wanna-be terror-plotters may have hoped for) and suddenly we a wrenched back into Anderson’s layer for an impromptu Sherlock confession on how he had faked his own death two years earlier.
Was this supposed to be Sherlock telling John about how he faked his death and why, via Anderson? Or… is this Sherlock’s memory of a former meeting with Anderson kicking in for some incomprehensible reason at a cliff-hanger moment? Or… did the director realise during the edit that he’s run out of places to plonk this into, and decided that it was as good a time as any for the big reveal? I’ll guess… the latter.
It did make for confusing viewing and, instead of increasing suspense, it only increased my levels of frustration. Several of the transitions from one scene to the next suffered from the same inexplicable disjointedness. They should’ve been handled better.
tdg: “And there was the question as to why Sherlock faked his own death anyway. Well, you could try asking Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that. He invented that particular twist. You can’t blame Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat for that.”
It’s good to see that tdg and I are on the same page again. I did not require The Empty Hearse to understand why Sherlock had faked his death. Moriarty had destroyed his reputation and, to completely demolish his nemesis, he had all (well… almost all) of Sherlock’s associates at gunpoint. To save them, Sherlock had to die. Mystery solved.
It was the “how” that required additional attention and I felt that the episode gave sufficient scene time to the question. I only wish that final reveal had been better placed.
tdg: “Why would Sherlock fake his death? Well, he’s a narcissistic psychopath.”
I beg to differ. Sherlock is not a narcissistic psychopath. He is a highly functioning sociopath 😉 Will not squabble re his narcissism. He does rather fancy himself, moustache or no moustache.
The final mystery: Why does thedailygrime think that critics are attempting to sink Sherlock and why won’t they manage it?
Well… I recommend that you read The Game Is Afoot to find out. I can’t speak for any of the other critics, but I beg to be absolved of the crime of which I stand accused.
Come to think of it, I wish I had delayed watching The Empty Hearse and read the onslaught of “mixed” reviews first. It may have tempered my expectations, and perhaps… I might’ve been put on the defensive and watched it afterwards determined to like it against all odds. Alas. I fear that since even my lingering obsession with the lead was unable to rob me of my critical prowess, I may have lamentably reached the same conclusion: Deduct again. Deduct better.
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It would appear that television and I are having a mild disagreement at present. I had abandoned the screen for quite a while last year. It bores me. That is not to say that good programming is inexistent, but it is a rarity. Plus. One has to be in the mood.
There was one particular show, however, that I hoped might resolve matters and make me fall in love with that dream-peddling box once again. Sherlock.
You will not believe how much will power it took not to write about it after viewing The Empty Hearse. It drained me of the little energy that the holidays had left behind.
Why did I say nothing on the 1st of January? Because I have been told to keep quiet unless I have something nice to say. So… I have been trying to think of something nice to say. All that kept cropping into my mind were John’s words on discovering that Sherlock was still alive: F*** off, Sherlock.
It was too itsy-bitsy, too disjointed, too… everything other than what I had come to expect of Sherlock. I watched Cumberbatch on the wide screen, asking myself: Who are you and what have you done to Sherlock? Can’t anyone see that this is an impostor? Seriously. Sherlock would not do that. Would not say that. His behaviour – while not entirely predictable – would continue to be that of a sociopath, surely. What was he up to in those last two years? Went to clown school in deepest darkest Siberia, did he?
I thought I’d give it some time to sink in. There were many a witty scene after all. I had no squabble with the detail as much as I did with the overall effect, which left me with the distinct impression that the writers were conversing with the fandom (look out for all those fun inside jokes) instead of getting on with the job of bringing back to life not just the character, but another segment of Arthur Conan Doyle’s work.
Yes. Of course the relationship between John and Sherlock matters. But what matters far more is their work. There was always a balance struck in the past, which was sadly off third time around.
So I waited… I waited for today and the second episode in the series. Better by far, but it could not erase that bitter taste left by the first. I am underwhelmed and don’t quite know what to do with myself.
It’s as if an old friend came back after a long absence, invited himself over for dinner and after several attempts to reconnect somehow, I finally realise that it’s all too late. Our paths have irremediably split. We have nothing to talk about. Too much has happened in the interim so we just make small talk about redecorating the living-room, wondering… is it too soon to cut our losses short and call it a day?
I blame the hype as well as the extended wait. Two years is a long time for a build up. Perhaps I expected too much and was bound to be disappointed.
Welcome to The Batch on Sunday: Your Online-Home For All Things CumberVic
The Batch on Sunday reports!
We do realise that technically it is a Wednesday, but decided to make an exception – it is a rather special day after all: “Sherlock has been gone for two years. But someone isn’t quite convinced that he’s dead.”
Alright, Anderson. You’re not the only one suspecting that Sherlock is on his way back. What we all want to know however is … how on earth did he make it off that roof in one piece?!
Molly Hooper has been keeping silent on the matter, sworn to secrecy by Sherlock himself no doubt. The Batch on Sunday team has been similarly stumped and impressed in equal measure by how closely the secret has been guarded by all those lucky Sherlock fans who have attended the recent screening of new episode The Empty Hearse. The show’s creators have done a good job on them.
Despite the flurry of theories on Buzzfeed, all we know is that the world’s only consulting detective cheated death, and that it wasn’t as straightforward a trick as some may think.
There are only a few more hours’ wait for UK viewers until they will finally find out how it was done. The elusive detective is making his way back to our screens. What are a few hours more after a whole two years and for those of you who have not yet seen the seven minute prequel on offer from the BBC, here it is: Many Happy Returns to you.
“Primarily the focus is about them [John and Sherlock] reuniting,” Cumberbatch revealed when interviewed about The Empty Hearse episode which will be broadcast on BBC One at 9pm later this evening, on the 1st January.
That’s all for now. Hope you had a very Merry Cumberbatch.
Here’s to a Happy New Sherlock!