The Independent

Review: Louis C.K. “Oh My God”

Matthew Greenberg, Sports Editor

April 23, 2013

  4.0 out of 5 Stars Louis C.K. is back in all of his self-depreciating glory in his newest stand-up special Oh My God, which aired exclusively on HBO on Saturday, April 13. As one of the foremost comedians on the stage today, Louis C.K. has grown to magnificent fame from past stand-up specials such as Hilarious (2010)...

washington_heights

Washington Heights Provides Fresh Take on Reality TV

January 25, 2013

  4 stars Washington Heights, MTV’s new reality TV show joins the ranks of heavyweights like the Real World St. Thomas, Sixteen and Pregnant, a...

An Elementary Sherlock Holmes with a Female Watson

Syed Ahad Hussain

November 14, 2012

The biggest surprise of the fall season is CBS’s series Elementary, featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most celebrated creation and internationally recognized icon, Sherlock Holmes. Jonny Lee Miller of Dexter stars as Sherlock and Lucy Liu stars as a ‘female’ version of Holmes’ trusted companion, Dr. Joan Watson. Elementary has a modern day setting in Brooklyn, N.Y. with Holmes using the latest technology to help solve mysteries. Sadly this American Sherlock Holmes arrived two years after BBC’s Sherlock series, which not only did more justice to the source material, it also exceptionally raised the bar for future adaptations of Doyle’s beloved characters. And that’s exactly why Elementary failed to impress. Miller tried hard to look confident in his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes by effectively delivering straightforward one-liners. He somewhat succeeded in bringing Holmes’ crazy and sharp side on-screen, but the show’s bleak elaboration of him being a hyper-sexed past drug addict with tattoos drifts away from the source material to a greater extent. Doyle did present Holmes as a troubled and tormented individual battling his inner demons, but never as the pitiful addict the writers of Elementary made him. In this regard, BBC’s Holmes, portrayed brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch remains most truer and closer to Doyle’s imagination. Cumberbatch’s Holmes is more than just a wisecracking genius detective, he is a man obsessed with perfection when it comes to solving mysteries. He is so devoted to his profession that he lives as an outcast with no time or interest in having a social life outside of his Baker Street apartment. He is an arrogant man who doesn’t need anyone else in his life besides Watson. On the other hand, Elementary’s Holmes is an enraged, complex and creepy individual who happens to be a womanizer for some reason. It is an unusual choice to make Holmes a womanizer because Doyle depicted him as a man afraid of women, seeing them as ‘suspicious’ and somewhat responsible for the downfall of man. He was not sexist by any means but he was not very fond of women either; he saw them more as a nuisance. Robert Doherty, the producer of Elementary decided to make Watson a female for the same reason- to let Holmes live with and be constantly accompanied by his greatest fear – a woman. A romantic entanglement is predicted in the show’s run at some point, despite the producers’ insistence on keeping their relationship platonic. Just like Hollywood, American TV too has to follow the formulaic layout of gender competence stemming from sex and affections, so Watson had to be a female. Lucy Liu is always compelling and likable on screen. Her charismatic personality and acting capabilities are a delight to watch. She alone made the Charlie’s Angel movies watchable and worth seeing and spending money on even to this day. Liu’s Watson seems fearful, sad, less talkative and darker than Doyle’s depiction of the character. In Cumberbatch’s Holmes, Martin Freeman’s Dr. John Watson is very true to source material, appearing as a calm, outgoing and geeky blogger sidekick whose personality is the exact opposite of Holmes’. BBC’s Sherlock is a direct adaptation of Doyle’s stories, with each episode being 88 minutes in length covering source material in modern day London. Elementary places Holmes and Watson in new stories with some minor references to the original stories. American TV has to follow a formulaic structure with a detective duo consisting of a man and woman picking up clues unforeseen by the eyes of cops and ending up tying it all to a vulnerable culprit. As compared to the trend set by shows like CSI, Law and Order etc. Elementary doesn’t really surprise much and fails to add anything fresh to the crime drama genre. The usage of the characters of Holmes and Watson is equally bland, aside from changing the gender of Watson and making Holmes an addict and womanizer. Those who haven’t seen BBC’s Sherlock, will love Elementary. But if one has only seen Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law’s Sherlock Holmes movies, they’ll definitely admire Elementary. But if one wants to stay faithful to the essence of Doyle’s imaginations and intentions, they should only just stick BBC’s Sherlock....

Breaking Bad’s Concluding Descent of Walter White

Patrick McIntyre, Staff Writer

October 3, 2012

The inception of “Breaking Bad”, AMC’s fan hit, didn’t set a precedent but its affection has conjured and sparked far more debate and discussion than uniform cable-programming.  The series treks through two years of the post cancer-diagnosis of a high school chemistry teacher and his decision to cook meth to leave ...

MTVU For You, NEIU?

Matt Hansen, Contributing Writer

March 5, 2012

MTVU is a channel that Viacom created to extend the reach of its artists and advertisers into the hearts and minds of college students. It is the Student Union's one and only choice for entertainment on four different 42" flat screen TVs in the downstairs cafeteria. It broadcasts throughout the day, offering a mix of music videos,...

Review: Jersey Shore

Jacklyn Nowotnik, Arts and Life Editor

January 24, 2012

  I think it may be safe to say that I am a Jersey Shore-aholic. Ok…well maybe that is a bit extreme, but I do get excited for Jersdays (Jersey Shore and Thursday)! I started watching Jersey Shore when they were in their 2nd season in Miami. Like others, I swore I would never fall into the "shore craze"; however thanks to MTV's marathon of Jersey Shore a couple years ago, I am now a fan. I have quite a few friends who will refuse and to this day still question why I watch such a show and as bad as this sound, I'm going to say it anyway. I love to watch Jersey Shore because during the middle of the week when things are crazy busy and I feel like the weekend can't come fast enough; I can come home every Thursday night to find that my DVR just recently recorded my weekly fix of Guidettes and juice-head problems. It sounds really dumb I know, but I just feel a lot better knowing that there are some people out there that not even Wikipedia can help. At this point of the show, our pale cast of Jersey Shore roommates comes straight from Florence, Italy to Seaside Heights, New Jersey. After being in Seaside for while, the cast has enjoyed getting their haircuts/ nails done, tanning and going to the gym. Of course there's still some tension between Snooki and the Situation over a "hook up" that may or may not have happened earlier this year…a hook up that Snooki's boyfriend (Jionni) may not know about. Aside from that drama, the youngest guido in the house, Vinny, is suffering from anxiety. At this point he's not sure why he's in this funk, but the whole house can feel it and it throws everyone's mood off. Luckily Pauly D is here to save the day and their bromance by taking Vinny out for a manicure and pedicure. Vinny seems to feel better after, so the whole house goes to a night club called Karma. Every one brings home some one to take to bed except Vinny and Jwoww. Unfortunately the girl Pauly D brings home pulls a robbery (takes) on his gold chain and goes home with it. The next day is spent with Pauly looking for his chain (which the girl eventually brings back later), and Ronnie tries to talk to Vinny about how he's feeling. At this point it's pretty clear that the way Vinny's feeling isn't something that's just going to go away. Later that night, everyone decides they want to go out but it's best if Pauly stays with Vinny to talk some sense back into him. Little does Pauly know that Vinny is already ready to call a cab and go back home! The end of the show definitely leaves you with sadness because you can feel the closeness of Vinny and Pauly's friendship rip apart as Vinny walks out the door. Compared to other episodes, not much happened in this one. Outside of Vinny leaving and Pauly getting his chain temporarily stolen, the Shore house is at peace. I expect that with Vinny gone; the dynamic of the house will change, leaving more room for drama. I mean it can't possibly be the shore house if there's no drama. I don't except to see Ronnie and Sammi break up, however, I do see Snooki and Jionni getting into a couple arguments, as well as Jwoww and her boyfriend, Roger. I really hope Vinny comes back to the house, because what is Pauly without his bro? However, I guess I'll just have to wait to see what happens. Overall, slow start for the Shore, but hopefully things pick up. Fist Pump!...

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