9 Best shows on Netflix right now

Funny: when you fall ill with some mystery virus that keeps you restrained to the couch (or even the floor, depending on how far I have to walk), you find time to watch some TV. When I say TV, I mean Netflix. I’m not suggesting the following nine programs are critically acclaimed or that they’ll soon be winning Golden Globes, but shut up, these are my favorites and NEVER QUESTION A SICK PERSON.

1. Salem


Witches! Sexy witches!! Takes place in the heat of the Salem witch trials, and it’s one of those shows where you’re not sure if you like the good guys or bad guys more. And who is a good guy / bad guy anyway? There’s only one season out right now, but that means you can finish it fast and be prepared for season two.

2. Ripper Street


Dark. British. Takes place just after Jack the Ripper finished terrorizing London. The three lead actors are charismatic, sexy, and comical in their own sick, twisted ways. I’m particularly fond of the American, Jackson (yum). Each episode is another mystery, but don’t skip around, as character development is really just as intriguing as the murders themselves.

3. Twin Peaks


I realize I’m horribly late to the game. This show (a cult classic) only had two seasons back in the early nineties. It’s quirky, scary, and rank with melodrama and bad 90s music. I adore wacko FBI agent Dale Cooper, and you even get to see David Duchovny in drag. Who killed Laura Palmer?

4. Archer


Reprehensible, inappropriate, and politically incorrect: all things I strive to be in life. An animated gem, this FX original will keep you laughing … and laughing … and quoting lines until your stomach hurts. Plus, the super sexy voice of H. Jon Benjamin fits super sleuth Archer perfectly.

5. Sirens


Follow a ragtag brigade of EMTs around Chicago. Really, it’s the dialogue that makes this show, as well as the super gay sidekick. Jake and I binge-watched this beauty, because laughter is the best medicine.

6. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries


A friend of mine said Miss Fisher reminded her of me, which is a huge compliment, considering this roaring 20s female PI is hot, fashionable, fiery, and irresistible. Follow her as she solves crimes and slowly falls in love with gorgeous Aussie detective Jack Robinson. Love the clothes!

7. Doctor Who


I’m talking mostly about the Matt Smith years. Doctor Who is a consummate sci-fi classic, but Matt Smith nails the character of the doctor. It doesn’t hurt that he’s handsome and funny. As The Doctor travels through time and space, he always has a grin and a quippy comment. He’s fascinated by all things new and dangerous; I’d like to be more like him.

8. Sherlock


Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch in a tight purple button-down. Cumberbatch with black, curly hair. Mmmm, yeah, I’m shallow, but really this revamp of the Sherlock Holmes story is modern and well-written … although you might need subtitles, because Sherlock talks fast, like a giraffe on cocaine.

9. The IT Crowd


I’m not a computer nerd, and yet, I love this show about computer nerds. It’s the British humor: over the top, physical, but never gross or crude. The three lead actors make the show. Think Seinfeld on a different continent and with accents. I almost cried when I watched the last episode, simply because there were no more.

Benedict Cumberbatch gets married: What do I deserve?

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When news broke Saturday morning that my “boyfriend” Benedict Cumberbatch was having a secret wedding on the Isle of Wight in England, I texted people as if I was the one getting married. Then, I scoured the internet and waited for some sneak peaks of the ceremony.

Imagine my disappointment when there were none.

Believe me when I say I quite literally know what’s happening in this man’s life before he does. I have never, ever delved so deeply into celebrity worship in my life. This is due to the aforementioned internet: sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the most efficient celebrity stalking site, Tumblr.

Since the start of my Bed-Addiction, I have felt no guilt mooning over photos of him at airports or caught out on the town with friends. Then, when there were no photos of him in a tuxedo Saturday, I felt irritable, cheated. I felt like Benedict Cumberbatch owed me something.

I recently interviewed British author Nick Hornby for work. A charming man with an Alan Rickman voice, he’s spent a lot of time working the Hollywood scene. I asked him if he thought we made celebrities into gods, and he said, yes, of course we do, which sets us up for disappointment.

As he told me at SheKnows.com, “I think we don’t actually have a fantasy about meeting somebody; we have a fantasy that that person will become our friend. All it will take is a handshake, and you’ll end up going on holiday together.”

Therein lies the problem; I’ve started viewing Benedict as my friend, and of course he owes me a wedding photo. Isn’t that CREEPY?

My oddball realization begs the question: What do celebrities owe their fans? Adversely, what do fans owe celebrities?

There are celebrity attention whores like the Kardashians who share everything (literally). There are charming celebrities like Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki of Supernatural fame, who make me laugh with their Twitter feeds. Then, there are celebrities like Benedict who aren’t on any social media and who keep their private lives private.

As a celebrity with a psychotic fan base, I’m sure Benedict is aware fans linger on his every word and discuss every outfit he wears ad infinitum. I’m sure he knows we want to see a picture from his wedding, but he has kept careful watch over his now wife, Sophie Hunter, probably because he knows he’s a hunted man. The couple is due to have a baby this year, too, but I’m sure we’ll never see it.

Should this upset we, the Cumber Collective? It does upset me, but it shouldn’t.

To be honest, celebrities owe us nothing. And if we are true fans, we owe celebrities respect. Sure, they might walk red carpets at gala events. They might buy 10.8 million dollar houses (ahem, Benedict), but how soon we forget: they’re just people. They wake up with bed head. They have morning breath. They go grocery shopping and have messy kitchens.

Celebrities are not gods. (Most of them only look like gods because of Photoshop anyway.) They are just human beings doing a job, no matter what TMZ tells you.

The Imitation Game and how far we’ve come

THE IMITATION GAME

SPOILERS: If you don’t know the story of Alan Turing and want to remain completely in the dark in regards to the plot of The Imitation Game, probably don’t read this.

As a dedicated Cumberbitch, of course I had to see The Imitation Game, in which my boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch portrays genius and father of the modern computer Alan Turing.

Turing was a British mathematician, cryptographer, and marathon runner who helped break the Nazi Enigma code to bring an early cessation to World War II. The machine he used to break the code, “Christopher,” is the precursor to technology we use everyday, whether it be a computer or smart phone.

Post-war, Turing was found guilty of gross indecency, due to his homosexuality (a crime at the time) and sentenced to two years chemical castration through oestrogen injections in order to dissolve his libido. Due perhaps to the effects of the oestrogen, he killed himself at the age of forty-one.

Turing was never ashamed of his sexuality. He died a genius and a homosexual who has since been recognized for his accomplishments and for the unfortunate turn his life took as a gay male in the super paranoid 1950s.

The film, Imitation Game, follows Turing’s entire life through flashes into his past at boarding school, his present at Bletchley Park during World War II, and into his sad, horrible future, during the process of his chemical castration when he seemed ready to lose his mind.

Cumberbatch was ideally cast in the role of this awkward genius. He brings comedy, heart, and charisma to a man whose own mother called him “an odd duck.” The supporting cast is similarly enthralling, led by Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode (and a truly heart-wrenching portrayal by lesser-known Matthew Beard).

Screenwriter Graham Moore deserves every award possible for his flawless movement through time, choosing the moments in Alan’s life that shaped him the most. And I’d be remiss to not mention director Morten Tyldum, who guided and shaped the film into an emotional rollercoaster of joy, tragedy, and rage.

Cumberbatch has admitted he did not leave filming unscathed. During one scene, for instance, he had to portray Turing having an emotional breakdown. Surprise, surprise, Cumberbatch actually had a breakdown and couldn’t finish the scene.

director-morten-tyldum-narrates-620x400He told the Los Angeles Daily News, “I just got completely lost in his tragedy. I tried to pace myself for the scene, but I could not stop crying. I could not stop keening for this guy who was wronged. It disgusted and profoundly upset me.” As an audience member, I felt the same about Turing’s fate.

The film is brilliant in execution. The performances are spot-on. More than that, though, The Imitation Game informs people of what happened to Alan Turing and what happened to so many men like him in the first half of the twentieth century.

Gay men were once the drug dealers of today. They were persecuted and imprisoned for their “crime” (sexual preference). Can you image that happening now? No, but that doesn’t mean we’re in any way out of the woods where gay rights are concerned.

A dear friend of mine was recently attacked via an online discussion board at her college. Fellow students found out she was gay and offered to help her. They wanted to take her someplace where she could be “healed.” They wanted her to know she could be fixed, but as I told her, “Honey, you can’t fix stupid.” We still live surrounded by ignorance, and no matter how well intentioned, my friend’s fellow students really hurt her feelings.

Steps have been taken to stop discrimination against gays. Gay marriage is being allowed in more and more states around the country. We’re certainly not putting people away for sodomy anymore. (Half the straight population would probably be behind bars, too.) But there is still a long way to go for more than just gays—for the rights of all races, sexes, and creeds.

The Imitation Game is really about choices: choose who you love, choose who you save, and choose who you want to be. Finally, choose to accept the way you were born.

Wow, some stuff happened this year!

I don’t believe in the whole new year, fresh slate shenanigans. I don’t do resolutions. January is another month. It marks nothing but another month. Despite this, I guess a new year number is a nice way to mark accomplishments. In homage, I spent this morning thinking back over 2014, professionally, and well, shit, a lot of stuff happened.

1. Short stories
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“Don’t Ball the Boss” in Stoneslide Corrective
Most read story of 2014 on the Stoneslide site
Nominated for a Pushcart Prize
“Just one more look, I tell myself. One more glance, and I’m back to my room down the hall, door locked, and hidden under the bed. But, for shit’s sake, he’s standing there, his shirt destroyed, his hair a mutinous rat’s nest, and his hot mouth swollen like he’s been punched. I’m proud that I did all this, but I can’t move.”

“The Youngest Brother” in Solarcide
“His chest rose and fell much too fast, and she watched his alcohol-soaked gaze jump back and forth over pavement. ‘I never wanted this. God, I never did.’ His voice cracked, but he kept the gun pointed at her chest. ‘What did they hire you to do? Kill me?'”

“You Need My Shit” in The Molotov Cocktail
“My husband suggested I keep my revolver in a little box during our garage sale just in case. It never occurred to me to be worried about people robbing my African statue that looks like it’s taking a shit.”

“Map of Memories:” to be published in 2015 by Under the Gum Tree
“No Smoking:” to be published in 2015 by Akashic Books: Thursdaze

2. Novel
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Bite Somebody: A Bloodsucker’s Diary was completed in 41 days and is currently being shopped to literary agents nationwide.

“I’m a vampire, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. You know in movies how vampires are all super good-looking and confident and mysterious? I saw Interview with the Vampire. I’ve seen all the vampire movies made, like, ever. I thought maybe if I studied Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, I would wake up one night looking like Catherine Zeta Jones. Instead, I wake up with bed head and dry drool on the outside of my mouth and wonder what went wrong?

“Deciding to become a vampire was like deciding on a last minute tattoo. Walk into a tattoo parlor, half-tipsy, and say, ‘I want that one.’

“I thought becoming a vampire would fix everything and make me better. That’s what Danny said. Instead, it’s been three months, I haven’t bitten anyone, and I spend all my time drinking lukewarm blood from hospital donation bags when I’m not working the night shift at Happy Gas down the street from my crappy Florida apartment. And I have a crush on the smell of my neighbor.”

Read more at Wattpad.

3. Mental Health
I was very open about my own mental health this year (or lack thereof), through work and on my own personal blog. My favorites?
Let’s Talk About Cutting
I’m a depressive cutter, don’t let my sense of humor fool you

4. Photo shoots
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I did two this year, which is plenty, since hey, photo shoots can be a lot of work! One was in homage to Fight Club anti-hero Marla Singer (photographs by Chris Loomis) and the other was for my friend, Sara Santiago’s, “Myth of Modesty” series (photographs by Devon Adams).

5. Books read: 66.

6. Interviews
I had the chance to talk to several icons this year, including Amanda Palmer, Cary Elwes, Caitlin Moran, Gregory Maguire, Evangeline Lilly, and The Minimalists. I learned something special from each of them, and I feel blessed to have a job at SheKnows.com that allows me such access.

7. Book clubs
Thanks to Gina’s Team, the Perryville Prison women’s book club is still going strong, once a month. As of December, we’ve started two more at Skelley House women’s shelters in downtown Phoenix and at Mingus Mountain Academy (for troubled teens) in Prescott.

8. Benedict Cumberbatch
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How could I not include this beautiful man on the 2014 list? He’s made me plenty of money through work, and he’s built me an unexpected internet fanbase. Cumberbitches, unite!
How Benedict Cumberbatch helped my career
SK Confessional: I’m obsessed with Benedict Cumberbatch, and here’s why (This article earned me #1 on Google search, thank you.)
22 Things you don’t understand about the Benedict Cumberbatch obsession
11 Times Benedict Cumberbatch stood up for gay rights

Phew, I’m tired just looking at all this. I could get into the personal life changes, but well, that would be another thousand words. For now, join me in a slow clap of admiration over the passing of a successful 2014 and toast to more great things to come!

How Benedict Cumberbatch helped my career

1469a00fa4b6e1cc37e6620e88533c1fBenedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch is a thirty-seven-year-old British actor who closely resembles either an otter or space alien. I’m really not sure if he was even considered mildly good-looking until 2010, when he premiered as title character Sherlock in the BBC’s modern adaptation.

Co-creators of the show Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have famously been interviewed as saying the BBC didn’t think Cumberbatch was sexy enough to play Sherlock. Now, oddly enough, he’s considered one of the sexiest men on Earth, with a trove of maniac fans known as “Cumberbitches.”

Empire Magazine listed him number one in their list of 100 sexiest movie stars. He made Glamour Magazine’s list, too. Oh, and number one in the British Sun (two years in a row). In response to this, Cumberbatch says, “I enjoy being considered handsome, even though I think it’s hysterical.”

Do I think he’s good-looking? Yes. God, yes. (See obsessive Pinterest board.) That’s right, folks. Embarrassing as it is, I’m a member of Benedict’s maniac fanbase. And it is kind of embarrassing. When I was a kid, I had this thing for Brad Pitt (posters on the wall, signing my name “Sara Pitt”). I haven’t had that kind of obsession again until now, and I’m thirty-two and married.

What does this have to do with my career? Since getting to know Mr. Cumberbatch via BBC’s Sherlock, he has inspired countless fictional characters in my work, most notably in “Don’t Ball the Boss,” soon to be published by Stoneslide Corrective.

When he got his Emmy nomination.

When he got his Emmy nomination.

The TV show inspired me to write fan fiction, as well. I’ve written five pieces of Sherlock fan fiction and have been shocked by the overwhelming response.

I’ve had women and men send me emails requesting more, more! They shout to the rafters that I should be published immediately. My Twitter following has possibly doubled. In fact, I once found my name mentioned in a Twitter conversation involving no less than six Cumberbitches. When I chimed in, one of them tweeted, “It’s her! It’s HER!” as if I were a celebrity.

My stories get upwards of two hundred hits per day. As writers, we very rarely get such immediate praise and develop such a fast following. Benedict Cumberbatch has unknowingly made me famous.

But the actor is more than creative inspiration. This is going to sound sappy, but he’s a life inspiration, as well. He was almost killed after being kidnapped in South Africa, but due to this terrifying experience, he just says he learned “not to sweat the small stuff. And just enjoy the ride of being alive.”

Apparently, he’s impossible to interview, because he’s like a fish with a shiny object. He’s easily distracted, due to his overwhelming enthusiasm. According to GQ writer Stuart McGurk, “I feel, compared with Cumberbatch, like someone going through existence with the contrast dial turned down. To him, it seems, everything is neon bright. The barbs may sting more sharply, but his sun must shine that much brighter.”

Taking pictures with fans.

Taking pictures with fans.

Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman said, “He’s sweet and generous in an almost childlike way. I could take advantage of him playing cards.” Other male co-stars seem to have developed complete bromances with Benedict (Michael Fassbender and Zach Quinto, for example).

Cumberbatch admitted recently that he’s seeing a therapist to deal with his new fame, and he admitted this with no shame, saying mental health should be more openly discussed.

In everything he does, he seems exuberant, fun loving (see U2 photo bomb), and incredibly polite. He worships his fans, and he says “thank you” every five minutes, even in the middle of the Oscar’s red carpet. When I said earlier he looks like an alien, he might really be an alien, because no human being can possibly be so damn sweet!

This is what I mean when I say life inspiration.

The man’s behavior, even as he has become a superstar, is jaw dropping. He has yet to go the way of Bieber or Lohan—stars who got famous and lost their shit. Instead, Cumberbatch has become more gracious, and according to Steven Moffat, “better looking the more famous he gets.”

Today, I say thank you to someone I’ve never met and will probably never meet, because unknowingly (and over and over), he has inspired me, made me laugh, and made me want to be a better person. He has improved my career (something even I never saw coming). And it all started while watching PBS, when I thought, “Wow, that man has great hair.”

Bromance dancing with Fassbender.

Bromance dancing with Fassbender.

Sherlock Season 3 Recap and Review

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THERE BE SPOILERS HERE! IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED ALL OF SHERLOCK SEASON THREE, DO NOT READ. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Episode One: The Empty Hearse

We all wanted to know how Sherlock survived the dive from St. Bart’s. Within the first three minutes of season three, we get an idea via an action-movie style montage including a bungee chord, a hair ruffle, and a sexy smooch. I loved this opening. Completely unbelievable and hilarious, and of course, it was a mere flight of fancy from Anderson.

Sherlock-Molly kiss. And tumblr EXPLODES!

Sherlock-Molly kiss. And tumblr EXPLODES!

The tempo of this episode was a little off, but I forgive, especially because of Martin Freeman’s face when he realizes Sherlock is alive and standing at his dinner table. Priceless, followed by several punches to the face. We also get to meet Sherlock’s parents, played by Cumberbatch’s real mum and dad. Adorable. We meet Mary, Watson’s soon to be wife. There was even a Sherlock and Moriarty almost-kiss—which begs the question, what the hell really happened on that roof at the end of season two?

I don’t think the truth was made clear, but I do think this was done on purpose. Co-creators Moffat and Gatiss knew how many theories there were, so they gave us three, the third of which being the most likely—but nothing is for sure. Did I feel a little cheated by this hedging? Perhaps, but this episode felt more about character than plot. They made Sherlock softer, almost a real human being, and this theme of Sherlock’s sentimentality stretched the whole third season.

Episode Two: The Sign of Three

An episode about a wedding but not necessarily a detective. I call this episode “odd,” but I enjoyed it because I like odd things (like Benedict Cumberbatch’s face, for instance).

Highlights included John asking Sherlock to be his best man, after which, Sherlock resembles a frozen computer screen; comedy gold. Speaking of, the stag night within which the boys get horribly drunk and try to solve a case. Instead, Sherlock passes out on a floor, vomits, and they both end up in jail. Finally, dear Janine the bridesmaid falls for Sherlock. (Janine: “Do you always carry handcuffs?” Sherlock: “Down girl.”)

So Mary and John are married, and the grand finale: they’re expecting a baby! I really enjoyed the dialogue and back and forth. True, not too much of a mystery here, but one hell of an adorable best man speech from Sherlock and lots of laughs. Which prepared us for …

Episode Three: His Last Vow

Oh, dear.

Mary is a bad, bad girl.

Mary is a bad, bad girl.

Well, this one wasn’t very funny at all, was it? And yet it’s one of my favorite episodes of the series. We meet the odious Charles Augustus Magnussen (CAM), who actually accomplishes a face lick without being silly. He is the man Sherlock hates the most and must bring tumbling down.

First off, Sherlock has a girlfriend in this episode—Janine, of course, from the wedding, which is just so, so awkward. I knew something wasn’t right; we all did. We soon find out he’s only dating her to get to CAM. He even proposes to her to get into CAM’s office, which is when …

MARY SHOOTS HIM! MARY! Yeah, John’s wife is some sort of super killer assassin person. That was shocking, yes, but I must say, the entire sequence inside Sherlock’s mind as he fights to stay alive was fan-freaking-tastic. It even featured Moriarty, who I love, but really, amazing, amazing sequence. Gorgeous. So well done.

In the end, Sherlock survives the bullet wound and John forgives his wife. The coup de gras: Sherlock murders CAM, and there’s a sweet goodbye between John and Sherlock as Sherlock goes off to die in East Europe on some undercover assignment. But then … but then …

MORIARTY IS ALIVE!!!!!! Sherlock gets called back to London!! Closing credits!!!

My brain exploded—almost. Would have been a hell of a mess. But this whole Moriarty thing raises so many questions. For instance, what about the body on the roof from season two? Someone must have known Moriarty was not dead, and my money is on Mycroft. Maybe Mycroft was hiding Moriarty (God knows why), and with Sherlock’s life in peril, he brought Moriarty back to life?

Well, the speculation now begins, as we are on hiatus—again. Weren’t we just on hiatus? Yes. Yes, we were, and we’re back, and who knows when we’ll get season four? But I’m sated, for now, and it’s a good thing; I’ve been Sherlock-obsessed for months. Time to get back to real life. But take heart: Moriarty lives.

YES!! YES, WE MISSED YOU!!!

YES!! YES, WE MISSED YOU!!!

Sherlock Season 3 … Or Why I’m Angry at England and On Hiatus From Social Media

The moment it all began ...

The moment it all began …


The day of my fangirl birth stands out in infamy. I was minding my own business, and my husband was scanning Netflix. From my office, I heard snippets in the background: British snippets. Next thing I know: “Babe, come watch this scene.”

“What is it?”

“The BBC’s Sherlock. You gotta watch this part.”

It was the scene where Watson and Sherlock first meet in the lab at St. Bart’s and Sherlock tells Watson his whole life based on nothing but observations. I remember thinking, “Well, this Sherlock guy is cute, isn’t he?”

I sat down and watched the first episode with my husband. Soon after, we finished season one. Then, season two. By that time, I was enamored with the show and the odd fellow with the odd name: Benedict Cumberbatch. And … oh, right, Sherlock had apparently jumped off a building to his death.

sherlock.2x03.the_reichenbach_fall.hdtv_xvid-fov 421What follows is what can only be compared to mourning a lost relative because I realized there were no more episodes and there would be no more episodes for a very, very long time.

I sated my addiction by following the hype. I became a Pinterest addict and a dedicated (obsessive?) Cumberbitch. I read fan fiction (I don’t read fan fiction). I found out everything I could about the show and the forthcoming third season.

Finally, the release date reached American shores: January 19, 2014.

And disaster struck.

The BBC followed up on the American release date by announcing Sherlock’s much-awaited premiere would play in England on January 1, 2014.

There were fountains of cuss words, threats of flights to England, and then, the only reasonable conclusion hit me like a London black cab: a total avoidance of Sara’s social media. That’s right: no more Twitter, very little Facebook, and a complete blind eye to my beloved Pinterest.

I see no alternative, because I will not have some crazy Brit telling me how Sherlock survived the fall from St. Bart’s. The only way I want to hear about Sherlock’s survival is from Sherlock’s cupid’s bow lips. Got it?

Do I feel punished for being American? Do I want to ring Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and ask them what the hell they’re thinking, doing this to us poor, sad little Americans? Yes! And yes!

On January 1, 2014, the geeky underworld of England will erupt in cheers. I will be silent, stewing, mourning the loss of my favorite internet addictions. My silence will continue until January 19, when I will finally sit in front of a television, geek out, and swoon because Sherlock has come back to life.

Image from season three. My guess? Watson's going to punch him out.

Image from season three. My guess? Watson’s going to punch him out.

I’m Shallow

Brad vs. Brad.

Brad vs. Brad.

My father has always considered me shallow. (Like he can talk; he used to judge college girls’ outfits from my apartment window in Athens, Ohio.) Daddy’s right, though; I am shallow. Look at my husband. However, I would like to point out to my father and to all of you … I’m not the only one.

This came to my attention most recently thanks to a box office flop.

The Fifth Estate is the fictional-based-on-fact account of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s rise and fall as conspiracy theorist and (arguably) American terrorist. According to the Huffington Post, this film, released October 31st, is “the biggest wide-release flop of 2013.” The director blames Assange and his underlying omnipresence in the media.

I blame a blond wig, brown contacts, and a funky accent.

The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch—my current Hollywood crush. (I like to keep one around; gives a girl something to look forward to in movie theaters.) Cumberbatch—or “Benny,” as I call him—is best known for the BBC’s Sherlock and his role as Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness. He’s also best known for black hair, icy blue eyes, and a voice that Britain’s Times likens to “a jaguar hiding in a cello.”

Now. Take these things away from Benny, and what do you have? A lanky, odd-looking, British nerd who can act.

How is this even possibly the same dude?

How is this even possibly the same dude?

This was The Fifth Estate’s mistake. To play Julian Assange, Benny had to look like the guy—and he did! In spades! But as Cumberbitches (Benny fans), we don’t want to see him looking like Julian Assange. We want to see him looking HOT. Ergo film floppage.

Now, let’s discuss Little Favour.

Little Favour is a short film, released today on iTunes, starring dear Benny. In the film, Cumberbatch has:

  1. Shaggy, black hair.
  2. Bright blue eyeballs.
  3. A DEEP … BRITISH … VOICE!

So far, word of the short firm has spread like a computer virus on all forms of social media. According to Empire Online, it is the highest selling short in iTunes history, even before its release!

Every Cumberbitch the world over probably has a copy already, and he/she has watched the short film a dozen times. (Well, er, I have, at least.) Anyway, Little Favour made me realize how shallow I/we really are! I mean, we say we love this guy, but we won’t go see him in a blond wig, will we?

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to admit to prodigious superficiality. Additional examples:

  1. Brad Pitt: Saw him immediately in Seven; skipped Twelve Monkeys.
  2. Val Kilmer: worshipped him in Tombstone; had no interest once he got fat.
  3. Ryan Reynolds: will watch even bad, bad movies just because he’s in them.

SHALLOW!!!!!!!!!

I don’t want you to think I feel bad about this. I don’t. I’m very proud that my husband has earned the nickname “Hottie McHotterson” amidst my girlfriends. I acknowledge my Benedict board on Pinterest almost solely includes pictures of him with black hair (he’s actually a ginger). I am shallow, and well … I’m okay with it. But I’m not alone.

Why, Val? WHY???!

Why, Val? WHY???!

I Am Sherlocked

Never, in a million, billion years would I have thought to replace Robert Downey Jr. in my heart. Then, I met Benedict Cumberbatch, and a new Sherlock Holmes was born.

Sherlock is a BBC production, featuring a modernized version of the famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle mystery novels. The show was created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, well known for their work as writers on another acclaimed British series, Doctor Who. Basically, they were intrigued by the idea of a modern Sherlock Holmes, able to utilize technologies like cell phones and the internet to hone his sense of deduction.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock is played by thirty-four-year-old British actor Benedict Cumberbatch; silly name, sure, but this boy will now and forever be my Sherlock Holmes. Prior to Sherlock, he is best known for roles in Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy; War Horse; and Atonement (the film which convinced Moffat and Gatiss that Cumberbatch would be the perfect Sherlock).

Since the show’s enthusiastic reception by British audiences, Cumberbatch has become a household name overseas. He is quoted as saying, “I am very flattered. I have also become a verb, as in ‘I have cumberbatched the UK audience’ apparently.” Despite the fact that he’s not conventionally attractive, women respond quite nicely to dear Benedict, as evidenced by the Facebook and Twitter “Cumberbitches.” Tagline: “The most glorious and elusive society for the appreciation of the high cheekboned, blue eyed sexbomb that is Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch.” And okay, yes, I’m a member. The guy oozes charisma.

Sherlock and the dreaded Moriarty!

Dr. Watson, recently returned from war in Afghanistan, is played by Martin Freeman, who I first saw in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, followed by Love Actually. He’ll be playing Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming Hobbit series, and he is a perfect comic foil to Sherlock’s rude, uncouth, and egotistical behavior.

Other notable characters are, of course, Jim Moriarty (played flamboyantly by Irishman Andrew Scott). Moriarty is so twisted in his utter evil, and even though you gotta hate the guy, you have to like him, too, if only for his repartee with Sherlock.

So far, there have been six hour-and-a-half long episodes, divided into two seasons. Each episode title is a play on words based on the original Conan Doyle novels (for instance A Study in Scarlet becomes “A Study in Pink”). The relationship developed between Sherlock and Watson is stellar, and the mysteries are never easy to unwind. The acting is a certain strong point, but so is the rapid dialogue. Jake and I needed subtitles, and frankly, it was hard even then to keep up with Sherlock’s mile-a-minute discourse.

Comedy mixes effortlessly with violence and drama. In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of the show is how badass and violent these two pale, British boys can be. Watson is a sharpshooter with perfect aim, and Sherlock is just as willing to give a fist to the face as shake a hand.

There is never a dull moment in this BBC masterpiece—just another example that Europe is winning the battle for entertainment quality. Yes, there are already talks of a season three, set to start filming in March of 2013, since both Cumberbatch and Freeman are currently working on other projects. That means I will obsessively watch the only six episodes I have over and over, because I can’t get enough of the characters, the writing, and the ever-present comic undertones of this, my new favorite show.