'Sherlock' Special Featured Some Serious Mansplaining, & People Weren't Pleased
What better way to ring in the new year than with Benedict Cumberbatch and a little mystery? The Sherlock holiday special, "The Abominable Bride" aired Jan. 1 to the delight of millions of fans. The 90-minute episode drew 8.4 million viewers, a strong showing considering most of the world was still nursing a hangover. Although it was a long-awaited and highly anticipated event, many viewers ended the special feeling confused, disappointed, and unhappy. And what better way to express their feelings than by taking to Twitter.
First, the timeframe of the episode was, well, odd. Sherlock Holmes (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) was both in the modern world, dreaming he was in the 19th century, and was in the 19th century, dreaming he was in the modern world. Confused? You wouldn't be the first. Numerous fans took to twitter to voice just how lost they were, claiming the writers essentially "overcomplicated" the episode by shifting between two eras.
Along with the complicated nature of the episode itself, many fans had an (arguably even larger) issue with the blatant mansplaining that took place in one particular, and now infamous, scene. Sherlock speaks to a room full of women and, essentially, explains feminism to a bunch of feminists.
The invisible army hovering at our elbow, tending to our homes, raising our children, ignored, patronized, disregarded, not allowed so much as a vote. But an army nonetheless, ready to rise up in the best of causes, to put right an injustice as old as humanity itself. So you see, Watson, this is a war we must lose.
He touches on the suffrage movement - the campaign that eventually lead to women securing the right to vote - and although the scene was clearly written with the best of intentions (I mean, hopefully, right?), the audacious nature of an arguably pompous man explaining the need for women's rights to the very women who don't have those rights was not lost on viewers.
Here are just of the issues people had with "The Abominable Bride."
It Was Confusing
Last night I dreamt that I understood Sherlock.— Jack Dee (@TheRealJackDee) January 2, 2016
me after every new episode of sherlock pic.twitter.com/3ok5FoMPIz— georgia (@lcstrade) January 2, 2016
two years later and the #Sherlock fandom is possibly more confused than before.— Daniel Hammond (@IAmHammond) January 2, 2016
Sherlock was so confusing — Tanya Burr (@TanyaBurr) January 1, 2016
There Was Some Major Mansplaining
Best part of tonight's Victorian #Sherlock special was when a man explained feminism to a room full of suffragettes.— Katherine (@katbeth88) January 2, 2016
I loved the part where a man came in and explained feminism to a room of women. #Sherlock— Erin Ruberry (@erinruberry) January 2, 2016
Love that a TV special ostensibly about feminism manages to both feature mansplaining and fail the Bechdel Test ☹️ #Sherlock— Lloyd White (@yornup) January 2, 2016
So, the suffragettes were a cult, who needed a man to give them guidance?....Ok #Sherlock— Martyn (@BadWilf) January 1, 2016
Sherlock mansplaining feminism to a room full of suffragettes was no doubt one steven moffat's gr8 ideas— Olivia (@oliviasmth_) January 2, 2016
It Was Generally Dissapointing
100% of Britons are angry that the only progress Sherlock has made in 47 years is going from being on a plane to being just outside a plane.— Stats Britain (@StatsBritain) January 2, 2016
My Sherlock review: At first I loved it! And then I was like and also . But then I realized how much there was to think about. 樂— Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) January 2, 2016
But People Are Still Going To Watch Season 4
Things I am still waiting for in #Sherlock: 1) Victor Trevor 2) Harry 3) Season four so I can watch it premiere with my grandchildren— Poelison Dameron (@alisontheperson) January 2, 2016
Regardless of the negative reviews or the sexism in what was supposed to be a feminist episode, people are already jonesing for Season 4, which won't be airing until 2017.
I need Cumberbatch and Freeman to stop being so famous so they can make more #Sherlock episodes more quickly— Deanne (@librarychickD) January 2, 2016
Top 4 reasons why Britons are sad: 1 No more Sherlock 2 Too much Watson moustache 3 It's not 2017 yet 4 Still no snow— Stats Britain (@StatsBritain) January 2, 2016
Images: Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films and BBC Wales for BBC One and MASTERPIECE