Posted in Uncategorized by MamaSass on May 23, 2008

It was the Sherlock Holmes of my youth that really set me off. I remember watching the old BBC series, where Holmes would stalk around the crime scene with the awkward grace of a praying mantis, throwing around rich observations with an abundance of overpronounciation that even the likes of Kenneth Brannaugh could not hope to achieve in his wettest of dreams. It was this Sherlock Holmes that I fell in love with first—the brooding asexual genius who’s keen eye, dulled though it was through a haze of morphine, would never falter over the tiniest of clues. The actor who played this Holmes with such sympathetic appeal was Jeremy Brett, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not Brett that I fell in love with, it’s not even the quality of genius that attracts me so much; it’s the particular Holmesian genius, the ability for facile analysis of the most abstract of situations, to find clues hidden where no one else could hope to find them. Maybe that’s the attraction, the ability to find meaning, to put together a scene from a random assortment of facts. Or maybe I just find deduction sexy as hell.

I can’t really explain it. But it recurs in my life like a narrative theme. Always crushes on genius detectives, the more bruised, the better. Literary or not. Detective Bobby Goren, of the Law and Order juggernaut, is a good example. I realize I’m not alone in finding him sexy—there are legions of women on the internet who are vocal in their approval, (although there are many more for the ape-like Detective Stabler, who flexes his muscles rather than his brain to solve his cases.) I hesitate to say it, but I almost find Vincent D’onofrio, who’s acting is pretty genius-level, even sexier than his character. Almost. But there it is again, the wounded genius detective. There’s something about his breathless delivery, the teetering on the edge of slightly too crazy to function, that is overwhelming. His character couples his deductive genius with a sweet and sour mixture of childlike exuberance and shaky, deep-rooted emotional pain. Its almost too good, a cocktail I can’t refuse, someone who makes my heart ache a little because I want to hold his head and rock him back and forth, gently, like a mother.

Many women are attracted to wounded men. That’s not at all hard to explain. But what is it about the detective that turns me on? Why that particular brand of genius? Dr. Gregory House might hold the answer, if I could only stop staring into his eyes long enough to try to figure it out. For all intents and purposes, House is Sherlock Holmes. (He lives at apartment number 221B for god’s sakes.) A medical Holmes, who’s brainpower is so intense that he never has to worry about losing his job, despite having a very Holmesian painkiller addiction and being maybe the world’s biggest asshole. Part of it could be that his boss wants to get in his pants. As do almost all of his female co-workers. While Bobby Goren and Sherlock Holmes may have pathetic sex lives, House gets gorgeous women lining up for a chance with him. Maybe it’s the cane. I can’t tell if it’s sexier that he acknowledges himself as a sexual entity, or if it’s sexier to be mysteriously celibate. It’s true, however, that whenever there is a case to be solved, House is more interested in exercising his brain than in other athletic endeavors.

So what is it about them? Is it me? Do I think I need to be solved? And if so, why do I think it would take a genius to do it? Am I that complex? Maybe I have an overinflated opinion of my own psyche, but I would welcome a chance to be investigated, broken down into my distinct elements, and put back together in some kind of order that made sense.

I mean, come on ladies, when you think about it, wouldn’t it be nice?