Media Monday: The Game’s Afoot …

“The game’s afoot, Watson,” Sherlock Holmes would say to his sidekick.

He meant he was about to bring some nefarious evil-doer to justice.

Words With Friends

Nowadays, we play board games and video games. Games on our phones, on our computers, and on tabletops. We play games by ourselves, with friends, and with strangers the computer algorithms choose for us.

We can play a Scrabble-like word puzzle game. We can blow up candies. We can search for hidden items in rooms and mazes. We can build virtual farms and castle grounds.

We can spend so much time in these virtual worlds that we’re surprised when real carrots take longer than twelve hours to sprout and grow.

We recently played a very fun game that with a group moves from amusing to hysterically funny.

Telestrations: A perfect combination of Telephone and Pictionary.

Telestrations is a combination of the old campfire game, Telephone, and the party game, Pictionary. Each player has a small sketchpad and draws an illustration of either a word or phrase, then passes their sketch. The next person looks only at the drawing, flips a page, writes a guess, flips the page and passes the pad.

The next one reads the guess and draws the word/phrase. And so on. Each person takes turns either guessing or drawing. When the pad has completed its circle around the players, hilarity ensues as the various drawings and guesses are revealed.

It’s fun enough to bring back group games and make me forget it’s my turn on Words With Friends.

What’s your favorite board game? Do you play games online or on your phone?

Media Monday: Sherlock, Sherlock, Everywhere a Sherlock

I’ve always enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes stories and movies.

We seem to be in the midst of a Sherlockian revival these days.

There’s the BBC version with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson respectively.


This is essentially three 90-minute episodes per season. The producers have moved Sherlock and Watson into the 21st century and given them cell phones and the internet, but the bulk of the deducing is still dependent on Holmes’s superior observation skills and logical thinking. I love how they’ve taken some of the classic Holmes stories and updated them for this series. Cumberbatch’s Sherlock comes off as a high-functioning autistic man who needs some tutoring in his social and people skills.

Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock is a bit closer to manic than autistic. Robert_Downey_jr_cropped_2008Jude Law as his Watson keeps the movies grounded in some semblance of normalcy. I love these movies steam-punk vibe. Rachel McAdams was miscast as Irene Adler but other than that, the Guy Ritchie films are a fun addition to the Holmes oeuvre.

Perhaps the oddest current offering (on paper at least) is the television series Elementary. With Jonny Lee Miller elemplaying up Holmes’s addictive personality traits and Lucy Liu as a female Watson, the stories totally work.

We enjoy this series a lot. Now that we’ve gotten caught up on all the Castles, Justifieds, and Longmires, we needed something to fill an hour in the evening. Unfortunately, we came to this series fairly early in its run so we’re nearly current now and will be looking for a new series to follow. Any suggestions? Who’s your favorite Sherlock?