As a teenager, I was completely consumed by the equally twisted and touching love story between inmates Tobias Beecher and Chris Keller on HBO’s groundbreaking prison drama, Oz. Romeo and Juliet were just stupid teenagers. Antony and Cleopatra, comparatively, lacked drama and sacrifice. Lancelot and Guinevere weren’t nearly star-crossed enough.
But Beecher and Keller? They had everything. Love, jealousy, passion, agony, angst, beauty, terror, and arm bars. They were complex and almost as perfect for each other as they were toxic for each other.
Since the end of Oz in 2003, there’s been something missing in my life. As Augustus Hill, the de facto narrator of the show once said, “The worst stab wound is the one to the heart. Sure, most people survive it, but the heart is never quite the same.” I survived the end of the show and the end of Beecher and Keller’s story, but my heart has never been the same. There’s been an emptiness there that no other pairing can fill.
At least, there was an emptiness until my friend and slash-pusher, S, convinced me to watch Sherlock. Now, many people have been trying to get me to watch the BBC’s modern day take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic character since the show debuted in the summer of 2010, and I had every intention of getting around to it eventually. But everyone else who was telling me to watch it was using words like “clever,” “brilliant,” and “fun.” S said used a word that magically transformed Sherlock from potential future viewing to immediate, must-see TV: homoerotic.
That was all it took. Within the next week and change, I had watched all six of the show’s 90 minute episodes. It’s every bit as wonderful and brilliantly written and expertly acted as everyone told me. And yeah, Benedict Cumberbatch (who is, in fact, a real human being and not one of Salad Finger’s puppets) is as oddly dreamy as Sherlock some suggested. But, most importantly to my stunted and scarred heart, it offered a story that could potentially fill my void.
Dr. Watson and Sherlock just might be the new Beecher and Keller. Don’t believe me? I have assembled the following proof with my Sherlockian pop culture skills:
It all starts with a tortured blond man who has been through a traumatic experience.
Dr. John Watson served in Afghanistan.
Beecher was Schillinger's prag.
Their trauma has left them visibly altered.
Watson has a psychosomatic limp.
Beecher has a swastika tattooed on his ass.
Then a tall, dark sociopath walks into their lives.
Sherlock Holmes, the dreamy and brilliant crime solver.
Chris Keller, dreamy and cunning crime-causer.
The troubled blonds start to overcome their issues.
Watson loses his limp and runs around with Sherlock.
Beecher shits on Schillinger's face.
The blonds and sociopaths fall in love.
According to subtext and fandom, at least.
According to cannon. And a healthy fandom that continues to this day. Not that I'd know anything about that.
The tall, dark sociopaths engage in varying degrees of nakedness.
On the BBC, fangirls got to see Benedict Cumberbatch in a sheet.
Meanwhile on HBO, Meloni's wang got so much screentime that it deserved separate billing.
In times of trouble, the pairs find themselves on different sides iron bars.
While they were handcuffed together!
Well, sometimes you don't need handcuffs.
And, finally… (SPOILER ALERT for Oz season six and The Reichenbach Fall) Continue reading