The appeal of Sherlock and House MD

There are a few types of guys we love to have a crush on, and I’m sure TV tropes and other relevant Wiki sites have already waxed long and hard about this particular cast (the highly intelligent, empathy-less sociopath), but today I would like to give my personal take on why guys like Sherlock and Gregory House are just so damn sexy.

1.Well, they are, looks-wise.

Hey, these are TV shows we are talking about. We need a hot leading character to bring in the viewers. I have, however, identified a primary trait that these characters must be striking in: their eyes.

The above are official promotional posters for Sherlock (the BBC version) and House MD respectively. Look at them. Now look back at this post. Now look at them. Uh wait I mean continue reading this paragraph and stop staring into their piercing–

Tell me you didn’t stare at their eyes for at least three seconds when you saw those photos. It’s more apparent for House, because they knew where to focus on, but even with the distracting London eye (see what I did there) and John Watson, you still go straight for Cumberbatch’s eyes.


Well from a compositional point of view I would tell you that it’s because the eyes are on the one-third line, in particular the top horizontal one-third line, thereby drawing your attention because you’ve been indoctrinated by society to focus on the thirds and think that compositions need to follow the one-third rule to be aesthetically pleasing…

From a character point of view, I’m going to jump straight into the deep end and tell you directly one of the reasons why eyes are so important for tropes like this. It is because of our need to be seen. Notice how Sherlock and House work? They enter a crime or medical scene, they sweep the victim or patient with their eyes, they tell you all the deep dark things about yourself within five seconds of meeting you. And we like that. There’s gratification in being seen — attention is associated with a gaze (no, fellow lit and psychoanalysis classmates, do not drag in Lacan’s gaze here), and what makes it even more rewarding is that it’s not cursory (and superficial), it is a gaze that knows (ALRIGHT you get to bring in Lacan’s signified now). It’s not just that it knows what to surmise from what it has seen, but that it knows where to look. It’s a little reminiscent of a hide-and-seek game: you’re hiding in a spot that not even your closest sister knows about, it’s dark and you can hear your breaths very distinctly, it’s getting hot in there and you wonder how the game is going — it’s been a long while and while the taste of victory is nice you wish someone would just relieve you from your self-imposed imprisonment. And here comes a Sherlock, opening all doors and airing the dusty space. The light of his gaze, oh

-insert common information about lovers and eye-gazing-

There are a couple more reasons why it’s nice to be found. One, because he has found you in your very own super secret hiding spot, surely it is a sign that he shares a few aspects of your unique snowflake soul. And in this oh so lonely world two of you similar souls should huddle close together and be ensconced in the warmth of your reunited Plato halves…

Two, I propose, could be something to do with the whole reproduction urge. As the focus of humanity drives further and further away from the body towards the mind, having children just doesn’t fulfil your reproductive needs anymore, unless you psych yourself into thinking that you can somehow have enough influence on your kids to make them mini mind replicas of yourself. But: when someone else finds you — has knowledge of you — you deposit a part of yourself into that person (whatever he has knowledge of — your lingerie habits, your food preferences), like making a copy to be pollinated around the world.

I can’t believe I just spent that long talking about eyes, and I’m not even done yet.

The colour of their eyes is desaturated, and this isn’t a coincidence. Having seen you, what does the seeing is frustratingly opaque — desaturated, they don’t scream out at you and reveal themselves in the process. It seeks but keeps from being sought. They just added a hard-to-get appeal to the mix. Your mind is suitably hooked.

The secondary trait that both characters have to their appearance is those impossibly high and protruding cheekbones. This is just pure lust appeal, I’m afraid; I could propose something about high cheekbones having a sort of elegant, upper-class appeal, and superiority is always sexy, which would definitely have some grain of truth in it, but I think you’ll just boo me off my own blogging stage.

That’s eight hundred words on purely appearance. I haven’t even gotten to what it is about their detached, aloof souls with all that potential for one little opening to worm in if you are just that special that appeals so damn much. I’m just that good. Did I tell you about the time I spent six hundred words on the first line of a poem? Well now you know. I’m like a Sherlock of poetry yo. Without the sexy sociopathic part.

Anyway I’m sure you’re fed up, so I’ll save the rest for a part two. And maybe a part three. And a part four. After all, there’s no such thing as too much when it comes to love~

is all that I can give~
to you~



One comment

  1. Ramona Randlett · April 1, 2013

    If you think that medical dramas are slow-paced, monotonous and far-stretched with regards to storylines, then watch House MD online and think again. It has re-ignited viewer interest in the imagination-driven hospital scenes. The physician’s optimism to drag a patient away from the tunnel of death, a patient’s strong will to free himself from the strong clutches of death and out of the queue medical procedures are once again gripping the audience.

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