I love that people are defending the shit out of Elementary by saying that there is no evidence right now that Joan Watson is a love interest. I REALLY DO. I APPLAUD YOU. THANK YOU.
But here’s something: hey, how about the fact that it’d actually be pretty fucking awesome if Joan Watson is a brilliant, well-written female character AND she is a love interest.
I know we all have a kneejerk response against a female character being “just” a love interest, but let’s consider something else as well: Lucy Liu is an actress of color. She’s of Chinese descent.
You know what Chinese women are on film and television? We’re either demure, sexually submissive sex kittens, or ferocious, man-eating dragon ladies. Lucy Liu herself has portrayed a number of those latter types. We’re the mistress, the piece on the side, the prostitute, the exotic ride.
You know what we tend not to be? Legitimate love interests.
Film and television tell women of color that we’re never quite worthy. We can get fucked, but we don’t get to be loved. After all, we’re not white enough.
So please think about that for a moment. I don’t particularly want Joan Watson to be “just” a love interest either, but is it really that fucking bad if she and Holmes did develop romantic feelings for each other? Consider the lens you’re looking through. Is it a white one?
This is a really good, valid point, and one that I hadn’t considered at all before.
I really hate that when people say, “Oh, Joan will just be a stupid love interest for a stupid romance!”, it seems like the defense always has to centre around, “She will be so much more than that, and making the assumption that there will be romance just because she is a woman is hella sexist!” in order to be considered… credible? I guess?
Because while those two points are indeed true things, there’s also a part of me that just wants to go, “So what if there is a romance? LITERALLY, SO FUCKING WHAT?” Romance isn’t stupid or somehow ‘lesser’ than any other kind of narrative; it’s just gotten coded as something that is primarily for ~girls and their emotions~, and as such is therefore silly and dismissible. Romance can be valuable, romance can be compelling - and as demonstrated above, there are really, really good reasons why having Joan Watson as a legitimate, leading love interest on tv would in fact be a positive thing.